Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

Rush Limbaugh: I stayed up late last night, ladies and gentlemen, consuming adult beverages while watching the Mars landing. This was a technological feat that is difficult to describe. You actually need a video, animation video that was produced to see this, or a series of slides to show how they got this rover on the surface. I don't know if this means anything to you. Five hundred thousand lines of computer code. It was a computer program that was written to take this thing from reentry to the Martian atmosphere down to the surface, 500,000 lines of code is I can't tell you how many technological executions. If just one of them had failed, this thing would be history. Just one small item in the 500,000 lines of code.

Rush Limbaugh: Folks, I just sent a couple of pictures up to Koko at the website that I want him to link to, and he's doing that now. The Mars rover... This is amazing. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Satellite actually took pictures of Curiosity (that's the name of the spacecraft, the rover) landing with the parachute deployed. The parachute is more heavy-duty than any that's ever been invented. It's blurry, it's black and white, but it is a picture from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Satellite as the Curiosity is landing, before it's separated from the parachute. It's amazing. It's literally amazing that we had our orbiter up there positioned in time -- close enough, lens able to zoom in enough -- to get a picture.

YouTube description: Experts at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL ) share the challenges of Curiosity's rover final 7 minutes to landing on the surface of Mars on the 5th of August,2012 ( US Pacific time).

NASA official site:

NASA video (Curiosity 7 minutes of terror ) is used for informational purposes by complying with the guidelines below:

Note: Curiosity is a Mars rover launched by NASA on November 26, 2011. Currently en route to the planet, it is scheduled to land in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012 ( US Pacific time) . The rover's objectives include searching for past or present life, studying the Martian climate, studying Martian geology, and collecting data for a future manned mission to Mars. It will explore Mars for 2 years.

Curiosity landed successfully one minute late :-)

Curiosity cost: A cool US$2.5 billion

Cool stuff Bonus (Mars Science Laboratory) such as interactive experiences can be found in:

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