New HD Video Lets You Plummet to Mars With Curiosity | Wired Science | Wired.com

Watching this amazing high-definition video of Curiosity’s hair-raising landing on Mars will make you clutch at your armrest. Compiled from the probe’s MARDI descent camera, it is the best landing video yet and gives you a chance to experience what it’s like to ride along with the rover down to the Martian surface.

The video starts with Curiosity’s heat shield being jettisoned from its landing stage body — comprised of the rover tucked up beneath a UFO-like platform. The rover hovers for a while under its parachute, wobbling back and forth as it takes in the spectacular view of craters and the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, its eventual target. Vertigo kicks in as the rover dives lower and the engines kick in for Curiosity’s powered descent sequence.

explore-blog:

The stuff of history: NASA’s definitive two-and-half-minute edit of Curiosity’s landing. Here’s what it took and how it happened.

It’s been a heck of a day, and a heck of a mission. Relive all of my posts from this mission, old and new, here. This video captures the end result of allowing human curiosity to push its boundaries, and then break through them.

You need a reminder of why we need to fund projects that go boldly into the future? Just watch this.

(via jtotheizzoe)

Kinect Game Lets You Land NASA’s New Rover on Mars | Wired Science | Wired.com
A new free Xbox game gives anyone the chance to steer through seven minutes of terror and attempt to safely land NASA’s newest rover, the Mars Science Laboratory.
MSL, which is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet the night of Aug. 5, is a car-sized nuclear-powered roverdesigned to search for signs of life on Mars, past or present. It is the largest robot that engineers can currently landon the Martian surface and its descent from space includes a complex list of events that have to happen perfectly to ensure success.
After entering the top of the Martian atmosphere, MSL will use its heat shield to slow down to slightly above Mach 2. It will then deploy the largest supersonic parachute ever used on an interplanetary mission to get to landing speed. Once the parachute is jettisoned, the spacecraft will fire up rockets and slow down even further. A UFO-like platform will gingerly lower the rover down on wires until, about 25 feet above the surface of Mars, MSL will be placed on the ground, hopefully ready to roll. Once it has brought its quarry to the ground, the platform will fly off and crash far from the rover to prevent any damage.

Kinect Game Lets You Land NASA’s New Rover on Mars | Wired Science | Wired.com

A new free Xbox game gives anyone the chance to steer through seven minutes of terror and attempt to safely land NASA’s newest rover, the Mars Science Laboratory.

MSL, which is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet the night of Aug. 5, is a car-sized nuclear-powered roverdesigned to search for signs of life on Mars, past or present. It is the largest robot that engineers can currently landon the Martian surface and its descent from space includes a complex list of events that have to happen perfectly to ensure success.

After entering the top of the Martian atmosphere, MSL will use its heat shield to slow down to slightly above Mach 2. It will then deploy the largest supersonic parachute ever used on an interplanetary mission to get to landing speed. Once the parachute is jettisoned, the spacecraft will fire up rockets and slow down even further. A UFO-like platform will gingerly lower the rover down on wires until, about 25 feet above the surface of Mars, MSL will be placed on the ground, hopefully ready to roll. Once it has brought its quarry to the ground, the platform will fly off and crash far from the rover to prevent any damage.

Elon Musk: I’ll put a man on Mars in 10 years | KurzweilAI

SpaceX will launch a rocket into orbit in three years and will “go all the way to Mars” in 10 to 20 years, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch Friday.

The statement follows a SpaceX announcement last week that NASA has awarded the company $75 million to develop a revolutionary launch escape system that will enable the company’s Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts.

Elon Musk: I’ll put a man on Mars in 10 years | KurzweilAI SpaceX will launch a rocket into orbit in three years and will “go all the way to Mars” in 10 to 20 years, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch Friday. The statement follows a SpaceX announcement last week that NASA has awarded the company $75 million to develop a revolutionary launch escape system that will enable the company’s Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts.

Viking landers did detect organics on Mars | Physorg.com
In 1976 the NASA Viking landers took samples of soil on Mars and tested them for signs of organic carbon. A reinterpretation of the results now suggests the samples did contain organic compounds, but the results were not understood because of the strong oxidation effects of perchlorate, a salt now known to be found in Martian soils. 

Viking landers did detect organics on Mars | Physorg.com

In 1976 the NASA Viking landers took samples of soil on Mars and tested them for signs of organic carbon. A reinterpretation of the results now suggests the samples did contain organic compounds, but the results were not understood because of the strong oxidation effects of perchlorate, a salt now known to be found in Martian soils.