Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Monday, August 06, 2012

Curiosity on Mars!

In the single most astonishing, daring and nail biting spaceflight since Apollo 11, NASA successfully landed its SUV sized Mars Rover, Curiosity after a 345 million mile, 8.5 month mission through interplanetary space.  The amazing spacecraft dropped into the Martian atmosphere at over 13,000 miles per hour.  The rover then shed its heat shield after pulling 13 Gs, released the largest parachute ever deployed off planet at supersonic velocity, fired up its rockets to slow down then lowered the huge rover to the surface with cables using a completely novel and untried rocket powered sky-crane.  After the successful landing, the Rover Curiosity sent back this image of the flat, pebble strewn ground around it.  Whew!  Lots of tears were shed at the moment of successful landing including my own at 1:32 AM EDT this morning!

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