Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror- Mars lander, the How

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Trajan, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    Yes I saw QW's thread, this is more of the how did it land and thank god it did:clap2:

    I got this link from a guy who works at Cal Tech...he helped put this together.

    nice job actually, the 6 minute film goes by really quick, and provides an excellent representation of the landings intricacies and management the combination of timing and moving parts, 14 minutes removed and in many instances commanded by 'skynet' ;) is very impressive....


    This is bound to be an under appreciated but brilliant achievement of science, engineering and manufacturing. Nasas last hurrah sadly...:doubt:


    Video: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     
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  2. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    Touchdown: NASA rover Curiosity lands on Mars - SFGate
     
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  3. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    [​IMG]

     
  4. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    CHECKUP FOR CURIOSITY BEFORE IT ROVES

    While Curiosity rover appears to have landed intact, its exact condition was still to be ascertained.

    NASA plans to put the one-ton, six-wheeled, nuclear-powered rover and its sophisticated instruments through several weeks of engineering checks before starting its two-year surface mission in earnest.

    "We're going to make sure that we're firing on all cylinders before we blaze out across the plains," lead scientist John Grotzinger said.

    The rover's precise location had yet to be determined, but NASA said it came to rest in its planned landing zone near the foot of a tall mountain rising from the floor of a vast impact basin called Gale Crater, in Mars' southern hemisphere.

    Launched on November 26 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the robotic lab sailed through space for more than eight months, covering 352 million miles (566 million km), before piercing Mars' thin atmosphere at 13,000 miles per hour -- 17 times the speed of sound -- and starting its descent.

    Encased in a protective capsule-like shell, the craft utilized a first-of-its kind automated flight-entry system to sharply reduce its speed.

    Then the probe rode a huge, supersonic parachute into the lower atmosphere before a jet-powered backpack NASA called a "sky crane" carried Curiosity most of the rest of the way to its destination, lowering it to the ground by nylon tethers.

    'SEVEN MINUTES OF TERROR'

    When the rover's wheels were planted firmly on the ground, the cords were cut and the sky crane flew a safe distance away and crashed.

    The sequence also involved 79 pyrotechnic detonations to release exterior ballast weights, open the parachute, separate the heat shield, detach the craft's back shell, jettison the parachute and other functions. The failure of any one of those would have doomed the landing, JPL engineers said.

    NASA sardonically referred the unorthodox seven-minute descent and landing sequence as "seven minutes of terror."

    With a 14-minute delay in the time it takes for radio waves from Earth to reach Mars 154 million miles (248 million km) away, NASA engineers had little to do during Curiosity's descent but anxiously track its progress.

    By the time they received radio confirmation of Curiosity's safe landing, relayed to Earth by a NASA satellite orbiting Mars, the craft already had been on the ground for seven minutes.

    NASA engineers said the intricate and elaborate landing system used by Curiosity was necessary because of its size and weight.

    Over twice as large and five times heavier than either of the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed on Mars in 2004, Curiosity weighed too much to be bounced to the surface in airbags or fly itself all the way down with rocket thrusters -- systems successfully used by six previous NASA landers, engineers said.

    Curiosity is designed to spend the next two years exploring Gale Crater and an unusual 3-mile- (5 km-) high mountain consisting of what appears to be sediments rising from the crater's floor.

    Its primary mission is to look for evidence that Mars - the planet most similar to Earth - may have once hosted the basic building blocks necessary for microbial life to evolve.

    The rover comes equipped with an array of sophisticated instruments capable of analyzing samples of soil, rocks and atmosphere on the spot and beaming results back to Earth.
     
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  5. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    yea!
     
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  6. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    You gotta have some drama or it ain't news.
     
  7. freedombecki
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    freedombecki Let's go swimmin'! Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Trajan!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oLaC1VYoTM"]NASA Mars Rover Landing: Curiosity Lands, Beams Back Pictures of Mars Surface - YouTube[/ame]

    This video has been approved by Rosa
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  8. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  9. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Mars rover Curiosity beams back images showing its descent
    August 7, 2012

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    Mars rover Curiosity beams back images showing its descent
     

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