There will be a news conference on NASA TV on Monday, July 16 at 1:00 PM EDT (1600 UT) to discuss the upcoming landing of the newest Mars rover -- the
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which has been named "Curiosity". Curiosoty will be landing on Mars on August 5th (or 6th -- depending on your
Here is a link to the story, which includes other links for viewing the press conference on Monday, such as a link to the NASA TV stream and to
...and a link to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) MSL mission home page, which has a wealth of information regarding the "Curiosity" MSL: marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov...
Fort those of you not as familiar with this new rover, it will be the largest ever sent to Mars, and is the size of a small SUV. It will be landing
in Gale Crater, which is a large and very old crater that probably once held standing water. Scientists think the region was once watery due to the
evidence that the soil seems to have an abundance of clay, which is only known to form in wet environments (and where the water is neutral rather than
overly acidic or overly basic/alkali). The surface of Gale Crater is dry now, but it seems as if it was probably a wet place in Mars' distant
Gale Crater is also interesting due to the highlands in the center (Mount Sharp) and the canyons around Mt. Sharp's perimeter. Scientists think that
there will be exposed rock strata in the area around Mt Shard where billions of years of Martian geology (at least for that particular region) can be
studied. NASA hopes to learn a geological history of Mars by studying rock strata.
By the way, I've posted the below video animation before, but for those of you who haven't seen the landing procedure for the MSL, check this out.
The MSL is too heavy to use the airbag procedure used by the rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Sojourner, so it will be employing a different method.
Pay close attention starting at about the 2:00 mark for the landing:
edit on 7/13/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)
I really am looking forward to seeing Curiosity land given that the sky crane does indeed work and everything goes according to plan. This very well
could be the most successful mars rover yet, can't wait to see how the plutonium power source works out.
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