Just a quick reminder that, if everything goes to plan, Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the massive 900kg rover Curiosity, is scheduled to land on the red planet at 6.30am [BST] tomorrow morning. As the Curiosity Rover says itself
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 5, 2012
And from the Guardian’s Pass Notes No 3,223
Is it all going to work? Oh, absolutely. Well, there is a potentially tricky bit.
Which bit? All of it. It’s an unmanned spacecraft the size of a family car trying to land near a putative former river site in the giant Gale crater on Mars, after all. It’s not like trying to back your car into the garage.
Crumbs! And then there’s the two hours before it lands, when it will have to rely solely on its onboard computers to begin its descent …
Yikes! And then there’s the last seven minutes of the descent when all will be silence. The only way Nasa will know whether their years of work and $2.5bn have been well spent is when and if the probe comes online again and starts broadcasting the pictures they hope to see.
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