Don’t forget to watch NASA’S Curiosity rover touch down on Mars live this evening at 11:30 PM ET (streaming and on XBL). In case you’re wondering why this is a really big deal, check out the amazing “7 Minutes of Terror” video below. Am I the only one hoping that we see some strange monolithic alien statues or something?
- Six vehicle configurations – It can transform and has multiple functions.
- 76 Pyrotechnic devices – used for transformations as well as a safe landing on Mars.
- 500,000 lines of code – a marvel in programming prowess.
- 7 Minutes from the atmosphere to the surface – This means there will be no communication with earth for seven minutes.
NASA: With Mars looming ever larger in front of it, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are in the final stages of preparing for entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected. Today, the flight team uplinked and confirmed commands to make minor corrections to the spacecraft’s navigation reference point parameters. This afternoon, as part of the onboard sequence of autonomous activities leading to the landing, catalyst bed heaters are being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL’s descent propulsion system. As of 2:25 p.m. PDT (5:25 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 261,000 miles (420,039 kilometers) from Mars, closing in at a little more than 8,000 mph (about 3,600 meters per second). (SOURCE)