JetVideo Basic VX from COWOM America proved a capable, flexible media player, once we'd gotten past an ad-splashed intro that left us wondering if it was worth the effort. It has a sleek, stylish interface that groups lots of useful controls together but hides them until you need them, or toggles them open and closed, like the Extended Controls and Playlist. It plays a wide range of media files, including music files and CDs, as well as most video formats. Its extras include sound effects, subtitles for international users, an equalizer, variable playback speed, a timer, an alarm, a … Read more
PASADENA, Calif.--Dutifully executing its complex flight control software, the Mars Science Laboratory silently raced toward its target Sunday, picking up speed as it closed in for a 13,200-mph plunge into the Red Planet's atmosphere and an action-packed seven-minute descent that will require a rocket-powered "sky crane" to lower a one-ton nuclear-powered rover to the surface.
The target is Gale Crater and the goal is a pinpoint landing near the base of a three-mile-high mound of layered rock that represents hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of years of martian history, a frozen record of … Read more
PASADENA, Calif. -- The Mars Science Laboratory rover, still attached to its drum-shaped interplanetary cruise stage, closed in on the Red Planet on Saturday, steadily accelerating under the increasing tug of the planet's gravity as it streaked toward a precisely targeted plunge into the martian atmosphere overnight Sunday for a high-stakes descent to the surface.
"The spacecraft and ground systems are all healthy and performing as expected," said MSL mission manager Arthur Amador. "The spacecraft is now in the EDL (entry, descent, and landing) approach configuration, in our final approach orientation, pointing our medium gain antenna … Read more
The question is straightforward: how to get a car-size rover safely to the surface of Mars? And not just anywhere, but to a very precisely defined bull-s-eye on the floor of a broad crater, within roving distance of a 3-mile-high mountain.
In earlier ventures to Mars, spacecraft have either bounced to the surface cocooned in giant airbags or made the trip atop a rocket-powered descent stage. But neither approach was an option for NASA's Curiosity rover, the centerpiece of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission.
Tipping the scales at one ton, the nuclear-powered Curiosity, a rolling laboratory … Read more
Unexpected problems with a NASA science satellite in orbit around Mars could briefly delay receipt of telemetry from the agency's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory rover during the spacecraft's dramatic 7-minute descent to the surface August 6, officials said Monday.
While the issue with the orbiting Odyssey satellite will have no effect on the rover's ability to successfully execute its autonomous entry, descent, and landing sequence -- half jokingly dubbed "Seven Minutes of Terror" by project engineers -- it could mean an additional period of nail-biting before confirmation that the so-called "sky crane&… Read more
Gentlemen, start your Lego jet engine. Created by Rolls-Royce and unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow in England yesterday, the engine uses 152,455 bricks and reaches an overall size of 4.9 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. All of those Legos together stack up to an astounding 676 pounds. … Read more
In just 41 days, on August 5, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover will touch down on the Red Planet, and this will be no ordinary landing. In fact, NASA has dubbed the descent "Seven Minutes of Terror."
"When people look at it, it looks crazy," senior EDL engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Adam Steltzner said in a new video by NASA on the rover landing. "It is the result of reasoned engineering thought, but it still looks crazy."
The recently released video (see below) outlines exactly how crazy the feat of landing … Read more
You may have seen those crazy cousins of the Jet Ski and jetpack that let you zip around your favorite water-sports venue while essentially attached to a wild fire hose.
We've written about the JetLev R200 -- a jetpack-like design -- as well as a later spin on the idea: the Flyboard, which with its foot- and hand-level water jets, might make for more of a skiing-like experience.
Well, now it looks like the concept has been applied to a form factor all of us can more or less relate to: the cycle. The Jetovator lets you ride the wild hose as if it were a bike or motorcycle. And for that reason, it looks a little less squirrelly than the other devices (though watching the embedded video does make us wonder about the fine print in our health insurance policies).… Read more
NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory rover is in good shape and on target for a nail-biting seven-minute plunge to a bull's-eye landing on the red planet in early August, thanks to upgraded software and post-launch improvements that will enable the craft to make a more precise descent to the floor of Gale Crater, mission managers said Monday.
While engineers are continuing to troubleshoot a contamination issue with Teflon seals inside a high-tech rock drill on the rover's robot arm, the project scientist said he is confident workarounds will be in place by the time the … Read more