In our twisted pop geek culture, it's not cutting-edge technology until it's been replicated with the most simplistic of child's toys. With that in mind, congrats are due to NASA's Curiosity rover, which has finally been reduced to a scale model made of Legos. Oh yea, the full-size rover also landed on Mars yesterday. … Read more
After its triumphant touchdown on Mars last night, it would be tempting to think that NASA's Curiosity rover is a complete success.
But while the part of the mission involving sending the one-ton rover on its 352 million journey to Mars ended in worldwide celebration, the real work hasn't even gotten started.
Over the coming weeks and months, NASA scientists have to ensure that everything on Curiosity is in working order, and only then will the rover take its first "baby steps," let alone begin to explore the many square kilometers of Martian terrain it was … Read more
If you have even the slightest interest in space exploration, you know the Mars Curiosity rover has successfully touched down on the Red Planet.
Watching online videos doesn't do the mighty space explorer justice. To put it in perspective, Ford put together an infographic comparing the Rover with a 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor.
Let's just say the truck wouldn't stand a chance in the harsh conditions of Mars, but the Ford does have certain advantages. At $43,970, the Raptor is kind of expensive, but the Rover Curiosity mission has racked up a $2.5 billion bill. That's equivalent to 56,857 of the fancy trucks.… Read more
PASADENA, Calif.--In an unparalleled technological triumph, a one-ton nuclear-powered rover the size of a smallwas lowered to the surface of Mars on the end of a 25-foot-long bridle suspended from the belly of a rocket-powered flying crane late Sunday to kick off an unprecedented $2.5 billion mission.
With flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory anxiously watching telemetry flowing in from Mars, 154 million miles away and 13.8 minutes after the fact, the Mars Science Laboratory rover -- Curiosity -- radioed confirmation of touchdown at 10:32 p.m. PDT (GMT-7; 1:32 a.… Read more
The arrival of the Curiosity rover on Mars may well be the biggest, boldest extraterrestrial landing for NASA since Apollo 11 settled down on the moon on a summer's night in 1969.
Curiosity is scheduled to land in the Red Planet's Gale Crater late Sunday or very, very early Monday, depending on your Earthbound time zone. Confirmation of the landing should come at about 10:31 p.m. PT Sunday for folks on the U.S. West Coast, or 1:31 a.m. ET Monday for those on the East Coast. The rover will have actually touched down … Read more
It's not every day that you land a spacecraft on Mars, even if you're NASA. And in the case of the Curiosity rover, hurtling toward a Mars landing as Sunday night turns into Monday morning, the space agency is tempting fate with a novel approach that involves a big parachute, a specially designed winch, and some very high hopes.
The rover's descent through the Martian atmosphere, which NASA has dubbed the "Seven Minutes of Terror," will be an edge-of-your-seat experience, despite the space agency's excruciating preparations.
Consider, for instance, just one key element that … Read more
No spam in Tuesday's top tech stories:
It's not often we get a shakeup in the email world, but say hello to Microsoft's new free email account, Outlook.com. It'll eventually be replacing Hotmail, but you might want to grab your name now. There's a new, clean look and it ties in your social media contacts. It's not too far off from what you may be used to already in Gmail, as you'll be able to tell from CNET's full overview of the features.
The Mars Science Laboratory rover, called Curiosity, will … 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
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
NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, has a lot of time on its hands these days--so naturally it's spending a lot of time on Twitter.
The $2.5 billion science laboratory on wheels is in the middle of a 352-million mile trip to the Red Planet with an anticipated arrival date of August 5, 2012. If you're wondering exactly how fast that means Curiosity is traveling through space right now, well... you could just ask it, like @KristineKisky did, eliciting this response that's sure to confuse all non-space nerd-type people:
Curiosity has been actively tweeting and answering fan tweets since before its launch at the end of November. It's even developed a fairly sophisticated--if incredibly geeky--sense of humor and pop culture sensibility, with gems like Super Bowl weekend's "Think Brady & Manning throw long spirals? I'll go 352+ million miles to "touchdown" in Gale Crater." Or "30 Seconds to Mars? More like 241 days to go!"… Read more