Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/7/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Curiosity rover will 'actually drive on Mars and execute a very complex and beautiful science mission'

Hailed as a "miracle of engineering," NASA scientists hailed the Mars rover Curiosity's smooth descent as a milestone of modern technology. Researchers are now scanning early images of a Martian crater that may hold clues about theoretical life on the Red Planet.

The rover transmitted a picture seven minutes later, showing one of Curiosity's wheels on the planet's gravel-strewn surface.

The rover transmitted a picture seven minutes later, showing one of Curiosity's wheels on the planet's gravel-strewn surface.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/7/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Mars, Curiosity rover, technology, NASA, expedition


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The expedition was fraught with risks, one that could have dashed many years of meticulous scientific research. "We trained ourselves for eight years to think the worst all the time," Curiosity lead engineer Miguel San Martin said. "You can never turn that off."

NASA engineers now say the landing stands as the most challenging and elaborate achievement in the history of robotic spaceflight. The landing opens the door to a new era in planetary exploration. President Barack Obama hailed the accomplishment as an historic "point of national pride."

The landing's success was a major milestone for a U.S. space agency beset by budget cuts and the recent cancellation of its space shuttle program.

Encased in a capsule-like protective shell, the nuclear-powered Curiosity rover weathered an eight-month voyage as it streaked into the thin Martian atmosphere at 13,200 miles-per-hour, or 17 times the speed of sound.

The capsule's "guided entry" system used jet thrusters to steer the craft as it fell, making small course corrections and burning off most of its downward speed. About the size of a small sports car, the rover landed as planned at the bottom of a vast, ancient impact bowl called Gale Crater, and near a towering mound of layered rock called Mount Sharp, which rises from the floor of the basin. The descent, dubbed by some as "seven minutes of terror," proved to be unfounded.

From an orbital perch 211 miles away, NASA's sharp-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took a picture of Curiosity gracefully riding beneath its massive parachute en route to Gale Crater, located near the planet's equator in its southern hemisphere.

Flight controllers at JPL received the equivalent of a text message from Curiosity that its journey of 352 million miles had ended successfully.

The rover transmitted a picture seven minutes later, showing one of Curiosity's wheels on the planet's gravel-strewn surface.

"When you see a picture of the surface of the planet with the spacecraft on it, that is the miracle of engineering," lead scientist John Grotzinger told journalists.

With the late-afternoon sun slipping behind the crater's rim, Curiosity relayed six more sample pictures and the results of initial health checks of some of its 10 scientific instruments before shutting down for the Martian night.

Curiosity touched down about 6.2 miles from the foot of Mount Sharp, a monstrous formation of sedimentary rock that rises like a stack of cards three miles from the floor of Gale Crater.

"The surface mission of Curiosity has now begun," mission manager Mike Watkins said.

"We built this rover not just to be launched or not just to land on Mars, but to actually drive on Mars and execute a very complex and beautiful science mission."

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Technology

Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


Singapore tech shames Google - Here's why we're all looking forward to it! Watch

Image of Singapore is home to the most advanced autonomous car (asiawebdirect).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After securing $3.6 million to fund an up-and-coming piece of technology, an MIT-spinoff company based in Singapore shames Google's driverless car. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With news of self-driving taxis popping up across the internet, it should come as no ... continue reading


Cannibalism: What lengths would YOU take to survive? Watch

Image of The fight has moved from the physical to the digital (cstins12/YouTube).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Time is money and money is everything. It pays for your home, food, technology, education, transit and basic needs - but what happens when your time no longer brings in the money? What would you resort to if you knew you would starve? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How to see the green Comet 252P Watch

Image of Observers will see comet 252P as a faint green fuzzy patch. Naked eye viewing from a suburban or urban area may be virtually impossible. Observers will want a dark sky location, binoculars are recommended. Stargazers will need to look south about 90 minutes before dawn.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pair of green comets have zipped frightfully close to Earth, and it may be possible to catch a glimpse of one from your backyard. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Astronomers were caught by surprise when they detected a new comet on January 22 using the ... continue reading


Astronomers discover galaxies so bright, they break the scale used to measure them Watch

Image of Astronomers have discovered galaxies that are three times brighter than they should be.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers have discovered the brightest galaxies yet, shinning so brightly, they do not even fall on a scale they use to measure luminosity. The discovery could help refine their understanding of the nature of the early universe and how galaxies formed. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all nations your power ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:23-29
23 Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
10 In the spirit, he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 1st, 2016 Image

St. Marculf
May 1: Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at ... Read More