Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/7/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Technology

Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


12 billion times size of our sun; scientists spot massive black hole Watch

Image of Researchers led by teams from China's Peking University and the University of Arizona both say the newly discovered black hole is six times larger than its biggest known contemporaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chinese researchers have spotted a super massive black hole. Scientists say the heavenly body is 12 billion times the size of the sun. They theorize it formed around 900 million years after the Big Bang. The black hole, named SDSS J010013.02 is larger than any ... continue reading


Apple's 'Project Titan' shaking up U.S. automotive market Watch

Image of Excitement over Apple's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a market sometimes dictated by fad or fancy, Apple's announcement to hurry an electric car into production in a few short years - called "Project Titan," has inspired widespread consumer excitement. While auto companies typically take seven years to develop a ... continue reading


Bringing 'kid friendly' content to mobile users, YouTube releases new app 'YouTube Kids' Watch

Image of Intended for Smartphones and tablets, YouTube Kids will feature original content from DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends and more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Internet is usually seen as providing inappropriate content for the young, YouTube will be bringing "kid friendly" content via its new app, YouTube Kids. The app will be available free on Android devices - only on February 23. There is no word yet on iOS ... continue reading


Going for it: Apple vows to have electric car out by 2020 Watch

Image of Apple's proposed electric car, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000 is a goal shared by at least three major companies. Both Tesla Motors and General Motors vow to have such a car available by the year 2017. Apple has now since ... continue reading


Keep your eyes open; Sony 'smart specs' get going as Google rethinks Glass Watch

Image of Sony's specs lack a certain

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sony is forging ahead with its own version of Google Glass - spectacles that are tuned into the Internet, in spite of Google Glass being sent back for revamping. Computer giant Apple remains firm that the wrist is the right place for a wearable computer. Sony ... continue reading


New tool on Facebook will maintain your page - AFTER YOU DIE! Watch

Image of The Legacy Contact will be able to close down your profile, keep it frozen as a memorial, or leave it as it is.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How we will be remembered in cyberspace after we pass on is usually down low - way, way down on our list of priorities. Stepping up to the plate, Facebook - the preeminent social networking Web site, has created an app that will inform your friends that you are ... continue reading


CYBER WARFARE: Utah suffering 300 million attacks daily, possibly due to National Security Agency Watch

Image of Any time Utah finds itself in controversy, cyber attacks seem to increase.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the State of Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, one that whistle-blower Edward Snowden informed to the world, hackers now think they can somehow get to it through state computer systems. This has led to the State of ... continue reading


Computer giant Apple wants to revolutionize TV - but world hesitates Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook said TV was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Computer revolutionaries Apple want to extend their hands in to the cable TV business - but many players remains hesitant. A set-top box on screens seems to have been met with a cool reception with many cable TV companies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Why is Apple staying mum on mysterious van with strange apparatus? Watch

Image of Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mysterious vehicle spotted on the streets of Concord, California is drawing attention. It's a dark blue minivan with several cameras attached to its roof. Nobody in the Northern Californian city knows what it is doing there. The only thing anyone has been ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:16-19
16 'Yahweh your God commands you today to observe ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:43-48
43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 28th, 2015 Image

St. Hilary, Pope
February 28: Pope from 461-468 and guardian of Church unity. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter