[Space Nerds] Let's talk about Curiosity.

fly

omg
Oct 1, 2004
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mattressfish
This just might be the coolest space thing I've ever read. A fucking sky crane. 3rd person pictures of the landing. :drool:

For those that don't know, early this morning EST we landed a rover on Mars the size of a Mini Cooper, and weighs as much as an SUV. This is what it looks like:
0802-NASA-MARS-CURIOSITY_full_600.jpg


After blasting through the Martian atmosphere at over 13,000 miles per hour. A supersonic parachute opened to slow down the rover:
curiosity-rover-mars-landing-parachute2.jpg


And then possibly the coolest part of the whole thing. As it got close to the surface, reverse thrusters fired to become a fucking sky crane, lowering the rover to the surface.
curiosity-rover-mars-landing-touchdown2.jpg


This was all 'filmed' by by a 3rd party satellite orbiting high above the Martian planet. The satellite's name is HiRISE, and its the most powerful camera we've ever sent to another planet. Amazing!
original.jpg


Oh yeah, and since it takes about 15 minutes for any radio signals to reach Earth, this was all done automated. SO fscking cool. GO NASA!!!
 

Mean Mr. Mustard

Always shouts out something obscene
Sep 30, 2004
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heyfubuddy
Im excited to see what kind of imagery comes back from this
I wanna see some super hi-rez martian landscape pics

Also, assuming the chemistry is acceptable, wouldnt it be super neato if we started sending some plant life there, to see how it reacts/adapts? Early terraforming!
 

dbzeag

Wants to kiss you where it stinks
Jun 9, 2006
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What happened to the sky crane after it finished lowering the rover? Hover over to the left a bit, then drop?
 

Floptical

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Sep 1, 2006
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On a personal level I'm a huge fan of any advances we make via the space program and I hope to see the replacement shuttle coming in the next few years. On a business side I love it because JPL and ULA are two huge accounts of mine = ).
 

dbzeag

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Curiosity transformed from its stowed flight configuration to a landing configuration while the MSL spacecraft simultaneously lowered it beneath the spacecraft descent stage with a 65 foot (20 m) tether from the "sky crane" system to a soft landing—wheels down—on the surface of Mars.[68][69][70][71] After the rover touched down it waited 2 seconds to confirm that it was on solid ground and fired several pyros (small explosive devices) activating cable cutters on the bridle to free itself from the spacecraft descent stage. The descent stage then flew away to a crash landing, and the rover prepared itself to begin the science portion of the mission.

wow that seems overly complicated, but necessary. really amazing the coordination. so many parts that could have gone wrong.