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Curiosity Lands Safely!

If you are not a space geek, you may not know about the curiosity Mars Rover.

Now Mars is not an easy place to land. It has wind and weather that can blow things down. It has thinner atmosphere, so that parachutes don’t work as well. It’s a long way away so that everything you send has to sit in the cold of space for a couple of years before being used.

The shadow of the Curiosity rover after it successfully lands on Mars!

The shadow of the Curiosity rover after it successfully lands on Mars!

In fact, if you look at our success at landing things successfully on Mars, it’s not that great, and some of the mistakes have been incredibly bad. Like the time they forgot to program the probe to look back at Earth and report so It turned away and that was all we heard of it. Or the time they confused English and Metric units and built the engine too small so it couldn’t slow down fast enough and it crashed.

Well, the curiosity lander had the most complicated landing sequence that I have ever seen.

1. Separate from the space craft

2. Enter the atmosphere

3. Use a parachute to slow down

4. Eject the heat shield

5. Drop the lander and let it fly down on retrorockets

6. Have the wheeled rover lowered down below the rockets on cables

7. Touch the rover to the ground and separate the cables

8. Have the retro rocket part fly away and crash somewhere

I may have gotten some of it wrong, because it was insanely complex. Well I just watched the landing live and it touched down! Yeah! I can’t believe all that stuff really worked!

Sometimes wild things do succeed!

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About rozzychan

Rosalyn Hunter is the principal writer on the series Lunatics. Please support us. http://lunatics.tv

Discussion

One thought on “Curiosity Lands Safely!

  1. truly an awesome achievement. To have had a person inside it, pressing all the right buttons and making all the right judgements would have been an incredible feat, but to have a computer programmed two years ago to do the job – it’s just staggering. It only needed one of the hundreds? thousands? of tasks it was designed to do going wrong and it would all have been a failure, but it did *everything* right and at the right time, and now we can see a picture from the surface of mars. astonishing

    Posted by The Reclining Gentleman | August 6, 2012, 8:19 am

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