November 26, 2011

New Mars Lander Shoots off from Earth Today

Since my boys have joined their Middle School Robotics Club, I've become fascinated with anything robotics related.  So today's Mars Lander Launch really caught my eye.


I saw this post on Robots.net that showed a really cool video simulating the Lander and it's mission on Mars.  Here's the link:  http://robots.net/article/3275.html


Here's an excerpt from the post:


One of the biggest steps in space exploration, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) named Curiosity was launched today with an Atlas V 541 vehicle and it is now on its way to Mars. The Curiosity rover is similar in size and weight to a small car and it will be the largest spacecraft to ever land on Mars. A very elaborate landing procedure not only enables it to reach safely the Martian surface but also to land in a relatively tight spot whith great geological interest. The mission cost approximately 2.5 billion dollars and it was scheduled for launch in 2009 but various delays forced NASA to abort that goal. The optimum launch window when Mars and Earth are in the relative position that makes the trip as short as possible occurs every two years so two years after 2009 it is now the time for launch. The primary mission will last one Martian year (98 earth weeks) and if the rover is operational it could be further extended for much more. Landing sequence is scheduled for August 2012. Go To Robots.net for more details.


Here's video of what the MSL is going to look like: