Monday, August 06, 2012

Mars Monday!

It was a pretty spectacular start to the week to see/hear/experience the Mars Rover landing this morning at 1:32AM-EST streaming live on NASA-TV.  Starting an hour and a half early as I worked on my novel in the wee hours of the morning, NASA-TV covered acutely-rendered images and video of simulations of what the entire landing process would entail: and this was a landing feat that I truly didn't believe would happen.

Firstly the successful landing required a multitude of first-ever technology attempts including a supersonic parachute, a rocket powered descent into a "sky crane" and hanging cable rover separation.
(To watch the NASA video "7 Minutes of Terror" click here...) It also required the communication satellite Odyssey (over Mars) to reposition itself to report back on the landing data, which had never been done before, which was also done successfully.

Screen Shot of NASA-TV 8/6/12
It was truly spectacular to receive the successful landing data in real time LIVE on the NASA-TV stream, and to see the pictures come in from the Odyssey link as the scientists and engineers did live as well. You can see their reactions here from my screen shots (at right).

The first two photos which came in (the image on the left of the two boxes in photo right) were horizon images and wheel images only. It was the third shot (below) where you could see the outline of the rover on the surface of Mars clearly, with the dust from the protective lens cover that will come off later.

Photo courtesy of NASA Mars Rover Curiosity 8/6/12.
Considering the fact that the rover had landed only moments before the images came through, mankind has truly made history this morning. GO USA! Check it out before you head out to work today! A great moment for our country!