Seven Minutes of Terror

Although recent US probes to Mars have been very successful there have certainly been a lot of failures in both US and Russian attempts in the past.

However, we all have our fingers crossed for the Curiosity probe which will attempt the landing of a rover on Mars in early August. But the landing itself will be very stressful. There are just so many problems to overcome – not the least  the 15 minutes radio messages take to get from Mars to Earth – one way.

I don’t know what odds to bookies place on a successful landing – but after watching this video I don’t think it can be very high.

Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror – YouTube.

Still, a lot of people are hoping for success and no doubt we will be able to share the tension, excitement and (hopefully) joys of the NASA engineers involved in real-time on the internet and via Twitter.

6 responses to “Seven Minutes of Terror

  1. Awesome science for the win!

    Though, it feels like they’ve overcomplicated things just a tad. Was a rocket powered vertical descent ending in a steady hover and cable winch seriously the only way they could come up with to land accurately?


  2. Yes, seems complicated. I understand it’s because this is the biggest thing so far attempted to land on Mars


  3. I remember watching a movie about the moon landings and how they developed the design for the moon lander module.
    Started off with a gorgeous concept design and then got nitpicked and sliced to death by real-world practicalities. That showing of the process of re-design was great fun. As a non-engineer type, I’d like to see more of that kind of thing.


  4. Wow. Good thing the moon doesn’t have any dust on it or the moon lander would have gotten covered in a huge dust cloud that mighta damaged instruments too.


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