New rover Curiosity arrives on Mars (photos)

New rover Curiosity arrives on Mars (photos)

Summary: NASA’s newest Mars rover, the car-sized Curiosity, came to end of its 9-month journey by successfully landing in the Red Planet’s Gale Crater.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  • Curiosity parachuting toward Mars' surface

    Update Aug. 8: The Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity, successfully landed on Mars Monday morning - near the foot of Mount Sharpe in the Gale Crater. The new Mars Rover which is about the size of a car and weighs 900kg or 1984lbs, is preparing to start a two-year mission to investigate for signs of life on the Red Planet. Its dimensions are 2.9 m (9.5 ft) long by 2.7 m (8.9 ft) wide by 2.2 m (7.2 ft) in height. It's about double the size of its predecessors, Opportunity and Spirit.

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured Curiosity's descent to the planet. The image to the right is a blow-up of the parachute.

    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

  • This is the first color image from Curiosity as the new Mars Rover unpacks itself from its landing gear. The image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. The image is somewhat blurry due to dust picked up on the lens dust cover during its landing. The dust cover will be opened in about a week.


    Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

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Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • A Single Astronaut On Mars ...

    ... could do in an hour what Curiosity will spend a month doing. Or so I heard it said.
    ldo17
    • We're far from that point.

      We're far from that point. Manned missions are far more costly and need larger spacecraft. We've yet to build the craft, and once built, we'll likely want to do extensive testing before trying to send it to Mars. And I'm pretty sure their budget today is a fraction of what they had in the Apollo days.
      CobraA1
      • NASA is far from doing it...

        Give SpaceX a decade and you'll be able to book a room on Travelocity for Mars Marriott, and get a free nights stay at any of their lunar resorts to boot!
        Tony Burzio
        • more likely in a century

          i truly admire spaceX and other private space-activities. but i'm afraid you are underestimating the costs/technological challanges. it is more likely a century....
          andreas.tanzer@...
    • ...but the costs will rise by a factor even higher!!!

      maybe, but it would cost even more then 1000 times the curiosity-budget to get him there (and back) savely. after all, mor than 50 percent of the (unmanned) mars-missions failed - you could not accept this risk-level in a manned mission. so you need not only to increase the payload to mars by a huge fachtor, but also the saftey-factor, and that would drive costs prohibetively high (at todays technology and todays accepted percentage of national budgets spent for space travel)
      andreas.tanzer@...
    • RE: A Single Astronaut On Mars ...

      Idiotic, unscientifically illiterate comment. A single astronaut on Mars = a hundred robotic probes. Cowboys in space are NOT the best use of our exploration money.

      gary
      gdstark13
    • That single astronaut would have to be...

      "A Single Astronaut On Mars could do in an hour what Curiosity will spend a month doing."

      That single astronaut would have to be Superman. The fanciest instrument has a high-powered laser beam and an spectrum analyzer. The cameras range from microscopes to telescopes. The person would have to carry almost the whole "Curiosity" on his back, or pull it around.
      RamonFHerrera
    • A Single Astronaut On Mars ...

      About the time of the NASA budget cuts a year or two ago, a NASA exec stated most effectively: an unmanned science mission is about the science; a manned science mission is about the scientist, with as much of the intended science thrown in as we can get.
      offdachile
  • A Single Astronaut On Mars ...

    ... could do in an hour what Curiosity will spend a month doing. Or so I heard it said.
    ldo17
  • Well Done NASA and Caltech!

    This is an amazing achievement, particularly as the budget - as stated above - is nothing compared to the Apollo and Shuttle programs.

    The first comment is spurious to the point of troll, as later photographs and video will demonstrate. Let's face it, if we did fund an astronaut or three, at 80x this budget, I suspect we'd be looking for more than photographs of a game of golf :)
    Heenan73