By Marc Kaufman
Nationwide Geographic provides the technological know-how, the ambitions, and the anticipation of humankind’s so much formidable planetary excursion ever: the interest venture to Mars. On August 6, 2012 (EST), NASA’s interest spacecraft will entire its 255-day, 354-million-mile trip and plunge down into Gale Crater, its objective at the martian floor, decelerating from 13,200 to zero mph in 7 mins. the full global can be staring at this, the most complex and distinctive landing ever undertaken, and puzzling over: What’s the interior tale in this interest project, and what do NASA scientists wish interest will locate? during this e-short, written by Washington Post technological know-how correspondent Marc Kaufman and published simply because the suspense builds, with interest hurtling towards Mars, space technology readers, techies, and trained information junkies will locate solutions to those and different attention-grabbing questions on the purple planet.
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Additional info for Mars Landing 2012: Inside the NASA Curiosity Mission
Will the long-held NASA dream of bringing a rock pattern again from Mars to check and sometime sending a human to the planet be wear indefinite carry? Will different countries and personal businesses more and more take the lead? The destiny of interest on Mars will certainly aid form the reply. The White condo has left the door open to destiny Mars missions, even massive ones, in the event that they can healthy into the newly shrunken company finances. Dramatic discoveries by means of interest might certainly kick the door open wider. I requested Naderi how he responds to that lingering query of “Why can we visit Mars? ” and it used to be lovely transparent that he’s been requested that quite a lot. He pushed aside the entire simpler reasons—that it encourages scholars to enter the sciences, that it spurs technological innovation of all types, that house exploration can and has ended in the advance of helpful buyer items like GPS—and advised this tale: An immigrant from Iran, Naderi was once invited in 2006 to Ellis Island in big apple harbor after successful an award for his striking achievements as an American born outdoors the rustic. Addressing the assembled crowd, he pointed out the United States because the “Ellis Island of space,” the basic gateway for humankind’s exploration of the cosmos and its eventual manned trip to different planets and past. yet he additionally requested humans to imagine again a lot extra than the Ellis Island days, to the time of Christopher Columbus and his arrival within the “New global. ” “Who knew then what the US might turn into this present day? ” he remarked. “Nobody, simply because the US used to be incredible. ” Naderi endured: “It’s related with pondering different planets and house. We can’t imagine by way of the following funds or election; we need to imagine by way of centuries. there's this present day completely no option to think what shall we locate in house 4 or 5 centuries from now. “There’s no transparent course ahead, yet there's a transparent and intensely bad end result looking ahead to us if we don’t push ahead,” he stated. “If we stifle the interest that people have, particularly the interest approximately area, they and society will stagnate. ” the most recent and so much able Mars rover ever is a part of that uncertain yet important direction ahead. And it consists of the identify interest with very excessive hopes and for stable cause. For extra intriguing assurance, watch “Martian Mega Rover” at the nationwide Geographic Channel or stopover at natgeotv. com to witness the dramatic tale in the back of NASA’s interest rover. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS nationwide Geographic want to recognize the subsequent employees who created this ebook: acquisitions editor Susan Hitchcock, sequence editor Susan instantly, photograph editor Rob Waymouth, construction editor Judith Klein, and construction clothier Katie Olsen. APPENDIX the 10 technology tools on interest (source: NASA) pattern research at Mars (SAM) The pattern research at Mars will use 3 miniaturized tools within interest to review chemistry proper to existence. A vital aim is to ascertain for the carbon-based compounds that in the world are molecular construction blocks of existence.