The Mars Science Laboratory, called “Curiosity”, is the largest spacecraft we’ve sent to another planet. Weighing 900kg, packed with ten scientific instruments, 17 cameras and a nuclear power source the rover is looking for signs that Mars could have supported life at some point.
I caught up with Lucas Randal, Sumen Rai and Alan Kerlin to talk about the complicated Entry, Descent and Landing procedure and the rover’s two-year mission.
Related links and stories we talked about in this show:
- Curiosity puts wheels on Mars via Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
- Alan Kerlin’s blog, featuring lots of interviews with people related to the mission
- Mars in a Minute: How Hard Is It to Land Curiosity on Mars?
- Emily Lakdawalla’s detailed breakdown of the Entry/Descent/Landing: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
- Mars Landing Broadcast on Ustream Outperforms Cable TV, Company Says
- NASA’s ‘Mohawk Guy’ draws ‘Curiosity’ of his own
- NASA’s constantly updating image archive
- @MarsCuriosity – The Rover itself! Read about the women behind the Twitter account.
- @steltzner – Adam Steltzner, lead engineer for EDL.
- @tweetsoutloud – Bobak Ferdowsi, activity lead and flight director.
- @Matt_Heverly – Matt Heverly, mobility systems engineer and lead driver.
- @MarsRoverDriver – Scott Maxwell, team leader and Mars rover driver.
- @earthrover_sw – Chris Leger, engineer and Mars rover driver.
- @Bellutta– Mars rover driver and member of the landing site selection team.