Monday, August 06, 2012

NASA's '7 minutes of terror' results in success

NASA's latest Mars mission ended in triumph early Monday Michigan time, as the Mars Science Laboratory executed its complex flight control software for a successful touchdown on the Red Planet. The car-sized, one-ton rover combined a heat shield, a huge parachute, and touchdown rockets worthy of 1950s sci-fi to land without a hitch. "We are wheels down on Mars," came the word from the California Institute of Technology'sJet Propulsion Laboratory as engineers saw the first grainy image beamed directly back from the rover -- showing one of its wheels on the Martian surface. More. (And speaking of Mars, India is planning a satellite mission there.)
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