1 YEAR AGO TODAY – MSL CURIOSITY SAFELY REACHED MARS AND RECAPTURED OUR IMAGINATION FOR EXPLORATION.
Photo By: Self shot by Curiosity herself http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.
Who doesn’t remember, one year ago today, August 5, 2012 as Mars Science Lab (MSL) Curiosity approached Mars in preparation for landing? The anxiety at JPL Mission Control was so thick you could feel it yourself through the live feed. Everyone knew how challenging and precise this landing had to be if Curiosity was to survive her “7 Minutes of Terror”. As the spacecraft began to reach some of its first major milestones in the landing process; back at JPL they knew, Curiosity was already alive and safe on the surface or in pieces, representing another win for the Red Planet, they just had to wait to see which had happened.
As we were walked through the event via play by play narration we could also hear and see exactly what was going on in the room; cruise stage separation, heartbeat tones, spin down, Mars gravity acceleration, peak heating and deceleration, maneuvering, parachute deployed (big moment), heat shield separation and radar guidance. By this time Adam Steltzner had probably paced himself into needing a new carpet (understandably). Then the next set of milestones; back shell separation, powered decent into sky crane action and finally after everyone in the room had turned blue reminiscent of Apollo 11 touchdown was confirmed!
Thus far Curiosity has traveled just over one mile and delivered on her promise to explore, conduct science and inspire as it sends streams of incredible HD photos back to us.
CURIOSITY 12 MONTHS IN 2 MINUTES:
CURIOSITY ACTUAL DECENT & LANDING FOOTAGE (Sound Enhanced):
FULL LANDING VIDEO FROM JPL CTRL ROOM:
7 MINUTES OF TERROR:
7 MINUTES OF TERROR & OPERATIONS – Animation Only:
CURIOSITY ACTUAL DECENT & LANDING FOOTAGE (sped up):
CURIOSITY ACTUAL DECENT & LANDING FOOTAGE (original):