Tag Archives: Curiosity Rover

Moon landing anniversary: One small step for man… a giant leap for space robots

Robin Chhabra, Carleton University

Apollo 11’s successful mission 50 years ago was the turning point in the space industry. It is comparable to the Wright brothers’ flight in 1903 that marked the beginning of the aviation industry and James Watt’s invention of steam engine, the landmark of the industrialization era. The first step on the lunar surface is recognized as the beginning of the space exploration age.

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Fly over Mount Sharp on Mars with this NASA video

NASA has published a video showing Curiosity Rover‘s (Mars Science Laboratory) proposed route on Mars’ Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons), a mountain rising 5.5 km (18,000 ft) high from the valley floor. The animated video shows what it would be like to soar over Mount Sharp, officially Aeolis Mons, which the Curiosity has been climbing since 2014.

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Watch: What happens to old spacecraft?

Since the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, we launched thousands of spacecraft into Earth orbit and beyond. A fraction of them are still functioning, but what happened to the vast majority of them? “The Curious Droid” published another informative video titled “What happens to old spacecraft?”

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Driving Distances on Mars and the Moon: Out-of-This-World-Records

This chart, prepared by NASA illustrates comparisons among the driving distances by various wheeled vehicles on the surface of the planetary bodies other than Earth (as of February 13, 2019, only the moon and Mars). Opportunity rover, which declared dead after record-breaking 15-years on the Martian surface also holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 45.16 kilometers (28.06 miles) of driving on Mars.

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Earth, a “Bright Evening Star” as seen from Mars

On January 31, 2014, about 80 minutes after sunset on its 529th Martian day (or sol), NASA’s Curiosity Rover has turned its camera back to home and took this amazing photo of Earth and Moon from a distance of around 99 million miles (160 million kilometers). In the image which has the serial number of PIA17936, Earth can be seen as the brightest point of light in the night sky, a little left of center and our moon is just below Earth.

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How NASA Reinvented The Wheel

On August 6, 2012, at 05:17 UTC, NASA has successfully landed a Mini-Cooper-sized rover, Curiosity, on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars. The 900-kg rover (899 kg, to be exact, which is 1,982 lbs) is equipped with six 50 cm (20 in) diameter wheels in a rocker-bogie suspension. Notes 1 For the first time in the history of the space exploration, the suspension system also served as landing gear for the vehicle, unlike its smaller predecessors.

Curiosity “soft-landed”  (wheels down) on the surface of Mars. But, even it’s called “soft-landing”, the touchdown speed was 0.6739m/s vertical and 0.044m/s horizontal, which could damage the wheels. Plus, while the rover is moving, the wheels should withstand the substantial damage through the rough Martian surface. That’s why the wheels of the Curiosity rover have been one of the biggest technical difficulties encountered on the mission. Notes 2

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Why it’s only science that can answer all the big questions

Science has proved itself to be a reliable way to approach all kinds of questions about the physical world. As a scientist, I am led to wonder whether its ability to provide understanding is unlimited. Can it in fact answer all the great questions, the ‘big questions of being’, that occur to us?

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Mars Curiosity Rover Celebrates Sol 2,000

This week, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover celebrated its 2,000th Martian day (or Sol) on the Red Planet. The nuclear-powered rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, and landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012. A Mars day is slightly longer than a day here on Earth: a sidereal day is 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds (on Earth, it is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds) and a solar day is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds (on Earth, 24 hours).

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Watch: NASA’s 2017 Highlights

NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has published a video that contains highlights of important events and the space agency’s achievements over the year 2017.

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