Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More MRO Magic

The entire MSL delivery system in one photo...

The HiRISE camera on the MRO took a family portrait of the MSL and all the parts it used to pass safely through NASA's Seven Minutes of Terror on its way to the surface of Mars in Gale Crater.  The heat shield protected Curiosity from the friction generated by entering the atmosphere at 3.6 miles per second.  The largest supersonic parachute ever deployed on Mars opened at Mach 1.7.  The Sky Crane lowered the MSL to the ground at 1-3/4 mph. 

I know the Curiosity landing has been done to death across all the usual news media outlets, but I'd much rather marvel at this technological triumph than commiserate about workplace violence, mass murder, and active shooters, so get over it!