Monday, August 6, 2012

Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity-and Martians??

The United States landed a spacecraft on Mars today. Its name: Curiosity.

Did you know...

That two other spacecraft have landed on Mars before? Their names were Spirit and Opportunity, and both landed in 2004. Opportunity is still sending us data. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010..

Here is a picture taken by Opportunity, with theoretical enhancements:
 Layers in Burns Cliff Examined by Opportunity

There have been 39 attempted missions to Mars. of those, 15 were successful, 24 were not.

Artist's concept of a scoreboard with Earth and Mars scores

Curiosity was launched from the NASA space center in Florida on November 26, 2011. Arriving on August 6, it took 253 days.

The vehicle is about the size of a Mini-Cooper car. Among other things, it has 17 cameras; lasers; and instruments for soil sampling and testing.

It's looking for any signs that life was or is supported on the planet. The most important factor would be the presence of water. In fact, the Curiosity landed in a crater that scientists think might once have been a lake. Their research will try to see if there might be water under layers of soil. These layers are similar to Earth.

Greeley Panorama

The above picture is made up of 817 separate pictures taken over several months. It gives a 380-degree view of Opportunity's work area.

 Seventeen Cameras on Curiosity

Curiosity is expected to continue to send us data for two years. All experiments and data collected will be controlled from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California.

Check out the NASA website for all kinds of information about the program:

To look at a history of NASA's missions:
And for news about it, try CNN:

It's Rocket Science: What careers can you pursue at NASA?  
  • Accountant
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Biologist
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Science
  • Engineer
  • Meteorologist
  • Budget Analyst
  • Information Technician
  • Public Affairs
  • Accountant
  • Electrical Technician
  • High Voltage Electrician
  • Instrument Maker
  • Model Maker
  • Electrical Technician
  • Engineering Technician
  • As well as typical jobs in any business: Administrative, Maintenance, and Records Management
"Don't Tell Me The Sky's The Limit.
There Are Footprints On The Moon."


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