Mars Is Calling by LiberatedWoman
Jun 13, 2012 | 364 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Mars Is Calling
by LiberatedWoman
Jun 13, 2012 | 1931 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
This image shows changes in the target landing area for Curiosity, the rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS
This image shows changes in the target landing area for Curiosity, the rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS
After the recent hullabaloo about the transit of Venus, one of its planetary neighbors is jealous and wants you to know that Mars is calling.

NASA would like to direct your eyes upward and field questions from any and everyone in advance of the Curiosity rover landing in August. If everything goes as planned, NASA -- our NASA -- may blow the world's mind again. Spoiled whiners get the headlines but NASA is the best of the rest of us. We are The Right Stuff and we take the world with us wherever we go. Godspeed, Curiosity.

NASA is planning its Mars Exploration Programin order to achieve high-priority science goals and address the challenges of sending humans to Mars, all within an environment of very constrained budgets. We’re inviting the Mars exploration community and all interested people, regardless of educational or professional background, to engage in a conversation about the future of Mars exploration. Here’s how:

ASK: Great conversations start with great questions. Throughout June, pose questions related to the planning effort. Comment on, discuss, and offer answers to questions posed by others. Vote for those you feel are most important to be addressed.

LISTEN/DISCUSS: On June 12-14, tune in to the Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration Workshop via Livestream, and participate in the online discussion. Members of the planetary science community will be discussing a variety of technologies and approaches to explore Mars. Watch now!

All of this and more at

As for recent news regarding the Curiosity rover landing, NASA has narrowed the target for its most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, which will land on the Red Planet in August. The car-sized rover will arrive closer to its ultimate destination for science operations, but also closer to the foot of a mountain slope that poses a landing hazard.

"We're trimming the distance we'll have to drive after landing by almost half," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "That could get us to the mountain months earlier."

It was possible to adjust landing plans because of increased confidence in precision landing technology aboard the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, which is carrying the Curiosity rover. That spacecraft can aim closer without hitting Mount Sharp at the center of Gale crater. Rock layers located in the mountain are the prime location for research with the rover.

Curiosity is scheduled to land at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6). Following checkout operations, Curiosity will begin a two-year study of whether the landing vicinity ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life.

Much more at

Remember that Mars is considered the god of war in Roman mythology who was in love in Venus.  Don't tempt fate messing around with Venus and move on...because Mars is waiting!  -- LW

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