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 http://mars.ideascale.com/
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.
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