In November of 2011, NASA launched a 10 feet long Mars Science Laboratory (Well known as “Curiosity“). It is supposed to land on Mars on upcoming August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm PDT. From atmosphere to landing on the surface of Mars, “Curiosity” will take 7 minutes of time. The whole success of this mission depends on this 7 minutes. But this 7 minutes is very risky. Team members of Jet Propulsion Laboratory are mentioning this 7 minutes of time as ‘Seven Minutes Of Terror.’
Landing on the mars safely is one of the biggest challenges in NASA’s life. On August 5, 2012, Mars Rover “Curiosity” will attempt the most amazing planetary landing in the history of space exploration. Though, having highly remarkable and technically impressive landing plan still the team members of Jet Propulsion Laboratory are very much anxious about this 7 minutes of time. But, Why? What will happen within this 7 minutes?
Well, the reason is : From atmosphere to landing on the surface of Mars “Curiosity” will have a trip of 7 minutes. But within this 7 minutes, it has to slow down its speed from over 13000 mph down to 0 mph. Besides many other things have to be done perfectly within this 7 minutes such as – “Curiosity” must hit the atmosphere just at the right angle, endure extreme heat (1600 degrees) of friction while going towards the Mars surface, open its 100 pound parachute at just the right time, use radar to know exactly how high it is, free itself from the parachute, perfectly fire its 8 rocket engines to slow final descent, drop down dangling on 4 cables, put down its wheels into place just before landing and cut the cable right after it touches the Mars’ surface. Well, NASA scientists have shared their feelings in this video. Have a look at the video:
After getting the whole idea, everybody is pointing this as “crazy”. The rover will explore Mars for 687 days gathering information for future manned missions to Mars.
Source : JPL