Welcome to Mars
On November 26, 2011, NASA launched the rocket that was carrying Curiosity. Yesterday, it touched down perfectly on the surface of Mars. Here are five fun facts about Curiosity.
- While the mission is scheduled for two years, Curiosity has a nuclear power source with a half-life of over 80 years
- It’s bigger than a smart fortwo and nearly as heavy. Whereas Spirit and Opportunity were more like really heavy lawnmowers in size.
- The six-wheeled rover sports is an off-roading dream with nearly 3 1/2 feet of suspension travel and an electric motor in each wheel for a total of 3000 lb-ft of torque (or as Jeremy Clarkson would say 3000 torques).
- Curiosity is like a little UN in space with components from Russia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United States of America. There may be others, too, but I’m a blogger, not a journalist.
- Pioneer One chimed in and made my day
Right now, our big rover is still undergoing a systems check, but in a few days time we should start to see beautiful HD images of the martian landscape.