Preview of Mars 'Curiosity' rover landing
Former NASA astronaut weighs in
- Duration 3:51
- Date Aug 3, 2012
Former NASA astronaut weighs in
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All systems go for NASA's most expensive and ambitious mission to Mars yet.
The curiosity probe just days away now from ending its eight month journey into the red planet.
In -- -- to reach the martian surface in one piece NASA will use a complicated landing sequence you're seeing it animated here.
The craft will deploy -- heat shield a parachute and then for the first time ever cross sky crane.
This is an example of what the sky cranes going to look like.
Or rocket powered.
It'll float there in the air deploy a cable.
That will then drop the one time rover down -- the martian surface that is if everything goes well.
The question is will it let's bring in Scott -- he's a former NASA astronaut the president and CEO of docs aerospace.
So this thing is heading toward Mars right now about 9000.
Miles an hour it's supposed to get there when sometimes Sunday Scott.
-- John -- -- supposed to get there late Sunday night early Monday morning eastern time.
And it's going to be a white knuckle few minutes for the folks at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab.
Oh absolutely I mean they're going to be holding their breath and as you know Mars is quite a distance away probably about a 150 million miles at this point -- take him thirteen minutes.
Just to get a signal back as to what happened and it will all be over before they get the first signal.
So they don't know what it -- -- by the time they know what has happened to this crap whether it works or whether it doesn't.
Everything -- have been done.
Right that's exactly right the the events wall of occurred.
-- -- that game hit seven minutes of terror from the time it touches the martian atmosphere to the time the rovers on the surface.
But since it takes thirteen minutes to get the signal back.
Basically it all be over and they'll just be waiting to see what the results were.
You've heard the criticisms from people who say you know we're spending.
Millions and millions of dollars to go explore.
A planet that as far as we know doesn't have life on it.
We use that money better here at home when you say.
Well what I say that's pretty short sighted.
When you think about first of all all the money yes your honor you know.
Who -- the rocket scientists the engineers and and the science of people that put these missions together.
And also it's really important.
For us to explore and answer some really basic questions are we alone in the universe I mean this is important stuff.
And plus what we learned in doing these really hard things pays off.
Time and time again.
In the rest of our society.
I've seen reports that indicate all the money we spent on going to the moon and the space program.
Has that -- up to a seven to one return on investment back here in the economy because all the technologies that are developed.
We're getting look at NASA's animation of the rover of the curiosity rover itself that -- -- that time almost it's I guess five times bigger.
And in any rover ever dispatched to -- Right it's it's the size of a small car people of equated to a Mini Cooper but you know time is is a small car so it's it's a pretty big feet.
Put that accurately on the surface of of Mars and then haven't operate there.
And do all the science that's expected to do but it's it's a very very capable.
Well I love this animation looks like exciting stuff I hope it works you know just further.
Just for the folks at NASA and for little good -- USA pride in what we can accomplish I hope this thing goes off Sunday night will we watch and Scott thanks I'll be watching -- thanks yes got --