Brahmand NewsPrevious Article
Brahmand NewsNext Article
Headlines
  • India, Mexico sign MoU on space cooperation:-India and Mexico on Wednesday signed an MoU on space cooperation under which both sides will work together in remote sensing, satellite communication and areas relating to the peaceful use of outer space, besides taking the overall ties to a higher trajectory....
  • China launches spacecraft to go to Moon orbit:-China on Friday launched an unmanned spacecraft to fly around the moon and back to Earth in order to test technologies to be used in the Chang'e-5, a future probe that will conduct the country's first Moon mission with a provision to return back....
  • Vietnam for deeper ties ahead of its PM's India visit:-Ahead of its Prime Minister's visit here, Vietnam on recently pitched for greater cooperation in key areas of defence, security and oil exploration and expressed confidence of "substantive" outcome from the trip during which nearly a dozen pacts are likely to be inked....
  • Crucial Defence Acquisition Council meet on Sat:-Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday will chair a crucial meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), a high-level body that decides on procurements for the armed forces....

NASA to send Curiosity rover to Mars in late 2011

Article
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article

An artist’s concept of Curiosity being lowered by the mission's rocket-powered descent stage during a critical moment of the ‘sky crane’ landing in 2012. A NASA/JPL-Caltech photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): Curiosity – NASA’s next mission to Mars – will be launched between November 25 and December 18, 2011, the space agency has announced.

The launch dates have been finalised after analysing geometrical and communications options to choose an Earth-to-Mars trajectory.

The scheduled landing of Curiosity on the Red planet will take place between August 6 and August 20, 2012.

Planners of NASA's next Mars mission have selected a flight schedule that will use favourable positions for two currently orbiting NASA Mars orbiters to obtain maximum information during the descent and landing of the rover.

The other two NASA orbiters are the Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which have been orbiting the planet since 2001 and 2006 respectively.

“The key factor was a choice between different strategies for sending communications during the critical moments before and during touchdown,” said Michael Watkins, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“The shorter trajectory is optimal for keeping both orbiters in view of Curiosity all the way to touchdown on the surface of Mars. The longer trajectory allows direct communication to Earth all the way to touchdown.”

The rover, according to NASA, will use several innovations during its entry into the Martian atmosphere including a ‘sky-crane’ maneouver during the final minute of its arrival. In the maneouver, a rocket-powered descent stage will lower Curiosity on a tether for a wheels-down landing directly onto the surface.

The rover, however, will not communicate directly with Earth directly upon its touchdown on Mars; it’s the Mars Odyssey that will perform the task.

Curiosity, also called the Mars Science Laboratory, will carry an analytical laboratory and other instruments to extensively probe the Martian surface, especially its landing area. It will investigate whether conditions on the planet have favoured development of microbial life and its preservation in the rock record.

The rover is expected to explore Mars for a full Martian year which is equivalent to two Earth years, NASA said.

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print Article

Other Related News

Milan ER anti-tank missile inches closer for serial production

MBDA has successfully completed a series of test firings of the improved Milan ER anti-tank light infantry missile, paving the way for the weapon's serial production and export.

Upcoming Defence Exhibitions

BRAHMOS Missile Systems

Headlines

Brahmand World Defence Update 2014

Image Gallery