Harish Jharia

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05 August 2012

NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars: Huge robotic mobile exploratory lab is all Set For crash Landing on Planet Mars on 5/6 August 2012

Compiled by: Harish Jharia 

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA had launched a one-ton rover 8 ½ months back for landing in one of the craters on the surface of Mars. After travelling millions of miles across planets the manmade most complex robotic mobile laboratory is scheduled to land in a crater on the red planet Mars. 

Its touchdown is expected to be extremely hair-raising because a huge 1-ton mass of the Curiosity Rover is going to enter the Mars surface at the velocity of 13,000 mph (21,000 kmph). After entering the atmosphere, this will be reduced to 200 mph (320 kmph) with the help of a huge supersonic parachute. Thereafter multiple rockets will be fired to further slow it down to a speed of 2 mph (3.2 kmph) for a safe touchdown on the Mars surface. 

Eventually, the expected touchdown of Curiosity Rover  is to take place on a surface, inside the Red Planet's Gale Crater at 10:31 pm PDT tonight; Aug. 5 2012; 1:31 am EDT and 0531 GMT on Aug 6, 2012.

Further scheduled program depends on successful landing on the surface of Mars. If all goes well Curiosity Rover will begin roaming soon, all around its landing site. It will investigate with the help of 10 different scientific instruments, for any possibilities; whether the Gale crater area is, or was, ever capable of supporting microbiological life in any form.

Nevertheless, Curiosity is not a life-detection mission, but its discoveries might pave ways for future discoveries along these lines, NASA officials said.

The rover will spend a lot of time investigating Mount Sharp, the mysterious 3 mile (5-km) high mountain that rises from Gale's center. Mars-orbiting spacecraft have spotted signs of clays and sulfates near the mound's base. These symptoms give indications that its lower reaches might have been exposed to some sort of liquids, probably water long ago. Curiosity mission also has plans to collect samples that might help the mars program in the pursuit of ‘Folloe the Water’ program for Mars. 

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