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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Seven Minutes of Terror at Mars
29 June 2012 1:38 pm
NASA engineers are finally admitting what the rest of us knew all along: Landing the Curiosity rover on Mars on 5 August at 10:31 PDT by dangling it beneath a rocket-festooned flying platform is just plain scary. They designed this "sky-crane"—along with a beefed-up heat shield and parachute—to slow 3 tons of spacecraft from bullet speeds to a gentle stop on the surface in 7 minutes. Plus their targeted landing zone this time—they are six for seven for Mars landings—is one-fifth the size of previous landing zones. All this will be in the hands of the spacecraft and its 500,000 lines of code. In a new video of Curiosity's "entry, descent, and landing," NASA engineers explain how they think they have solved the toughest EDL problem.
See more ScienceShots.