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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.