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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.