It also takes a special kind of engineering and entrepreneurial team.
NASA’s Curiosity rover is heading to Mars. It’s due to land on the surface on August 5.
Well, that’s the intention. The thing is, there are so many things that have to happen to make this landing possible.
And, the margin for error is zero. There is no wiggle room, at all.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory team at NASA are responsible for putting this engineering feat together. To get this little rover to Mars will require six vehicle configurations, 76 pyrotechnic devies, plus the largest supersonic parachute every made. Let’s not forget the 500,000 lines of code.
To survive reaching the surface, the rover will have withstand temperatures greater than 1,600 degrees.
But wait, there’s more! It takes 14 minutes for a signal from Mars to reach Earth. It’s that far away.
So, by the time the team at NASA get the signal that Curiosity has hit the red planet’s upper atmosphere, it’s already been dead, or on the surface, for seven minutes.
This special kind of crazy is going to give us some nail-biting fun.
The challenges of getting to Mars: Seven minutes of terror