NASAs Rover To Begin Mission on Mars From August
The red planet will soon be entrapped by NASA's Rover, which was launched in November. This nuclear powered unit is about one ton and customised to uncover hidden facts about the red planet Mars.
It will kick start a two-year mission from August, 2012 and investigate whether the planet offered an environment favourable for the existence of microbial life.
According to sources, engineer Tom Rivellini, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said "Entry, descent and landing, also known as EDL, is referred to as the 'seven minutes of terror. We've got literally seven minutes to go from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars, going from 13,000 miles per hour to zero in perfect sequence, perfect choreography, perfect timing. And the computer has to do it all by itself, with no help from the ground. If any one thing doesn't work just right, it's game over."
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The NASA officials have adjusted the flight path of its Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft for delivering the rover Curiosity to a changed landing target on the planet. The changes implemented Tuesday were part of a process aimed at adjusting for errors incurred earlier in the mission. These adjustments consisted of four thrusters firing totalling 40 seconds in duration.
The cost of the mission wraps up to a hefty $2,5 billion. Though rover lacks life-detection experiments, it is equipped with instruments to detect whether carbon and minerals used by living things persisted on Mars. Its focus would be on the walls of ravines providing NASA with information to analyze Mars' geology and atmosphere.
The data collected by the rover will be useful in the search for potential mineral biosignatures, energy sources for life or indicators of past habitable environments.