Nov 7, 2012

Evergreen Museum

Written By: Ben Lachman – PR and Marketing Assistant

Curiosity and her mission objectives are phenomenal; however the most suspenseful part was the MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) which was a very complex process. The challenge of landing a 1,080 lb rover with approximately 4,000 lbs of landing apparatuses in a 15-mile X 14-mile ellipse, 350 million miles away from Earth took years of planning.  A 14 minute round trip communication delay forced the scientists to pre-program the entire procedure. By the time word reached the command center that Curiosity had entered the Mars’ atmosphere, Curiosity would actually be on the ground. The landing was fully automated.

To be successful many processes had to work seamlessly; the parachute had to deploy to slow the craft down, the heat shield would have to detach for the radar to scan the ground, the rocket pack would have to detach from the shell and the parachute and perform an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision. After all of the above processes took place, the rocket pack would hover over the Martian surface while it lowered Curiosity to the ground.  The complexity of this landing was unprecedented, and because the conditions on Mars and Earth are so different, all the systems were tested numerous times in different environments, but never together.

Earlier that day, I had overheard two engineers chatting about a controversy having to do with the parachute. The parachute wasn’t like any that I could imagine, at fifty-one feet, it was the largest supersonic parachute ever constructed. When testing the design, it fluttered like a jellyfish with the bow shock, which was not ideal. Dr. Anita Sengupta, EDL and advanced technology engineer, showed a video of tests and computer models, it became clear why the engineers were concerned; but Dr. Sengupta sounded confident in her research.

Adam Steltzner, EDL Phase Lead, was responsible to declare if Curiosity had touched down.  He emphasized that rationally the plan was sound, but if you looked at it, it was crazy. He explained all the things that could go wrong, and how they planned for, but he said that there might be an unexpected issue. Throughout the discussion they were managing our expectations. It’s going be an amazing event if it lands, but if it doesn’t  there was nothing to worry about they would figure out what went wrong and do it better the next time. Dr. Steltzner said that he would wait for three conditions to verify that Curiosity safely touched down: First, he would wait for an electronic ‘postcard’ that would tell him the final velocity, second, he would wait for Curiosity to send a signal that it wasn’t moving so he would know that it wasn’t sliding down a hill, and lastly he would wait for a steady telemetry signal. After all those conditions were met, he would declare touchdown.


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No, they don't get "sealed." They are still very important to your onoigng health, just as any other medical history is. But, just as your medical record now cannot be sent to just anyone, you medical history as a juvenile is still covered by any privacy laws in your area (in the US, it is still protected by HIPAA). Was this answer helpful?


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我這輩子逛過的博物館不多 上次去是渡蜜月時 在東京上野公園旁邊逛
了其中一小部份 亞洲館 逛了一個半小時 因為老婆肚子餓沒有讓她
立刻可以吃好料的午餐 那次她非常不爽我看那些莫名其妙的東西

在這個最幸福的時代 我也很想有那種幸福可以好好欣賞一下那些人類偉
我其實很不想在所剩無幾的自由時間裡 一直不情願地做著厭煩的事情
者終於可以做點自己喜歡的事的時候 卻常常要懷著嚴重的罪惡感

禎祥 你還是做好人比較好... 這才是最幸福的時代


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