As we know, it landed successfully! CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE AT JPL! I said it before and I'll say it again, you guys should have a holiday named after you and a ticket-tape parade! I can't begin to express how happy I am for you all! Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!
From July 16 NASA press conference:
"We expect to get Curiosity safely onto the ground, but there is no guarantee. The risks are real," said Pete Theisinger, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Science Laboratory project manager.
A reader asked earlier whether NASA had calculated the chances for successfully landing Curiosity on Mars in August. Here is the full response to our question from a spokesman at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is subject to different interpretations:
"No. Important risks are the unknowns, which resist calculating."
Very nice video. At least I can appreciate why MSL went way over budget. The first question that came to my mind - why did Curiosity have to be so big and heavy as to require such an elaborate landing method? When I think of the best value for our space dollar, I think of Spirit and Opportunity, which lasted years beyond their required mission life.
We thought the video was was very relevant to our engineering audience because the JPL engineers were sticking their necks out and trying to come up with a solution. It's highly likely this won't work, but these guys are being honest and their mistakes will be public for all the world to see. That's the way we've always done it, and no one can touch us in terms of space exploration.
Very interesting article and discussion...but I am unable to enjoy the video. For whatever reason, not all of the controls are visible. I wanted to watch full-screen, so I clicked around, but no go. Now I get no sound.
I am using Firefox 13.0.1 up-to-date. I also tried IE9, but results are the same (no full-screen button visible, no sound).
Can this be fixed? Or can someone provide a link to somewhere else I can see the video directly?
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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