"Important risks are the unknowns, which resist calculating." - an exceptionally pithy description which honestly describes many engineering challenges. This is a daring effort; I hope it is successful and look ahead to new images and data from the red planet.
We spoke today with the folks at Siemens who helped JPL engineers design, test and build the Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity Rover. We'll have more on the Siemens integrated tools suite next week.
It occurred to me while watching the SpaceX cargo ship dock with the space station in May how incredible it is to be able to watch these historic events in real time while sitting at your desk. Thanks for the update on the Mars Curiosity links. Aug. 5/6 should be a real cliff hanger, but we will do it in front of the entire world. Regardless of what happens during the "7 Minutes of Terror," we'll all succeed or fail together.
You can receive updates on the following twitter feed, https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity . During the landing itself, there will be a live broadcast from mission control on Nasa TV and here http://www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL
ESA's Mars Express supports NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) landing.
During descent, the craft will transmit a stream of data. Two nearby NASA spacecraft – Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – will track and relay the information from Curiosity.
ESA's Mars Express, orbiting the planet since December 2003, will also be on duty for those critical seven minutes, relaying data that could later be crucial if anything goes wrong.
Scientists at ESOC, ESA’s Spacecraft Operations Center in Germany, said they have designed and tested a new pointing mode for Mars Express for its Lander Communications system to point toward MSL.
Will eagerly wait for August 6th/7th to witness this event. Since, this "sky crane" technology is being deployed the very first time there are many risks/challenges compared to the proven technologies and I can imagine the tremendous tension and pressure the entire team might be going through till the landing happens safely. Is there a link published, where the event updates could be followed live?