NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity: Historic Landing

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740 ... NASA's Mars Mission: Weather on Mars looks great for huge rover landing tonight at Gale Crater on Mars: NASA's one-ton, nuclear-powered Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" will land on the red planet tonight. --- Please subscribe to Science & Reason: • --- With Mars looming ever larger in front of it, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are in the final stages of preparing for entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet at 10:31 pm PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 am EDT Aug. 6, 5:31 am UTC Aug. 6, 6:31 am BST Aug. 6, 7:31 am CEST Aug. 6). Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected. Today, the flight team uplinked and confirmed commands to make minor corrections to the spacecraft's navigation reference point parameters. This afternoon, as part of the onboard sequence of autonomous activities leading to the landing, catalyst bed heaters are being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL's descent propulsion system. As of 2:25 pm PDT (5:25 pm EDT), MSL was approximately 261000 miles (420039 kilometers) from Mars, closing in at a little more than 8000 mph (about 3600 meters per second). • --- The gravitational tug of Mars is now pulling NASA's car-size geochemistry laboratory, Curiosity, in for a suspenseful landing in less than 12 hours. "After flying more than eight months and 350 million miles ...


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