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Curiosity Lands On Mars

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the good-luck dept.

Mars 411

The Mars Science Laboratory, a.k.a. Curiosity, is now less than an hour from touchdown on Mars. It's scheduled to land at 1:31 AM EDT (0531 UTC). The landing will be monitored by the Odyssey orbiter, which will be the data relay between Curiosity and Earth. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be listening to Curiosity as well (yes — two of our probes orbiting another world will be watching a third). While Odyssey will be giving us close to real-time updates (as close as possible, given the 14-minute time delay), MRO's data will take a bit longer to be processed and evaluated. NASA is broadcasting from the JPL mission room right now. If you'd like to watch a pretty awesome graphical visualization of the mission, check out eyes.nasa.gov. If you'd like to play around with a Java app showing Mars-local times and seasons, check out Mars24. If you'd like to watch unofficial coverage, Bad Astronomer Phil Plait and a bunch of other astronomers are hosting a public Google Hangout. If you'd like to read a detailed explanation of the landing, checkout NASA's press kit (PDF), and there's also a post about what to expect when the rover starts sending pictures back to Earth, which will be about two hours after the rover lands. Good luck to everyone involved! We'll update this post when we get word on the landing.
Update: 08/06 05:33 GMT by S : Curiosity is on the ground! Everything looks nominal, and everybody at JPL is cheering. Congratulations, folks. They're continuing to receive telemetry from Odyssey, and the connection is strong. They've now received the first images back from Mars of Curiosity on the ground. A press briefing is scheduled in a little bit (2:15AM EDT, 0615 UTC), and several more throughout the day as more data comes back.

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411 comments

Tune in to Coast to Coast AM (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891521)

Richard C. Hoagland will be on describing the Martian civilization that NASA is hiding from us.

Re:Tune in to Coast to Coast AM (3, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891827)

Quite a gyration, NASA simultaneously hiding the Mars civilization from us while sending ever more sophisticated probes to look at them. Last time they upped the resolution and looked at the "Face" on Mars, Hoagland was all, "Nevermind!"

Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (-1, Troll)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891523)

Seriously, how many "Curiosity is About To Land" articles do we need today?

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (1, Offtopic)

negRo_slim (636783) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891527)

Yes let's have another Apple/Linux/Microsoft article and pass on a momentousness moment such as this. After all this is Slashdot...

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891565)

Seriously, how many "Curiosity is About To Land" articles do we need today?

One more - a JPL engineer yelling "Suck it, K'Breel", in about 28 minutes.

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (5, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891591)

As many as it takes until we know what happens to this awesome nuclear powered rover with frikin lasers on another frikin planet!

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891777)

inorite? Because we land car-sized nuclear-powered portable science laboratories on other planets all the fucking time, right dude?

"News for Nerds, stuff that matters" - This qualifies as both. And we'll probably have a nonstop stream of Curiosity FPs over the next few days. Suck it up or find another site, because as much as I hate to sound exclusionary, it sounds like you jus' don't belong here.

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891879)

Seriously, how many "Curiosity is About To Land" articles do we need today?

You might want to turn in your nerd badge and remove slashdot from your bookmarks. Try www.disney.com instead.

Re:Slashdot - Multi-Posted Articles for Nerds (4, Insightful)

iplayfast (166447) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891939)

Seriously, I think we need more. This is great news. Much better then bloodshed etc. Isn't it nice to get some good news for a change?

Streaming video (5, Informative)

adolf (21054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891543)

The best-quality streaming video of the event from JPL that I've found is over at Ustream [ustream.tv].

FYI, FWIW, HTH.

Re:Streaming video (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891807)

FYI - The NASA stream and the Ustream are from two different cameras with two different commentators
I also think the NASA stream had a slight time delay

Re:Streaming video (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891845)

Speaking of commentators, is anyone else annoyed at the NASA commentator?

They were giving the location of the landing and she cut in blabbing about something in the middle of them saying how far off their initial expected landing point was. I think they were saying it was just a couple meters which is outstanding considering the distance involved and the ability or chances to stray slightly in the process.

I mean I'm watching the NASA feed in order to hear all the details. If I cared about someone's comments, I would wait until some news agency did a write up on it. They should have shut the hell up while they were reading the results of the different stages off.

Same feeling (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891863)

I was just thinking how awesome it was watching NASA TV compared to NBC Olympic footage, and then she goes and pulls a Costas, pulling away just as they were reading out some cool technical details.

REALLY annoying. If I'm watching NASA TV let me in on all the technical details possible please!

Re:Streaming video (3, Insightful)

kmahan (80459) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891885)

A video stream of just showing the main room and the audio from it would have been great. Having her cut in during the interesting parts was seriously annoying. They should have had two streams.

Best place to catch up on the arrival (5, Interesting)

bkk_diesel (812298) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891557)

Check out http://eyes.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

From the page:
""Eyes on the Solar System" is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time."

and

"Eyes on the Solar System lets you ride with Curiosity all the way to the surface of Gale crater. Preview the events of Entry Descent and Landing, or watch live!"

Re:Best place to catch up on the arrival (5, Insightful)

FrankDrebin (238464) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891815)

That simulation is very cool. Would be even better if it actually showed units the JPL folks are using instead of miles.

Re:Best place to catch up on the arrival (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891919)

Yep, i used it for the landing and am now using it to track Mars Odyssey's passovers. Love it.

Landing will never work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891567)

Sorry, but the way this thing lands is way too complicated to ever work.

Re:Landing will never work (5, Informative)

txoof (553270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891689)

AFRAID NOT! Touchdown Confirmed!!

Re:Landing will never work (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891755)

These guys started posting doom and gloom post before liftoff.
They've been at it 8 months, and even when its wheels down they still continue to nay-say.

Re:Landing will never work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891697)

Suck it, jackass.

Re:Landing will never work (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891741)

Surprise, surprise, actual scientists and engineers are better than you at this stuff.

Re:Landing will never work (0)

Moofie (22272) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891835)

SUCK IT, HATER. Down and clear!

I'm sorry, yelling filter, this dumbass deserved it.

Re:Landing will never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891895)

Nominal, dude. And with ~140kg of fuel to spare of the original 390 or so.

They could have gone around the block again before parking.

I hope it doesn't crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891595)

It would really suck? what are the odds of successs anyway?

Most awesome nerd date ever (-1, Offtopic)

j-stroy (640921) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891629)

=) girlfriend, two dogs, two laptops, pancakes and bananas

Re:Most awesome nerd date ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891763)

My 4 week summer holiday just ended. Nice to see the landing, but now I have to go to work. Touchdown.

NASA app has NASA TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891633)

not bad

Curiosity is on Mars! (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891657)

It is - the question remains whether intact or not. We're just waiting for the radio signals to arrive.

Speed of light can be soo damn slow ...

Late-Breaking News from the Council: VICTORY! (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891681)

> It is - the question remains whether intact or not. We're just waiting for the radio signals to arrive.

"Relative to whose frame of reference, blueworlder [slashdot.org]?"

The Council of Elders has confirmed the interception and destruction of the latest mechanized terror from the blue world.

K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thus:

Citizens, it is with great joy that I announce to you the destruction of the invader from the blue world!

The blueworlders' latest robotic instrument of terror was powered by a Pew-238 nucleowarming device which was equipped with a point defense mechanism consisting of a light source so powerful that it could blast away the very red soil upon which we thrive.

Yet at the last moment, when all seemed lost, our forces fired upon the thin umbilical cord connecting the flying invader with its power source and associated optical weapons system. Its connection to its power source severed, the invading vessel flew off in a dizzying spiral and crashed spectacularly into a nearby hillside.

Rejoice, podmates! Our red world is once again safe!

When a junior combat reporter pointed out that the link between the carrier vessel and the mechanized invader may have been designed to be broken at the moment of landing, that the actual threat was the so-called "power source" and not the flying invader, and suggested that if the Martian Defense Force had just waited just a few seconds longer, the squibs holding the skyhook to the skycrane might have failed, resulting in the carrier vessel crashing down upon the invader, thereby destroying both, K'Breel had the combat reporter's gelsacs placed directly in front of the dormant invader's photonic weapons.

"If the blue-shirted denizens of the blue world seek evidence of organic matter so strongly," mused K'Breel, "then let them have their fill of it!"

(Because the Council must to draft at least two of these press releases with every new phase of the battle, the Speaker would like to thank the infiltrators at the Martian Cyberdefense Detachment (unit 216.34.181.48) for remaining as glued to the screen over the past fifteen units of time as everybeing on the Council was.)

Re:Curiosity is on Mars! (1)

unencode200x (914144) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891749)

Kudos to the folks at NASA and JPL for a job well done. Hopefully we'll get some great science out of it.

Re:Curiosity is on Mars! (5, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891929)

Kudos to the folks at NASA and JPL for a job well done. Hopefully we'll get some great science out of it.

All of this just shows what a huge mistake was made in cutting the budget for planetary science and future Mars missions. Tonight, NASA did everything that they are supposed to do. They pushed us further out into the solar system, giving us the most detailed view yet of another world. They pushed scientific boundaries, sending an entire laboratory to another planet to look for extraterrestrial life. They pushed the limits of engineering. And they showed the world what we look like at our best- an America that is innovative, pioneering, and willing to take risks.

Times are tough, but of all the things to cut from the budget, why cut planetary missions? The cuts mean that we don't have anything in the works; we've got Curiosity but we have no plans to follow up. I find myself deeply disappointed that the White House would do something so short-sighted. The thing is, what happened tonight was genuinely inspiring. I felt truly proud of what my country had done. And I tried to remember the last time I had felt like that, and then it hit me. It was when Obama was elected.

There's more than a little irony to that.

Re:Curiosity is on Mars! (5, Insightful)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891957)

Since I'm from Europe I'd like to add: Kudos to the people of the US for funding it!

Thumbs up, Soulskill & Slashdot (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891669)

Great writeup with the links.

Let's go, Curiosity! You the Rover! :-)

TOUCHDOWN (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891685)

Curiosity is ON THE SURFACE.

Re:TOUCHDOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891717)

Curiosity is ON THE SURFACE.

Congratulations to NASA/JPL, thanks for the pictures, and a big hearty "SUCK IT, K'BREEL!" from all the blue shirts on the blue world!

Congratulations NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891715)

Now show us some pictures from Mars instead of happy nerds hugging each other

First image... Is that... The Death Star? (3, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891725)

Well nice knowing you guys. Life as we know it ends once that clears around Mars.

Congradulation NASA! I hope they increase your funding and reduce funding for wars.

Re:First image... Is that... The Death Star? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891889)

You've gotten that wrong. Here's hoping the massive, soul-sucking toad that is NASA lets more funding through to the actual can-do spacemen, JPL.

Re:First image... Is that... The Death Star? (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891951)

Congradulation NASA! I hope they increase your funding and reduce funding for wars.

Actually, I don't mind that we fund efforts - including military ones, if needed - to combat and push back against the most violent and dangerous aspects of a culture that would stone to death the women you saw working at JPL's flight control center tonight. You know, because Allah hates them for having learned how to read and show their hair, among other death-worthy sins.

Gold Medal (5, Funny)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891739)

And the gold medal for the all-species 350M KM space landing goes to NASA, who scored a perfect 10 for landing on the surface of Mars!

Congratulations to NASA and the JPL. Dare Mighty Things indeed.

Fucking amazing (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891751)

I'm absolutely amazed that doing something like this is even possible. All of the people who put this together are heroes to me. Fuck yes. This is awesome.

Team Sport indeed (1)

DaKong (150846) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891761)

My natural geek bias is coming out, but this defines team sport and puts the Olympics to shame. Phenomenal achievement--congratulations to NASA and JPL!

I cried (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891765)

Amazing effort. Just amazing.

Landing pic? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891773)

This claims to be a landing pic, but it hasn't landed yet. WTF?

https://twitter.com/NASA/status/232350219700932608/photo/1 [twitter.com]

Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (-1, Troll)

tmosley (996283) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891775)

As I recall, images of the lunar lander were transmitted live as the landing happened, and were relayed to TVs around the US/world. Yet here, there is apparently no such footage. So far, just a thumbnail of the tire. How many decades have passed since Apollo? Do we really need to tell these idiots that they are a public relations firm in addition to a scientific organization, and that for them to continue to receive cash money, they need to inspire people with their work? Watching a bunch of engineers high-five each other is not what I stayed up half the night for. I wanted to see footage of the lander as it performed it's crazy descent. But that is too much for NASA to handle, I guess.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891789)

I just watched the whole thing through a computer simulation in my web browser (the new TV)...while the play by play was being streamed live from the control room.

I actually just commented to a friend that tonight was a demonstration of one of humanity's best uses of the internet since porn.

I'm unsure how you managed to screw up the experience but it really was awesome.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (5, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891809)

Don't know if trolling or just doesn't understand the kind of bandwidth you don't get during a complicated high-speed descent that ends on the far side of another planet. Why don't you just call up AT&T and get them to install DSL on the rover? Or maybe you can crank your wifi router up to get a better signal.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891817)

I wanted to see footage of the lander as it performed it's crazy descent. But that is too much for NASA to handle, I guess.

Engineer and manufacture the necessary equipment to do that, and I'm sure NASA will be happy to include it in their next Mars mission.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891833)

You, sir are an idiot.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891917)

I love posts like yours. You try to come off all smart, but all you do is tell the world what a gigantic and utterly useless fuckhead you are. Please walk in front of a bus tomorrow, or maybe start by looking at the relative distances between the moon and Mars. No, forget it. Just do the bus thing.

Re:Fails Compared to the Moon Landing (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891963)

Are you fuking serious? I know geeks like to think they are the super geniuses of the world (in the style of Wyle E. Coyote), but this is beyond ridiculous.

Well, shit, there sugarcube, maybe you should mosey on down to JPL and set those folks straight.

incremental cost of another one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891781)

This mission was 2.5 billion or so. I have to think the incremental cost of flying another now that the research has been done would be far less than that. There are individuals in the USA who could personally fund that without breaking a sweat.

Seems like we should have 4 or 5 of these things in various places on Mars.

Re:incremental cost of another one? (1, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891931)

Zero chance. It comes down to the nuke power supply. We no longer have the Pu-238 for another mission. Sadly, CONgress is busy fighting about it. The dems want to allocate the DOE to allocate the 100 M for it, while the republicans want NASA to pay the 100 M for it.

Re:incremental cost of another one? (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891965)

Public funding until it's profitable, then private profit. That is generally the pattern, no?

Wow. (5, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891787)

Huge thanks to NASA/JPL for pulling this thing off, and letting everyone be a part of it.

I was watching a live simulation of the thing full-screen on one monitor (eyes.nasa.gov), and watching/hearing commentary on Nasa TV on another. It was very thrilling.

As a geek, foremost I find myself going WOW> HOLY !!! WE JUST LANDED A WINNEBEGO [ok, it's a bit smaller than the average Winny] ON MARS!!!

But I also find myself impressed that the Ustream link I posted (above) had something like 230k viewers at peak, and despite the load it never missed a beat for me. The simulation appeared to be happening in with very low-latency, and provided spectacular imagery.

Politically, if these methods of passive involvement were more widely publicized, funding the space program would be a no-brainer for any American -- just for the excitement involved, if nothing else, of accomplishing such a difficult task.

Wish I could link to the first photos (there seem to be two of them), but they don't seem to be officially posted just yet....

Re:Wow. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891871)

As big as a Mini Cooper they said, which seems a bit of an oxymoron, truth be told. ;-)

A Winnebago on mars would be the safest meth lab in the system. Distribution of product is a bitch, though.

Re:Wow. (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891893)

Meth labs on Mars? Where are the farms that it will steal the ammonia nitrate from?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891943)

Meth labs on Mars? Where are the farms that it will steal the ammonia nitrate from?

Meth labs?, surely you mean Marcaine labs...

Excellent! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891801)

Wow, I feel like I haven't felt in a long time. I feel proud to be an American.

Kudos to NASA, and a big "fuck you" to Congress for cutting their funding.

Finally some newsworthy news (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891803)

With any luck, these excellent news from the science world will push back the barrage of useless "events" from the olympics marketing machine.

Everyone seems to be using Apple.. (0)

rainhill (86347) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891811)

Re:Everyone seems to be using Apple.. (-1, Troll)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891909)

Real geeks know how to make things stay up. Sadly, non-geeks will use an OS that lets you down all the time. And loaded with disease.

No doubt, that post will lead to many with horns screaming tomorrow

You do not know what you are talking about. Windows is the bes888798se98wer9w8erwerwer....

Then from another system, they will say that as soon as they get rid of the virus on that windows, they will create a new chant to bring the true dark one over to my house to install Windows on it. Like I am really going to invite in Bill Gates into my house. Then I will have NO power against him.

Re:Everyone seems to be using Apple.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891975)

Scientific apps tend to be written for UNIX. OSX is a flavor of Unix.

Steering (2)

SlashDev (627697) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891813)

I was watching the broadcast live, very exciting indeed. The description of the events sounded like it was real-time when in fact there is a delay, however they react and comment based on the transmission they received, I did head something curious "we would steer Curiosity if ..." which is impossible, they can't steer, curiosity steers itself mainly because of the delay.

Everything is nominal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40891819)

Curiosity is on the ground! Everything looks nominal, and everybody at JPL is cheering.

I suppose the probe being in nominal condition is something to cheer about.

Mars species (5, Funny)

ikarys (865465) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891831)

The first encounter with alien life has not gone well. A catlike alien has been squashed and killed by Curiosity.

NASA makes Mars her bitch (1)

cjsm (804001) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891853)

NASA once again makes Mars her bitch. Way to go! Seriously, this landing was so complicated, I was expecting the worse. I join millions of others around the world in breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Geological Time (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891881)

I wonder how long these artifacts will be lying on the Martian surface. Quite a bit more weather than the Moon.

Re:Geological Time (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891955)

It is quite possible that the first shots of humans on Mars could come from Curiousity's cameras.

Fuck yeah! (1)

Maow (620678) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891915)

Congratu-fuckin-lations everyone at JPL & NASA and anyone that had a hand in this.

I was rivitted to my screen for 2 full hours and was almost as ecstatic as the control room as each stage's success came in.

Poor gf can't be much bothered and is trying to watch a DVD with me calling out each stage and cheering... Sorry gf, no apologies - this is fucking GREAT!

Mars Welcomes it's Automobile Overlords! (1)

Entropop (636592) | about a year and a half ago | (#40891921)

The first car on Mars. The martians get the first glimpse of earth's dominant life form! Watch out, the whole place will look like LA in 10 years tops.
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