In “Mars rover Curiosity nears make-or-break landing attempt” (Reuters, August 5, 2012), y Steve Gorman and Irene Klotz report,
The Mars rover Curiosity, on a quest for signs the Red Planet once hosted ingredients for life, streaked into the home stretch of its eight-month voyage on Sunday nearing a make-or-break landing attempt that NASA calls one of its toughest feats of robotic exploration.
Curiosity, the first full-fledged mobile science laboratory sent to a distant world, was scheduled to touch down inside a vast, ancient impact crater on Sunday at 10:31 p.m. Pacific time (1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday).
Mission control engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles acknowledge that delivering the one-ton, six-wheeled, nuclear-powered vehicle in one piece is a highly risky proposition, with zero margin for error.
Science fact is more fun than science fiction.
Here’s news re the seven minutes of terror landing of the multi-billion dollar ‘bot: