We know what any church-going NASA employees will be praying for today: a soft-ish landing.
Our new Mini Cooper-sized and experiment-laden super-rover, Curiosity, will hopefully touch down on the Red Planet this weekend for the biggest rover mission ever conducted there, to search for a biological history of the planet.
That is, if it doesn’t auger in instead. Dubbed the “Seven Minutes Of Terror” by it’s team, Curiosity’s Martian landing is going to be one heck of a nail-biter, utilizing jettisoned heat shields, maneuvering rockets, a giant parachute and a self-sacrificing Sky Crane—all preprogrammed and computer-controlled. With a 14-minute lag in communications between the two planets, mission control on Earth won’t know immediately if they succeeded or have just given Mars a new 2.5 billion dollar crater.
But NASA doesn’t plan to bite their nails alone. The Space Agency has announced it will broadcast the historic event live in Times Square beginning 11:30 p.m. Sunday. To prepare and stay calm, maybe we can all watch the video about the mission … narrated by William Shatner.
Video by Paca Thomas.