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Mars Rover Landing And The 7 Minutes Of Terror

by Geoff Talbot on March 13, 2013

There have been 40 missions to the red planet and 24 of the spacecrafts have failed in their attempt. It’s a tough mission, but we keep on trying and at last – a success. To put it in plain terms, the atmosphere around Mars is super thin, which makes slowing down to land extremely difficult; this is especially important given that a spacecraft enters the Mars atmosphere doing 13,000 miles per hour; which is one hell of a speeding ticket, right?

The Mars Curiosity Rover Landing and the resulting seven minutes of terror that followed contained the kind of  ‘intergalactic tension’ that would make tinsel town proud. Well, in case you are not a space geek, who loves all things planetary, take a look at the NASA’s Mars Rover Video that quickly went viral on 2012.

As you can see this was no ordinary mission to Mars and it created quite a stir online. You can even check out William Shatner’s narrated version of the mars rover video right here.

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Pervious missions to Mars, like ”Spirit” and “Explorer” had involved much smaller rovers (5 times lighter and 2 times smaller) then the “Curiosity” mission, so the slowing down process of 2012 was going to be even trickier. Essentially, it takes seven minutes to get through the atmosphere to the landing zone and 14 minutes to get a signal all the way from Mars to planet Earth.

Enter the seven minutes of terror. This term describes the seven minutes the NASA crew had to wait to find out if “Curiosity’s Mission to Mars” had been successful. Seven minutes of time passing to see if this 2.5 billion dollar robot had landed successfully on the big dusty red planet. Here’s the incredible reaction of the people at NASA when they realize that the Mars Rover Curiosity had successfully landed. Their excitement is intoxicating:

What actually happened in the seven minutes of terror, when “Curiosity” plummeted through the atmosphere towards the crust of Mars? Well, while the folks at NASA held their breath and waited, Rover did what she does best, out of “sheer curiosity,” she filmed the whole thing and later beamed the video back to her masters. Who in turn used time-lapse video technology to create this video of her arrival:


Curiosity, the most advanced Martian robot of its time, is twice as tall as it’s predecessors and lacks the solar panels that were on the prototypes. The panels were constantly getting covered in dust and they had struggled to work in the short daylight hours of winter. By completing the successful journey to Mars Curiosity has found it’s final home. Just because it made it to Mars, doesn’t mean it will be able to leave.

Its mission is to explore Mars through taking pictures, shooting video, and exploring and analyzing rock formations. Curiosity is attempting to answer that age-old question, has there ever been and could there ever be life on Mars? To be honest the Mars rover pictures and videos that Curiosity has been sending back have been pretty phenomenal. As of yet, no aliens have been caught sunbathing, but the rock formations, the terrain and the share quality of the images being “beamed” across the galaxy have been beyond belief. Take a look at this Mars Rover Video of the first color pictures sent to us from Mars:


Now you’ve seen some of the images of Mars. Technology is rapidly advancing and we are beginning to explore the far reaches of our galaxy. As we see more and more images of Mars delivered from space, what are you hoping to see? If (when) it becomes possible would you be interested to taking a trip to Mars? Maybe Star Wars wasn’t simply a piece of science fiction, but something else entirely. Fancy an intergalactic vacation sometime in the next millennia?

Someone get George Lucas on the phone…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Abraham Sheriff March 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

My thanks to NASA engineer by giving us the Images of Mars.

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