From A to Z: Getting Curiosity to the Launch Pad
Sept. 15 & 16
The Mars Science Laboratory, "Curiosity", is the latest project in NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term program of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. Scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in late 2011, and arrive at Mars in August 2012, this rolling laboratory will assess whether Mars ever had an environment capable of supporting microbial life and conditions favorable for preserving clues about life, if it existed. The sky-crane landing system is remarkable, and the massive science suite is the most advanced ever used on a planetary surface, and will help us better understand whether life could have existed on the Red Planet and, if so, where we might look for it in the future. But such capability does not come without challenge. Tonight's talk will cover some of the trials and tribulations the project members encountered while creating one of the most ambitious missions in history.
Richard Cook, Deputy Project Manager, Mars Science Laboratory, JPL