Curiosity Departs Earth for Mars

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Curiosity, the world’s largest extraterrestrial explorer, successfully departed earth this morning for Mars. Curiosity will travel a distance of 354 million miles arriving on the red planet in approximately 8 1/2 months or next August.

Curiosity, about the size of a car, is a mobile, nuclear-powered laboratory holding 10 science instruments designed to sample Martian soil and rocks, analyzing them right on the spot. There is a drill as well as a stone-zapping laser machine.

NASA says this is the most sophisticated Martian rover to date.

Curiosity is too heavy to use air bags to land like its smaller predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity. Instead, Curiosity will be lowered onto Mars via a jet pack and tether system similar to the sky cranes used to lower heavy equipment into remote areas on Earth.

Watch It:

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11 Responses to Curiosity Departs Earth for Mars

  1. One Fly says:

    I’d very much like to see one of these lift off in person but since I have such bad vibes about visiting the south I don’t think it will happen. Glad I saw this!

    Netflix now streams Star Trek NG. 7or 8 seasons. Very happy about that.

  2. Joe in Colorado says:

    The U.S. is sending robots. China plans a manned mission to Mars in 2020. I guess when as a nation you choose to devote all your resources to war, a robot is as good as it gets? Interesting that Curiosity will reach Mars around the time Obama officially accepts the Dems nomination to run for a second term at the big bash in Charlotte, NC? Political theater at its finest.

  3. Fran says:

    The total cost of the MSL project is about US $2.5 billion. (Probably more.. it always costs more!)
    Let’s hope this is not another NASA “Oops”.
    As much as this is fascinating, having the government fund extended unemployment & Social Security/Medicare programs is more important & in my mind, should be a priority.
    Why are we throwing away billions of dollars when our country is in such dire straights?

  4. TOM339 says:

    I have no problem with spending for NASA.

    In fact, I wish we spent more. The Pentagon spends more money on air conditioning for the US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Feds allocate for NASA. Obama had his head up his ass cancelling the Space Shuttle program. Now, our astronauts have to hitch a ride with the Russians to get to and from the International Space Station.

    The future of humanity is deep space travel and colonization. One day in the not so distant future, the Chinese will have 50,000 people living on the moon and 5,000 living on Mars. Meanwhile, the US will be fighting the “war on terrorism” and living like India.

  5. Fran says:

    We have people living in tent cities & dying for lack of access to health care, I have a problem with the spending- for both the wars & the NASA budget.

  6. One Fly says:

    You are correct Fran without question. There is enough in this country for many good things like this. Not unlimited of course but something for sure.

    THAT IS!

    If the 1% doesn’t chop everything for wars and occupation based on lies and all kinds of other criminal activities. Stuff like that you I’m sure know all about.

  7. Rachel says:

    One day the earth will be unable to sustain life as we know it. The ice in the Arctic Circle is melting at an alarming rate. For the first time, massive fissures are being reported in Antarctica. The earth is warming, sea levels are rising and our idiot leaders seem incapable of acting to reduce our carbon footprint. I think the day may come when huge populations of humans will live off-world. Maybe on Mars or even beyond. Humanity won’t be tethered any longer to earth.

  8. Stephen Iversonn says:

    We can’t oppose the exploration of space. It’s counterintuitive to our nature as humans.

    Just as the early Polynesians long-distance navigated the Pacific Ocean in 300AD to 800AD to travel to what is now Hawaii, and Leif Ericson a thousand years ago is believed to be the first European to travel to North America, exploration is in our DNA. I am appreciative of prioritizing and not sacrificing one or more issue (homelessness, education, etc), for NASA but the fact is, the budget for NASA is small even tiny, compared to other allocations of monies.

    If you are serious about squandering large sums of American tax payer dollars, the first thing to do is end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and slash the Pentagon budget by half. Much of what constitutes national security can, in 2011, be accomplished with a keyboard, a monitor and a link to a satellite. We don’t need a standing military of 450,000 in 2011.

  9. Marcus Ybanez says:

    With water discovered on the moon, our departure point for exploring our solar system won’t be earth but the moon.

    The U.S. is now competing with the Chinese for space-dominance. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Russia was our greatest competitor. No more. Now it is Chinese who has the money and the vision for colonizing the moon and a manned Mars mission by 2020.

  10. Joseph Kent says:

    In the very middle of your richly informative website is a blatantly deceptive and greedy false advertisement: its telling me I won a “big $ prize”. ….Right..
    As insightful and intelligent as your readers are, why do you subject them to this nonsense? Surely a more credible sponsor, and one with a bit more integrity, could be found for such a cerebral sight as this.
    Joe

  11. Joseph Kent –

    Sorry bud but WordPress expressly forbids any and all advertising on their platform.

    So bring it down a notch and take a deep breath before you decide to return here to bitch and complain about something I didn’t do.

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