Saturday, November 26, 2011

A historic moment for humanity: NASA Launches "Curiosity" Mars Rover

The one-ton rover, tucked inside a capsule, left Florida on an Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 local time (15:02 GMT). The rover is expected to reach Planet Mars on August 5, 2012. The rover is the out come of the hard work, the great engineers working for NASA have put in and about US$2.5 billion in funding.

Brief specs 

Rover dimensions: Length: 9 feet, 10 inches (3.0 meters) (not counting arm); width: 9 feet, 1 inch (2.8 meters);wheel diameter: 20 inches (0.5 meter); height at top of mast: 7 feet (2.1 meters); arm length: 7 feet (2.1 meters).

Mass: 8,463 pounds (3,893 kilograms) total at launch, consisting of 1,982-pound (899-kilogram) rover; 5,293-pound (2,401-kilogram) entry, descent and landing system (aeroshell plus fueled descent stage); and 1,188-pound (539-kilogram) fueled cruise stage.

Power for rover /batteries : Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator and lithium-ion batteries.
To be more specific it has a plutonium battery and should have provide ample of power to keep rolling for more than a decade. Its said that the mechanisms on the rover will wear off before the power drains out.

Science/ instrument payload: 165 pounds (75 kilograms) in 10 instruments:  Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer, Chemistry and Camera, Chemistry and Mineralogy, Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons, Mars Descent imager, Mars Hand Lens imager, Mast Camera, radiation Assessment Detector, rover environmental Monitoring station, and sample Analysis at Mars.

The curiosity is the world's biggest extraterrestrial explorer to Mars in history.

Check out this launch video

For more

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