8.06.2012

Curiosity Has Landed on Mars!


By on 12:53 AM


Curiosity has landed!

While this doesn’t directly have to do with any tips, ideas, or drama about surviving alien invasion novels, the Curiosity rover wraps up quite a few themes worthy of note, including future space technology, the space program in the United States, the tenuous relationship between science and politics, and the fairly massively important possible existence of alien life.

After a long journey starting on November 26, 2011, Curiosity landed with several missions in mind. The first, and primary mission, is to investigate Mars for potential signs of life, whether those signs of life include evidence of actual past (or even present!) organisms or just conditions that would allow for life in the future.

After all of the increasingly frequent studies, theories and extrapolations about potential life and life-ready conditions on the surface of Mars, Curiosity is supposed to definitively answer the question ‘has life ever been supported on Mars?’. Aside from this, Curiosity is also supposed to study the overall climate and geology of Mars – after all, the planet might not have had life before, but it’s equally important to see if we could ever live on Mars. (For more information about our plans to ever live on Mars, check out Peter Diamandis and Mars One.)
However, Curiosity is carrying quite a few burdens on its shoulders besides the fairly weighty ones of past and future life on Mars. It also carries the future of NASA’s Mars anything. President Obama, and, really, pretty much every president since the Cold War became less of an issue, has happily chopped away at different facets of the NASA Mars budget. From $587 million to $360 million to $189 million in 2015 (an amount which can do little on the relatively massive scale that even local space travel or colonization is/will be), the entirety of American travel to other planets is at risk. We’ve quit cooperative efforts with Europe, and the first serious plan to colonize Mars is directed form abroad.

But, now that Curiosity has successfully landed and will doubtlessly have some good discovieries to share with us, maybe sheer momentum and – if you saw everyone on the NASA channel and CNN – happy determination will push it back towards more useful numbers.

Curiosity also tested several new mechanisms, not least of which the landing system. Rather than using past methods of just rockets, parachutes, aeroshells, or airbags, Curiosity will be placed on the surface of Mars via Sky Crane.

Yes.

Sky Crane. This new technology was the last step in slowing Curiosity’s descent from its initial speed of 13,200 miles per hour to soft touchdown, and took over in the last twelve seconds. Check out Space.com’s info graphic of it here.


We can look at the science of it, the potential aliens and space colonies of it, and the future of space technology. But at the moment, we should all be deliriously happy that things like this are possible and that things like this are being done.


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Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.

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