Six minutes of terror

All eyes are on Mars tonight. The latest rover has officially landed, but as I type these words we haven’t heard yet whether he’s taking phone calls just yet. I was poking around the JPL Mars Rover site tonight, and I’ve been impressed that the pages seem to be loading quickly. Either nobody cares or they’ve solved some of their bandwidth problems since the last rover mission. They’ve also got some terrific videos about the mission. My favorite was about the entry, descent, and landing phase of the mission, affectionately known as Six Minutes of Terror. The probe has to go through an insane pyrotechnic metamorphosis with split second timing on its way to the Martian surface. The video describing all this is very slickly produced, including some nifty mission animations. (See the MPG version or the Quicktime version). It’s nice to see flashes of the old exciting NASA that makes you proud to pay taxes.

2 thoughts on “Six minutes of terror”

  1. Thanks for the Mars video from JPL.
    I loved their enthusiasm(was it scripted? A little, but I really think most was genuine).

    I like the part where the guy says, “The lander is descendning, does the math and determines how it will land…” Something like that…”it does the math”. Excellent.

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