..."If Any One Thing Doesn't Work Right, It's Game Over". This is the Best NASA Produced Video I have ever watched. Think the Space Program is Dead?. Think Again. Take a look at "7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover's Risky Mars Landing". Coming to the Martian Surface August 5th.
NASA is also turning to social media to help build excitement online for the Curiosity rover's upcoming visit to Mars, using a Twitter account that outlines the challenges of landing the rover on the planet's surface next month.
As some on YouTube - where the Video lives have already mentioned, this type of amazing production is what NASA needs to get people interested in space again, including our government officials.
As "Arciteck" commented: "For too long its been nothing but scientists talking about all the technical aspects of missions. This is something that is entertaining to watch and at the same time informs people of all the technical hurdles that need to be overcome. Great work to whoever thought up this concept =)". Again, I couldn't agree more.
Joseph Volpe of Engadget writes: "Edited and scored with the dramatic tension of a summer blockbuster trailer, NASA's put together a gripping short clip that dresses down Curiosity's mission to Mars for the layman.
The "car-sized" rover, set to touchdown on August 5th of this year at 10:31PM PDT, is currently journeying towards the Red Planet on a suicide mission of sorts, with the success of its make it or break it EDL (enter, descent, landing) wracking the nerves of our Space Agency's greatest minds in advance.
Their cause for concern? A period of radio silence, dubbed the "seven minutes of terror" for the amount of time it takes a signal to reach Earth, during which the craft will have already either smashed disastrously into the Martian landscape or nestled perfectly down from the ascend phase on a 21ft long tether.
The logistics involved are so numerous and prone to error -- slowing the craft from 13,000 mph to 0 mph and then deploying, detaching and avoiding collision with the supersonic parachute for starters -- that it's a wonder the government ever signed off on the project", Volpe writes.
Many have asked why are we wasting billions of federal dollars on studying a dried up planet? Two reasons other's have pointed out I couldn't agree with more.
As "AroblesCG" commented: "Well, one reason why we might possibly want to know why life on Mars ceased to exist (assuming it ever existed) is so the same fate doesn't befall Earth. We know that liquid water once existed on Mars, but today it's dry. Similarly, there's a lot of study about climate change going on here on Earth, and there's nothing to suggest we will have the same comfortable climate forever.
As a Meteorologist, I'd like to know the answer. Scientific Data from afar is simply not enough. Satellites allow us to look down on ourselves here on earth. They provide a great overview and evidence of climate change. But we must travel the distance needed to stick our hands, or in this case our machines in the soil of nearby planets.
They don't call Mars our "sister planet" for nothing. Visiting the Red Planet would be like visiting Earth, billions of years ago. It would vastly help our understanding of our own planet, as well as Mars and other planets in and around our solar system.
Other than that, its the next closest and "safest" planet to visit. Its the next logical step towards space exploration.. baby steps. Missions like "Curiosity" are an important step in sending a manned mission to Mars. If successful, then maybe there will be as much support for the space program as there was during the "Space Race" of the 1960s.
The problem is kids these days don't have an Apollo mission to inspire them. NASA's budget is 1/2 of 1% of the Federal budget. The best investment we could make for our kids is if we invest in their imaginations. NASA's budget should be doubled or even tripled.
Not sure where you will be on Sunday, August 5th, but I know where I will be. Glued to NASA TV watching every tense moment of this latest exploration into space. I will also take a little extra pride knowing that this mission was accomplished by the thousands of those involved just down the street at Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Now if they could only bring this spectacular action-packed clip to local Movie Theatres and play it as a Short Film - that would be something to see on the Big Screen.