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(music- grand) Anita Sengupta: We cant get those rocket engines too close to the ground.Because if we were to descent propulsively all the way to the ground- we would essentially create this massive dust cloud.Engineers who designed the entry, descent and landing system for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity candidly talk about the new landing system, and describe the challenges of Curiosity's final moments before touchdown on Aug. Transcript:(music-dark/mysterious/percussive) Adam Steltzner When people look at it... (music crescendos- dark pounding drums) Tom Rivellini: Entry, descent and landing, also known as EDL, is referred to as the 7 minutes of terror. (music intensifies- heavier percussion) or dead, on the surface, for at least seven minutes. So, when we first get word that weve touched the top of the atmosphere, the vehicle has been alive... It takes 14 minutes or so for the signal from the spacecraft to make it to Earth- thats how far Mars is away from us.Its like a big lens cap, blocking our view of the ground to the radar.The radar has to take just the right altitude and velocity measurements at just the right time-or the rest of the landing sequence wont work. (whoosh) (music cuts) And then come down on rockets.
The participating population is made up of over 18,000 runners and walkers from over 700 companies, non-profit organizations and 200 CEOs. Registered participants receive one Michelob Ultra voucher which is attached to race number.On the other hand, it doesnt have enough atmosphere to finish the job. (blast-whoosh) Tom Rivellini: When it opens up that fast, its a neck-snapping 9Gs!Steve Lee: At that point we have to get that heat shield off.That dust cloud could then land on the rover- It could damage mechanisms and it could damage instruments.So the way we solve that problem, is by using the skycrane maneuver.
(whoosh) (music -tension/drums steadily building) Adam Steltzner: We slam into the atmosphere and develop so much aerodynamic drag, our heat shield, it heats up and it glows like the surface of the sun. Miguel San Martin: During entry, the vehicle is not only slowing down- violently, though the atmosphere, but also we are guiding it, like an airplane!