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Mars NASA Space

NASA's Next Mars Rover 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the would-do-well-on-battlebots-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In August 2012, the NASA rover Curiosity is scheduled to touch down on the surface of Mars. The size of a small car, it's four times as heavy as predecessors Spirit and Opportunity, and comes with a large robot arm, a laser that can vaporise rocks at seven meters, a percussive drill and a weather station. Oh, and 4.8kg of plutonium-238. Wired has some high-resolution photographs from lab that is putting the next rover together." Curiosity's destination on Mars has reportedly been chosen: Gale Crater. The 150-kilometer wide depression 'includes a tantalizing 5-kilometer-high mound of ancient sediments, [and] may have once been flooded by water.' The Planetary Society blog has a couple of additional pictures and a time-lapse video of the delicate, lengthy process of preparing the lander for transport. Curiosity will launch near the end of 2011. No cats were harmed during its construction.
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NASA's Next Mars Rover

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  • Oh, goody! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrsam (12205) on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:35PM (#36656420) Homepage

    Oh, and 4.8kg of plutonium-238

    Oh goody! My explosive space modulator has finally been delivered! Now I can blow up Mars. Because it's obstructing my view of Jupiter!

  • by countertrolling (1585477) * on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:47PM (#36656476) Journal

    From #4:

    "If it works, it will be spectacular,"

    If it doesn't , it will probably be more so, but we won't see it.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:48PM (#36656486)

    ...a laser that can vaporise rocks at seven meters...

    I soooo want this on my car.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:51PM (#36656492)

    "...a laser that can vaporise rocks at seven meters..."

    Everybody making a hilarious post about sharks can press ALT+F4 to skip the 20 second limit!

  • No Cats (Score:5, Funny)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:56PM (#36656522)

    "no cats were harmed during its construction".

    Well of course not. That would obviously come after activation. Good thing they are planning to send the malevolent entity to a feline-free Mars.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday July 04, 2011 @08:30PM (#36656672)
    The Council of Elders has confirmed an alarming increase in threatening chatter originating from the blue world.

    K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thus:

    AT LAST, the denizens of the blue planet expose their true intentions! No mere "explorers", these foul robotic beings. Despite their deceptive code names, these invaders from the blue world are no innocent space-mariners; they're Vikings! All they seek is an opportunity to wipe not only us from the world, but the spirit of our world itself from the solar system.

    I have in my tentacle one particularly threatening communications intercept; hear the enemy in their own words.

    Oh goody! My explosive space modulator has finally been delivered! Now I can blow up Mars. Because it's obstructing my view of Jupiter!

    Despite what you may have heard from certain circles of subversives, their own words betray them. They are not just here for the sake of curiosity!

    K'Breel went on to confirm reports that the expected invader would indeed by powered by an advanced Pew-238 power source to extend its range and lifespan, K'Breel reminded all citizens that its expected capabilities would still be vastly inferior compared to their own recreational vehicles: "Our hot rods get a million klorbs to the frelpor; the blue planet ain't just across a minor tributary from Valles Marineris!"

    When a junior intelligence analyst suggested that the intercepted transmission in question was merely referring to an animated cartoon that was more than thirty years old, there was a gelsac-shattering kaboom. (It was described as "lovely".)

    A small robot dutifully removed the dust from the remains of the Speaker's disintegrating pistol and performed a short piece of traditional music while the Speaker exited the stage via an iris-shaped door after concluding his address with a brief "That is all, citizens."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2011 @08:44PM (#36656748)

    Why do earthlings have such silly names. Why cant they just be called Mgbutu or G'thers or something?

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Monday July 04, 2011 @09:26PM (#36656912) Homepage

    Why do aliens have to have such silly names. Why can't they just be called Colin or Tim or something.

    "Tim" is impossible to pronounce with pseudopods and a lenticular diaphram. ("Colin", OTOH, is pronounceable, but it translates to "fetid corpse of ancestor", so it's not a popular name)

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday July 04, 2011 @10:28PM (#36657174)

    Sadly, Six cats are used as parts of the foot(Paw) control mechanism, since feedback from Earth would be too slow to enable the needed precision.

    Not to mention it's the only way to ensure it lands upright!

    While every step has been taken to keep these cats happy and well fed, there are no provisions for these cats to be repatriated Earth...

    Believe me, when they see how much sand is there it will be just fine with them. Imagine a whole world, where you could pee as much as you like with no-one to complain.

The trouble with being punctual is that people think you have nothing more important to do.