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Mars NASA Science

11 Amazing Things NASA's Huge Mars Rover Can Do 147

TheNextCorner writes "NASA is getting set to launch its next Mars rover this week. The car-size Curiosity rover is the centerpiece of NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, slated to blast off Saturday (Nov. 26) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rover will employ 10 different science instruments to help it answer questions once it touches down on the Red Planet in August 2012."
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11 Amazing Things NASA's Huge Mars Rover Can Do

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  • No terraforming? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drobety ( 2429764 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:02PM (#38126206)
    It can not terraform? Bah.
  • #0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:18PM (#38126404)

    I'll be impressed if it actually manages to land there. Otherwise the things it can do after landing are pointless.

  • Re:#1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:20PM (#38126412) Journal
    You are sort of trivializing an important point. Perhaps the most important point, at that. At this stage there is only ONE cool thing that this rover needs to do. And that is land safely on the surface of Mars. No mean feat considering how complex this new landing system is. Retro/landing rockets, hovering, winching down, etc. etc. etc. At this point I don't give a good God damn (take that Pakistani censors!) about the other 11 cool things. They don't mean shit if it can't land. Articles like this just make me feel like we are patting ourselves (humans in general) on the back before it's time. I am an optimistic pessimist, so counting my chickens first makes me nervous.
  • Re:#12 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:21PM (#38126422)

    When the most important thing in your life is money you're a sad excuse for a human being.

  • Re:#12 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @02:44PM (#38126708)

    So money is either "the most important thing" or "not important"?

  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:24PM (#38127362)

    I'm not saying it is likely- just possible. Get the right extremophile bacteria on mars and the potential is there.

    Even if they are not ideally suited- all they need to do is be able to survive and reproduce. Thriving is not required.

    There are species that can survive wild temperatures and dry conditions. Species that can survive all sorts of conditions. Bacterial species are not like animal species- genetic information is easily spread.

    If one species can survive the temperature- one species can "feed" on mars-etc, etc, - if they're all there in a rare event they could exchange the right genetic information and survive on mars.

  • by mmustapic ( 1155729 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:48PM (#38127720)
    Why do you suppose it doesn't have redundancy or failback mechanisms? For example, it has SIX wheels. The Spirit rover could still work (and did) with only four wheels. Also, the whole rover is a complex laboratory capable of doing many experiments. If one of them fails, it can still do science with the others. Adding a secondary mast, computer, etc, adds weight besides redundancy.
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 21, 2011 @03:50PM (#38127750) Homepage Journal

    No, curiosity was merely the bait, ignorance killed him.

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