In honor of Walt the Man, I have chosen to write about the upcoming Mars Curiosity rover landing. I’m sure Walt would have chosen that topic if he were writing this Saturday’s post, and it would have been far more informational and educational. Enjoy the view from up there, Walt.
Something wonderful is about to happen. On Monday morning, the Mars Science Laboratory will, if all goes according to some very meticulous planning, drop Curiosity, the next Mars rover, onto the surface of Mars. While they will stop sending signals to the MSL two hours before the landing, it is the seven minutes it will take for the spacecraft to execute its landing instructions that have NASA scientists nervous. Earth is fourteen minutes away from Mars via radio telemetry signal, so there is no way to correct anything should it go wrong. I’m sure our crack staff at The Zoo will keep you informed as the landing time approaches.
UPDATE: I said Monday morning, but it will happen on Sunday night if you live on the West Coast. 10:30 PM Sunday night, or 1:30 AM Monday morning.
This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.
MORE 8/5: Additional info from TheWeatherChannel.