Tested in Virtual World, Curiosity Rover Preps for Mars Landing

By Beth Stackpole – After more than eight months of space travel, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying the $2.5 billion, 2,000-pound Curiosity rover is nearly ready to touch down on the red planet. Hundreds of CAE man-hours helped simulate, optimize, and validate the mission in the digital world, but the moment of truth for the rover and spacecraft design will be the final landing, which is slated for 10:31 p.m. PT on Sunday, Aug. 5. more> http://tinyurl.com/bux4bst

NASA – John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was a guest on the Colbert Report on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, where he discussed the upcoming Curiosity Mars rover landing. The landing will occur on Monday morning at 1:31 a.m. EDT. Image Credit: Courtesy of the Colbert Report [VIDEO 6:27]

NASABill Nye, known as the Science Guy, takes a photograph of himself with NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at the Planetary Society‘s 2012 Planetfest on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif.

Garver is visiting Pasadena, home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ahead of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, scheduled for 1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, 2012. Curiosity is designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support life. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls


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