NASA’s Mission to Mars and Curiosity

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Curiosity's first tracks (NASA/JPL)
Artist's concept drawing of Curiosity (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

Hour 1

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been on the Martian surface for three weeks now and so far, except for a broken wind sensor, everything has gone according to plan. After an eight and a half month journey to the red planet and an incredible nail-biting descent and landing, Curiosity has been testing its systems, readying itself for its two year mission searching for life-supporting conditions in the Gale Crater. The 6-wheeled rover has extended its arm, blasted Martian rocks with its laser, spun its wheels, and taken short test drives.  This hour, we’ll talk with two NASA engineers about the mission, the Rover, what they hope Curiosity will reveal, and what’s next.  ADAM STELTZNER is the Lead Engineer for Entry Descent and Landing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and FRANK HARTMAN is a Curiosity Rover driver.

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[audio: 082712_100630.mp3]

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