Nasa shows 1st 'crime scene' photo of Mars landing
Published on Aug 8, 2012 6:50 AM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - About 36 hours after Nasa landed its US$2.5 billion (S$3.1 billion) rover on Mars, it released on Tuesday what it jokingly dubbed a "crime scene" aerial shot of where the parachute, heat shield and vehicle came down.
The touchdown on Aug 6 of the Mars Science Laboratory involved the most elaborate attempt yet to drop a robotic car on the surface of the Red Planet, and required a heat shield, supersonic parachute and rocket-powered sky crane.
The process, known as entry, descent and landing, or EDL, was referred to as "Seven Minutes of Terror" by Nasa, but went off without a hitch, in what United States President Barack Obama called an "unprecedented feat of technology."
On approach, a heat shield protected the Curiosity rover's fiery entry into Mars' atmosphere, a supersonic parachute deployed to slow it down, and the spacecraft back shell separated.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!