Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror

Team members share the challenges of Curiosity’s final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.

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Comment (69)

  1. This video is just great at communicating the effort going into this. While most of the world is hung up on bills and Justin Bieber, you guys do something like this. It's amazing! I have everything crossed, and hope it works as intended…

  2. i would love to be on mars to see this happen. imagine being an alien seeing this. imagine if an alien sent something like this to our planet. It would be so cool.

  3. Size. this guy's bigger than the previous rovers and the airbags would have been huge. Plus they wanted a more precision landing location than Spirit and Opportunity.

  4. After watching (especially) the last phase of landing – I'm just speechless.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the most incredible and challenging space craft landing in human history?

  5. Do you know what would be cool? Watching the descent stage jetpack exploding a few meters behind MSL in a Michael Bay-esque fashion while the main cameras' mast is getting up and then show on screen "F**k yeah!" or "Close enough".

  6. A very cool method of getting down to the surface. I would have appreciated just the animations and basic explanation rather than all of the drama, though.

  7. Awesome video. Thanks to NASA, for remembering that the Space Program can only be as awesome as you are capable of showing it to be. The decline of public interest in space, during the past decades, has only been due to starvation. Public interest needs to be fed and this video is a real feast. Keep up the good work on the program and thank you for keeping us informed and educated in such an epic way.

  8. Um, there is news every day during the Mars Summer, it has been winter and Opportunity has been asleep. Spirit died a couple years ago… got her foot stuck in quicksand and could not get her solar panels pointed at the sun for winter. (March 22, 2010 – R.I.P.) Pretty awesome for both rovers, they were on ly supposed to last 90 days!

  9. Spirit will be forever mised. That was a great piece of art if you were to ask me. Hopefully a rover would be able to get Spirit and photograph it and send the picture back. I do hope that Opportunity keep up her steam. *Sigh* Spirit, I love you.

  10. this video made me so excited, i can't wait for more. wonder if this is how excited the moon landing generation was back when first man stepped on the moon…moon landing was probaly not because the moon landing was even more epic.
    500,000 lines of coding. luckily not by one person + done over a period of years + nasa = perfect code.

  11. I hope the 500,000 lines of code haven't been programed by microsoft or it will never work. It would get the blue screen of death half way down…

  12. Ok. So we have a major problem here.

    At 4.12 onwards the engineer points out that the skycrane hovers 20 meters from the ground, but also mentions that the rope which the rover is lowered on it 21 FEET in length. 21 feet, is 6.5 meters, so the rover will then fall the remaining 13.5 meters.

    Brings back a few memories of past missions….

  13. clearly nasa should hire you on because you know more about optimising programs than they do.

    ffs man, they probably wrote their own language for the thing, I mean it's fucking nasa.

  14. What's the gravity on Mars ? If it's much lower that earth it could survive a fall like that… It could also be that he mixed up the terms… that the rope is 21 meters, not 21 feet…

  15. "nasa doesn't build anything" "it's ALL CONTRACTED"

    it doesn't matter if they pay someone from outside to do something for them, the organization itself brings together people from many countries together to do amazing things. who cares what company a person is employed for, they contributed to a nasa project, and that's what matters.

    When a program is compiled, it's generally compiled to machine code, so the code for the language doesn't actually see the rover, so no, it doesn't count.

  16. I make you a challenge. Go work for nasa, and develop rover software that has all of the functionality of this rover, and do it in less than 400k lines of code in any language.

  17. on a small project, yes it does. But this is a massive project, with thousands of parameters being monitored all the time.

    As far as I'm concerned, unless you have the code in front of you and can identify how it can be improved, you have no authority to comment on the efficiency of it.

    it'd be like someone trying to gauge how efficiently the roads are placed in an entire country based on the number of road lines painted.


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