Historic Mars Launch: NASA giant rover ‘Curiosity’ blasts off

NASA’s biggest and most-expensive robotic rover has blasted off  (Nov. 26) at 10:02 a.m. EST (1502 GMT)  from Cape Canaveral on a voyage of discovery. The probe, nicknamed Curiosity, is scheduled to arrive at the mineral-rich Martian ‘Gale Crater’ next August. It aims to search the surface for clues about whether the planet has ever had a life-friendly environment.

Rover Curiosity: New Animation Depicts Next Mars Rover in Action

More information about ‘Curiosity’

Next stop Mars! Huge NASA Rover launches toward Red Planet


And what about the Russian Phobos Grunt?

The European Space Agency has managed to make contact with Russia’s failed Phobos-Grunt space probe on two consecutive nights, the agency said on Thursday.

The first successful attempt to contact the probe was made on Tuesday night and, on Wednesday night, further telemetric data was received. This data should tell Russian mission controllers about the health of Phobos-Grunt’s systems, and perhaps reveal why it is in an unplanned orbit around Earth, rather than travelling to the Martian moon Phobos as intended.

“The spacecraft’s radio downlink was commanded to switch on and telemetry was received,” European Space Agency (ESA) service manager for Phobos-Grunt, Wolfgang Hell, said in a statement. “The signals received from Phobos-Grunt were much stronger than those initially received on 22 November, in part due to having better knowledge of the spacecraft’s orbital position.”…Read full article HERE

The window of opportunity for Phobos-Grunt to set off for Mars has now closed, and the mission is a failure.

Source and author: zdnet *  *   (youtube)

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