Mars weather forecast 'good' for NASA landing

Aug 05, 2012

The weather conditions on Mars are expected to be favorable when NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory attempts its risky landing on August 6, the US space agency said Saturday.

"Mars is playing nice and we are going to get good conditions for Sunday," said MSL deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada at a new briefing ahead of the landing set for 0531 GMT on Monday (10:31 pm on Sunday Pacific time).

A dust storm spotted days ago near the landing site has dissipated into a "fairly harmless cloud of dust," he said.

"That probably will not reach Gale Crater by the time we land," he said, adding that it was not "expected to affect entry, descent and landing in any meaningful way."

The is carrying a complex chemistry toolkit for analyzing rocks and soil in the hunt for signs of past life on the Red Planet.

The six-wheeled vehicle is the size of a small car and is due to be lowered onto the surface in a high-drama operation that includes spacecraft separation, parachute dropdown, a rocket-powered and a tethered soft landing.

Explore further: Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are we alone? NASA's Mars rover aims to find out

Aug 05, 2012

Are we alone? Or was there life on another planet? NASA's $2.5 billion dream machine, the Mars Science Laboratory, aims to take the first steps toward finding out when it nears Mars's surface on Monday.

NASA confident ahead of nail-biter Mars landing

Aug 03, 2012

NASA said Thursday all was well ahead of its nail-biting mission to Mars, with its most advanced robotic rover poised to hunt for clues about past life and water on Earth's nearest planetary neighbor.

NASA rover launch to Mars delayed to Nov 26

Nov 21, 2011

The US space agency has postponed by one day its plan to launch the biggest rover ever to Mars, with the liftoff of the Mars Science Laboratory now set for November 26.

NASA in high gear for Mars rover launch

Nov 26, 2011

The US space agency is poised to launch the most powerful and advanced robotic rover ever built to explore Mars and hunt for signs that life may once have existed on the red planet.

Recommended for you

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

12 hours ago

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old ...

Hot explosions on the cool sun

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...

Europe secures new generation of weather satellites

18 hours ago

Contracts were signed today to build three pairs of MetOp Second Generation satellites, ensuring the continuity of essential information for global weather forecasting and climate monitoring for decades to ...

User comments : 0