Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen

By Rod Pyle

The tale of the folks who designed, outfitted, introduced, landed, and at the moment are working the Mars rover Curiosity

Award-winning technology author Rod Pyle offers a behind-the-scenes look at the new area undertaking to Mars of Curiosity--the unmanned rover that's now delivering researchers with exceptional information regarding the crimson planet. Pyle follows the staff of devoted scientists whose activity it's to discover new vistas on Mars. Readers also will subscribe to Curiosity, the main complicated computing device ever despatched to a different planet, on its trip of discovery. Drawing on his contacts at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the writer offers gorgeous insights into how this enthusiastic staff of numerous members makes use of a progressive onboard laboratory of chemistry, geology, and physics tools to solve the profound secrets and techniques of the crimson Planet.

Readers will meet: Robert Manning, leader engineer for each rover undertaking considering the fact that Pathfinder; John Grotzinger, the manager scientist of the full challenge; Vandi Tompkins, the software program dressmaker who retains the rover on course; Bobak Ferdowsi, famed “Mohawk man” from undertaking regulate; Adam Steltzner, the Elvis-like access, Descent and touchdown Lead; Al Chen, leader of flight dynamics and the voice of JPL in the course of Curiosity’s treacherous touchdown; and plenty of others.

And in fact, Pyle describes the adventures of the Curiosity rover itself, from touchdown in the course of the first samples, drilling, and learning a liveable previous in the world, to achieving the last word aim: Mount Sharp, within the middle of Gale Crater.  

America is once more on the leading edge of a brand new area age and Curiosity is simply the start of many intriguing new discoveries to return.

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Yet even very early observers with medical grounding started to detect issues approximately Mars that have been telling. within the fourth century BCE, Aristotle famous that Mars used to be occulted via the moon—Mars sincerely handed at the back of it. This led him to the belief that Mars used to be farther clear of Earth than the moon used to be. whereas this can look painfully noticeable to us this day, on the time little used to be identified approximately whatever within the evening sky; definitely Mars had now not but been pointed out as an international. The earliest observations of Mars headquartered on its colour. Few gadgets within the evening sky exhibited any colorings except white, and none have been as ruddy as Mars. So it isn't mind-blowing that the planet grew to become in detail pointed out with all issues violent—war, famine, and loss of life. some of the mythic figures that Mars turned linked to have been murderous at worst and portended a nasty day at top. It used to be the Hannibal Lecter of celestial our bodies. historic Babylon, Egypt, and China all had deities linked to Mars. To the Babylonians, Mars was once linked to Nergal, a deity of fireside and destruction. To the Egyptians, Mars was once Horus the crimson, linked in the beginning with the harvest, yet later with violence. China and different Asian cultures observed the planet as representing hearth and all its disagreeable institutions, and finally with mayhem. You did not want Mars (or Nergal, Horus, or perhaps the flamable Asian model) relationship your daughter. The Greeks additionally worshipped Mars as a god, named Ares, who carried with him the standard unlucky institutions. even though he was once the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and his spouse Hera, who was once appealing and clever, Ares used to be a wayward scoundrel and easily couldn't reside as much as his parent's accomplishments with no entering into hassle. probably the truth that Hera used to be additionally Zeus's sister could have been a factor—a bothered gene pool certainly. The Romans had an identical interpretation of the god they renamed Mars. whereas they imported his virtues—or loss of them—from the Greeks, in Rome the pink planet's penchant for violence used to be thought of an enormous plus. because the empire might overcome and rule by way of strength, harking back to Mars's psychotic traits made a certain quantity of experience. the only factor the Roman Mars did have over his predecessors was once a degree of intelligence—in many earlier iterations, he used to be downright doltish. If the Romans made him a violent and warlike being, additionally they made him a better one. He went from being Steinbeck's Lennie to TV's Dexter in a single sweeping cultural generation. Then Ptolemy, a Greek residing in historic Alexandria, got here alongside within the moment century CE and (surely with the simplest of intentions) created a version for the sunlight approach that introduced a few obvious order to the chaos noticeable overhead, but in addition gummed up Western astronomy for good over a millennium. In his universe, Earth was once on the heart of all issues, and the lighting saw within the sky moved round it. those different our bodies have been affixed to spheres—unimaginably large, crystalline, obvious ones—that turned around, offering the motions saw.

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