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MARS MISSION

This Mars page pays tribute to NASA's 2011 mission to Mars. The Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity rover, tentatively is expected to land on Mars on August 5th or 6th of 2012. After landing, the mission is expected to continue for nearly two years (at least 687 days). The Curiosity rover is expected to survey and explore up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) of Martian territory (as compared to Mars's approximate circumference of 21,339 kilometers or 13,259 miles when circumnavigating Mars at its equator).

THE SOLAR SYSTEM:

solar system
Photo Credit: SSEC, the University of Wisconsin-Madison


CURIOSITY POISED TO BEGIN AMBITIOUS EXPLORATION:

Watch (Curiosity Poised to Begin Ambitious Exploration)





ATLAS V LIFTS OFF WITH MSL:

Watch (Atlas V Lifts Off with MSL)





MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (MSL) CURIOSITY ROVER ANIMATION:

Watch [Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover Animation]





CURIOSITY'S SEVEN MINUTES OF TERROR:

Watch (Seven Minutes of Terror: The Challenges of Getting to Mars)





NASA LANDS CAR-SIZED ROVER ON MARTIAN SURFACE:

Watch (NASA Lands Car-sized Rover on Martian Surface)


Simple Timeline to Track the Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" Rover (Assuming All Other Things Being Equal Such as No Unforeseen Occurrences or Major Changes to the Flight Plan En Route to Mars)
Value Equality Definition
r (rate) = d (distance) / t (time) = Distance formula with rate unknown
11/26/2011, Sat = Start Date (Earth Departure)
08/05/2012, Sun = Projected End Date (Mars Arrival)
254 days = Projected Travel Time
8 months / 10 days = Equivalent Travel Time as Months / Days
6,096 = Equivalent Travel Time as Hours Using a 24-hour Day (time)
352,000,000 = Projected Travel Distance as Miles (distance)
57,742.782152231 = Extrapolated Average Travel Rate as Miles Per Hour (rate)
1,385,826.77165354 = Equivalent Travel Rate as Miles Per Day Using a 24-Hour Day
1.609344 = Conversion Factor for Miles to Kilometers
92,928 = Equivalent Travel Rate as Kilometers Per Hour Using a 24-Hour Day
2,230,272 = Equivalent Travel Rate as Kilometers Per Day Using a 24-Hour Day
566,489,088 = Equivalent Travel Distance as Kilometers



Countdown to Mars Landing



Margaret Berger's "Robot Song" and Mr Sam's "Split" represent two tribute songs to Curiosity and its NASA team.

The Journey from Earth to Mars: Atlas V Rocket Carrying "Curiosity" Mars Rover
Cumulative Days Completed Cumulative Miles Completed Cumulative Kilometers Completed
11/26/2011, Sat
Earth Launch
1,385,827 2,230,272
01/28/2012, Sat
25% or one-fourth way there
88,692,913 142,737,408
03/31/2012, Sat
50% or halfway there
176,000,000 283,244,544
06/03/2012, Sun
75% or three-fourths way there
264,692,913 425,981,952
08/05/2012, Sun
Mars Landing
352,000,000 566,489,088
CAVEAT: These computations are averages and are based on a 352-million-mile, 254-day journey to Mars. Click the Solar System Simulator link to see actual results.
See also:
News

Watch (Exploring the Solar System)





SOME UPCOMING MISSIONS:

Rosetta/Philae's Journey to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoand (C-G): Scheduled Arrival November 2014

Watch (ScienceCasts: Mission to Land on a Comet)




Dawn's Journey to Asteroid/Dwarf Planet Ceres: Scheduled Arrival February 2015

Watch (Dawn, Mission to the Asteroids Vesta & Ceres)




New Horizons's Journey to Pluto (and Beyond): Scheduled Flyby July 2015

Watch (New Horizons Spacecraft: Florida to Kuiper Belt)




Juno's Journey to Jupiter: Scheduled Arrival July 2016

Watch (Juno Spacecraft Begins Journey to Jupiter)


Mission Juno



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