Two hours to cruise stage separation, and Doc M and I are here at the Curiosity Landing Event at Pasadena City College in Pasadena.
Lotta Mars Science Laboratory shirts (yes, we are wearing them), and OMG this is for reals jitters. Happily there is bandwidth, so this blog post will get updated as we go.
8:30. Speeches. Hooptedoodle. All Curiosity staff asked to stand. Applause.
Look! Saturn is at the Olympics!
8:45 mission overview. For the purposes of tonight’s entry descent and landing EDL, there are three different spacecraft vehicles… The cruise module, the descent module, and the rover. They each will play separate roles during the next couple hours. Currently, Cruise Stage is driving. Then there’ll be separation, when the descent stage takes over. Toward end of descent, the rover will be lowered on a bridle and set down on the planet’s surface.
EDL times for tonight. 10:14 is when cruise stage separates. 7 minutes do terror begins at 10:24pm tonight
9:00 pm NASA TV. Yay. Show time!!!!
9:10 Getting ready to cut off transmission to Curiosity; she’ll be going on her own. Good luck peanuts being eaten very soon.
9:20 lotsa backgrounder info on NASA TV. I’m not blogging it. But if you go to YouTube and look up the mars in a minute vids from jplnews you’ll see what we are seeing.
Also, check out Emily Lakdawalla’s blog for more info. I’ll be posting selective info and fotos from this event here at Pasadena City College.
9:50 pm Vehicle has changed into mode where it’s doing stuff… No going back.
9:58 Adam Seltzner, EDLlead, just thanked Cruise for a wonderful journey. People are eating the traditional good luck peanuts. These are the Dare Mighty Things peanuts.
People, this is time…
The auditorium here at PCC….
10:08 The Mars Odyssey orbiter is reorienting itself so that it can relay signals from curiosity to us through to the end of landing.
10:13 odyssey made its turn. We have signal allllllllll the way down.
I may or may not blog the next bits. Sorry. Gonna do a little 1960s style be here now stuff. Go check out Emily Lakdawalla’s at planetary society blog if you want more reliable and obsessive compulsive blogging.
10:15 Cruise Stage Separation!!!!!!!!
10:17 Vehicle has ejected its masses that make it possible for it to steer. Mars is causing Curiosity to speed up….
WE ARE DOWN’!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elation here. It could not have gone better
Images will be visible here. But NASA servers are slammed. http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/
Pictures show that we have safely landed and are the right distance from the ground.