Business

New Mars lander touches down today

An artist's impression of "Curiosity" on Mars, assuming it isn't destroyed in a catastrophy of fire and mechano as it attempts to land.
An artist's impression of "Curiosity" on Mars, assuming it isn't destroyed in a catastrophy of fire and mechano as it attempts to land. NASA

SET your clocks, because at 3.31pm AEST, the Mars rover "Curiosity" will be landing on a crater on a faraway planet, ready to feed back information to Earthlings glued to their computers.

The first signals will be beamed to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex which has been deemed the "prime tracking station", listening to information through antennas in Canberra, Parkes and New Norcia near Perth.

Through the CDSCC, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will analyse the "seven minutes of terror" as the $2.5 billion spent on the project hinges on a spacecraft heading towards the ground at 20,000kmh.

Very low-resolution black-and-white images will be taken moments after landing, but the very first pictures from the rover's left and right cameras will not arrive at NASA for about two hours.

Of the 12 cameras, half are described as "back-ups" in case the others encounter technical issues.

Mission manager Jennifer Trosper said these first images will show engineers what obstacles surround the rover and indicate where it landed.

"Ensuring the rover is on stable ground is important before raising the rover's mast," she said.

"We are using an entirely new landing system on this mission, so we are proceeding with caution.

"The mast features a number of high-tech cameras, which may not be deployed for days after the landing.

Once deployed, it will begin taking 360-degree panorama images which will then take three days to arrive on Earth.

NASA will give updates on the landing and results on its official website, www.nasa.gov.

Curious Martian

Latest 900kg rover to Mars named "Curiosity".

It is designed to assess if Mars ever supported microscopic life forms. Curiosity's journey has taken 8.5 months to travel 567 million kilometres. It will (hopefully) in a part of a crater that measures 20km by 7km at the base of a mountain.

Topics:  nasa




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

10 things to remember when you move out of a rental property

Here are some useful tips for people moving out of rental properties

Warwick vet pleads 'stop risking our lives'

IMMUNITY BOOST: Warwick vet Chris Reardon welcomed the extension of the hendra virus vaccine to 12 months after three doses following extensive lab testing (pictured with Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott).

Vets welcome hendra vaccine extension

Warwick bookworms mark Lifeline Bookfest as a must

Lifeline volunteers Melissa Parker and Veronica Betts browse through some of the books that will be sold at the Daily News Lifeline Warwick Bookfest this weekend.

Lifeline Bookfest coming to Warwick

Latest deals and offers


She’ll be apples in Stanthorpe as festival kicks off

Jonathan Apple, festival president John Thouard, former Young Ambassadors Miriam Spina and Taylah Wantling and Isabella Grape welcomed the start of the 2016 Festival.

It’s a great start for the 10 days of festival ahead'

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago