If you haven’t been following the Mars rover Curiosity landing that happened last night, I thought the Los Angeles Times did a good job covering it in this story about the landing itself and in this one that shows how it unfolded on Twitter. The Mars rover Curiosity landed safely last night.
Here’s more detail from our press release earlier today:
“Launched on Nov. 26, 2011, Curiosity landed on the Red Planet at 10:32 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Aug. 5, 2012 near the base of a mountain inside the Gale Crater near the Martian equator. Researchers plan to use Curiosity to study the mountain’s layers which hold evidence about the wet environments of early Mars and may hold clues about whether the planet ever offered conditions favorable for life. The rolling laboratory will search for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life.
JPL’s Dell HPC clusters, Galaxy and Nebula, provided vital support to NASA’s Curiosity rover in analyzing the vast amounts of test data needed to correctly prepare the rover for entering the Martian atmosphere and landing it on the planet. This difficult task was powered by Dell PowerEdge servers that make up the Galaxy and Nebula clusters. The final landing sequence parameters developed by the mission team, which was tested and validated using the Dell HPC clusters, were uploaded last week to Curiosity.”
Congratulations to the thousands of people at NASA who have been working for years to get this project off the ground. This is one of those things that I’m pumped to see that Dell was a part of. If you’re interested in keeping up with things related to this, NASA’s doing a great job keeping people informed throughout the landing and beyond.
Update: Here's Christine Fronczak's post on the High Performance Computing blog that discusses Dell's role in more detail.
Above photo from NASA HQ’s Flickr Stream
- Mars Jet Propulsion Laboratory website – A good overview off the mission itself that aggregates a lot of information on the project.
- NASAJPLnews: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s YouTube Channel – This channel has some great videos that explain the science behind the multi-billion dollar project.
- NASA on Google+ – Regular updates from NASA including images, videos and more
- NASA HQ Flickr Photostream – See the Mars Landing set where I found the cool landing celebration picture embedded in this post and a lot more.
- @MarsCuriosity – Tweets from the Mars Curiosity rover.
- Twitter Hashtags – There are several, but it looks like #MSL and #Curiosity are two of the main ones. #STEM is a good broader one to follow as well. Even though it’s not a hashtag, JPL is a good topic to track on Twitter as well.
Congrats again to the teams of people who worked a long time to make this a realty. If you know of any other good Mars rover Curiosity links I should include, let me know in the comments below or via @LionelatDell on Twitter.