“The Olympics is cool and all but today NASA is lowering a car sized rover onto Mars using nylon strings attached to a rocket powered shelf.” That was US-based New Zealander and astrophysicist @CatherineQ, tweeting ahead of the big event later today, NZ time.
But the coolness inherent in the effort is not lost on the people at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They’ve dubbed the attempt to land the Curiosity Mars rover “the 7 Minutes of Terror”, and given the enterprise the full Hollywood treatment in this video:
(Just as compelling is this infographic of the landing.)
And if you think the “7 minutes of terror” slug shows the Nasa PR nous, get this: they’ve enlisted William Shatner and Will Wheaton to narrate rival accounts of Curiosity’s “Grand Entrance”.
The landing is scheduled for 5.30pm NZ time today. Follow it here.