Topic: =/\= mars "curiosity" launches tomorrow, 155mpg veggie oil truck  (Read 1658 times)

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Offline stoneyface

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=/\= mars "curiosity" launches tomorrow, 155mpg veggie oil truck
« on: November 25, 2011, 03:42:51 pm »
the new mars rover curiosity is set to launch tomorrow 11-26-11. at a cost of $2.5billion, this is the largest and heaviest rover to date. considering the hugely successful rover program lasting well past their original 90 day mission window, this rover has a lot to live up to. curiosity has 10 specialized science instruments and will land in the 100 mile wide "gale" crater. the atlas-5 rocket is set and ready to go and only the weather is a major concern. if the weather prevents tomorrows lift-off, the next window is dec. 18th. i am very excited about this mission as i followed the other rover missions very closely. i wish the curiosity team all the best luck for a successful mission!
read here for details:  http://www.space.com/13726-nasa-rover-curiosity-ready-launch.html

included in this rover mission is a new method for landing. the previous rovers all landed in a large balloon like structure that included a platform that the rover was mounted to, and a complicated "unfolding deployment" procedure before the rover could even think about starting it's mission. this new method is a controlled descent with a "skycrane" style lowering to the surface. i have seen videos of trial testing of this new system and it looks pretty slick. basically the module descends to a certain altitude, deploys chutes and releases the heat shield. then, it finds it's landing location with radar and fires retrorockets to slow the descent and lowers the rover from the descent module. when the rover reaches "touchdown", the descent module detaches and flies away! brilliant!
read about it here http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-20013105-239.html

lastly today is a neat story about a new record setting diesel pickup that reached 155mph on vegetable oil! yes you heard me right, the latest in bio-diesel technology is starting to gain more and more attention and now the misinformation of bio-fuels is starting to unravel as teams build faster and better engines in normal vehicles. the best part of this story is that this record breaking pickup was built by students! read about it here: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/11/boise-state-veggie-oil-lsr/ their next goal is to beat the diesel record with their bio-fuel vehicle at the speed of 215mph set with a regular diesel engine! go go GO!
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