NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft with the Curiosity rover is scheduled to arrive on the Martian surface at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity will search for evidence on Mars of environments and chemical ingredients favorable for microbial life.
Ames is playing a vital role in Curiosity’s mission. Come talk to the scientists and engineers who are helping make this exciting mission possible, and learn about Ames’ contributions:
• Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin): Ames scientists developed this instrument to identify and quantify the minerals in Martian rocks and soils.
• Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE (MSLICE): Ames engineers developed a software tool in collaboration with engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to plan the science activities of the Mars rover and maximize scientific research.
• Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA): Ames researchers invented the unique thermal protection system consisting of tiles made of phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA) that the MSL spacecraft will use to safely reach the surface of the Red Planet; Ames’ engineers tested PICA in Ames’ unique Arc Jet facility.
• Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrument (MEDLI): Engineers from Ames and NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., collaborated to design and build sophisticated plugs with multiple temperature sensors that measure atmospheric conditions and performance of the heat shield.
• Wind tunnel testing: Ames engineers conducted a full-scale MSL parachute deployment, small-scale verification tests, as well as supersonic tests to study the interaction between the MSL Capsule and parachute during atmospheric entry.
• Booths also provided by Hiller Aviation Museum, Exploratorium, SETI Institute, and much more!
4 p.m.: Doors open. Grab a snack at one of the gourmet food trucks.
5 – 8 p.m.: Ames Expo – The Ames Community will exhibit its contributions to the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Mission. Explore booths and displays, meet scientists, and learn how they helped make this exciting mission possible. Did you know that we helped develop the largest supersonic parachute, or what the CheMin instrument is looking for? Come find out!
8 p.m. – 10 p.m.: ‘Ask A Scientist:’ Several scientists, including Chris McKay, Ames’ senior scientist and renowned Mars expert, will deliver presentations and share stories about Mars and why we are so curious about it!
10 p.m. – midnight: NASA TV Live Broadcast – we will tune in to the control room at JPL to find out what’s happening as the Curiosity mission unfolds and learn what happens next in NASA’s incredible journey to Mars.
Register for your tickets now and join us in this historic event celebrating the Mars Rover Curiosity and the important role played in the mission by NASA Ames and Silicon Valley.
Additional Event information will be emailed prior to event.
Sign up now on the Online Event Registration page!
You may also like John Marmie’s LCROSS Song Finding “Water on the Moon”… listen for the line that says “Curiosity will lead the way”!
Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff