Yes, the time has come to land the largest and most advanced robotic explorer that has ever been sent to any planet thus far. This is truly exciting when you consider the sheer amount of data it will supply our nascent space faring civilization. Only 2 more days ’till touch down!
MSL Right on Course — TCM-5 Cancelled
Fri, 03 Aug 2012 04:43:25 PM EDT
With less than three days to go before touchdown on the Red Planet, Curiosity remains in good health, with all systems operating as expected. Given the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft’s consistent and stable course, today the project decided that the planned Trajectory Correction Maneuver 5 (TCM-5) and its corresponding update to parameters for the autonomous software controlling events during entry, descent and landing will not be necessary. As of 12:35 p.m. today PDT (3:35 p.m. EDT), the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was approximately 468,000 miles (753,200 kilometers) from Mars, or a little less than twice the distance from Earth to the moon. It is traveling at about 8,000 mph (3,576 meters per second). It will gradually increase in speed to about 13,200 mph (5,900 meters per second) by the time it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere.