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Topic: UHF Radio Data

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft just two hours from daring Mars Landing and delivery of the Curiosity Rover

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is healthy and right on course for a landing in two hours that will be one of the most difficult feats of robotic exploration ever attempted.

Emotions are strong in the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, as the hours and miles race toward touchdown of the car-size Curiosity at about 10:31pm PDT tonight (about 12:31am August 6th, CDT).

“Excitement is building while the team is diligently monitoring the spacecraft,” said Mission Manager Brian Portock of JPL. “It’s natural to get anxious before a big event, but we believe we are very well prepared.”

This artist's still shows how NASA's Curiosity rover will communicate with Earth during landing. As the rover descends to the surface of Mars, it will send out two different types of data: basic radio-frequency tones that go directly to Earth (pink dashes) and more complex UHF radio data (blue circles) that require relaying by orbiters. NASA's Odyssey orbiter will pick up the UHF signal and relay it immediately back to Earth, while NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will record the UHF data and play it back to Earth at a later time. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s still shows how NASA’s Curiosity rover will communicate with Earth during landing. As the rover descends to the surface of Mars, it will send out two different types of data: basic radio-frequency tones that go directly to Earth (pink dashes) and more complex UHF radio data (blue circles) that require relaying by orbiters. NASA’s Odyssey orbiter will pick up the UHF signal and relay it immediately back to Earth, while NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will record the UHF data and play it back to Earth at a later time. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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