MEDLI's electronics box being fitted (Photo: NASA)
Rear view of Curiosity's heat shield (Photo: NASA)
Artwork of Curiosity entering the Martian atmosphere (Image: NASA)
Heat profile map of heat shield with locations of MEDLI sensor plugs (Image: NASA)
This Sunday will see one of the most dramatic events in the history of space exploration. On August 5, 2012 at 10:31 PM PDT (August 6, 05:31 GMT), the nuclear-powered science rover Curiosity will reach Mars It will involve one of the most complex, most daring landings ever attempted. Ironically, it may end in one of two ways - a triumph for the men and women of NASA as the Curiosity lander sends back its first signals from the red planet or utter silence. And the key to this is a heat shield that is so new to the field of planetary exploration that it is an experiment in itself.
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