The Ultimate Autonomous Mode: MSL EDL!

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has begun it’s Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) phase of the mission.

Launched two days after Thanksgiving in 2011, MSL is now poised for its most critical phase of the mission. On Mon. Aug 6 @ 1:31 am EDT, millions of people around the world will be anticipating signals from the one-ton Curiosity rover indicating it has arrived safely on the surface of Mars.

A short video “Seven Minutes of Terror”]( has gone viral and captured the attention of major news media everywhere. Everything MSL needs to do has been programmed and tested over the past several years. With round-trip communication lag of almost a half-hour, the vehicle operates completely autonomously. From Earth, we’re listening for the events as they played out at Mars fourteen minutes earlier.

Special events are being held to witness an incredibly amazing feat of engineering and science. The landing will be streamed on big screens for the public, even in Times Square NYC! Other events have been identified by The Planetary Society.

I will be watching from the Planetfest Event in Pasadena, CA with family, friends and members of FRC Team 980. Shortly after landing, I plan to be back at JPL as a member of the MSL/RAD team. For sure, those seven critical minutes of autonomous action will be heart-pounding excitement.

A newly-released 3-D animation featured here allows the user to control the viewing perspective and speed of Curiosity’s EDL. Check out the preview, then watch the real thing on NASA-TV or at one of the special events.

Go Curiosity!

P.S. This is the biggest and most powerful car Dave sent taken to Mars!

The Autonomous period of this mission is going to be sick, In FRC i thought that just doing something for 15 seconds was crazy, but reentering the atmosphere in autonomous and having it do so many things during that phase is gonna be insane

Regarding PlanetFest, Team 696 will be doing a demo too.

I’ll see you there Mr. Brinza.

Team 696 has an awesome robot; they will represent FRC very well. Team 980 offered to do a demo at Planetfest, but we didn’t hear back.

Of course, this event is really about witnessing history being made in space exploration.

It’s very cool that some of the people who work on MSL are (or have been) involved in FRC.

Don’t forget, it all happens tonight!

Who’s going to be watching? I will be

Ill be watching for sure. on NASA TV now, talking about NASA STEM initiatives and FIRST!

Thanks for the tip!

Less than two hours to go!

I just saw Dave at his station :slight_smile:

EDIT: If you want to stalk Dave here is the direct mission control feed stream.

Should we be worried that Dave Lavery helped design this thing? I mean, what if it starts spewing game hints? Or eating Krispy Kreme during descent? This could be disastrous! :ahh: :ahh: :ahh:

I’m up and watching. Go NASA team!

I have officially now watched more video of the Curiosity landing than I have spent in the past month watching TV, reading the news, or watching the Olympics.

I was pleasantly surprised that just made an appearance on NASA TV to talk about FIRST and STEM.

I’m thinking of hanging a 3D-printed model from my quadrotor.

Do you all really, really want a photo?

Less than 10 minutes from entry and 20 minutes from touchdown! Don’t forget to watch.

It really is crazy that I keep looking for Dave in the background…I feel a little bit like a stalker…:smiley:

I can promise you are not the only one. To quote Aaron

WOW! I just saw Dave Lavery`s Name tag!!! :smiley:

(Sorry I had to)

EDIT: 7 minutes of terror has begun!

its in the 7 minutes of terror! LEEEEEROY JEEEEEENKINS!


Parachute out, wheels down, images up…I think it was successful