Now that the Mars rover, Curiosity, has landed, we should take a look at some of the new technology that is built into this amazing device. First, let it be stated that it is not an easy task to even get to Mars, let alone land a vehicle on the surface!
Mars is about 350 million miles away. At that distance and calculating for planetary movement, etc. it is akin to shooting a bullet out of the air with another bullet. When the rover enters the Mars orbit and proceeds to initiate landing procedure, it is traveling at around 13,200 miles per hour. All that kinetic energy must be displaced somehow, or the rover would end up smashed and burned into millions of pieces.
So NASA and JPL developed a parachute and ‘sky crane’ system, in which the last mile of the decent, the parachute opened, and a device was deployed that used jet thrusters to slow the momentum. Curiosity landed safely and without incident in a giant crater. Images from the high-resolution camera are expected soon. The rover has its own twitter page, and you can check it out here: https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity
CW pays attention to new technology every day and we constantly evaluate whether it might be a good thing for our clients. With a consult session we can help you be aware of trends and movements in the tech arena and how they can leverage new innovations to their competitive advantage. Think of us as a Mars Rover seeking with your best interest in mind.
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