With the details of all four landing sites on the table, we started day 3 of the meeting by hearing from the engineers and several scientists about the properties of the ellipses, the risks for landing and the capabilities of the landing system.
With the astronomical community is buzzing with news of an exoplanet found in a star's habitable zone, The Planetary Society will co-sponsor a special event that will be streamed live on Monday, October 4.
I just posted the following update to the Mars Climate Sounder Team Website. I didn't realize until this message came in to my inbox that it is now one Mars year before Curiosity lands. Tick, tick, tick...
As Opportunity picked up the pace to Endeavour Crater this month and crossed the halfway point on the long journey from Victoria Crater and Spirit continued sleeping in hibernation mode, the Mars Exploration Rovers chalked up their 81st month of what was supposed to have been just a three-month tour of the Red Planet.
I left the first day of the Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop on Monday just as they were getting in to the site-specific presentations. I left with no concern that I'd miss anything, though, because I knew that once he got done presenting his own work on Gale Crater, Cornell grad student Ryan Anderson would be taking notes and blogging the presentations on the other three sites.
Today was jam-packed with interesting stuff about Mawrth, Holden, and Eberswalde! I took tons of notes, and I will try to use those to assemble a coherent picture of what was presented and discussed today.
Out in space, the most exciting things cooking this month are on Deep Impact, which is fast approaching comet Hartley 2 for a November 4 encounter, and at the Moon, which should soon see a second orbiter, China's Chang'E 2, which is set to launch Friday.
Two weeks ago Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) started a four-week campaign to support entry, descent, and landing phase for the next Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory (or "Curiosity").