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Planetary Society Hangout: March 7th, 2013 - What's Going On With Curiosity and a NASA Budget Update

Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier

07-03-2013 12:35 CST

Topics: mission status, podcasts and videos, Planetary Society Video, FY2014 NASA Budget, Mars, radio telescopes

Curiosity sampling the Martian surface NASA / JPL

The Curiosity rover hit an unexpected snag last week and had to switch over to a backup computer. It's coming out of "Safe Mode" operations later this week, but JPL engineers are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.

We'll talk to Emily Lakdawalla, who's been following the story, about what happened, what it means for Curiosity, and how the team proceeds from here. There is also the small matter of a massive solar storm headed for Mars, which will make Curiosity hunker down for a few days, too.

We will also speak to Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan before he flies down to Chile for the opening of the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. He's been making an audio diary of his trip, and he'll give us the latest on this gorgeous new telescope array that will unlock new secrets of the universe.

Finally, we check in with the recent issues regarding NASA's budget, particular for Planetary Science. Sequestration is upon the U.S. government, and the House of Representatives just proposed a new budget to fund the government for the remainder of 2013. We'll talk about where we stand and how this uncertainty is effecting NASA's Planetary Science program.

You can ask questions during the Hangout by using the hashtag, #planetarylive on Twitter, posting comments to this page, or on the YouTube page of the video.

I will embed the video here a few minutes before noon PST/2000h UTC on Thursday. If you do not see the video, at that point, or the video does not appear to work, please try reloading the page.

See other posts from March 2013


Or read more blog entries about: mission status, podcasts and videos, Planetary Society Video, FY2014 NASA Budget, Mars, radio telescopes


Marco Frissen: 03/07/2013 02:22 CST

Hi, what I actually meant in my question (@mfrissen) is: - in the future, electronic components like CPU and memory will probably be made using smaller engineering standards. Look at regular computer CPUs. Now they are made on 25nm instead of 40nm two years ago. Space has different criteria, but even there, minimalization will happen, especially in commercial space, using more "off the shelf" products. So, with the smaller components, it means there is less space between their microscopical elements of e.g. a CPU or flash memory. Does this increase the risk of a particle impacting significantly?

William Miller: 03/07/2013 02:30 CST

Curious as to your thoughts on the Mars One initiative out of the Netherlands.

Gerald: 03/08/2013 09:15 CST

@mfrissen: Noisy digital data can usually be made safer by additional parity bits (for error correction) and more hologram-like (non-local) data storage. So if one storage position is hit by a charged particle, it may be corrected by valid data stored at a different location, and restored.

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