NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity to its friends, is taking shape inside a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA engineers want the public to see their handiwork as they assemble the most ambitious interplanetary explorer ever designed. Watch it here on Ustream.
We already watched as Curiosity took its first baby steps this summer; now you can follow along live as it is put together, piece by piece. Last week, NASA set up a webcam, albeit without audio, from a viewing gallery above the clean room floor. Viewers can watch as new pieces are added — on Oct. 26, workers attached Curiosity's 7-foot-long robotic arm.
Every so often, Curiosity engineers will host live web chats to answer questions about the rover and its science instruments, according to JPL. Curiosity is designed to go farther than its predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity, and its instruments will hunt for signs of life.
The car-sized rover is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center a little more than a year from now, and it will arrive on Mars in August 2012, according to NASA. Lots more work must be done before that — to that end, bunny-suited engineers start working in the clean room at 8 a.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday.
Sometimes the rover might be in a different area where it can't be seen, and NASA warns that the webcam might shut off occasionally. But the camera has a pretty wide view, so odds are you'll be able to watch as engineers do who-knows-what.
Will it use nanotube vacuum sealed flywheels to replace the NASA’s G1 and G2 as batteries? If the G2 was done in nanotubes it will be ten times stronger and can hold ten times the energy, and several in opposing spin will actively counter one another’s yaw force. That should give this rover a 40 year plus life span.
The winds and what not will wear the rover out long before 40 years, by then according to Obama, we might be there by then, however unlikely.
no one was doing anything when I watched it.
For some reason they remind of oompa loompas. maybe it's the angle.
holy crap, one of them was lazin off, playin on his I-phone XD