Curiosity landing on the Red Planet

The Mars Science Laboratory – The NASA rover Curiosity will land down on Mars on Monday, August 6, 2012, as estimated today at 3:31am AEST. This mission, lasting one Martian-year (98 Earth weeks),  is of both scientific and human significance.  Curiosity will be fulfilling the prospecting stage of a step-by-step program of exploration, reconnaissance, prospecting and mining evidence for a definitive answer to the question “Has life existed on Mars?”

If you’re curious and can’t wait the touch down event – watch a real-time visualization of its journey through space and get up-to-date data sets using NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System 3-D interactive.

These up-to-the-minute computer simulations show the Mars Science Laboratory's current position on the journey between Earth and Mars.

While we’re all waiting for Curiosity to make its debut on Mars, I would like to remind ourselves of  Ray Bradbury, an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer, who discusses Mars and the  future of space exploration in a rare interview available online.

Bradbury attended several major space mission events at JPL/Caltech. On Nov. 12, 1971, on the eve of Mariner 9 going into orbit at Mars, Bradbury took part in a symposium at Caltech with Arthur C. Clarke, journalist Walter Sullivan, and scientists Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. In this excerpt, Bradbury reads his poem, “If Only We Had Taller Been.” Enjoy this fantastically beautiful video, and watch NASA TV  for landing day coverage.

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Danica is an internet researcher, consultant and speaker on social media and digital inclusion. Her academic research is rooted in her own practical experiences breaking down digital walls in central European society. She is Tech, and Research editor for Australian Science. Read more of her work at her blog, and follow her on twitter @DanicaR.

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