Anita Sengupta, a senior systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), also played an instrumental role in the much talked about EDL. A parachute tested by aerospace engineer Anita Sengupta is among critical mission elements that will determine the fate of the US spacecraft as it attempts to safely deposit a robotic rover.
The Mars Exploration Program is a science-driven program that seeks to understand whether Mars was, is, or can be, a habitable world. Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies. So far, the exploration of Mars has occurred in three stages: Fly-bys, Orbiters, Landers & Rovers. Future Exploration may include: Airplanes, Balloons, Subsurface Explorers and Sample Return Missions.
The probe this time streaks into the Martian atmosphere at 13,000mph and begins an intricate set of manoeuvres designed to drop its cargo onto the surface of the planet with no more than a gentle bump. Two times larger and five times heavier than old-generation Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity rivals a small SUV in size and carries 15 times the weight of the scientific instruments that Spirit and Opportunity have.– entry, descent and landing – sequence, which has been dubbed as “seven minutes of terror,” by engineers.
Mars is cooperating by providing good weather for landing. The dust storm in southern Mars, which was monitored by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter appears to be dissipating. Scientists are elated to see the development. The Curiosity is to land at Mars at 11.01am IST. The Indians are proud because of scientists like Amitabh Ghosh and Anita Sengupta who are associated intimately with the Mars exploration and particularly with the landing of Curiosity.
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