The dramatic announcement by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in August 2012 to launch a mission to Mars surprised everyone. It went further. In order to catch the next Mars launch window ISRO committed to a launch in November 2013. Miss that and they will have to wait for at least two years for the next one. This is an extra-ordinarily bold undertaking for a space agency with the experience of only a single mission beyond Earth orbit under its belt.
Since the mid 1970s six spacecraft (Viking 1 & 2, Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit and Phoenix) have successfully landed on the surface of Mars. In probably the most audacious, breathtaking and risky space missions, in less than two days, another Mars Curiosity Rover will arrive on Mars. Using a technique never used before, NASA has described [...]
Mars Curiosity landing in a nutshell (less than 3 minutes audio below) by Dr Anita Sengupta from the Entry Decent & Landing and Advanced Technologies group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Full interview in Episode 55 – tomorrow.