Robots have to be able to move, perhaps quickly, on all kinds of terrain — search and rescue missions on remote parts of Earth or explorations on other planets like Mars will require it. So terradynamic researchers at Georgia Tech are creating and testing robots that have different leg shapes, all inspired by animals, to handle movement in a variety of environments. Bonus technology: 3D printing.
Watch the spring thaw of seasonal dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) on Mars, brought to us by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Want to see what it looked like for Curiosity as it hurtled toward the surface of Mars? After the heat shield separates, the car-sized rover, still protected by its back shell, continued to fall quickly toward Mars by parachute, until it separated from the back shell and began its powered descent and touchdown (via sky crane) to the ground.
Using footage provided by NASA, Reddit user Godd2 just spent the last four days on behalf of all humankind creating a stunning interpolated HD version of the descent. In layman’s terms interpolation involves taking a choppy video, in this case NASA’s 4 frames-per-second video, and rendering the “missing” frames in between resulting in an incredibly smooth 25 frames-per-second video.
Compared to the more suspenseful Seven Minutes of Terror video, this one is rather majestic, and inspires awe in a completely different way.
Get a behind the scenes look a the tension, anticipation and exhilaration experienced by scientists and engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. during the Curiosity rover’s harrowing descent through the Martian atmosphere — known as “Seven Minutes of Terror.” News of Curiosity’s safe touchdown following the 13-thousand-to-zero-mile-an-hour descent to the Red Planet’s surface brought elation and high-fives all around. Curiosity begins a two-year investigation of whether Mars is or ever was capable of supporting microbial life.
SCIENCE! Watching Mars Curiosity land last night was *extremely* exciting, but it was just as exciting to share it with the kid this morning.
We watched two videos: the one above focuses on the team at JPL and the one below also shows the animated simulation (which feels just slightly off from the action in the control room, but perhaps better illustrates for kids what’s going on).