After the NASA rover Curiosity made its flawless landing on the Red Planet last weekend, scientists cheered and raised their hands in delirious triumph. It was a spontaneous reaction of the sort we have witnessed dozens of times at Olympic venues, and appropriately so — America had won the science gold, again.
The complexity of the rover’s landing was a quantum technological leap beyond anything NASA has attempted in planetary exploration. After traveling 354 million miles, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity had to slow in just minutes from about 12,000 mph. It arrived at the thin Martian atmosphere with parachutes deployed, rockets firing and skycrane unwinding.… Seguir leyendo »