Marc Kaufman

How to Drive a Mars Rover

    Mars, and the Curiosity rover now exploring it, are 120 million miles away.  Back at mission control, rover cameras show a rocky incline, maybe ten feet ahead, near the path Curiosity is supposed to travel.  How does NASA make ...

Scene of a Martian Landing

  It has the feel of a crime scene shot—a grainy black-and-white photo with arrows pointing to where the salient evidence was found. Back shell, parachute, sky crane, heat shield, and at the center, Curiosity. But the absorbing image ...

Curiosity Landing on Mars Greeted with Whoops and Tears of Jubilation

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California — It was the picture-perfect precision during descent, the way that each milestone was reached and passed so seamlessly, the speed with which the 9-month voyage raced to its Martian destination, the apparent ease of it ...

All Eyes on Mars

    Near midnight of August 5, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft will enter the Martian atmosphere at some 13,200 miles per hour.  It has at most seven minutes to lose all that speed or the Curiosity rover it’s carrying will ...