Is there life on Mars? NASA Curiosity MSL will find out

David pondered the question aloud in 1971, now perhaps NASA will tell us, thanks to Curiosity's MSL rover, which is scheduled to land on Mars next week. Who's in the best-selling show? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers say it's on America's tortured brow.

Curiosity (NASA)

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: A begging letter from Mark Zuckerberg...

Kenneth Chang's mummy is yelling, "No!" And his daddy has told him to go:

With tightening budgets, it is the last big hurrah for NASA’s planetary program for quite a few years. ... Could there ever have been life there?


Its new home will be the Gale Crater, just south of the of the lowest places on Mars. ... Curiosity’s $2.5 billion mission: studying the environment of early Mars. ... Bits of the Martian past may lie in the rocks at the bottom of the crater...the search is on for...carbon-based molecules.


But before Curiosity can make any discoveries, it has to land.      

Jonathan Amos walks through his sunken dream to the seat with the clearest view:

This mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) should bring about a revolution in our understanding...provided it can land safely.


[It] will approach Mars enclosed in a protective capsule...bigger even than the Apollo Command Module...travelling 20,000km/h. must first hit an "entry keyhole" in the sky just a kilometre or so across. ... the heat shield will experience temperatures above 2,000C.

... 11km altitude and with the descent velocity now reduced to 1,400km/h, the capsule deploys a supersonic parachute...slow[ing] the fall to about 450km/h. ... A "sky crane" holding the rover drops away...using thruster rockets to further slow its descent. ... At just 20m above the ground, the sky crane...lowers the rover down to the surface on three nylon cords.      

And Irene Klotz is hooked to the silver screen, but the film is a sadd'ning bore, for she's lived it ten times or more:

Curiosity," tweaked its flight path. ... Touchdown is scheduled for 1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 6.


The goal is to settle the car-sized to Mount Sharp, which rises from the center of the crater. ... [It] seems to be made of layers of sediments. ... Curiosity may be able to [tell] whether the planet has...ever had the right ingredients and environmental conditions to support life.      

Matt Saincome could spit in the eyes of fools, as they ask him to focus on sailors fighting in the dance hall:

Oh man, look at Rebecca Boyle go; it's the freakiest show:

NASA is enlisting a couple of new videos. ... William Shatner and Wil Wheaton, vets of various "Star Trek" franchises, describe Curiosity’s “seven minutes of terror” as it touches down.


Shatner has phoned the International Space Station...and he’s narrated dramatic space shuttle...videos. Wheaton promotes NASA...funding through his multitudinous social media channels.      


And Finally...

A letter from Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook's earnings

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