Dare Mighty Things: It’s Been 2,000 Days Since Humankind Successfully Landed a 2,000lb Rover on Mars! @NASA @NASAJPL @MarsCuriosity
A rover roving around the surface of the planet Mars seems nothing new to us now. Sojourner deployed in 1997 – but it had a mass of only 25lbs. Twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity both arrived in 2004 via bouncy ball deployment – a novel concept at the time for machines that had a mass just above 400lbs. But how to deposit a 1,982lb rover with lots of sensitive equipment required more outside-the-box thinking than even the bouncy ball technique would resolve. The “skycrane maneuver” used to deploy rover Curiosity on the Martian surface is still a bewildering feat of multiple stages of engineering and communication. If you haven’t seen it before here’s the JPL video that shows how this is done:
Curiosity has returned many images of the surface of the planet and made many interesting discoveries along the way:
Mars may be named for the god of war, but these weird things aren't cannonballs. They're pebbles.
The round 5mm concretion I found (L) contains calcium sulfate, sodium + magnesium, making it different from the hematite-rich "blueberries" (R) @MarsRovers Opportunity found. Cool! pic.twitter.com/BDWwrOv02l
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.