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Rover Curiosity To Land On Mars Sunday

Evening Edition

Lisa Will, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at San Diego City College and a Reuben H Fleet resident astronomer, and Jerry Hilburn, a NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab Solar System Ambassador since 2005, talk to KPBS about the Mars Rover landing.

Aired 8/2/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Lisa Will, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at San Diego City College and Reuben H Fleet resident astronomer.

Jerry Hilburn, is a NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab Solar System Ambassador since 2005, Hilburn is an active member in the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Mike Ravine, Ph.D., is advanced projects manager for, Malin Space Science Systems, the San Diego company responsible for designing and operating the four cameras on the Mars Rover Curiosity.


'Mount Sharp' Inside Gale Crater, Mars.  This is the landing site for the Rov...
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Above: 'Mount Sharp' Inside Gale Crater, Mars. This is the landing site for the Rover Curiosity.

Space enthusiasts will face “seven minutes of terror” as the Mars rover named Curiosity makes its descent on the Red Planet this Sunday.

“This is probably the most ambitious descent attempt,” Reuben H. Fleet resident scientist Lisa Will said.

But you don’t have to shake in your space boots alone. Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is hosting a special landing event that will air a live feed from NASA. Before the descent, the Fleet will take attendees on a journey through Mars in the planetarium and showcase short films highlighting the dangers Curiosity will face.

The event starts Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and costs between $8 and $10.

According to NASA Ambassador Jerry Hilburn, one of reasons the rover is heading to Mars is to see if the planet is a suitable home for humans.

Curiosity will roam Mars for two years, collecting information about radiation, water and geological makeup, or as Hilburn said, “the kinds of things you’d need to know if you were going to put a human on the planet.”


Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

Angelina Canilao contributed to this report.

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