On August 6, 2012 (EST), NASA’s Curiosity spacecraft will complete its 255-day, 354-million-mile journey and plunge down into Gale Crater, its target on the martian surface, decelerating from 13,200 to 0 mph in 7 minutes. The whole world will be watching this, the most complicated and precise landing ever undertaken, and wondering: What’s the inside story on this Curiosity mission, and what do NASA scientists hope Curiosity will find? In this e-short, written by Washington Post science correspondent Marc Kaufman and published just as the suspense builds, with Curiosity hurtling toward Mars, space science readers, techies, and informed news junkies will find answers to these and other fascinating questions about the red planet.
MARC KAUFMAN writes about NASA and space science for NationalGeographic.com/NewsWatch and The Washington Post, where he was a reporter on the national staff for 10 years. Kirkus listed his previous book, First Contact, as one of the best nonfiction titles in 2011. He has worked as a foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, reporting from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, and as New Delhi bureau chief for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His articles have appeared in New York, Smithsonian, and Condé Nast Traveler.
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