Locklin on science

The Mars Science Laboratory is a Rube Goldberg contraption

Posted in big machines by Scott Locklin on August 4, 2012

Mars missions have a troubled history; lots of outright failures have happened -more than half if you count international missions. Why NASA thought it was a good idea to take this many risks on a high-dollar mission … well, I dunno. Maybe it isn’t as risky as it looks, but I wouldn’t want to have to make book on the success of this mission. All kinds of things can go wrong; from the supersonic parachute, to the radar, to the weird maneuvers (how about … just cutting the damn parachute?),  to the wacky “sky-crane” idea (um, what about using shrink-wrap, dudes?). I hope it works, and will cheer for them if it does, but I’m not real optimistic.

That said, the rover is a really cool thing.

Edit add: Success!

Nothing like hindsight bias to make something look easy!


2 Responses

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  1. Barry Fay said, on August 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    great video! Even a dumb hippie like myself can appreciate the wonder of the thing and how fun it must be to think up all these “solutions”. I´ll be setting my alarm for 7:30 Monday morning (German time) and hoping for
    the best.

  2. maggette said, on August 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I am so excited. Hope this work out as planed:)

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