Questions and answers about Curiosity

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WHY MARS AGAIN?

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In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars.  NASA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
NASA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars.

The big unknown remains. Scientists want to know if any form of life ever existed there, and that means microscopic organisms. Curiosity is the most ambitious effort ever to burrow into that question, though it is not equipped to look for actual microbes. During its two-year exploration, it will try to answer whether the giant crater had the right conditions to support that type of life.

WHAT WILL CURIOSITY DO?

Curiosity carries a toolbox of 10 instruments, including a rock-zapping laser and a mobile organic chemistry lab. It also has a long robotic arm that can jackhammer into rocks and soil. It will hunt for the basic ingredients of life, including carbon-based compounds, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and oxygen, as well as minerals that might provide clues about possible energy sources.

HOW MUCH DID THIS COST?

$2.5 billion. Development took longer than planned, delaying the mission for two years and costing $1 billion more than the original budget. But that extra time is credited in part with the safe landing of the one-ton rover which required new technologies and highly complicated maneuvers.

WHEN WILL WE SEND ASTRONAUTS TO MARS?

President Barack Obama has set a goal for astronauts to orbit Mars by the mid-2030s followed by a landing. Before that can happen, the plan is to send astronauts to an asteroid first.

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rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 08/06/12 - 07:47 am
1
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In the latest breaking

In the latest breaking news,"Little green men were seen gathering around this new space vehicle in wonderment of what antiquity has landed on their planet. The vehicle will give new insight into exactly how their technology evolved. After a thorough inspection the vehicle will be placed in a Martian desert next to what once was a big lake, and occasionally they will drop off a bag of ice." Stay tuned for more developments.

itsanotherday1
40123
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itsanotherday1 08/06/12 - 09:22 am
2
5
It seems to me that this

It seems to me that this $2.5B budget buster could have been postponed until better economic times.

142
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Dan White 08/06/12 - 09:40 am
3
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What a great day for the USA!

In the midst of so much gloom and doom, Curiosity's successful landing on Mars is a glorious time for the USA! I'm proud to be an American! USA - still the greatest nation on earth!

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/06/12 - 09:52 am
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1
The $2.5B was budgeted when

The $2.5B was budgeted when economic times WERE better.......back when congress used to pass budgets.

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/06/12 - 10:21 am
7
0
"It seems to me that this

"It seems to me that this $2.5B budget buster could have been postponed until better economic times."

The TSA cost $8.2B in 2011. Curiosity and TSA stopped the same number of terrorists. Also- this worked, and is an amazing moment and success for American. We need more of this. Less wars, more science.

rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 08/06/12 - 10:38 am
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3
Somehow I just can't make the

Somehow I just can't make the correlation between less war and more science. I can hear it now, as the terrorist plan their next attack, " We can't attack America any more, I hear they've got armed Martians now.."

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/06/12 - 10:54 am
5
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"The TSA cost $8.2B in 2011.

"The TSA cost $8.2B in 2011. Curiosity and TSA stopped the same number of terrorists. Also- this worked, and is an amazing moment and success for American. We need more of this. Less wars, more science."

How true......and Curiosity, while "curious" didn't feel anyone up on it's mission.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 08/06/12 - 11:22 am
1
3
This is cool

This is really really cool. A $300,000 sports car in my driveway would be cool too. How would I look spending that much because it's cool. Why do we want have a TSPLOST to pay for roads?

KSL
121283
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KSL 08/06/12 - 10:49 pm
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So Obama is enjoying the

So Obama is enjoying the success story of this mission. How long has it been budgeted and planned for. At the same time, he has called for a drastic change in NASA's mission and a big reach out to Muslim countries. He is having his cake and eating it too.

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