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Packing a Mars Rover for the Trip to Florida; Time Lapse Video

Check out this way cool time-lapse movie of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover as its being packed up for her trip to Florida.

The video covers a 4 day period from June 13 to 17 and is condensed to just 1 minute. Watch the JPL engineers and technicians prepare Curiosity and the descent stage for shipping to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and place it inside a large protective shipping container.

The rover and descent stage will be delivered to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at KSC is the next stop for Curiosity on its way to Destination Mars. Curiosity will be shipped to Florida in the next few days. The facility is used for NASA landers subject to the most stringent planetary protection requirements.

Curiosity will be delivered to a high tech cleanroom at KSC. After arriving, the rover will undergo a wide ranging series of flight system checks to insure the rover is ready to rove on the red planet and that it survived the shipping across the US. Also, installation of the final few components including the RTG power source will be completed.

The launch window for Curiosity open on November 25. The rover will blast to space atop a powerful Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Curiosity is larger than Spirit and Opportunity, measuring some three meters long and equipped with a much more powerful array of science instruments. Curiosity will search for environmental conditions that could have been conducive to supporting martian life – in the past or present – if it ever even existed.

About 

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calanders including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and NASA Wallops on over 40 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tony Power June 23, 2011, 4:54 AM

    I used to transport cargo accross the country here in Austraila. Had a few accidents with forklifts and such loading and unloading. I would be scared out of my wits if I was transporting this thing.

    • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE June 23, 2011, 12:36 PM

      “Austraila”?

      • Patrick Ahles June 23, 2011, 1:43 PM

        Wow, somebody made a typo. How funny! :(

        • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE June 23, 2011, 3:37 PM

          Chill, dude. I just found it funny that an Australian, of all people, would misspell the name of his country. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing personal against Australians; I think that they have a great sense of humour — which you seem to be lacking in!

        • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE June 23, 2011, 3:37 PM

          Chill, dude. I just found it funny that an Australian, of all people, would misspell the name of his country. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing personal against Australians; I think that they have a great sense of humour — which you seem to be lacking in!

          • William Sparrow June 23, 2011, 11:44 PM

            err, a dangling preposition? I thought you were better than that IVAN.

          • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE June 24, 2011, 11:40 AM

            Comments are generally informal writing; however, in formal writing, a dangling preposition is something up with which I will not put! ;-)

          • Patrick Ahles June 24, 2011, 10:16 AM

            Oh come on, this isn’t first time you take pleasure in “correcting” other people… At some point it just stops being funny.

          • Torbjörn Larsson June 24, 2011, 12:12 PM

            Who is obsessive, the repetitive person or the person who takes notice?

            [I’m just kidding, it is like other irritants; if you never scratch you aren’t healthy either. Just don’t dig too deep. :-/]

        • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE June 23, 2011, 3:37 PM

          Chill, dude. I just found it funny that an Australian, of all people, would misspell the name of his country. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing personal against Australians; I think that they have a great sense of humour — which you seem to be lacking in!

  • Anonymous June 23, 2011, 5:05 AM

    [IVAN]Should be “it’s” with an apostrophe in the first sentence, and “conditions” in the last.[/IVAN]

  • Anonymous June 23, 2011, 9:49 AM

    How much is that Rover worth? (insurance must be a challenge!)

  • Anonymous June 23, 2011, 3:19 PM

    I’m assuming they’ve built two of these vehicles (a twin) as they’ve done with previous rovers. They do this for problem-solving purposes, the need to replicate the conditions and situations occurring on the Martian surface.

  • Tater Nogin June 23, 2011, 8:51 PM

    I’d thing the Vegas odds are against this thing making it. The descent to landing profile is a Rube Goldberg design.

    • William Sparrow June 23, 2011, 11:47 PM

      I’ll gladly take your money! To Jose’s point below, there may be a twin. BTW, before IVAN points it out, “thing” should be “think”.

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