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.
Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science 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, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight – www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter