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article imageLanding of NASA's Curiosity rover will broadcast in New York City

By Nancy Houser     Aug 2, 2012 in Science
The landing on Mars of NASA's $2.5 billion planetary rover, Curiosity, will soon be available for New York City and the world to see. The event will be on dual Toshiba LED screens in New York City's Times Square.
The Toshiba Vision screen in New York City's Times Square is considered the largest East Coast broadcast for the public to view the coverage of the Curiosity touchdown from August 5 at 11:30 p.m. EDT to 4 a.m. the next day. NASA's most advanced planetary rover is equipped with a sophisticated roving toolkit for analyzing the Martian terrain for signs that microbial life once existed.
"We're pleased the Toshiba Vision screens will offer a unique view of this great scientific achievement, the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars," says Eddie Temistokle, senior manager of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility for Toshiba America Inc. told to NASA.
The audio portion of NASA's coverage in New York and around the world will be on the online radio station Third Rock Radio, streamed from the NASA homepage. The TuneIn mobile applications for smart phones and tablets will allow the world to hear the NASA landing.
Interested viewers will see a rocket-powered sky crane lowering the car-sized rover vehicle onto the red Martian planet, even though they will not be able to see a real-time video of its landing. However, the NASA staff will be able to see the live images signaling to them the rover has touched down.
"In a protective 'aeroshell,' the rover will be lowered onto the Martian surface via a jet pack and a tether system similar to the sky cranes used to lower heavy equipment into remote areas on Earth," according to New York Times
In order for the landing to succeed, NASA's MSL spacecraft that is transporting Curiosity to the Martian surface will need to reduce its speed of 13,200 mph, to allow the planetary rover to land on the Martian surface at 1.7 mph. Split-second timing combined with hundreds of events will be controlled autonomously for everything to go right.
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