Ladies and gentlemen, NASA has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign as we approach Gale Crater on Mars. Weather conditions remain within seasonal norms with the skies being dominated by diffuse water ice clouds.
If you haven’t already done so, please cancel all your engagements in the evening of 5th August. Please take your computer and browse to http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/. Make sure your chair and table are in a comfortable position and hold-on tight!
If you are in a city with a space centre or university with a planetary science department, please read carefully the special instructions located here. If you are unable to reach a public event, make sure you have a good internet connection and follow the event at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/ or on NASA TV.
In case of diversions during the event, ask others around you to attend to any issues while you continue to watch the coverage. At this time, we request that all mobile phones, pagers (anyone still uses them?), radios and remote controlled toys be turned off for the full duration of the flight, as these items might interfere with your ultimate Mars landing experience. We request that apart from your computer connected to the internet, all other non-essential electronic devices be turned off until after MSL has landed. NASA will notify you when it is safe to use such devices, with words to the effect of “Touchdown”.
We remind you that this is a free event. Inviting friends, family and work colleagues to join is great idea. Facebook is discouraged unless advertising the event or sharing this blog post and spreading the joy. Twitter access is permitted but only if every tweet ends with an exclamation mark!
Please be advised that some viewers may find the images and audio during the event too exhilarating and could be overcome by emotion. We suggest planning for some tears, hugs and kisses.
If you have any questions about the MSL’s landing, please don’t hesitate to ask Dr. C.
Dr. C. is your personal Mars Expert designed to answer your questions about Mars. He is a computerized scientist based on the real life scientist Dr. Phil Christensen at the Arizona State University.
Thank you for choosing to fly with the Mars Science Laboratory. We hope you enjoy the rest of the journey!