On Aug. 6, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory will try to land its new space rover, Curiosity, on Mars. Their record on landing other spacecraft on Mars is spotty. And with this upcoming attempt there is, quite literally, no margin of error.
Here, some NASA engineers explain:
To celebrate such an event, NASA will obviously be broadcasting the event live (well, delayed by 14 minutes — the time it takes Curiosity’s transmissions to reach Earth) — but it has also produced two educational videos to inform the lay masses about the Curiosity mission, narrated by none other than William Shatner and Wil Wheaton. Both videos are exactly the same — except for the fact that Shatner’s slow, dulcet drawl results in a video that is four seconds longer. Your choice: original Star Trek, or The Next Generation.
Personally, I’m a fan of Shatner’s rendition — but given his previous attempt at a dramatic reading of Elton John’s Rocket Man, he is slightly more experienced than Wheaton.[extremetech.com]
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