WASHINGTON — The US space agency has postponed by one day its plan to launch the biggest rover ever to Mars, with the liftoff of the Mars Science Laboratory now set for November 26.
The delay will “allow time for the team to remove and replace a flight termination system battery,” NASA said in a statement.
The launch is now scheduled for 10:02 am (1502 GMT) on Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch window remains open for one hour and 43 minutes.
Also known as the Curiosity rover, the vehicle is a $2.5 billion state-of-the-art robotic machine equipped with video cameras and a sophisticated mobile tool kit for analyzing rocks and soil on the red planet.
With six wheels, a laser beam, drills, rotating eye-like cameras and a built-in lab, Curiosity is “a Mars scientist’s dream machine,” according to Ashwin Vasavada, MSL deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The rover will explore the Gale Crater on Mars, just south of that planet’s equator, where a range of soils exist and a small mountain gives the rover a chance to climb and analyze samples at different heights.
But first it faces a long, 354-million-mile (570-million-kilometer) journey to get there, taking about eight and a half months before landing in August 2012.
Its main goal is to determine if life ever existed on Mars.
Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident
It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.
After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.
"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."
Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.
Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist
New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.
It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.
Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square
Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.
Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.