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NASA: All systems go for Mars landing
NASA”s Mars Science Laboratory was in good condition and on schedule Sunday for a landing on Mars Monday night, the space agency said.
The laboratory carrying the Curiosity rover that will travel the terrain were hurtling toward the planet at 8,000 mph Saturday night and were about 261,000 miles from Mars, NASA said.
“Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected,” scientists said in a release.
The agency said minor software and navigation data modifications were uploaded to the craft and rover Saturday afternoon from the control center in Pasadena, Calif.
Eight engines will fire up to control the craft”s descent into a crater. Because Earth will be below the Mars horizon from Curiosity”s perspective, data can”t be directly sent back. Instead, it will be relayed by the 11-year-old Mars Odyssey orbiter, NASA said.
Since its Nov. 26 launch last year, the project has been collecting and relaying data for 221 days on its voyage.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International