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Ask Andrew Kessler about NASA's missions to Mars

Illustration for article titled Ask Andrew Kessler about NASAs missions to Mars

As you may know, on August 6, NASA's Curiosity rover — the most advanced robot ever sent to another planet — will land on Mars. NASA called the mission "the most important event in the history of planetary exploration."

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Andrew Kessler, author of Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission (which just came out in paperback), will be talking to you today between 11-12 PST about the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity mission. In the summer of 2008, Andrew spent three months living and working in mission control of the last Mars expedition, along with 130 top NASA scientists and engineers, becoming the first outsider ever granted unfettered access to such an event.

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Ask Kessler anything you'd like about robots on Mars!

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DISCUSSION

annaleenewitz
Annalee Newitz

We've recently learned that there will be a temporary communications blackout while Curiosity lands on Mars, and executes a pretty insane manoeuvre to do it. Based on your experience in mission control, what do you think the NASA folks will be doing to distract themselves and pass the time while they're waiting for Curiosity to come back online? Do they play video games in mission control, or take a break to walk over to the machine shop or cafeteria? Or just keep working?