Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer

Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer

by Rob Manning, William L. Simon


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Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer by Rob Manning, William L. Simon

The firsthand account of the trials and tribulations of engineering one of the most complex pieces of space technology, the Mars Rover Curiosity, by its chief engineer Rob Manning

In the course of our enduring quest for knowledge about ourselves and our universe, we haven't found answers to one of our most fundamental questions: Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? Ten years and billions of dollars in the making, the Mars Rover Curiosity is poised to answer this all-important question.

In Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer, Rob Manning, the project's chief engineer, tells of bringing the groundbreaking spacecraft to life. Manning and his team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tasked with designing a lander many times larger and more complex than any before, faced technical setbacks, fights over inadequate resources, and the challenges of leading an army of brilliant, passionate, and often frustrated experts.

Manning's fascinating personal account--which includes information from his exclusive interviews with leading Curiosity scientists--is packed with tales of revolutionary feats of science, technology, and engineering. Readers experience firsthand the disappointment at encountering persistent technical problems, the agony of near defeat, the sense of victory at finding innovative solutions to these problems, the sheer terror of staking careers and reputations on a lander that couldn't be tested on Earth, and the rush of triumph at its successful touchdown on Mars on August 5, 2012. This is the story of persistence, dedication, and unrelenting curiosity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588344038
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 546,869
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

ROB MANNING has worked at NASA and Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for more than 30 years. He now leads the engineering for the Mars Program Office and is chief engineer on a project to develop technologies for landing even larger robotic vehicles on Mars with hopes of eventually landing future astronauts and scientists there. WILLIAM L. SIMON is the author of 30 books including iCon: Steve Jobs and Ghost in the Wires, both New York Times and international bestsellers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Prologue: Seven Minutes of Terror
Chapter 1: The Red Planet Fixation
Chapter 2:  Joining the Mars Adventure
Chapter 3: Avoiding Splat
Chapter 4: The Birth of MSL
Chapter 5: Looking Ahead to Putting People on Mars
Chapter 6: The Challenges of Landing
Chapter 7: The Right Kind of Crazy
Chapter 8: Scientists at Work
Chapter 9: The Challenges of Instrument Creation
Chapter 10: Where the Devil Lives
Chapter 11: It’s All About the People
Chapter 12: Bad to Worse
Chapter 13: Up Against a Brick Wall
Chapter 14: Shutdown and Restart
Chapter 15: The Final Stretch
Chapter 16: Gremlins
Chapter 17: On Mars!
Chapter 18: The Scientific Findings
Appendix I: NASA/JPL Mars and Projects

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