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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Tuesday, 31 July 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Wheaton and Shatner Talk about Curiosity

Here is some news that would make the brains of the boys from The Big Bang Theory short circuit as theyNASA curiosity rover profile JPL-Caltech contemplate the sheer power and genius of the pairing.

NASA has released a video to educate the public about the Curiosity rover that is narrated by Star Trek actors Wil Wheaton or William Shatner.

The four minute video is titled “Grand Entrance” and shows an animated depiction of entry, descent, and landing of the rover. There are two videos and they are both identical save for the choice of narrator.

"Shatner and Wheaton are mavericks in inspiring film, TV and social media audiences about space," said Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison for film and TV collaborations. "NASA is thrilled to have them explain a difficult landing sequence in accessible terms that can be understood by many. Thanks to their generous support, Mars exploration will reach Tweeters, Trekkies and beyond!"

Curiosity was launched in November of last year and is expected to land on Mars on August 6th. The mission, if the ten foot long Curiosity lands safely into the Gale crater next to a huge mountain, will be two years long.

During this time the rover will collect most of the necessary data with a specialized robotic arm equipped with tools for scientists to achieve the mission’s four science goals: determine if there was ever life on Mars, characterize the geography and climate of Mars, and then use all that data to prepare for a manned expedition to the planet. President Obama has tasked NASA with a challenge to put a human on Mars sometime in the 2030s.

We add the “if Curiosity lands safely” bit because the team members who designed the  complicated steps the rover must make to go from 13,000 miles per hour through the  Martian atmosphere to soft landing have decided to call it the "seven minutes of terror." Any number of things could go wrong from its parachute deploying at the wrong time to the Sky Crane falling back onto Curiosity.

"The Curiosity landing is the hardest NASA mission ever attempted in the history of robotic planetary exploration," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, at NASA Headquarters in Washington via statement earlier this month. "While the challenge is great, the team's skill and determination give me high confidence in a successful landing.”

Visit the NASA website for more information about the mission.

For more information about Wheaton and Shatner please find your resident Trekkie; every social circle has at least one.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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