The Cruise to Mars
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The challenges of getting to Mars.
Even before dealing with the complexities of landing on another lpanet, the team behind Curiosity must make sure their multi-billion dollar machine gets there safely.
The sensitive equipment on both the rover and the spacecraft must survive extreme fluctuations in temperature.
If that wasn't enough, the spacecraft is essentially attempting to hit a moving target. As Mars continues its orbit around the sun, the Curiosity team will have to calculate the trajectory of the spacecraft with adept precision as there are only a limited number of opportunities to make course corrections along the way. In total the journey to Mars spans some 300 million miles and will have taken Curiostity just over 8 months to complete.
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Everything you need to know about our return to the red planet.