NASA’s managed to score two sci-fi legends, William Shatner and Wil Wheaton, to explain what’s going to happen on August 6th when NASA’s biggest ever Mars rover meets the Red Planet. The incredible feat will see Curiosity slow from more than 12,000mph to landing using parachutes, jets and a winch — surely there was a simpler way?
If you didn’t quite get why NASA’s dubbed this the Seven Minutes of Terror, this should help you understand quite how difficult a task this is really going to be, with the reassuring dulcet tones of Shatner and Wheaton to get you through the technical bits.
I hope this kicks off a trend — sci-fi legends explaining actual space stuff. I’d like to see Commander Adama from BSG describe the principles of an ion drive, or Samantha Carter from Stargate tell us all about black holes — I’m pretty sure I would have turned out an astrophysicist if I’d watch kind of stuff as a kid. [NASA TV via Wired]