NASA’s managed to score two sci-fi legends, William Shatner and Wil Wheaton, to explain what’s going to happen later today when NASA’s biggest ever Mars rover meets the Red Planet. The incredible feat will see Curiosity slow from more than 19,000km/h 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 to be an astrophysicist if I had watched that kind of stuff as a kid. [NASA TV via Wired]
Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.