Feeds

Mars rover Curiosity autographed by Obama

Also schoolgirl who named it, 1.24m others

3 Big data security analytics techniques

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which departed Earth bound for the red planet on Saturday, carries a collection of signatures inscribed on its chassis including that of US president Barack Obama and other worthies including NASA bigwigs and the schoolgirl who named the radical nuclear-powered robot vehicle.

Mars Science Laboratory - Curiosity rover and skycrane

Ha ha, Nixon, having your John Hancock on the Moon is for nobodies.

"It turns out getting the president's signature on anything is rather involved," NASA's Curiosity project chief Peter Thesinger told Collectspace.com, describing the various signatures inscribed on Curiosity.

It turns out that there are rather a lot of these: no less than one-and-a-quarter-million all up, though almost all of these are microscopically small. They are the names of members of the public submitted online and during visits to NASA facilities, and were written onto silicon wafers in extremely tiny script using an electron beam.

Apart from this there is the presidential plaque, carrying Mr Obama's signature and those of other worthies including NASA chief General Charles Bolden and other senior space figures. Apparently the inclusion of such plaques is a long-standing NASA tradition, which has among others seen a fine selection of Richard Nixon autographs left on the Moon by the Apollo programme.

The only person to personally sign Curiosity was Kansas schoolgirl Clara Ma, who won a competition to give the rover its name and was duly invited to the fabrication complex in California to add her inscription in 2009.

"Knowing that my name will be on another planet is pretty amazing," she told Collectspace.com.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying Curiosity to the red planet is expected to arrive there on August 6. The rover will make a blazing entry into the thin Martian atmosphere in its special aeroshell, then slow down further using a parachute before exiting the aeroshell suspended beneath a complex retro-rocket vehicle which will come to a hover above the landing site in the Gale crater before lowering Curiosity to the surface on cables in "sky crane" mode. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer
Speedy space walk by snorkel-equipped spacemen followed by trash day
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.