BLOG: Mission control before the party

BLOG: Mission control before the party

Days before Curiosity's planned Martian landing, Nadia Drake checks out JPL's space central

By Nadia Drake, 16:46 PM August 3, 2012

Though nearly empty Thursday afternoon, mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be packed with more than 100 people when the Mars rover Curiosity is set to touch down this Sunday, August 5.

But for now, the control room is quiet, illuminated by a dim, soothing blue light. Data and images flash across the enormous screens hanging at the front of the room, which also serves as the nerve center for the Deep Space Network, an array of telescopes tasked with tracking the spacecraft...

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