In the course of our enduring quest for knowledge about
ourselves and our universe, we haven’t found answers to one of our most
fundamental questions: Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? Ten years
and billions of dollars in the making, the Mars rover Curiosity is poised to
answer this all-important question.
Here, Rob Manning, the project’s chief engineer, tells of
bringing the groundbreaking spacecraft to life. Manning and his team at NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tasked with designing a lander many times larger and
more complex than any before, faced technical setbacks, fights over inadequate
resources, and the challenges of leading an army of brilliant, passionate, and
often frustrated experts.
Manning’s fascinating personal account—which includes
information from his exclusive interviews with leading Curiosity scientists—is
packed with tales of revolutionary feats of science, technology, and
engineering. Listeners experience firsthand the disappointment at encountering
persistent technical problems, the agony of near defeat, the sense of victory
at finding innovative solutions to these problems, the sheer terror of staking
careers and reputations on a lander that couldn’t be tested on Earth, and the
rush of triumph at its successful touchdown on Mars on August 5, 2012. This is
the story of persistence, dedication, and unrelenting curiosity. Download and start listening now!