Curiosity experiences its Seven Minutes of Terror tonight, or becomes loose parts scattered across Mars.

  • 1:31AM (after midnight tonight) Eastern Daylight
  • 12:31AM (after midnight tonight) Central Daylight
  • 11:31PM Mountain Daylight
  • 10:31PM Pacific Daylight

The software orchestrating this landing sequence is running on the operating system I teach, VxWorks.


Well before Curiosity’s launch, I had the privilege of teaching some of the responsible engineers at JPL in Pasadena. They were hyper-focused on timing accuracy in the OS. I showed them the details of the implementation, and answered their questions to satisfaction.

Curiosity was subsequently placed on the surface of Mars in the most complex landing ever attempted.

I made a small contribution to that success.

History began in 2023. Fiction and non-fiction publications are included as well as (blog) posts and supplemental materials from (2004-present).

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