Angry Birds and NASA Detail Mars Rover Curiosity’s MissionBy: Sean Patterson - November 1, 2012
Anyone who has played Angry Birds Space knows that the game contains a satellite that links to a NASA mobile web page that educates kids on the effects of microgravity and that Angry Birds celebrated the landing of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover with Mars-themed levels in Angry Birds space. What may not be known is that NASA and Rovio, the developers of Angry Birds, have teamed up to provide educational programming about space on the web. Just this month, Rovio also announced that it has teamed up with CERN to teach Finnish children about physics through Angry Birds Playground.
Today, Rovio expanded its relationship with NASA by releasing several videos geared towards educating people about the basics of the Curiosity Mars rover mission. The videos cover several aspects of the Curiosity project: It’s landing in Gale Crater, what researchers are hoping to find on the surface of Mars, how the rover is controlled from so far away, and the scientific instruments the rover is carrying with it. Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provide firsthand knowledge of the project, including Entry, Descent, and Landing Lead Adam Steltzner; Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada; Rover Driver Vandi Verma Tompkins; and the famously mowhawked Flight Director Bobak Ferdowsi.
The videos are obviously geared toward children, and are sure to be used in science classrooms across the U.S. Still, the information provided should be fascinating to everyone, especially those who haven’t been keeping up with the weekly news and discoveries coming from Curiosity.