- Oct 30, 2009
- Reaction score
A team of local and federal emergency management experts said Wednesday they're ready for the November liftoff of a plutonium-powered Mars rover after a five-year effort to plan how they would handle any launch accident that results in a radiological release.
Odds of an accident resulting in the release of radioactive plutonium are remote: 1 in 420, or about 3.3 percent.
The Atlas V rocket launching the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory will be safely away from the Space Coast within 50 seconds of blasting off.
Nonetheless, officials say an exhaustive effort was made by NASA, emergency response and safety experts to protect people in the event of an explosion or other emergency.
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After extensive quality assurance testing, Curiosity has been encapsulated for the final time inside the aeroshell that will be her home during the 10 month long interplanetary cruise to Mars. Furthermore, she’s been attached to the cruise stage that will guide her along the path from the home planet to the red planet.