Five things we learned from the Curiosity Rover team's Reddit AMA

Curiosity Rover team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Curiosity Rover team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bill Ingalls/NASA

NASA's scientists and engineers provided a behind-the-scenes look at their mission.

The Internet culture-friendly engineers and scientists at the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission took to Reddit today to do an AMA, or "ask me anything." They answered everything from nerdy technical questions about the Rover to quirkier ones that revealed the good-natured character of people working on the mission. Below, five things we learned:
  • The people on the mission have to reset their alarm clocks every day to match Mars time. Since Mars days are 40 minutes longer than Earth days, the scientists have to sync their lives to Mars times to maximize efficiency. "It's a bit painful," they admitted. "We re-program our alarm clocks every day.
  • Curiosity's rock-vaporizing laser ChemCam is its coolest feature. The laser on the head of the rover received a lot of love from the scientists throughout the thread. When asked what was the coolest trivia fact, they answered "It's got a friggin' laser on its head, that can VAPORIZE rocks!" Later, when asked if the rover had anything to protect itself, they responded: "I have a laser on my head. 'Nuff said."