Seven Minutes of Terror

(via Boing Boing) Scientists: You're Doing It Right.

In CrashCourse, Hank and John like to point out occasionally how terrible scientists and historians are at naming things, making the job of teachers a lot more difficult.  It's just hard to get people interested in a bunch of long series of boring names.

NASA scientists have made a video about the touchdown of Curiosity, the Mars rover currently en route to the planet.  That touchdown is seven minutes long.  It takes 14 minutes for signals to get to earth.   So, they won't know anything until 7 minutes after the entry is over.

They have named that event the Seven Minutes of Terror.

The video is great.  It's packed with information, presented in a highly dramatic fashion.  Watching this video shows how hard-won our knowledge about Mars is going to be. Once you know how hard it is, I imagine you're going to be a lot more interested in what it is we came to know.

The video is embedded, and linked here. Check it out.