Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curiosity Has Landed

The rover Curiosity landed safely on Mars this evening, after an 8 month journey through space.

Curiosity's First Image from Mars

NASA-TV provided a live feed from Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which we watched online.

All of the complicated steps needed to land Curiosity safely on the Red Planet were orchestrated flawlessly.

As each critical maneuver was accomplished, applause and cheers erupted from staff in the control room at JPL.

Curiosity touched down on the Martian surface at 10:32pm PDT, and within a few minutes the rover's first image (above) was transmitted back to Earth. It shows the rocky soil with one of Curiosity's wheel in the foreground

NASA websites were overloaded by people trying to access the images online (including us).

The United States now has two operational science rovers on Mars: newly-arrived Curiosity, and its much smaller cousin Opportunity - which landed on Mars 8 years ago and is still functioning!

It is astounding to think that within minutes of safely landing a man-made craft on a different planet, we have these images available on our home computers.


Web site for the Mars Science Laboratory mission

Curiosity's Twitter feed

Curiosity's Facebook page

"7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover's Risky Mars Landing Video"

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