Curiosity on Mars!

Mars Science Lab...

Yee haw!

The Mars Science Laboratory, the largest object ever sent to Mars, has landed successfully on the planet.  Weighing in at a ton, and roughly the size of my wife’s car, it had to drop 13,000 mph of speed, through the thin atmosphere of Mars, in just 7 minutes.  With the high approach velocity, the size of the rover, and the complexity of the innovative Sky Crane landing system, this has probably been history’s most daring un-manned landing on an alien planet.  Putting Mars dirt on the wheels without cratering it will put all the nay-sayers to silence.

As of this writing, the landing went perfectly.  Gale Crater now belongs to the Curiosity Rover, which will now commence to do the science that it was designed for.

Here is a screen shot from NASA coverage of the landing, showing the surface of Mars as seen from Curiosity, along with one of the rover’s wheels, and celebrating mission control technicians…

Click to enlarge.

This has been another historic first for NASA.  Congratulations NASA and JPL and all you smart folks that made this great achievement for human kind possible.

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~ by Bill Housley on August 5, 2012.

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