Curiosity on Mars!
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.
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…
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.
- First Images from Curiosity Rover on Mars (wired.com)
- 1st Photos From Mars by Curiosity Rover (Gallery) (space.com)
- Photos: NASA Rover Curiosity Touches Down on Mars (abcnews.go.com)
- Nasa Curiosity Landing: as it happened (telegraph.co.uk)
- Touchdown! Wild celebrations as one-ton rover lands on Mars after ‘seven minutes of terror’ descent… and it has already beamed back first picture in HD (dailymail.co.uk)