Great Achievement and great mission. The Mars Rover Curiosity will now begin sending back data from the Surface of the Red Planet and start analyzing this data as well. Can’t wait to see what Curiosity discovers and hopefully concrete sings of Extra Terrestrial Life.
Curiosity’s goal: To scour for basic ingredients essential for life, including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur and oxygen. It’s not equipped to search for living or fossil microorganisms. To get a definitive answer, a future mission needs to fly Martian rocks and soil back to Earth to be examined by powerful laboratories.
Textbook landing saw radical floating ‘sky crane’ used for the first time
First pictures sent back within seconds
Mission will search for the ingredients of life on the red planet’s surface using a scoop to dig into the soil
President Obama hails ‘historic’ mission
After travelling eight-and-a-half months and 352 million miles, Nasa’s rover Curiosity finally landed on Mars at 5.33 GMT (1.33 EDT) this morning. The high-tech craft hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000mph, and was then slowly lowered by a radical floating ‘sky crane’ before gently arriving in a massive crater.
The news was greeted with cheers and shouts in Nasa’s Pasadena Mission Control, and within seconds the craft had sent back the first pictures of its new home. Jubilant scientists hugged, wept and distributed Mars bars to each other as mission controllers confirmed the landing. ‘Touchdown confirmed’, controllers said. ‘We are wheels down on Mars. Oh, my God.’ Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden hailed the success as a big step towards sending men to the red planet.
‘Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars,’ he said. The mission was hailed by President Obama, who said ‘Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.’ The trickiest moment of the landing came in a truly out of this world gymnastics routine during Curiosity’s ‘seven minutes of terror’ plummet through the atmosphere.
- Touchdown: Mars rover Curiosity lands successfully (rt.com)
- 1st Photos From Mars by Curiosity Rover (Gallery) (space.com)
- Watch: Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars (abcnews.go.com)
- Curiosity rover successfully lands on Mars, sends back first images (theverge.com)
- First Images from Curiosity Rover on Mars (wired.com)