When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity lands on Mars--Success!!

photos from curiosity rover on mars
First Pictures from Curiosity Rover on Mars

BBC News - Nasa's Curiosity rover successfully lands on Mars: "The US space agency has just landed a huge new robot rover on Mars.The one-tonne vehicle, known as Curiosity, touched down at 0614 BST (0514 GMT) in a deep crater near the planet's equator after a plunging through the atmosphere. It is going to look for evidence that Mars could once have supported life. A signal confirming the rover was on the ground safely was relayed to Earth via Nasa's Odyssey satellite, which is in orbit around the Red Planet.The success was greeted with a roar of approval here at mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The first pictures from the surface began to be fed back immediately. The mission has even already sent its first low-resolution images - showing the rover's wheel and its shadow, through a dust-covered lens cap that has yet to be removed. A first colour image of Curiosity's surroundings should be returned in the next couple of days.Engineers and scientists who have worked on this project for the best part of 10 years punched the air and hugged each other. The descent through the atmosphere after a 570-million-km journey from Earth had been billed as the "seven minutes of terror" - the time it would take to complete a series of high-risk manoeuvres that would slow the rover from an entry speed of 20,000km/h to allow its wheels to set down softly. After the landing, the flight director reported that Curiosity had set down at a gentle 0.6 metres per second. "We're on Mars again, and it's absolutely incredible," said Nasa director Charles Bolden. "It doesn't get any better than this.". . . "


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