Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Lands Safely On Mars

Curiosity lands successfully and perfectly on Mars' surface in Gale Canyon. Congratulations NASA and all the wonderful creative people at JPL.

Here are the first pictures the rover took after touchdown:

Both were taken with the rover's fisheye camera, the first camera to deploy after its safe landing. The normal camera will kick in likely by tomorrow after Curiosity begins receiving it's first commands and marching orders from JPL.

The first image verifies a smooth and safe landing and shows one of the massive wheels on the rover. The second picture reveals the shadow of Curiosity on the Mars surface as it is reflected by the late afternoon sun.

Now the real work begins as Curiosity begins its planned two year mission to discover if Mars was ever conducive for supporting life and if life could be maintained on the Red Planet for future trips by human astronauts.

The 1000 pound rover is the largest craft ever landed on a planetary surface beyond Earth and is a virtual motorized laboratory capable of doing a plethora of experiments that neither its much smaller cousins, Spirit and Opportunity were designed for. It is a geological lab, a chemistry lab, a photo lab and a radiation monitoring lab, as well as having the ability to perform a whole array of other tests.

Mars now has several devices residing on its surface, all having been placed there by NASA over the last few decades. The United States is the only country to have achieved this phenomenal success story.

Every citizen of America, and the entire world, can be very proud of this accomplishment and with great happiness call Curiosity Earth's Rover.

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