Monday, August 6, 2012

Touchdown: Curiosity lands on Mars

NASA engineers at mission control celebrate the moment the Curiosity rover
completed its flawless landing on Mars.
Now that Curiosity is safely on Mars the next days of will be filled with system checks before the 1-ton nuclear powered rover will be able to begin its primary mission: sampling and drilling the Martian surface for signs of habitability.

This high profile mission has been planned for more than 14 years. Scientists learned from the previous generation of rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that Mars has a complex past, with times when water was far more prevalent and even ran freely on the planet’s surface. The rationale behind Curiosity was to send a machine with all the capabilities of a state-of-the-art laboratory on Earth to investigate this history in detail.

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