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Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:35 AM

BREAKING NEWS: NASA’s Curiosity Rover Touches Down on Mars [View all]

Source: NBC News San Diego

"We are wheels down on Mars."

NASA's Curiosity rover scores touchdown on Mars

After 8 months of flight, spacecraft survives '7 minutes of terror' and lands safely


By Alan Boyle
Science editor
NBC News
updated 4 minutes ago

PASADENA, Calif. — After eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory pulled off a touchdown of Super Bowl proportions, all by itself.

The spacecraft plunged through Mars' atmosphere, fired up a rocket-powered platform and lowered the car-sized, 1-ton Curiosity rover to its landing spot in 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater. Then the platform flew off to its own crash landing, while Curiosity sent out a text message basically saying, "I made it!"

That message was relayed by the orbiting Mars Odyssey satellite back to Earth. A radio telescope in Australia picked up the message and sent it here to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When the blips of data appeared on the screens at JPL's mission control, the room erupted in cheers and hugs.

Because of the light-travel time between Mars and Earth, throngs of scientists and engineers — along with millions who were monitoring the action via television and the Internet — celebrated Curiosity's landing 14 minutes after it actually occurred.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com





(H/T: Image courtesy of DUer pokerfan)

https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity/status/232352290919567361/photo/1/large

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Hissyspit Aug 2012 OP
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