Getting Mars rover Curiosity onto the surface of the planet had to be coordinated between many mechanical parts: a heat shield to protect it, a supersonic parachute to soften the landing, and a sky crane to set it down on Mars.
PASADENA, Calif. -- This is the latest view from NASA's Mars rover Curioisty, which landed pointing toward its target, Mt. Sharp, a huge peak at the heart of Gale Crater. What a view!
NASA downloaded lots more data from the rover overnight and is preparing for it to awaken on Mars. As of 4:30 p.m. Pacific time Monday, it was about 9 in the morning at the rover's new home on Mars.
The Mars Descent Imager on Curiosity's undercarriage also took a video of the rover's nailbiting descent and landing. Stay tuned for further images.
We've taken a look at some of the instruments Mars rover Curiosity will be using now that it's arrived at its destination, and our friends at PopPhoto have a look at the cameras that are documenting its journey.
The craziest space moment of the year, in one of the craziest places on Earth
By Laura GeggelPosted 08.06.2012 at 3:40 pm 8 Comments
TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY: A dramatic lightning storm with violent accompanying downpour lit up New York's skies yesterday evening. But the unpredictable weather didn't stop New York's space-loving faithful from gathering in Times Square for NASA's airing of the Curiosity landing on one of the largest screens in the world. At first, it was hard to tell the everyday tourists from the Curiosity-curious. Times Square is always a madhouse. I wove through crowds and around food carts, passed a woman arguing with an actor dressed as Elmo, and walked by two horse-drawn carriages plodding slowly through traffic. At 1 a.m., about a hundred people remained gazing up at the massive Toshiba screen, just below the ball that drops on New Years' Eve.
PASADENA, Calif. -- As the Mars rover Curiosity plummeted toward its landing on Mars last night, NASA's orbiters, the storied Odyssey orbiter and Reconnaissance Orbiter, were sailing overhead and watching its progress. In an incredible feat of photography on another planet, MRO's HiRISE camera captured this image of the spacecraft on the parachute.
NASA has just released the best-looking photo (above) we have of the Gale Crater, the piece of the Red Planet where Mars rover Curiosity landed last night. The photo shows the rim of the crater on the horizon and a gravel field in the foreground, as seen through a fisheye lens, a part of the many cameras Curiosity has on board.
PASADENA, Calif. -- Long minutes of thunderous applause greeted the managers and engineers who paraded into an auditorium here Sunday night, triumphant after a perfect landing on another world. The Mars rover Curiosity sent a picture from the Martian surface just moments after its self-piloted descent and airdrop, and everyone assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory could not help but cheer. It's a huge moment for NASA, which delivered the rover over budget and two years late -- but delivered it, and beautifully.
PASADENA, Calif. -- Space fans, raise a toast: NASA's laser-equipped, beefy-armed, car-sized rover is safe and sound on the surface of the Red Planet. A journey of 352 million miles ended in a supersonic plunge through the Martian atmosphere late Sunday night, and after seven minutes of terror, the Mars rover Curiosity unspooled from the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and alighted on the dusty surface of Gale Crater.
A chorus of radio beeps signaled the spacecraft's progress, and the Mars Odyssey orbiter transmitted a "safe landing" signal at 10:32 p.m. Pacific time that elicited whoops of joy from the people at Mission Control in California. With wheels down and antennae up, Curiosity is now ready to get to work, combing ancient terrain for signs of life in the Martian past.
"It's the wheel! It's the wheel!" a NASA engineer cried as the first image shot by the craft arrived on Earth. "Oh my God." Curiosity is on the surface!
PASADENA, Calif. -- The mood is increasingly electric here at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where worldwide media, dignitaries and hordes of scientists and engineers are gathered to watch the new Mars rover's landing attempt. The Mars rover Curiosity is three and a half hours from touchdown -- scheduled for 10:31 p.m. Pacific time, 1:31 a.m. Monday Eastern time -- and it's almost time to break out the peanuts.