Did Mars Curiosity Rover Land Safely? EDL Aug 5, 2012
Get Your Ass to Mars: Curiosity Rover Landing Successful
The NASA Mars Curiosity rover has successfully landed on the surface of Mars, surviving "seven minutes of terror" in one piece. How cool is that?
The signal that Mars Curiosity landed on Mars was received at NASA JPL at 10:32pm August 5 PT/1:32am August 6 ET. The EDL (Entry, Descent and Landing) phase of the Mars Science Laboratory mission is complete.
Curiosity Has Landed: Now What?
Mars Curiosity will now explore Gale Crater, looking for signs that can determine whether or not microbial life ever lived on Mars. Like all 21st-Century celebrities, Curiosity will also be tweeting.
Is Mars Curiosity the First Rover on Mars?
Nope. There have been six previous successful Mars probe landings:
- Viking 1 & 2 (1976)
- Pathfinder/Sojourner (1997)
- Mars Spirit & Opportunity (2003; Opportunity is still active, but won't be able to say hi to Curiosity)
- Phoenix (2007)
Mars Curiosity is much larger than the previous landers, is more articulate and mobile, and carries more scientific measurement tools as Opportunity. Curiosity is a chem-lab on wheels, the size of a car and weighing about 2,000 lbs.
Curiosity will be exploring Gale Crater, and will then be tasked with climbing nearby Mt. Sharp, which is seven miles high.