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Curiosity lands on Mars! Way to go, NASA!!! (screenshots)

“Seven minutes of terror,” right on schedule. And then … NAILED IT! Curiosity, NASA’s newest Martian rover, survived the unlikeliest of landings (see video) to settle safely on the planet’s surface at approximately 11:21 pm MDT.

Heartiest congratulations, NASA!!

Here are a few screenshots, grabbed by yours truly, for those who weren’t watching:

Touchdown is announced in NASA’s JPL control room.

There were hugs all around …

… and some quieter moments.

The very first image from the Martian surface shows Curiosity’s wheel in the lower right corner.

The next image shows Curiosity’s shadow on the surface of Mars. The speckles are dust kicked up during the landing.

Outstanding job, NASA! Well done! We look forward to at least two great years, and possibly many more, of exploration and discovery.

Curiosity on Mars, artist's conception

Curiosity on Mars, artist’s conception

Gale Crater, Curiosity's target on Mars

The ellipse marked on the upper left edge of the Gale Crater is Curiosity’s landing area on Mars. The crater is 96 miles in diameter. Mount Sharp, in the center, rises 3.4 miles from the crater’s floor. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

11 Comments »

  1. NASA’s reputation for robotic exploration was riding on the success of this mission, all the eggs in one basket, and it looks like a home run so far. Excellent. I’m looking forward to some good photography – with 17 video cameras there should be a steady stream.

  2. My congratulations to both NASA, for an incredibly difficult task being done so well, and to you PT, for putting this great post together as quickly as you did. I must admit that I let my extreme excitement turn to frustration when I had a hard time finding those first images sent back by Curiosity!

    • Find them? Heck no, I shot ’em on my lil laptop while I was watching the festivities. You should see the “litter” of screenshots on my desktop! I just picked out a few of the best and was really glad my screenshots of NASA’s webcast of Curiosity’s feed turned out. I did end up staying up rather late trying to be among the first to get them all posted …

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