“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.