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Curiosity lands on Mars

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19144464#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

 

 

The US space agency has just landed a huge new robot rover on Mars.

The one-tonne vehicle, known as Curiosity, was reported to have landed in a deep crater near the planet's equator at 06:32 BST (05:32 GMT).

It will now embark on a mission of at least two years to look for evidence that Mars may once have supported life.

A signal confirming the rover was on the ground safely was relayed to Earth via Nasa's Odyssey satellite, which is in orbit around the Red Planet.

The success was greeted with a roar of approval here at mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Within minutes, the robot was returning its first low-resolution images - showing us its wheels and views to the horizon. A first colour image of Curiosity's surroundings should be returned in the next couple of days.

Engineers and scientists who have worked on this project for the best part of 10 years punched the air and hugged each other.

The rover's Twitter feed announced: "I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!"

The descent through the atmosphere after a 570-million-km journey from Earth had been billed as the "seven minutes of terror" - the time it would take to complete a series of high-risk, automated manoeuvres that would slow the rover from an entry speed of 20,000km/h to allow its wheels to set down softly.

The Curiosity team had to wait 13 tense minutes for the signals from Odyssey and the lander to make their way back to Earth.

Data suggested the vehicle had hit the surface of Mars at a gentle 0.6m/s.

"It looked at least with my eyeball that we landed in a nice flat spot. Beautiful," said Adam Steltzner, who led the descent operation.

The JPL director, Charles Elachi, added: "Tonight was a great drama that was played. I felt like I was in an adventure movie but I kept telling myself this is real; and what a fantastic demonstration of what our nation and our agency can do."

 

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This is awesome. :o

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The team must have felt spacey during those thirteen minutes.

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20120806_337_MARS-slide-7CIP-blog480.jpg

 

Here's a pic. It is indeed awesome :suncloud:

tumblr_m8bmwbOOnE1qa7172o1_1280.png

 

Also, Spirit is not alone any more <3

 

tumblr_m8bkf4vxBG1rr64e8o1_1280.png

Edited by Arianna

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Has the mission control mohawk guy become a meme, yet? If any of you actually watched the landing live, you'll know what I'm talking about.

 

mohawkmeme.jpeg

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I'm actually surprised it hasn't killed a cat yet. :o

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I wonder how many starving children could have been funded with this.

But that's socialism.

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I wonder how many starving children could have been funded with this.

 

So cool though xD

y havent we stop kony

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Glad to see that the economic downturn hasn't dampened our interest in space and astronomy. Our future as a race is out there and it's important we keep exploring.

 

Also, stuff like this is fricking cool and will inspire the next generation of scientists.

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Has the mission control mohawk guy become a meme, yet? If any of you actually watched the landing live, you'll know what I'm talking about.

 

mohawkmeme.jpeg

 

tumblr_m8bpeijOQi1qzmw9wo2_1280.png

 

Apollo 11 mission control

 

Mohawk guy ain't got nothing on this

Edited by Arianna

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About a year ago, I actually cared about this. Now I'm just like, meh.

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That landing procedure was pretty complicated. Good thing it worked, otherwise people would be calling for more budget cuts on NASA.

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