Curiosity Snaps Picture of Its Shadow This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's front Hazard-Avoidance cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The camera is the left eye of a stereo pair positioned at the middle of the rover's front side.   The clear dust cover on the camera is still on in this view, and dust can be seen around its edge, along with three cover fasteners. The rover's shadow is visible in the foreground.   As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Snaps Picture of Its Shadow
This is one of the first images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a “fisheye” wide-angle lens on one of the rover’s front Hazard-Avoidance cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The camera is the left eye of a stereo pair positioned at the middle of the rover’s front side.
The clear dust cover on the camera is still on in this view, and dust can be seen around its edge, along with three cover fasteners. The rover’s shadow is visible in the foreground.
As planned, the rover’s early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover’s mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Curiosity Makes Successful Landing

NASA engineers announced early this morning that the Mars rover Curiosity made a successful landing on the surface of the red planet.

Although the engineers had a nail-biting seven minute wait to see whether the rover had successfully landed, once it did land, NASA started receiving its first photo transmissions. Curiosity touched down at approximately 1:30 EDT, according to NASA.

“I can’t believe this. This is unbelievable,” said Allen Chen, the deputy head of the rover’s descent and landing team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles.

More than a few dozen viewing parties were held to see Curiosity land.

President Barack Obama also released a statement shortly after the landing congratulating NASA’s work and saying that the United States had just made history on the planet Mars.

“It’s an enormous step forward in planetary exploration. Nobody has ever done anything like this,” said John Holdren, the top science advisor to President Barack Obama, who was visiting JPL for the event. “It was an incredible performance.”

Before hitting the road, Curiosity will nevertheless check with land developers to insure all components are in working order – a process that will take several days or even weeks.

“We’re going to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders before we blaze out across the plains,” lead scientist John Grotzinger said.