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.