The Curiosity robot landed successfully on Mars on Monday to launch an ambitious mission for traces of life in an unprecedented event for NASA never sent a robot to another planet as sophisticated and opens a new era of exploration of Mars. Mission controllers burst into applause and celebration when they received signals confirming that the vehicle survived the seven-minute descent that NASA said was the most elaborate and difficult feat in the history of robotic space flight.
Engineers said the landing sequence complex, combining a huge parachute with a rocket pack that allowed the vehicle down on the Martian surface supported by a rope, had a margin of error of zero.
Shortly thereafter, Curiosity sent to Earth its first three images of the surface of Mars, one showing a wheel of the vehicle and its shadow over the rocky terrain.
The landing was a success very welcome and an important milestone for the U.S. space agency, hit by budget cuts and the recent cancellation of its space shuttle program, the centerpiece of NASA for 30 years.
The project Curiosity 2 thousand 500 million dollars, formally called the Mars Science Laboratory is the first mission from NASA’s astrobiology research with the Viking spacecraft in 1970.
“It’s a huge advance in planetary exploration. No one has ever done anything like this,” said John Holdren, the chief scientific adviser of U.S. President Barack Obama, who was at the hub of Los Angeles during the event.
Obama himself issued a statement in which he called the Curiosity Mars landing as “an unprecedented technological prowess makes it the source of national pride in the future.”
Launched on November 26 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, navigated robotic space laboratory space for over eight months, through 566 million kilometers, before entering the Martian atmosphere at 20,000 kilometers porhora -17 921 times speed of sound, and begin its descent.
- NASA cheers Mars landing, welcomes new photos (cnsnews.com)
- Mars rover Curiosity lands on surface of Red Planet – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Wow! Mars Rover Landing Spotted by Orbiting Spacecraft (space.com)
- FIRST IMAGES of MARS CURIOSITY ROVER landing success and what this all means (ebotique.wordpress.com)
- Mars rover Curiosity lands on Mars surface (vancouversun.com)