Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Lives!

Curiosity's outline on the Martian surface.
[Img NASA/JPL]

For those who went to sleep at a decent hour last night: the Curiosity rover has landed on Mars! The landing was a complete success, and the first pictures are flying in. Space exploration enthusiasts are hopeful that this landing will put more positive focus on NASA, which is under unprecedented pressure. As the world gleefully cheers for the Olympics, it's clear that in space, the U.S. still takes gold. It's a primacy I hope we aren't willing to relinquish. Beyond mere patriotism, space exploration has done so much for the human race in general--creating technologies we use every day without thinking, inspiring generations of scientists (and writers), and providing crucial, life-saving information about our planet and its neighborhood.

+ Curiosity's chief scientist: "Everything just went so smoothly." Space.com's article.
+ The Curiosity landed in seven minutes. Here's how it happened.

+ A Space News article on the political (and budgetary) impact of the Curiosity mission.

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