“Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars.”
Humans flying to Mars, dropping a car sized, one ton, land rover on Mars is not some sci-fi plot; it is not only non-fiction, it is happening now. NASA did this at 1:32 AM EDT this morning on August 6th, 2012. This trek took 36-weeks for the rover to travel from Earth to Mars. Now that Curiosity (the name of the rover) is on Mars, it will do research and investigation there for 2 years.
After some tense moment s before the rover landed, the entire NASA control room broke into celebration the moment it landed safely on the red planet. Nearly instantly there were thumbnail pictures from the camera on Curiosity followed be a high resolution photo.
Curiosity is packed with 10 science instruments which are 15 times as large as the payloads from the previous Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. This bad boy has lasers for checking elemental compositions of rocks from a distance, a drill to scoop soil samples, and even analytical laboratory instruments inside of the rover. Ideally Curiosity will be able to tell us if the region they landed on ever had conditions favorable for microbial life.
This is a huge step for both NASA and humanity. The United States' President Obama presented a vision to send humans to land on Mars sometime during the 2030’s. Hopefully the research Curiosity does will help bring us closer to this vision.
Watch the video below and share the excitement with NASA’s command center.
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