It’s a great day to be a human: Mars rover Curiosity lands safely

August 6, 2012

It’s a great day to be a human. We just, you know, built a nuclear powered 1-ton robot, sent it into space a huge rocket on a trip to another planet, and landed it there with a hovering jetpack skycrane. Oh, and the whole hovering jetpack skycrane thing was all automated. NO BIG DEAL.

Everything went absolutely perfectly. And we even got back images from the rover just minutes after touchdown. Not only that, but I’ve seen tweets that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to capture images of the capsule descending during its parachute phase. Those images should be out later today. In the meantime, here is the first image of the rover’s shadow. In the coming days we’ll have many amazing, full-color, high-resolution images of the surroundings.


UPDATE: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter did in fact get the shot of the capsule and parachute! Just consider this a victory lap for NASA. Check it out:

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