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Curiosity touches down successfully – Tweets Curiosity

At 06:32 this morning, the Mars Science Lab completed the second stage in its journey to discover if the Red Planet ever supported life. KitGuru breathes a sigh of relief.

In a novel twist to space exploration, NASA scientists have programmed Curiosity to behave exactly like a human on holiday. Every significant (and, sometimes, not so significant) experience gets automatically tweeted to the world in ‘natural language’ terms.

Here’s a unique tourist’s point of view on the historic Mars landing that took place earlier this morning:-

  • I’m focused and ready to do the job I was built to do. Countdown to Mars: 7 hours 26 min #MSL
    7 hours ago
  • I’m inside the orbit of Deimos and completely on my own. Wish me luck! #MSL
    about 1 hour ago
  • EDL main poll at @NASAJPL mission control. Nominal is my favorite word #MSL
    52 minutes ago
  • Way to go, Odyssey! The Mars orbiter is in position to relay my communications during landing in real-time back to Earth #MSL
    37 minutes ago
  • Cruise stage separation complete. So long & thanks for all the navigation. 17 minutes to Mars! #MSL
    33 minutes ago
  • I feel lighter & faster already. Cruise balance masses ejected and Mars is pulling me in #MSL
    30 minutes ago
  • Entering Mars’ atmosphere. 7. Minutes. Of. Terror. Starts. NOW. #MSL
    23 minutes ago
  • Parachute deployed! Velocity 900 mph. Altitude 7 miles. 4 minutes to Mars! #MSL
    19 minutes ago
  • Heatshield separation. Next up: Radar must lock on ground #MSL
    18 minutes ago
  • Backshell separation. It’s just you & me now, descent stage. Engage all retrorockets! #MSL
    17 minutes ago
  • I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL
    16 minutes ago
  • You asked for pics from my trip. Here you go!
    5 minutes ago

Here is one of Curiosity’s first holiday snaps of what promises to be nearly 2 years and 500km of site-seeing.

NASA artist's impression of Curiosity 'on holiday' and the rover's 1st shot of its own shadow on Mars

KitGuru says: We love the Tweeting-twist of NASA devices engaging with a human audience back on Earth. What a great way to engage the public. Given that more missions to Mars have failed (24) than succeeded (15), Curiosity’s successful landing will give NASA fresh hope for future flights.

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