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.
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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