Red Letter Day

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Curiosity's First Image

Curiosity’s First Image

Nasa’s Martian rover Curiosity has landed intact on the red planet after a nerve-wracking series of manoeuvres.

The rover was dropped onto the surface by a rocket-powered ‘sky-crane’ and hit the ground at a gentle 1.5 miles per hour.

After a brief delay, Curiosity sent its first pictures of Mars back to Earth.

From The Guardian:

John Bridges, a planetary scientist at Leicester University, who was at JPL for the landing, told the Guardian: “From cruise stage separation, atmospheric entry at 6km per second, parachute deployment, slowing down, then Skycrane deployment, it went without a hitch. The first images have already got us talking.”

Adam Steltzner, the charismatic former rocker who heads the Entry, Descent and Landing team told reporters he was humbled by the experience. “In my life, I am, and will be, forever satisfied, if this is the greatest thing that I’ve ever given,” he said.

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