Curiosity Landed Safely on Mars!

I’m adding this to the top of the post a day or so later. If you are interested in seeing the images being sent back from Mars, you can go to the NASA image gallery. Look for the small caption that says “slideshow” and you’ll be able to see the enlarged images such as this one which shows Curiosity’s main target, Mt. Sharp.  The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change.

Image courtesy of NASA

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This was a great day for Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA and the other teams that helped put Curiosity on Mars. I couldn’t sleep and had to see Mars landing for myself.  Everything seemed to go smoothly and they celebrated each stage with cheers — as the vehicle started guided entry, as they started receiving data from Odyssey, as the parachute deployed, and as they heard that it decelerated and then touched down at 10:39 PDT.  Everyone was amazed when the first thumbnail image was received from Mars which showed Curiosity’s wheels down on Mars.

The image above shows the exciting moments just a few minutes after Curiosity landed safely on Mars and the first thumbnail images were sent back to Earth. The image on the right shows the wheel of the rover and the second image (on the left)  clearly shows the shadow of Curiosity in the late afternoon sun.

 

Celebrating the safe landing on Mars at the Jet Propulsion Lab. You can see the images sent back from Mars on the screens in the background.

Images courtesy of NASA TV

How amazing to see the shadow of the Curiosity on Mars! What an amazing feat. Congratulations to everyone involved.  And tomorrow, next week and next month we’ll all benefit from the new knowledge the Mars Science Laboratory will provide us about life on Mars.

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I’m going to bump back my post about our plans for preschool this fall to tomorrow (Tuesday).

 

 

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