We are on Mars. It’s a momentous achievement for this country and science and the future of Earth.
We may not be able to see the landscape too clearly yet, but don’t be disappointed that the terrain looks kind of like a parking lot. There’s a full photographic unit that will be deployed eventually — in the next couple days, if we’re lucky. NASA knows what it’s doing. The rig is stocked with a camera capable of shots at a size of 1200×1600, about the resolution of a consumer digital camera. (Check out this panoramic image from the Opportunity rover.)
For now, make do with this:
It’s a wonder that Curiosity, which will determine whether life has ever existed and could ever possibly exist on the Red Planet, even landed at all. The landing sequence, reports Gizmodo,
requires six vehicle configurations, 76 pyrotechnic devices, the largest supersonic parachute ever built, and more than 500,000 lines of code. It’s such an intense undertaking that the scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, call it The Seven Minutes of Terror.
Which is why this team of tired but ecstatic NASA engineers is going crazy.
“That rocked! Seriously, was that not cool?” said Richard Cook, deputy project manager of the rover, during a NASA press conference after the event.