A few hours ago the Mars Science Laboratory, also known as the Curiosity rover, landed successfully on the red planet.
(One of Curiosity’s first pictures from Mars. According to the official NASA description, this image was “taken through a ‘fisheye’ wide-angle lens on the left ‘eye’ of a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the left-rear side of the rover. The image is one-half of full resolution. The clear dust cover that protected the camera during landing has been sprung open. Part of the spring that released the dust cover can be seen at the bottom right, near the rover’s wheel.”)
Here’s the full story from Spaceflight Now. Congratulations to the spacecraft’s designers, builders, launch team, and operators on the pinpoint approach and the success of the “sky crane” that deposited the rover safely on the surface. Well done!
The rover landed in Gale Crater, which pleases me immensely since the main character of my novel is named Gale (nicknamed “Stormie”). I may need to add a suitable reference in the text.
As I wrote in a recent related post, I look forward to Curiosity’s trek and discoveries.by