Curiosity land rover successfully touches down on Mars
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Science.
Photo: NASA

NASA has something to celebrate on this early Monday morning, as its Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars.

After “seven minutes of terror,” where the land rover (which is the size of a small SUV) had seven minutes to go from 13,000 mph to land softly and successfully, NASA’s team rejoiced in their accomplishment.

Curiosity is one of the largest and most sophisticated Mars Science Laboratories and at exactly 1:32 a.m. EST, it landed at Gale Crater.

The mission didn’t go without a hitch, as it dealt with budget issues and according to USA Today, 70 percent of previous Mars missions are considered a failure, with this particular one being described as “a long shot.”

“This feat that you saw tonight is something that only the United States of America can do. And the rover is made in the USA,” Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld said.

This is one of the first images captured by Curiosity on the red planet.

NASA's Curiosity land rover succesfully touches down on Mars

Even President Obama sent his congratulatory remarks saying it was “an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future.”

The mission began eight months ago, so those working on the rover landing can take a moment to breathe and bask in their glory. While on the red planet, Curiosity will use its elaborate tools to take photos, explore rocks and dirt and determine if Mars has ever been home to water, energy sources and carbonaceous compounds.

Curiosity’s mission has been talked up quite a bit, and even received support from celebrities. “Star Trek” alums William Shatner and Wil Wheaton narrated a video about the mission’s process and progress, from beginning to end, to educate others about the amazing journey.

Other celebs tweeted proud remarks on the rover’s landing. For example, Ryan Seacrest tweeted, “follow @MarsCuriosity…tweeting photos from the surface of Mars…unreal. congrats nasa.”

Harry Shum Jr., known for his role on “Glee,” tweeted his excitement as well, “Success!!!! Curiosity Lands on Mars!! Largest craft ever to touch down on Mars. Hoping to see some aliens in the pictures.”

To explore Curiosity’s work and stunning images, visit NASA or the land rover’s personal Twitter account.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

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