We all know the successes of the Voyager that just recently left the heliosphere since its first launch in 1977, and now a similar 2,000 pound spacecraft nicknamed Curiosity–very fitting for scientists’ magnetization towards the planet Mars and the abundance of information its resources–is on its way to exploring the “Red Planet” in search for the necessary elements of life: carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfer, and oxygen.
And after a super risky landing operation that was preprogrammed by scientists, the Curiosity rover touched ground “flawlessly” around 1:30 AM Monday morning—a landing that was so perfect it has scientists raving about similar projects for the future, including a rock collecting rover in 2018.
NASA chief Charles Bolden said “[t]he wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars,” and President Obama called the landing “an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future.”
This stunning achievement brings much happiness to NASA and the scientists who worked on the project, for the landing had them slightly worried. And who knows what they might find this time around, as one of the lead scientists of Curiosity Steve Squyres puts it, “[y]ou take what Mars gives you[.]”
(photo via the Chicago Tribune)