NASA Rover Curiosity makes historic landing on Mars
NASA's robotic explorer Curiosity made an historic landing inside an ancient crater of Mars and has sent a spectacular image of its main scientific target, Mt. Sharp, a three mile high mountain in the center of Gale crater. The car sized rover had survived a perilous seven minute descent which NASA called the most elaborate and difficult feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight.
Curiosity beamed back the first black and white pictures from inside the crater just minutes after the landing signal reached Earth at 10:32 p.m. PDT (0532 GMT). The picture showed its wheel and its shadow, cast by the afternoon sun taken by the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI). It was NASA’s seventh landing on Mars in which the Curiosity sliced through the Martian atmosphere at 20,920.5 kph. Within the next few days, the rover will start to move, sampling rocks and soil on its way to Mt. Sharp on mars and slowly traveling up its side over the next two years.