In a fantastic show of technological ability, engineers at NASA created history as they have been able to land the ‘Curiosity’ exploration vehicle on the surface of Mars successfully. Engineers & Scientists were all cheers after this successful mission.
US President Barack Obama remarked that it was an “unprecedented feat of technology… Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.” The engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), one of the highly acclaimed centers of the NASA, were all cheers as the mission announced a successful landing on Mars.
The Mars Science Laboratory of the JPL has been managing the $2.5 billion mission, dedicated for exploration of the Mars plantet.
“It’s just absolutely incredible, it doesn’t get any better than this,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “I was a basket case in there, I was really on pins and needles.
Bolden described that it was indeed a stupendous achievement for the United States. He said it was a huge day for the American people. “Everybody in the morning should be sticking their chests out, saying ‘that’s my rover on Mars.’ Because it belongs to all of us.”
A Perfect Landing
The exploration mission is a one-ton nuclear-powered rover which is of the the size of a small car.
The vehicle was lowered to the surface of Mars on the end of a 25-foot-long bridle suspended from the belly of a rocket-powered flying crane late Sunday.
After covering 352 million miles since launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., last November, the cruise stage separated from the lander around 10 p.m. However owing to the distance between Earth and the Mars which is 154 million miles — it took radio signals confirming critical events 13.8 minutes to reach the flight control team at JPL. That translated into 10:14 p.m. “Earth-received time.”
Humans on Mars ?
The spacecraft is targeted for some groundbreaking discoveries on the planet of Mars. This mission would lead to giant leaps in deep-space exploration, including bringing Martian rock or soil back to Earth for a detailed analysis and, eventually, human exploration.
President Obama had earlier established a goal of sending manned missions to the Mars by 2030.
John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator, said on Sunday that humans might one day live there too.
“Curiosity has captured the imagination of the world,” Grunsfeld said before the landing. “We’re about to do something that I think is just huge for humankind.”