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Congrats Curiosity! [Aug. 6th, 2012|10:39 am]
You've probably already heard that Curiosity has landed safely on Mars!

Fantastic. I was up watching just a bit of the NASA TV coverage -- the most important part, from just before atmospheric entry to receipt of the first pictures. It is always electric to watch. It stirs my fascination with and love of space and our efforts to explore. I get goosebumps watching those moments.

I have to admit, I didn't think they could pull it off. I was figuring about 3:1 against, quite honestly. Based on the complexity of this approach and the treacherous history of Mars missions... but I'm quite okay with being pleasantly surprised, let me tell you. :)

Bravo to the mission team and the engineers who poured time into this radical design!

Now we await to see what new mysteries await us on the red planet.

[User Picture]From: sabotlours
2012-08-06 06:45 pm (UTC)
In reading about the whole "7 Minutes of Terror" I was thinking that there was no way this thing was going to work. Then I heard the biography of one of the chief engineers and I REALLY thought it was going to fail. He was a sex and drugs and rock-n-roll kinda guy who initially failed geometry. He eventually found physics and engineering and got his PhD. Then he said something that made me stop. At one point there were about 2,000 people working on the project. Yikes! There must have been some tremendous brain power there. In watching the JPL feed last night I was smiling from ear to ear as I watched all of the folks doing their jobs. I was wondering again how much brain power was in that room. I also kept thinking, "Oh, you magnificent nerds!"
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[User Picture]From: kj_roo
2012-08-06 08:06 pm (UTC)
Maybe they'll find weird aliens like the ones in the 80's remake of "Invaders from Mars" :D
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[User Picture]From: foofers
2012-08-06 08:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you for not posting a pic with a badly-Photoshopped alien or pony in the frame. That's all the tubes are filled with today.
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2012-08-06 08:37 pm (UTC)
I'm quite impressed by the scenes of the crowds watching in Times Square, too. True, not a quiet locale, but there were surprising numbers clearly paying rapt attention. And of course, this adventure is only just beginning.. who knows what it'll uncover?

It was a thrilling few minutes, but I stuck around for a couple of the press conferences. That kind of enthusiasm is just wondrous to behold.

Ah, if only NASA's funding could be multiplied a few times. Or several. How about a manned mission to Mars? And a permanently manned moonbase? All it would take is the political will.. !
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[User Picture]From: orv
2012-08-06 11:51 pm (UTC)
I liked this quote:
"The landing went really well, so well that we're having to look at the data again to check it's accurate," said Miguel San Martin, the team's chief engineer for guidance and control. "Even in our simulations it never worked that well."
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[User Picture]From: patch_bunny
2012-08-07 01:17 am (UTC)
The probe tweeted its status on the way down. I think that's kewl.

Supposedly there are a series of still images of the descent as well from an exterior camera. I so want to see that. :D
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