Early this morning, over 8 years of hard work paid off as the Curiosity Mars Rover succesfully landed on Mars. Shown here is the NASA team celebrating after the rover’s successful landing. The rover, weighing in at 900 kg, is the largest rover ever sent to the red planet. Because of it’s large size, engineers at NASA needed a new way to safely land the rover on the surface of mars. The method they devised was the Sky Crane, a rocket propelled platform that could safely lower the rover to the martian surface. You can see an interactive rendering of the landing here
Here’s one of the first image transmitted back from the rover – a beautiful black and white still of the rover’s landing site. And while we want to wish the Curiositya and NASA congratulations on a job well done, we know this mission is still only getting started. Over the next few weeks NASA engineers will test the rover’s systems and start the final preparations for its mission to explore mars and pave the way for a manned mission to mars. Projects like this really showcase the amazing feats that science, math and engineering can pull off.