Or Mars, to be a little more specific. If you’ve been following NASA at all recently then you know of the history that was made last night. Curiosity, the accurately named rover, touched down on the Martian surface last night after an agonizing 7 minute landing procedure. The goal of the rover is to determine if the Red Planet once harbored life and if it still does today.
Launched in 2010, Curiosity spent two years in flight and is the first of its kind to explore the planet. Scientists claim this could usher in a new era of planetary exploration. The size of a small automobile, Curiosity is mobile laboratory that’s tasks are to take pictures and samples of the planet’s surface.
What makes Curiosity different than other Mars rovers, aside from the size, is the landing procedure itself. Using a winch system, dubbed the sky crane maneuver. Lowered down from the hovering, rocket-powered craft using cables, the rover gently touched down on the surface and broadcasted its first pictures about 14 minutes after landing.
This is a new era for space exploration. Soon we will be unlocking the mysteries that our galaxy has to offer. Reach for the stars, NASA.