PASADENA, Calif. — Curiosity has phoned home from the dusty surface of Mars.
Radio signals and images received at 10:32 p.m. PDT on August 5 by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirm that the rover has reached Mars’ Gale Crater, Curiosity's intended destination after an 8.5-month journey of 567 million kilometers.
Scientists and engineers packed into the JPL mission control room erupted in cheers upon receiving word that the one-ton, six-wheeled rover had survived a complicated sequence of maneuvers that ferried the spacecraft from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the floor of the crater — a descent covering 640 kilometers — in just seven minutes.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.