Amidst loud cheers and much excitement, NASA's Curiosity rover has made its perfect landing in the Gale Crater. Heralding the big moment, NASA's Curiosity has even sent out the first thumbnail image upon touchdown. Even as we're writing this, Curiosity rover continues to send in thumbnail images, while in the Gale Crater. Some trivia for the number enthusiasts – as per details of the NASA website, as of 6:18 p.m. PDT (9:18 p.m. EDT), NASA's MSL spacecraft was approximately 36,000 miles (57,936 kilometres) from Mars and it was travelling at a speed of about 8,400 mph (about 3,755 metres per second).
One of the images sent by Curiosity being processed in the background
Tweets coming at the moment capture the excitement in its entireity. Some tweets read, “NASA #MSL: Here's a better picture where you can see the @MarsCuriosity shadow in Gale Crater on Mars pic.twitter.com/hzo1lLA3”
The cameras on the Curiosity rover will enable it to capture never seen before images of the red planet. Elaborating on Curiosity's schedule, NASA adds that the first images from the rover will come from the one-megapixel Hazard-Avoidance cameras (Hazcams) that have been attached to its body. And, it is only once its engineers deem it to be safe to deploy the rover's Remote Sensing Mast and its high-tech cameras that Curiosity can begin its task.
It is a historic day for the world, especially for NASA. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and Curiosity rover have made their touchdown on the Red Planet. Mars, the elusive planet has been piquing the curiosity of mankind for years now, and the possibility of life on Mars has been the topic of the most interest. Approximately 352 million miles (567 million kilometres) and 36 weeks after being launched from Earth, NASA's MSL spacecraft and Curiosity rover have finally managed to make a historic touchdown on Mars today.