Wheels down for NASA rover, Curiosity
PASADENA, Cali. — History was made millions of miles from Earth early Monday morning.
NASA scientists and engineers successfully landed on Mars the most advanced scientific rover ever created, Curiosity.
The mission originated from the Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California.
After more than eight months traveling more than 350,000 miles through space Curiosity finally reached the atmosphere of the red planet 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
It was an unprecedented, high-risk entry and landing the NASA team called “seven minutes of terror.”
Computers controlled the decent with no help from Earth and mission control slowing the spacecraft from 13,000 mph which is 17 times the speed of sound.
“The most sophisticated Rover ever built is now on the surface of the Red Planet where it will seek to answer age old questions on whether life ever existed there on mars or if ther planet can sustain life there in the future.” said NASA Administor Charles Bolden.
The $2.5 billion nuclear-powered vehicle is the most technologically advanced, robotic scientific laboratory ever launched.
Curiosity is the size of an SUV and now begins a two-year exploration and search for carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and any other elements necessary for life.