Curiosity Lands on Mars

I stayed up late last night with my girlfriend to watch the live feed from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Curiosity prepared for its descent onto the Martian surface. This was my first experience watching a live event from NASA and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was quite pleased with the live feed and found the commentary, discussions and information all to be wonderfully presented. The experience as a whole kept me captivated and made the hour to entry fly by fairly quickly.

Once it was time for entry I was on the edge of my seat for the whole seven minutes, and the seemed to crawl by. When Curiosity landed safely, I clapped and whooped along, then waited with baited breath for those first images to come in.

I have never been so close to something so amazing before. The thought that I would be among the first to see these images of Mars and the rover was almost too much for me.

The first image came in. A low-resolution image of Curiosity’s rear left wheel. It was stunning. Then, a higher resolution image of the same photo. You could clearly see the Martian surface, pebbles and all.

Then the third image came in and I was in awe. You could see the shadow of Curiosity on surface of Mars. I was looking at a shadow on another planet. Another planet! I had never seen something like this before and I was so terribly excited.

I know many of you by now have seen these images, but I felt I should share them with you. There is also and image that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught of Curiosity during its descent when its parachute had deployed.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures Curiosity during its descent to the Martian surface. (Image courtesy NASA)

Curiosity sends back its first picture from Mars. We can see its rear left wheel. (Image courtesy NASA)

Curiosity sees its own shadow on Mars. So, if a rover sees its own shadow, does that make for an early or late spring? (Image courtesy NASA)