NASA's Curiosity rover, THAT LANDED YESTERDAY, is the centerpiece of a $2.5-billion project. Some argue for rolling back spending, but proponents say knowing our celestial neighbor is in the nation's best interest.
MSL Flight director Keith Comeaux, right, celebrates with Martin Greco after a successful landing of the Curiosity rover.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / August 6, 2012)
Rover Curiosity Lands Safely:
'Wheels Down on Mars'
Curiosity, the largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet, stuck its extraordinary landing Sunday night in triumphant and flawless fashion, and is poised to begin its pioneering, two-year hunt for the building blocks of life — signs that Earth's creatures may not be not alone in the universe.
NASA's $2.5-billion mission involved the work of more than 5,000 people from 37 states, some of whom had labored for 10 years to hear the two words that Al Chen, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer, said inside mission control at 10:32 p.m.: “Touchdown confirmed.”