NASA’s Mars Curiosity has landed safely on Mars. This is the 40th mission to Mars from Earth – the 16th that landed successfully. Check out this video showing the landing sites of all seven NASA spacecraft to reach Mars — Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix — and now Curiosity.
Curiosity landed as scheduled in Gale Crater at about 05:31 UTC on August 6, 2012. That was 10:31 p.m. on August 5 according to clocks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where many planetary missions and mission scientists had gathered for the touchdown. The new Mars rover landed in a way no previous rover had attempted before: via sky crane. NASA scientists spoke of the seven minutes of terror: the amount of time it took the Curiosity rover to plunge through the Mars atmosphere and deploy a massive parachute and sophisticated landing system.
Bottom line: The video in this post shows the landing sites of all seven NASA spacecraft to reach Mars — Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix — and now Curiosity.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.