NASA’s latest space rover Curiosity successfully landed on Mars this Sunday. This latest Mars rover, comparable in size to a Mini-Cooper, is NASA’s most expensive and ambitious to-date. Unlike its predecessors Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity is large enough to hold a mobile laboratory, which will allow it gather, store and process large amounts of material as it looks for evidence of life on Mars — or at least the building blocks of it.
One of the first Mars images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The rover gracefully survived what NASA had called “seven minutes of terror,” as the landing involved the meticulous coordination of a parachute, retro rockets and a sky crane.
What do you hope Curiosity will find on Mars? Did you watch the landing live at OMSI or online?
- Deborah Bass: NASA Jet Propulsion Mars Program Officer
- Dan Tyler: Research associate for Oregon State University
- Elizabeth Rusch: Author of The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity