Just a few minutes ago (6 August 2012, ~1:33AM EDT), I was following Curiosity’s (aka, Mars Science Laboratory’s) epic landing on Mars, and saw the first images from the lander as they were transmitted to earth, via live streaming video, while enjoying (and participating in) the extreme socialization happening on Twitter. This included Curiosity’s own Twitter profile, @MarsCuriosity (for a robot, Curiosity seems quite personable), and the Twitter hashtag #MSL.
I shared the experience with my good bud Bill Williamson, and we remotely high-fived each other when the first images were transmitted and received. My biggest fear, that the dreaded “seven minutes of terror” (the time from initial entry into the Martian atmosphere until final touchdown in Mars’ Gale Crater) might turn into a buffering icon on my screen, never materialized. And Curiosity landed flawlessly and all according to plan. Simply amazing!
Here are some screen captures I quickly grabbed as they happened:
For complete information on the mission, and infinitely better photos than what I’ve posted here, visit the Mars Exploration Program’s official home page.
Whew…That was fun, and worth staying up for!