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Curiosity has landed

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:01 pm
by Muttley
Mars Rover Curiosity is down safe and sending pictures.

Huge at 900kg, with an RTG so no problems with solar panels for power. The successful landing was completely automated, and comprised a set of complex manouvers - ablative braking, parachute, then a rocket platform that lowered the rover to the surface on a wire rope before flying away (to reduce the amount of dust kicked up).

The parachute descent was photographed from above by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

This may not be manned spaceflight but it's still a big step forward. The dream that died with the Challenger in 1986 is coming back to life. Looking beyond the horizon again.