NASA’s Mars mission was a success, with the high-tech lab making its decent to the planet’s surface safely while members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team shared hugs and high fives all around.
The $2.5 billion mission’s rover took around seven minutes to make its landing on the red planet’s surface. The car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover landed in Gale Crater at the foot of a layered mountain. While previous missions focused on finding water on the red planet, the Curiosity mission will look for ancient habitable environments.
The mission began almost a year ago when the lab launched in space from Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA said even if the landing wasn’t properly reporting data, it wouldn’t mean that the mission was a total wash. In fact, the team put several factors into play that would have allow them to find out what happened (or what went wrong) leading up the landing. That said, it could have taken up to three days before finding out the full status of the mission.
High-resolution images should begin rolling in soon, and probably continue for quite some time — (because we just put a laboratory on another friggin planet and that’s awesome).