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Curiosity lands safely on the surface of Mars
Posted: Mon, Aug 6, 2012, 5:42 AM ET (0942 GMT)
Mars Science Laboratory illustration (NASA/JPL) NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars late Sunday night. The rover touched down on the surface of Gale Crater at 10:14 pm PDT Sunday (1:14 am EDT, 0514 GMT Monday), with signals confirming the landing arriving at Earth approximately 15 minutes later. Initial black-and-white images returned from the rover's "Hazcam" hazard avoidance camera showed the rover to be on relatively flat terrain, with what may be the crater wall in the distance. The rover's entry, descent, and landing all appeared to go as planned, despite warnings prior to the landing of the risks involved with landing on Mars, particularly using the previously-untried "skycrane" system. The mission teams plans to slowly check out the rover's systems and instruments in the coming days and weeks, preparing for a mission to explore Gale Crater slated to last at least two years.
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