curiosity on the red planet: NASA mars landing curiosity on the red planet: NASA mars landing
aug 07, 2012

curiosity on the red planet: NASA mars landing

curiosity descended to the surface on sunday. the rover landed early on august 6 (ET). image REUTERS

after an eight months long journey, the nuclear-powered vehicle covered 352 million miles of space and landed safely near the equator of mars. ‘curiosity’ is NASA’s seventh landing on mars but the most ambitious and expensive. called ‘the mission of the decade’ by NASA officials, curiosity will search for the building blocks of extraterrestrial life and investigate how mars turned from a wet and warm planet into a dry and cold one.

a hovering, jet-powered sky crane, then descended towards the surface, lowering curiosity to the ground on three 25ft nylon tethers. it landed upright on all six wheels. image NASA

as it neared the atmosphere of mars the spacecraft made an entry at a speed of 13, 200 mph, 17 times the speed of sound. it was then slowed down with the help of a giant supersonic parachute.

the crater includes a three-mile high mountain, mount sharp, the base of which appears rich in minerals that formed in the presence of water. image NASA

curiosity’s landing site is inside the gale crater. it was chosen because it may once have been a large lake. curiosity will look there for basic ingredients essential for life (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur and oxygen…)

curiosity image PA

curiosity is ready to analyse soil and rocks thanks to a laser gun that can hit a rock from 23ft, creating a spark. the spectral image from the spark is then analysed by a special telescope to establish its chemical composition.

the atlas V rocket carrying ‘curiosity’ from cape canaveral bound for mars on november 26, 2011 image REX features

the landing of the car-sized rover ‘curiosity’ on mars

the NASA team celebrating the landing

via washington post via telegraph via mirror via CNN

  • and the whole mars mission cost less then the London olympics….

    name says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news