Curiosity down safe on Mars!

August 5, 2012 | Science, Space | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today, around 10:31 Pacific Time, Curiosity successfully landed in the Gale crater on the surface of Mars, and has already sent back a couple of small black and white images. Carman and I were watching it on a combination of Nasa TV on our laptops and the CNN coverage. Thrilling stuff. Here are some of the cool tweets that hit my twitter feed, sampled from some net personalities, as well as just ordinary people that I know.


It once was one small step… now it’s six big wheels. Here’s a look at one of them on the soil of Mars #MSL http://t.co/uzO99NZz
@MarsCuriosity
Curiosity Rover


Hot damn. Humans are awesome when we reach.
@BadAstronomer
Phil Plait


Pretty awesome (for real definitions of awesome) feat achieved tonight. @ @ #MSL
@RoyEltham
Roy Eltham


Quick, while everyone is excited…pass some goddam funding legislation for space!
@Chris_Gammell
Chris Gammell


From the crowd just before entry: “JPL, baby!” After first picture, it’s a mighty roar of “JPL! JPL! JPL!” #Curiosity
@gdunge
Doug Weathers


Hey, IRS: Instead of a checkbox for WOULD YOU LIKE DONATE TO THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FUND, can we get GIVE MONEY TO NASA FOR AWESOME SHIT
@ragebauer
Ragebauer


If they stick the landing, I say put the @ team on a Wheaties box.
@lobrien
Larry O’Brien


The news business should reflect on the fact that I had to tune into NASA for coverage of the most important space mission of recent times.
@dangillmor
Dan Gillmor

Apologies, the blackbird plugin that allows me to inject tweets into WordPress seems to be having difficulties. It may just resolve itself, so if you see tweets above, it got fixed.

Awesome stuff. I’ve previously blogged about how the Apollo program was instrumental in fanning the flames of curiosity and discovery in me when I was just five. I’d like to think that there are a bunch of kids, staying up past their bedtime (with the permission of their parents, naturally), who were inspired to learn about science, engineering and mathematics. What would even be more amazing would be for each of us to consider what we really want to achieve not just as a nation, but as a species. In the words of a former Facebook founder:

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.”
Jeff Hammerbacher

Let’s reach beyond the limits of our own greed, and work to solve the big problems that the world faces: poverty, hunger, pollution, energy, and intolerance. And let’s try to use science and engineering to learn more about our universe and our place in it.

You made me smile, Curiosity.

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Comments

Comment from Mike K
Time 8/8/2012 at 7:48 pm

Yes, really awesome. An infinitely better endeavor than war.

I’m still holding out for microbial life on Mars. I want to see a digging rover!

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