NASA`S Mars rover lands safely on Red Planet
WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – NASA’s Mars science rover Curiosity landed safely on the Red Planet`s Gale Crater at 2:31 p.m. Monday (Korean standard time). This was the 22nd landing of a man-made craft on Mars in human history.
Seven minutes after landing, Curiosity sent the earth three black and white photos taken by a camera installed in the back. They contained the shadow of the rover on the Martian surface and its wheels.
The craft will explore the planet for 687 days and look for traces of organic material. It will try to tap into the possibility of whether humans can develop the planet into a colony to live on.
The rover is equipped with 10 cutting-edge pieces of science equipment, including an arm that extends 2.1 meters, a high sensitive camera, a laser that can zap dust or rocks within a 7-meter radius, and a spectroscope to detect traces of water and the existence of organic material on the planet.
“The successful landing of Curiosity marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future,” U.S. President Barack Obama said. “It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.”
Costing 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, the project had a complicated landing process involving a sky crane, parachute and rocket. It required delicate handling because of its large size and heavy weight, and could have been broken had it been dropped from an airbag like previous ones.
Upon the descent on Mars, NASA researchers burst into applause and cheers after watching the landing live at the space agency`s headquarters in Houston. At Times Square in Manhattan, New York at the same time, hundreds of tourists watched the landing on a large screen and celebrated with applause. Many Internet users around the world enjoyed the spectacular moment as the landing was aired live via the Web.
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