(Washington) – NASA scientists were able to take a breath of relief for the first time in almost nine years.
After eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel, Curiosity, the car-sized, 1-ton Science Laboratory rover finally landed on the bright rust colored planet known as Mars.
The successful landing marked a $2.5 billion triumph for what Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA calls a “Super Bowl of planetary exploration”. “Curiosity’s primary mission is scheduled to last one full Martian year, or almost a complete two Earth years, but scientist are hopeful that the nuclear-powered rover will keep going for years longer than that.”
Curiosity’s prime target is a 3-mile-high mountain known as Mount Sharp. Scientist believe that the mountains layers of rock could preserve billions of years worth of geological history, that could shed some light on the planets transitions form its warmer, wetter past to its current cold, dry climate.