I was just posting about this.
Great news indeed!
Currently watching a NASA briefing on NASA TV. It seems as though the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was programmed to photograph the rover during the descent. It caught the rover package with the parachute deployed! I'm still kicking myself for not pressing PrtScn and capturing that pic to share here, but I have no doubt it'll be on the evening news!
Meantime, here's a pic of the landing site as taken by the MRO:
This gives me goosebumps!
And here is the MRO pic of the rover as it descended:
Consider: the MRO was in orbit and has been for a while. They had to command MRO to focus on a given target and anticipate the approach of the MSL. Those commands were sent to the MRO Two Days Prior To The Event!
Have to say: These Guys (and Gals!) are PROS, Jack!
Cool picture Loren!
I watched it live last night (how ccould I not?), and sat here laughing, clapping, and crying. There's something about seeing a roomful of highly educated specialists going bananas with joythat really gets to me. It's been a long time! Too long.
And the usual gang of internet idiots instantly began posting complaints about the "billions of dollars wasted on space." They still don't GET IT! The money was spent HERE. The jobs are HERE. Every cent we've spent on NASA has already been paid back, and then some. It's the only government agency that made money, and created useful jobs instead of make-work.
I guess what really bothers me is that the creeps who object to space research don't seem to have a problem with throwing trillions away on killing people halfway around the world.
Oh shut up, Felaine, and jump for joy for a change! I AM still excited, and I want one of those blue polo shirts with the logo. (I used to have a friend who worked in imaging at JPL, and he gave me some souvenir buttons from the Voyager missions...then he "got religion" and quit his job to become a pastor. Too sad for words.)
Just to give you an idea of HOW BIG Curiosity is by comparison to previous Mars rovers, here's a pic with the three biggies:
That's Sojourner (foreground left), Opportunity (background left) and Curiosity (right). The couple of techs standing there give a further idea of JUST HOW LARGE this latest landing package was!
Thanks Loren, I was looking for a picture like this!
As jaded and jaundiced as most of Congress seems to have become, I would be dubious as to how well they'd be equipped to hear someone like Tyson.
And like you, Pat, I'm floored at how NASA pulled this seeming Rube Goldberg routine off. Worthy of note, there was NO WAY that any form of human intervention could have helped this flight at the critical stage of EDL (Entry - Descent - Landing). The whole business was AUTOMATED, which means that the NASA scientists and engineers who were tasked with the EDL process had to consider how to control and manage that entire business while allowing for ANYTHING that could have happened, then teach a computer (or, more likely, SEVERAL computers!) how to deal with those exigencies.
And They Did It!!!