(@NASA) August 05, 2012
(Scroll down for comprehensive, chronological live coverage of Curiosity landing. This was the first image beamed from the rover at approx. 1: 35 am Eastern)
Curiosity lands at 05:31 UTC, about 2 hours form now. Currently 30,000 km and moving 14,000 kph relative to Mars.—
Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) August 06, 2012
Space and science geeks online, unite!
The Mars rover Curiosity (official Twitter account here) is scheduled to reach Mars at 1:30 a.m. ET. The make-or-break landing attempt for the NASA robot comes after eight months of travel spanning 350 million miles from Earth to the Red Planet. Fans gathered at viewing parties across the country and on Twitter in anticipation. Keep refreshing this post for live updates through the night.
Actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Uhura on Star Trek, is attending the official NASA viewing party:
Also on hand? Will.I.Am of the Black-Eyed Peas:
And here’s Alex Trebek!
Social media has revolutionized the space watching experience, for sure:
The #nasasocial hashtag is tracking all the online global water cooler buzz.
Everyone loves the NASA patriotic mohawk guy! Identified:
He speaks, he tweets!
There’s a Times Square viewing party:
We are processing data from Odyssey!!—
Caltech (@caltech) August 06, 2012
Update 1:34am Touchdown confirmed! Huge outbreak of applause, cheers, and roars in control room and around the world. Twitter blowing up:
The guy who got to utter the phrase, 'we are wheels down on Mars' has the coolest job. Ever.—
Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) August 06, 2012
The president’s statement:
“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.”
"Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history."—President Obama—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 06, 2012
Amid the rejoicing and White House football-spiking, some pushback against the politicization:
If for some really stupid reason you want to politicize this Mars landing, chew on this – the mission was funded under George W. Bush.—
Rodney Ramsey (@RodneyRamsey) August 06, 2012
And many reminders on Twitter of Obama’s NASA budget cuts:
Obama: congrats NASA! Sorry I cut your funding… Solyndra was a better investment I think.—
Josh R (@rukusduk) August 06, 2012
"Sorry NASA, I'm cutting your funding. You'll have to use a Motorola phone camera on your little rover." – Obama—
Johnny Coltrane (@Chief_Wildcat) August 06, 2012
(That’s the same John Holdren, by the way, more well known for his radical population control and global warming views than for his championing of space exploration. But we digress.)
But back to Earth:
And over to the new Gale Crater Twitter account: