back to article Success! Curiosity Mars lander arrives precisely on schedule

NASA's Curiosity Mars lander settled down on the Red Planet as scheduled, no problems, thank you ma'am, nothing to worry about ... oh, what is it? a quarter of a billion miles from here or so? Nice job, mates. A news conference is being held as we post this note, but we thought you might enjoy a few images from the live feed …

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  1. jungle_jim
    Pint

    !

    Fucking result!

  2. LaeMing
    Happy

    Saw it live from NASA

    I subverted the digital signage in the Lobby to show the NASA feed instead of adverts so everyone in the building could watch.

    1. LaeMing
      Pint

      It was quite interesting to watch the people from various teams taking turns being excited with anticipation, then highly stressed and joyously relaxed again as their part of the entry/landing came and went.

      The 'hippy guy' and the 'mohawk guy' two seats up from him were noted by several people, but as I said, 'if you are smart enough to work at JPL, you can do your hair any way you damn well like!"

      My manager was surprised that the movie representations of the 'NASA' room were more accurate than she had ever expected.

      1. The Axe

        Compare the NASA rooms to that at SpaceX. SpaceX just have bench tables with LCD screens on them. NASA has spent (or wasted) lots of money to make theirs very fancy.

      2. Mike Flugennock
        Pint

        Old hippies and punk rockers -- ON MAAARRRS!

        ...The 'hippy guy' and the 'mohawk guy' two seats up from him were noted by several people, but as I said, 'if you are smart enough to work at JPL, you can do your hair any way you damn well like!"

        I always liked watching JPL Mission Control during the Pathfinder, MER and now the Curiosity landings, for the huge differences in appearance and "culture" between JPL Mission Control and the MSFC Mission Control in Houston. The guys in the "big room" in Houston are all clean-cut, straight-arrow-looking engineering types, and the JPL guys look like a bunch of old hippies.

    2. Paul_Murphy

      Re: Saw it live from NASA

      I watched it on the NASA website with my 7year old on my lap explaining to him about how Mars is so very far away and how so many attempts at landing there have gone wrong.

      He then went upstairs to 'tell mum about space' which probably went down well :-)

      ttfn

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    This is why I follow El Reg

    #1 Before my local (Holland) news media picks up online.

    #2 Really putting your alias into glory: cynical and critical where it counts.

    No; even if all of that turns out to be untrue ('a billion miles after the intended place'?) (as I read it) it still doesn't matter to me because in all honesty your site description leaves little to guess. I /know/ before even reading the article you'll question whatever comes before you. Most often you're right, sometimes you're not, and sometimes you're tricked.

    No one can accuse you guys for never trying. Lets not forget: "Sometimes you're not" can also easily occur due to the source changing its story (seriously meant, it honestly it happens sometimes BUT.. in "El Reg style": How is THAT for a fanboy comment?!).

  4. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    But ... are we mobile?

    Fingers crossed ... \xII

    Beer. Because.

  5. Magani
    Pint

    Yipee!

    Bloody good show! Drinks all round.

  6. Oliver Mayes

    Funniest bit was the random guy at NASA who yelled 'holy shit' at touchdown before suddenly realising he was on camera and they hastily muted the feed.

    1. MrT

      Haven't seen the footage yet...

      ... but I bet that bit gets edited out. I'm glad to see the skycrane idea worked - and am clearly not the only one!

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

        I'm glad to see the skycrane idea worked - and am clearly not the only one!

        I saw the BBC Horizon program last week about the mission and the sky-crane landing system. Flipping amazing stuff.

        If only we could have had a video feed of that decent and landing. That would have been one awesome sight.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

          Of course all Reg Readers saw JPLs full CGI landing sequence some time ago- but the Horizon episode was good for introducing us to some of the people involved, people who must be very happy now!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: skycrane

          I saw the Horizon program last night on iPlayer and couldn't believe what I was seeing. It'll never work I thought angrily, did they ever hear of K.I.S.S? How wrong was I...

          1. Mike Moyle

            Re: skycrane

            It's almost enough to restore one's faith in religion. At the very least it certainly does appear that those prayers to Saint Rube Goldberg paid off!

            Good job all around.

        3. Poor Coco
          Boffin

          Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

          I also wish they’d put a tiny upward-looking camera to catch the skycrane in action — even if it never got used for anything else (although I’m sure it would have been).

        4. johnnytruant

          Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

          If all the gear worked, there is video of the descent. It just hasn't been transmitted back to Earth yet.

          http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/instruments/cameras/mardi/

        5. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

          ...If only we could have had a video feed of that decent and landing. That would have been one awesome sight.

          When the Curiosity next-gen rover project was announced, my first thought was that maybe this would be the rover with the ability to capture and transmit full-motion video, even if it was only 320x240 grayscale clips. Oh, well, too bad, would've been cool. Still, this little hot rod's made of awesome, anyway.

          I was never sure what kind of camera system -- if any -- the sky crane had. Pathfinder and MER, iirc, had low-res downward-pointed cameras that worked as part of the ground acquisition system for descent and landing. Some of the first images to come back from Pathfinder (and MER, if I remember) were ground-acquisition camera images looking straight down at the surface transmitted some seconds before touchdown.

          I guess if Curiosity's sky crane had a system like that, we'd have gotten some really dramatic images back by now, of the newly-landed rover viewed from above as the sky crane flew off to auger itself in a safe distance away.

          Speaking of which... shame, really, that the presence of spilled excess fuel at the sky crane's crash site preclude a visit by the Rover. Those would've been some really interesting images, especially for the engineers. Some of my favorite fotos from Spirit and Opportunity were the close-up shots of their crashed heatshields and backshells taken for the benefit of the engineers.

          And now, I'll just finish with a song...

      2. Bod

        Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

        "I'm glad to see the skycrane idea worked "

        I want video evidence, or it didn't happen.

        Just looks like it's parked on someone's driveway at the moment :P

        Wake me when they find the Ice Warriors though!

    2. The Axe

      And if we're going to talk about silly things, then did anyone notice Fuk Li at the back?

      1. NightFox
        Thumb Up

        @ The Axe

        Yes, noticed that, and judging by the distinctly non-oriental appearance of the guy behind the screen, I'd guess that was a set-up.

      2. Graham Bartlett

        I'm mildly amused by the right-hand image that El Reg captured. Is it just me, or does it look like someone should be saying "That's not a moon, that's a space station"?

  7. DoctorB
    Happy

    Gold Medal to the NASA team!

    This is what science and engineering are all about. Centuries of astronomy, maths, and engineering. Bloody marvellous! More inspirational than the Olympics.

    1. FreeTard

      Re: Gold Medal to the NASA team!

      It is a great achievement, but more inspirational than the Olympics? Not a chance mate.

      1. Subtilior

        Re: Gold Medal to the NASA team!

        If humanity has a future, it is going to depend a lot more on space travel and engineering than on running and jumping up and down and round and round, no matter how good the Olympians are at that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Gold Medal to the NASA team!

      Yeah, Glad they finally got that feet/meters thing sorted out.

  8. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Congratulations too for the BBC who have finally found something more important than the Olympics to headline on their news site.

    1. The Axe

      Headlined for all over a few seconds. If it wasn't for the Olympics there might have been coverage of the whole "seven minutes of terror".

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Go

        Yeah, looks like it's just a change in editorial policy. When I posted that earlier there was only that one story but it now it appears other stories are appearing. Maybe sanity (or what passes for it) is returning to the Beeb?

  9. Scott Broukell
    Coat

    Warning!

    Permit Holders Only

    Wheel Clamping Zone

    1. Ru
      Terminator

      Re: Warning!

      You ever tried to clamp a nuclear laser tank?

      Good luck.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NASA does it right.

    NASA realise the public is interested in this stuff and give what the people want. The people in the control room want to see the facts and figures, not pretty pictures, but they have a CGI parachuting probe on a big screen so the less technical public can get some visualisation of what's happening up there. The first picture was almost instantly downloaded, more for the press than the scientists I'm sure. And a substantial portion of the earth's population getting interested in science.

    Contrast this with the startup of the LHC a few years ago. A room full of people staring blankly at screen full of figures. Cameramen desperately looking for something interesting to film. And now a public who can't be bothered to understand what the LHC is all about.

    1. Libertine

      Re: NASA does it right.

      well, in all fairness, the LHC presents something that is a whole lot more abstract then Curiosity.

      Curiosity is something the average person sitting in front of the TV can picture in their mind whereas when you tell them that at the LHC 2 beams are colliding at godknowshowmany TeV they will just stare at you blankly not knowing what the hell you're talking about.

      also, what would you imagine an animation of what goes on at the LHC is going to look like ? 2 beams hitting each other and then suddenly a burst of pixels ... not very interesting to watch.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: NASA does it right.

      > screen full of figures

      On the Horizon programme, the control staff ran a few simulations (with some techs in a back room throwing some virtual spanners in the works)... which seemed to be mostly people staring at screens full of figures.

  11. NomNomNom

    yawn

    must be monday again

    1. Richard 81

      Oh, go and grow an imagination.

  12. M Gale
    Trollface

    "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

    If @NASAJPL is to believed, that would be VxWorks.

    Though I'm sure the Macs look nice on telly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

      I thought they said the Rover itself used VxWorks?

      OSX no doubt useful as it is a proper Unix.

      (Plus it makes them look like Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day. Maybe if the Rover comes across some malevolent alien tech, they can use their Macbooks to upload a virus and save the day?)

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

        The screenshots I've seen (possibly not from those laptops, however) are not OSX, so possibly they're just using the hardware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

      Not so much the o/s - even NASA can't refuse a bunch of free laptops !

      1. Dana W
        Meh

        Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

        You actually believe Apple gave ANYTHING away for free?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

          Well, they run fairly quietly, have a 16:10 screen (handy if you're looking at a long list of figures) and if one fails you just grab another out of the cupboard and restore a disc image.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

            http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/110926

            The Macbook on the left of this image is running OSX.

        2. Lord Voldemortgage

          Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

          "You actually believe Apple gave ANYTHING away for free?"

          Incredible PR opportunity - more than worth the cost of a few laptops.

        3. Francis Boyle

          Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

          "You actually believe Apple gave ANYTHING away for free?"

          Yeah, and that was Jeff Goldblum's personal Mac in Independence Day.

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

      Given that this was an automated landing, those Macs wouldn't have been doing anything more than consuming a datafeed and displaying it. Something which could be done of pretty much any hardware.

      It's not like they're actually going to trust the piloting job to a commercial laptop, although I wouldn't have minded having a go, I used to be good at Lander back in the 80s... Although the latency might make this version a bit more challenging.

    4. Ru
      Windows

      Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

      If you have a look at one of the other Reg curiosity articles you'll notice that JPL does not appear to be partisan about their choice of software.

      1. Blain Hamon
        Pint

        Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

        Quite right. On the video feed, there were quite a few recognizable Thinkpads and other laptops than just Apple kit, even at that table. So which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest? Whichever one is the right tool for the job at hand, no more, no less.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

        Can you tell me how you inserted URLs? I can't find anything about formatting posts..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: "Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

          Bit of a missed oppurtunity (...) from Microsoft before they had to change name.

          They could've had a Rover Metro interface....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are they all doing?

    Surely they are not all looking at the same monitoring feeds.

    Is this why NASA projects are so expensive?

    Or is it all part of the public relations exercise, look at the team that made it happen, and the cool apple products they use....

    1. KJB
      Facepalm

      Re: What are they all doing?

      You have to be trolling, right?

  14. tempemeaty
    Thumb Up

    They still got it.

    Congrats to all a NASA and JPL. Fantastic work!

    I sat here riveted to my monitor, amazing leap in technology.

    Need manned missions, we need to expand our human footprint that way if we are going to have any assurance of our continued existence in the long term sense of things.

  15. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up

    Amazing!

    So many things that might go right in that complicated landing procedure...and they did.

    To place that behemoth of a rover precisely into a crater on Mars is a stunning achievement but one tinged with sadness after the team's pet cat was run over by the robot during its testing phase.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing!

      Why did the cat need a testing phase?

      1. Hieronymus Howerd

        Re: Amazing!

        Because you wouldn't let a cat pilot that thing without a bit of practice!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congrats to NASA

    But a question :

    Why land in a crater, ie a bit of Mars that has had its geological (?) history blasted to shit by the impact of a fast-moving lump of rock?

    Or is that the point?

    1. Brett Weaver
      Happy

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      I love the fact that I live in the world where there is a NASA..

    2. GettinSadda
      Boffin

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      Because what they really want to see is lots of different levels of the crust. For that you either need to take a drill big enough to make a very big hole in the surface, or find a hole someone/something else has already made for you.

    3. Richard 81

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      I think the crater is pretty old and that it's provided enough shade for long enough that there could be some ice lying around.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      I believe it's to save them the trouble of digging a big hole to get at the lower strata. That's just my guess though, maybe someone else knows better.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      Read the bbc page - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19144464

      they start in the crater among old rocks, then climb the mountain to see the younger/est ones

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Congrats to NASA

        Thanks, all, for the above answers.

        Consider me enlightened.

    6. Pet Peeve
      Boffin

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      A ton of reasons! First off, the bottom of craters is where residual water would have collected before it all evaporated, so it's a good place to look for traces. And then you have your reason - an impact crater has a good chance to expose rock strata. Also, there's going to be lots of loose rock around from many different eras to zap with the frickin laser.

      I believe they intend to drive out of the crater during the primary mission, and this thing will be able to cover a lot of ground.

      'grats NASA!

    7. Peter H. Coffin

      Re: Congrats to NASA

      Yes, landing in the crater was the point. If there's anything interesting left on Mars (water, evidence of prior, maybe life, whatever), it's going to be in deep holes, shadowed places, protected areas.That's where the cool stuff is going to be

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Landing site

      The final destination is Aeolis Mons, a five-kilometre high mountain in the middle of Gale Crater. Gale is an impact crater, but is thought to have been full of water for hundreds of millions of years. As Curiosity climbs Aeolis Mons, it should encounter layers of sediments revealing what mission leader John Grotzinger calls "the dimension of deep time" (New Scientist web site)

  17. Tank boy
    Pint

    There's talking about something, and then there's actually doing something.

    USA wins the gold. Until any other country can park a car on Mars, just shut your pieholes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      ... Parking a car on Mars

      Fair enough, but I note they had to lower it into the parking space. I'd like to see them park it properly with three screaming kids in the back and a control-freak spouse nagging in the passenger seat.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: ... Parking a car on Mars

        So you haven't been following NASA's relationship with Congress then?

        Pure win, anyway. Well done chaps and chapesses!

      2. TheRealRoland
        Thumb Up

        Re: ... Parking a car on Mars

        >control-freak spouse

        aka the 'Nagivator' :-)

      3. Fatman

        Re: ... control-freak spouse

        IF that control-freak spouse happens to be of the female variety, then the best thing to do is to stuff her in the trunk first, then park the fucking car.

  18. Graham Wilson
    Thumb Up

    Wonderful stuff.

    Wonderful stuff. For me, it's been the most interesting landing since we took the arvo off uni to watch Armstrong take his 'one small step'. (Oh how time flies.)

  19. James Gosling
    Thumb Up

    Congratulations!

    Congratulations to all involved! Would like to see so much more exploration like this!

  20. Crisp
    Go

    Red Rover, Red Rover

    Will this rover be able to dust off and repair the other two rovers?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Bahhhh

    It was faked - obviously :P

    More seriously, what an achievement - here's welcoming our Martian overlords!

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

      Re: Bahhhh

      The martian overlords are actually cats...which is why this baby is equipped with a nuclear powered laser death ray and suitably named.

      1. dlc.usa
        Pint

        Re: Bahhhh

        "The martian overlords are actually cats."

        Ah, that explains Yoko Kanno's "Cats On Mars" composition for "Cowboy Bebop," ah reckon.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    This was *never* a done deal.

    Biggest US Mars probe *ever* x new wheel system x new landing mode x Martian probe failure rate (not to mention the odd Nautical Miles vs metres FUBAR) = cheeks squeezed so tight only a dog will hear your bottom burps.

    A hell of a lot of people worked very hard to ensure there was *no* drama today. This could have gone pear shaped right till the end. Strictly the crane *could* have turned round and dropped right on the rover, a real BOFH way to end the mission.

    But it didn't.

    Congratulation to everyone involved. I hope the data it collects will be every bit as spectacular as its landing.

  23. itzman
    Black Helicopters

    Another indication of which hardware suppplier...

    ...donated a load of laptops to NASA...for product placement purposes.

  24. Aussie Brusader
    Pint

    Bloody awesome!

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pint

    You beaut!

    Beer o clock here!

  26. Elmer Phud

    Didn't just work . . .

    . . . it worked really well.

    The stats from the landing shows a really good soft landing - and there we were waiting for 'Oh well, that's another idea down the drain"

    A landing softer than a cat arriving on the dinner table.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Boffin

      Re: Didn't just work . . .

      And future missions should work even better.

      One of the issues with Martian lander design is the *exact* atmospheric profile you design them for. On Earth the top of the atmosphere can vary 10x and I'd guess Mars is somewhat similar.

      So taking atmospheric density data on the way down may help them design the *next* generation of heat shields to need somewhat less ablative thickness, depending on when they arrive at Mars.

      Every Kg of ablative you don't carry to Mars -> 1Kg more of instruments (or a smaller rocket) which at these kinds of prices is pretty important.

  27. Dave the Cat
    Pint

    Bloody fantastic. I doth my cap to NASA chaps and chapettes.

    Drinks all round!

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Doff! DOFF! Doth be that which thee doest, he doth, they do, and not an action be. Thee doff thy cap to thy lord and he doth greet thee.

      Always remember, thee is the formal, thou is the familiar, and be well.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Dave the Cat
        Thumb Up

        I stand corrected good sir... I doff my cap to you for pointing out the error of my dothing.... ;-)

      3. Vic

        > thee is the formal, thou is the familiar,

        Errr - no. "Thee" is the accusative, "thou" is the nominative.

        Vic.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Well... in most usage it amounts to basically the same thing.

          1. Vic

            > Well... in most usage it amounts to basically the same thing.

            No. No, it doesn't.

            The difference between "thou" and "thee" is exactly the same as the difference between "I" and "me".

            It has nothing whatsoever to do with being formal...

            Vic.

  28. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    Yay, just heard Ian from The Reg's question

    How bizarre, dropped onto the live stream of the press conference just in time.

  29. Tezfair
    Thumb Up

    Monday Morning

    Oh how im going to suffer later today, despite setting the alarm my body woke me up to check the clock every hour since midnight, but at 6, my lads and I were up and watching the stream. We all watched as it was being built, taken off and now landing (to some degree)

    We live in such a great time for technology.

    Best Monday morning in years

  30. Glenn Benson
    Alien

    What If

    If curiosity's mission is a success and it actually finds life, what will happen if that lifeform happens to be a cat??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What If

      The cat will probably chase it around a bit then get bored and go to sleep.

  31. Anonymous John

    Nice if it could get to photograph the crashed sky crane. I've no idea how far away it is though.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Alien

      As I understand things, taking a look for the skycrane is one of the mission objectives.

      1. Robert Sneddon

        Acksherly no

        The skycrane crash site will be leaking fuel and oxidiser from the rocket motor tanks and that could contaminate the instruments on Curiosity. They will be keeping the rover well away from it for that reason -- it's why they didn't simply land the rover on retro-rockets in the first place as that would have covered the payload in dust and chemical residues. There's no point other than, obviously, curiosity to go and look at some wreckage, no Science! in it, instead they're looking for pristine bits of Mars to crush and blast into teeny tiny fragments under the wheels of their fully operational nuclear-powered laser-armed supertank.

    2. stucs201

      Its a shame they had to crash the crane. I understand why it was the plan, but given they had more fuel left in it than expected it a pity they couldn't at least attempt to soft land it.

  32. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
    Happy

    The only rational thing I can say is ...

    ... bravo, NASA chaps. Shame you aren't getting the coverage you deserve (at least on UK news), but it's not your fault some shitwit thought it would be a good idea to massacre those poor folks in the Sikh temple. The rest of the headlines could be pushed down the importance list though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only rational thing I can say is ...

      There ya go - the Olympics, Syrian civil war, a Mars Lander, and a random massacre. Covers quite a range of human behaviour. :-/

  33. macamat
    Thumb Up

    I watched it from the

    Natural History Museum this morning, which put on a bit of a show with a live feed (and a Skype call) to NASA, simulated imagery and guest speakers giving presentations on the craft, the geology to be done, etc - about 200 people managed the early wake up to get there.

    As for NASA - fantastic effort, good show, gin and tonics all round!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do we know

    How do we know if Mars isn't a densely populated planet of femtoscopic people who live for nano seconds but to them is hundreds of years and like a scene from many a sci-fi movie they are being subjected to (again) a massive alien monster driving around destroying houses and factories firing laser beams and scooping up the ground. Has this been looked into?

  35. Wild Bill
    Trollface

    Obvious photoshop

    I can tell by the pixels

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious photoshop

      You should go and buy a MacBook Pro with Retina™ display then.

  36. ColonelClaw
    Coat

    Although I am obviously delighted for NASA...

    ...I was slightly dismayed to see in the first images sent back that Tesco have already set up a Metro store at the landing site.

  37. Kaorukun
    Trollface

    Alllright! Now rev up that nuclear engines and drive this baby into the quicksand!

    just kidding, great job guys!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oops!

    http://i49.tinypic.com/np4221.jpg

  39. Robert Sneddon

    Two unsung heroes

    Somewhere today Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson are necking a pint or two while telling each other "I TOLD you it would work!"

  40. Eugene Crosser
    Boffin

    Forget the macbooks,

    look at the Motif look-alike interface of their image viewer.

    Looks like being in space also means being 15 years back in time.

    Which, if you think about it, makes sense. If your kit is going to work for years, without any chance of upgrade, you might as well start with technology that is several years old. If not shiny, it's at least sufficiently well-tested.

  41. YumDogfood
    Trollface

    So thats where they are dumping all those unsold Chevy Volts.

    Excellent news!

    As my JPL bumper sticker says: "I love the smell of rocket fuel in the morning"

  42. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Huge success!

    It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

    But when do they launch the maintenance crew to take off the lens covers, brush off the dust, change tires and stuff?

  43. dynamight
    Joke

    Don't let Howard Wolowitz near the rover controls.

  44. Miami Mike
    Mushroom

    Obama didn't do it, NASA did it.

    Title says it all.

    1. Mike Moyle

      Troll. was: Re: Obama didn't do it, NASA did it.

      Title says it all.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Troll. was: Obama didn't do it, NASA did it.

        There is a standing rule in American politics, Any win that takes place under a Republican, is considered 100% the Presidents victory, any win under a Democrat is considered the win of anybody and everybody else, especially minority party politicians who usually voted against it. Faux News likes to call this "Fair and accurate reporting"

  45. Mike Flugennock
    Pint

    "Perfection still possible – thanks, Yanks"

    On behalf of American space geeks everywhere, you're quite welcome. The pleasure was all ours.

  46. dlc.usa
    Pint

    Is This...

    ...the longest chain of dominos the species has set up that executed flawlessly? Even the Odyssey link they dreamed up near the end that required a new twist worked out. Heck, the weather cooperated, too. They definitely stuck that landing. Oh, and that descent shot with the parachute, too.

    How do we take the global financial systems away from the blokes responsible and give the contract to JPL?

  47. dlc.usa
    Pint

    Did I mention...

    ...NASA's entire annual budget is spent every two weeks or so on the ever increasing interest payments servicing the U.S. National Debt? There's another contract we ought to give to JPL.

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