India turned 65 on Wednesday, and amid the great pomp and ceremony of National Day celebrations, the prime minister announced plans for a mission to Mars. India plans to send a research satellite to the Red Planet in November next year — at a cost of $82 million. Critics say the money would be better spent on the nation's creaky infrastructure, and connecting the 400 million Indians who are not on the national electricity grid.
Now, at the same time that Adam Steltzner's team was waiting for news from Curiosity, tens of thousands of people around the world were waiting for some news from the rover's own Twitter feed. One week after landing, nearly 900,000 followers are getting to know the unique personality of Mars Curiosity. That's the rover's name on Twitter.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Here are a couple of Curiosity's tweets so far: You asked for pics from my trip, here you go: my first look of many to come of my new home, Mars.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:20 pm
A photograph taken by NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground.
We can't help but tune into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's daily news conference about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
For the most part, it's very much inside baseball. The scientists talk about the nitty gritty details of getting the Curiosity Rover going and onto doing some science. They talk about reorienting antennas and about how a higher-than-predicted temperature won't have a significant effect on the mission.