NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld waits for landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday.
Credit Brian van der Brug / AP
The newsroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is beginning to thin out as the Mars Science Laboratory transitions from an exciting news story, to a long duration — possibly very long duration — exploration of the geologic and environmental history of Mars.
For the reporters still in the newsroom, fatigue is beginning to set in. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been at it nonstop for 30 hours. I feel a bit guilty for stepping out and getting a few hours sleep.
Joe Palca describes the mood of NASA Mars scientists in the wake of the landing overnight, what the latest pictures and data are from the surface of the red planet and what mission scientists are going to do next with Curiosity.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 12:24 pm
The Mars rover Curiosity.
Credit NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
This photograph brings some perspective to the amazing feat of landing a small vehicle on Mars:
The picture was taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter just as the spacecraft carrying Curiosity deployed its parachute. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment at The University of Arizona, which released the image, explains: