Being an absolutely massive nerd I’ve been up since 4a.m. watching the livestream from NASA of the Curiosity rover landing. It was genuinely nerve wracking, especially the last 15 minutes or so as the lander entered the atmosphere. I was literally on the edge of my seat and then when the first pictures started coming in.
I can’t wait until the rover’s head extends and we get the hi-res images coming in. The images above come from the hazard cams on the rover’s wheels. When Curiosity landed it was basically a box with six wheels and all instrumentation was folded inside to protect it from the dust that would be thrown up by landing.
One interesting thing that came up during the hang out was that the folk at NASA don’t get paid until the mission succeeds. No wonder they always look so relieved. That is also a really shitty condition of employment. (Unionise FFS!)
Here in the UK at the moment everything seems to be covered in b/s promoting the latest excuse to try and bolster feelings of patriotism and British nationalism, the Olympics 2012. The Olympics have cost, at the moment, £24,000,000,000. Landing Curiosity cost £1,600,000,000. So, for the amount of money that has been spunked on the Olympics we could have landed 15 rovers. Hell, we could be well on the way to landing a manned mission on Mars. Priorities, ours are clearly skewed.
Some cool pics I’ve found on the interwebs since the landing.
Also, from the Curiosity Rover’s Twitter feed