NASA – Curiosity
This is a behind the scenes look a the tension, anticipation and exhilaration experienced by scientists and engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California on August 5, 2012, during the Curiosity rover’s harrowing descent through the Martian atmosphere — known as “Seven Minutes of Terror.”
News of Curiosity’s safe touchdown following the 13-thousand-to-zero-mile-an-hour descent to the Red Planet’s surface brought elation and high-fives all around the world. Curiosity begins a two-year investigation of whether Mars is or ever was capable of supporting microbial life.
This image shows one of the first views from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (early morning hours Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a “fisheye” wide-angle lens on one of the rover’s Hazard-Avoidance cameras. These engineering cameras are located at the rover’s base. As planned, the early images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover’s mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech