Mars - first update on landing

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Adam Steltzner, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent and landing phase lead says the data from the landing looked good. “In short it looked extremely clean. We touched down in conditions on the more benign side of nominal expectations.” Steltzner adds that, although “this is preliminary data, everything looked very nominal and remarkably good. The navigation error was on the low side of expectations – so that probably meant good alignment between celestial sensors and inertial sensors.” He adds that the Curiosity landed with “140 kg of fuel reserves out of a total of 400 kg – so it looked good in short, and it landed in a nice flat spot.” Landing accuracy is reportedly extremely high – though NASA says it will confirm co-ordinates shortly.

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A Century of Aviation Week

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