Touchdown! Miracle on Mars

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At 10.32 Pacific – about a minute after schedule – the Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, successfully landed in the Gale Crater on Mars. Successfully navigating its way through the now-famous ‘seven minutes of hell’ – the spacecraft touched down safely and within 3 minutes had transmitted the first thumbnail image from the rear hazard cameras back to the control room at NASA’s JPL. At 10.37 an even sharper image came through – though still partially clouded by the protective dust covers which protected the camera during EDL. Reaction from everyone at JPL is naturally ecstatic at this astonishing accomplishment.

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