My flickr contact NASA posted this amazing image of Mars taken by the Viking 1 spacecraft in 1976.
“During its examination of Mars, the Viking 1 spacecraft returned images of Valles Marineris, a huge canyon system 5,000 km long, up to 240 km wide, and 6.5 km deep, whose connected chasma or valleys may have formed from a combination of erosional collapse and structural activity. This synthetic oblique view shows Ophir Chasma, the northern most one of the connected valleys of Valles Marineris; north toward top of frame; for scale, the large impact crater in lower right corner is 30 km (18 miles) wide.”
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. The MSL Rover named Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The complex landing went off without a hitch and the vehicle is sitting on the surface of Mars. Incredible.
Here’s NASA’s Photostream at Flickr.
Update: Here’s the Curiosity team during the landing:
Curiosity just days away from mars
A spectacular set of images of the building and launching of the Mars rover Curiosity. I’m guessing when this contraception enters the Mars atmosphere a lot of people (me included) are going to be glued to our TV sets, computers, tablets, smartphones, and radios.
Amazing how the number of things glued to has increased since the Apollo Moon landing.
Here’s a an excellent video on how the landing is supposed to work on August 5th: