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Space & Planetary Science

One Ton of American Ingenuity on the Surface of Mars

By Keith Cowing
August 6, 2012
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Image: Mars Curiosity Front Hazcam on Sol 0
“This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left A (FHAZ_LEFT_A) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 0 (2012-08-06 06:23:34 UTC) . Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.”
Statement by the President on Curiosity Landing on Mars
“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.”
Bobby Braun: President Obama’s Policies Bringing Continued Progress To Space Exploration,
“The President’s plan for NASA also enables continuous manned operations of the International Space Station, development of the critical space transportation building blocks required for our deep space exploration future, and investment in a suite of innovative space technology research efforts to enable bold science and exploration missions in the future. Such a concerted effort of robotic and human exploration is essential to capture the spirit, imagination and creativity of the world, and will yield lasting economic, national security and societal benefits.”
Viewpoint: U.S. Must Remain Leader In Planetary Exploration, Bobby Braun, Aviation Week
“Mars surface missions do not all need to be multi-billion dollar efforts; in fact, Curiosity is the only surface mission in the past two decades to cost more than $1 billion. I am confident that a cost-effective surface mission can be developed that is capable of following up on the discoveries to be made by Curiosity, and advances our readiness for an eventual sample return effort.”
Rep. Schiff Cheers Curiosity Landing at JPL Tonight, Renews Call to Fully Fund Mars Program
“This success must reinvigorate our efforts to restore funding for planetary science and future Mars missions. While we have restored some of the funding — almost $100 million so far — much work remains to return the Mars Program to health. Without the certainty of future missions and support, we will find it impossible to maintain the most specialized workforce on earth — the brilliant engineers and scientists who made this mission possible.”
Keith’s note: According to Presidential science advisor John Holdren speaking at the post-landing press briefing: “There is a one ton automobile-sized piece of American ingenuity sitting on the surface of Mars”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.