Nasa nails Mars Curiosity landing

2012-08-06 07:42

Pasadena - Nasa's $2.5bn Mars rover has sent back its first signals to mission control as it entered the Red Planet's atmosphere in the final moments of a dramatic touchdown.

Engineers shouted and clapped when the Curiosity rover touched down on the surface.

The manoeuvre was complex and for several minutes, engineers could not communicate with the lander as it entered Mars atmosphere.

"We can confirm that the event is actually happening," said a member of mission control at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "We are receiving heartbeat tones at this time, things are looking good."

Minutes after landing the rover sent back its first picture of the its wheel on the surface of Mars as celebrations continued at Nasa's JPL.

  • lulama - 2012-08-06 07:51

    Great stuff. Hope they find water this time. I need to buy property there :-)

      Duanne - 2012-08-06 09:00

      They already discovered water ice is present in the form of permafrost in the ground:

  • henri.lombard - 2012-08-06 07:51

    Well done NASA !!!

  • Ratfink66 - 2012-08-06 07:51

    So frikken awesome!

  • michael.deyzel.1 - 2012-08-06 07:55

    Well done Japie. All Namibians are proud of your achievements.

  • Tshepo Mongale - 2012-08-06 07:55

    NASA has changed the way we live big time and this milestone is yet to change more. we might see the rich relocate to Mars who knows.

      henri.lombard - 2012-08-06 07:59

      or even better, see malema go there !!!!

  • Paballo Ditshego - 2012-08-06 07:55


  • MarkSchrade1980 - 2012-08-06 08:01


  • jacovniek - 2012-08-06 08:01

    Nasa's entire funding is about 0.5% of the entire federal budget... can you imagine what the human race could do if we dump the politicians, put these guys in control and give them the entire budget?

  • gennath - 2012-08-06 08:02

    Great stuff! This was quite a complex manoeuvre!

  • boereroo.jackman - 2012-08-06 08:03

    Great 2.5$bn spent on what exactly? Putting a radio controlled toy on Mars. Imagine how much food that could buy for the people starving here on planet earth where there actually is life (well in some sections anyway). Humanity seems to have weird priorities.

      MSGRule - 2012-08-06 08:13

      People are always going to starve or be poor. That has been like that since the beginning of time. As logn as there is handouts it will continue. The old saying...."teach a man to fish" Great that the landing has happend, not sure from there what the plan is. If only all the rocket sceintists worked on things local to help with our energy needs. Anyways good for NASA

      shaun.bartman - 2012-08-06 08:17

      although this may seem to be a waste of money by the incompetent and uneducated, many of the common day utensils we use today are thanks to the space missions, like the ball point pen. Who knows what the Mars missions will bring to our lives. Society cannot be held back because of the poor. Every time you eat anything better than bread and water, it could be said that why didnt you give the extra money you spent on cooldrink to the poor!

      scouter.fourone - 2012-08-06 08:22

      Get a life 'boereroo' - you are displaying an ignorance normally associated with the African Continent.....

      jacovniek - 2012-08-06 08:24

      Nasa's budget is 0.5% of the federal budget -- which they have to beg for. These "money-wasting scientists" aren't allowed to solve other problems because people like you won't let them.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-06 08:26

      At the rate we are destroying our home planet the time will come, sooner than you might realise that earth will no longer be able to sustain us. We have to develope the capabilities to colonise other planets, otherwise the human race will become extinct. There should actually be more global co-operation to make this happen.

      stanley.millar7 - 2012-08-06 08:32

      @shaun the poor are not poor by choice, what are they supposed to do when the money that should be helping them is used to build robots. its easy to talk about the incompetent and uneducated if you've never experienced poverty.

      daniel.w.gie - 2012-08-06 08:32

      the problem is not money , but idiots who pump money into welfare feeding schemes , resulting in a explosion of people in areas that cannot sustain them , not enough attention is given to birth control , and the upliftment of humans who are alive , these parents , will breed without thought , if there's a problem , they simply abandon the child , Farmers do not over graze or over populate their fields ........same applies to human settlement .....come on .

      shaun.bartman - 2012-08-06 08:45 say i dont know what its like to be poor...i was raised in a home where supper was bread with cheese, we didnt get breakfast or lunch because my parents worked in low paying jobs and paid the rent every month! at 15 i got my first job and put myself through college, so dont judge people! It proves your ignorance!

      Duanne - 2012-08-06 09:05

      Nasa annual budget is +- $20 billion. The Department of Defense: +- $500 billion (excluding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Don't you think money spent on finding new ways of killing people should rather be diverted to feeding people instead of funds used to advance our scientific understanding of the world? And besides, since the 70s they have been cutting space program funding to help the poor: it's been 40 years and the poor are still f2#king here.

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-08-06 08:10

    Wonderful stuff - well done NASA and all those who contributed to the success of this mission.

  • stanley.millar7 - 2012-08-06 08:19

    waste of money, everyday ppl are dying of hunger but they busy building useless robots that are never gonna benefit the human race.

      shaun.bartman - 2012-08-06 08:27

      clearly Sir, you are incompetent and uneducated! If everyone had to worry about the poor, society would not progress!!! Blame the Government for poverty problems, 25% unemployment, of which 18% are people who have no intent on working, they just want the reward without putting in the time! They will rather rob, rape and steal than earn a honest penny!

      MSGRule - 2012-08-06 08:32

      @Stan....Usually people that can only contribute negativity, usually don't contribute to society as well and discourage growth.

      Duanne - 2012-08-06 09:06

      Nasa annual budget is +- $20 billion. The Department of Defense: +- $500 billion (excluding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Don't you think money spent on finding new ways of killing people should rather be diverted to feeding people instead of funds used to advance our scientific understanding of the world? And besides, since the 70s they have been cutting space program funding to help the poor: it's been 40 years and the poor are still f2#king here.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-06 09:13

      And how do you know that? Are you perhaps psychic?

      stanley.millar7 - 2012-08-06 09:13

      @shaun both competent and educated i just think in a different way.

      shaun.bartman - 2012-08-06 09:20

      @stanley.....yes, the wrong way!

  • scouter.fourone - 2012-08-06 08:20

    Absolutely awesome in every which way - Congrats to NASA and all the other Nations who had a hand in providing scientific and technological support to the mission. A really 'good news' story by way of a welcome change!

  • saffaseun.inoz - 2012-08-06 08:22

    That is truly fantastic, well done! BUT I do have to ask.. how is this improving our lives in any way? Billions and billions spent on footage which could rather have been spent on finding sustainable energy resources, feeding the poor, fixing failing economies. But I guess this is human nature. But yes, well done guys. Amazing achievement...

      jacovniek - 2012-08-06 09:59

      Read some of the other comments to gain some insight, but here are some food for thought: (1) The money spent, went to contractors and other smaller companies, employing people and therefore providing jobs, therefore mitigating poverty. (2) We broaden our understanding and knowledge, which allows cavemen to come out of the caves and make things like the Internet, space robots and sliced bread. (3) The money spent on US military alone (i.e. the "science" to kill other people in more ingenious ways) is 25 times more.

  • Stephen - 2012-08-06 08:27

    where's the pictures?

  • Mzakes - 2012-08-06 08:29

    I watched some of the live scenes this morning great stuff!! funny seeing all those nerds doing a happy dance love it.

  • max.maxwell - 2012-08-06 08:30

    Great! Now can we send Julius there?

  • Robert - 2012-08-06 09:19

    Once more science has provided us with an incredible achievement that reflects the ingenuity of humanity. I salute all those involved with this project. Based on this report all that remains to be seen is if all the functions of this rolling laboratory are up and running. Considering that its primary task is to search for proof of mars once having, or still harbouring biotic life I cannot wait for the results of its analysis. Should the results be positive this discovery will no doubt be the single most important event in human history. The ramifications of the proof that life is not unique to earth are enormous and will pave the way for us to revise our beliefs relating to our place in the universe. Knowing that life exists or existed on mars which is our planetary neighbour must surely be evidence that life is ubiquities and that the theory of panspermia scoffed at by scientists when hypothesized by Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe during the 20th Century is now becoming a reality.

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-08-06 10:19

      Dude seriously. The thought that we are unique in the universe is just ridiculous.

      Robert - 2012-08-06 14:29

      I agree but there are also people who still think the earth is flat.

  • mpho.j.mosia - 2012-08-06 10:23

    sweet stuff...prometheus in the making

      arno.botha.71 - 2012-08-08 12:22

      i hope not, that movie was seriously disappointing!

  • arno.botha.71 - 2012-08-06 12:32

    awesome news!! well done to everyone that put in hard work to make this happen :) as for the people on this thread complaining about the amount of money spent on this mission, well there are roughly 925 million poor people on the planet (according to, sharing the 2.5$bn they say this mission cos would give each hungry person just under $3... i'm pretty sure that will not alleviate poverty. also, it's not like the 2.5$bn was loaded into the fuel tanks of the rocket and used for propulsion!! this money was destributed amongst the MANY industries that fed into the realization of this mission to be redestributed amongst their employees and other associated industries... these types of human endeavours are the sole source of income for so many average (albeit smart) individuals who work directly or indirectly in the industry, think about it before you criticize money being spent on driving human exploration.

  • juanne.coetzee - 2012-08-06 14:43

    uh... News24 is lying to us. That image was taken by Mars Rover Opportunity in March this year... It's not Curiosity's first image at all.

  • CaptainGaza - 2012-08-06 14:55

    I f*cking love science!!!

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