CURIOSITY has landed. Right on cue, the 899-kilogram rover plonked down on the sandy surface of Mars' Gale Crater yesterday afternoon. Within minutes, the first Mars pictures had been streamed back to Earth. Watched by millions worldwide, the textbook landing of the most advanced and heaviest rover marks the beginning of a 23-month mission that will explore the red planet more widely than before.
NASA's mission findings are likely to serve as a foundation for plans to send humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.