Relive the nail-biting terror and joy of Curiosity’s landing

Tense video of mission control scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Pasadena, California, as they receive word of the Curiosity rover’s descent and landing on the surface of Mars, interspersed with a beautiful animated simulation of the landing.

[Video link]

And here is the first color photo Curiosity transmitted after landing, showing the landscape to the north of the rover:

The image, which shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater, has been tilted to level the horizon. It’s blurry because the camera that took it still bears a transparent lens cap that is covered with dust kicked up during landing. The cap will be removed during the extensive commissioning maneuvers required before Curiosity starts its work.

H/T: Peter Barss.