The descent was Seven Minutes of pure Terror. The 2.5 billion dollar production made it through the martian atmosphere, fired braking thrusters and dropped the robotic probe onto the surface inside a crater.
There are many different ways to “experience” the landing. I visited the Adler planetarium for a live stream event. 950 other space fans were there at midnight on 8/6/2012. The event was standing room only. I returned home to enjoy the landing via NASA TV live stream.
Curiosity updated it’s twitter status (with the help of a social media manager) as the hair-raising decent progressed:
Second Image from Mars
I was amazed at the cross section of the Chicago population at the Adler. Whether for space, adventure or entertainment, this interplanetary mission brought people together. Star Trek is mostly a fantasy because of the behavior of Starfleet. “We try to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.” ~ Jean Luc Picard
As we stretch out our arms and test the limits of our technological abilities, success like this makes us proud to be human.