A signal from NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, including the new Curiosity rover, was received by officials on the ground shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft is flying free and headed for Mars.
“Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it’s on its way to Mars,” said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He thanked the launch team, United Launch Alliance, NASA’s Launch Services Program and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for their help getting MSL into space.
Interesting that the brainpower behind NASA resides in Virginia, California, and Florida.
John Grotzinger of CalTech: “I think this mission will be a great one. It is an important next step in NASA’s overall goal to address the issue of life in the universe.”
Doug McCuisition, director of the program: “Science fiction is now science fact.”