Countdown: Space geeks and celebs watch, tweet Mars rover Curiosity landing


Posted on: December 2, 2016

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(Scroll down for comprehensive, chronological live coverage of Curiosity landing. This was the first image beamed from the rover at approx. 1: 35 am Eastern)

I'm inside the orbit of Deimos and completely on my own. Wish me luck! #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

2 hours to Mars, 16,300 miles away and closing fast. Velocity = 8,900 mph. Watch live: #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

"Clean feed" of JPL mission control for @MarsCuriosity landing (cameras/audio only, no commentary) see #MSL

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 6, 2012

Curiosity lands at 05:31 UTC, about 2 hours form now. Currently 30,000 km and moving 14,000 kph relative to Mars.

— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) August 6, 2012

Via @steltzner, live streaming video from JPL ( in HD, looks good up on big TV ) #mars #curiosity #NASAsocial

— Todd Barnard (@toddbarnard) August 6, 2012

#MSL Time until entry 2 hrs 19 min time until touchdown 2 hrs 26 min velocity 8,700 MPH

— Spaceflight Observer (@SObserver) August 6, 2012

RT @NASA_EDGE: We are on the piazza at MediaCityUK getting ready for the live webcast. Go Curiosity!! #MSL 12:30 …

— HarlemThinker (@tchiyuka) August 6, 2012

We're hours from landing @MarsCuriosity on Mars. Here's the latest update: Will you be watching #MSL tonight?

— NASA (@NASA) August 5, 2012

@Stratocumulus: RT @NASAWatch: Less than 8,000 seconds to #Mars for @MarsCuriosity #MSL

— Kevin Triggs (@brewcitytriggs) August 6, 2012

Fully on board with the @MarsCuriosity excitement. Seventh grade field trip to space camp sparked the curiosity #msl #marslanding

— Aimee Weiss (@aimeeweiss) August 6, 2012

Space and science geeks online, unite!

The Mars rover Curiosity (official Twitter account here) is scheduled to reach Mars at 1:30 a.m. ET. The make-or-break landing attempt for the NASA robot comes after eight months of travel spanning 350 million miles from Earth to the Red Planet. Fans gathered at viewing parties across the country and on Twitter in anticipation. Keep refreshing this post for live updates through the night.

. @claratma and I @JPL getting ready for #MSL to blaze a trail on the Red Planet. Clara named our rover. Thanks Clara.

— Leland Melvin (@Astro_Flow) August 6, 2012

While #MSL will be in the Mars sky tonight, you may be able to see the space station pass overhead here on Earth.

— NASA (@NASA) August 5, 2012

#MSL I truly wish I could take an aerial photo of the @NASAAmes crowd right now, it is that stunning. Up at the stage, the show is starting!

— Camilla Corona (@CamillaSpace) August 6, 2012

Here's the _correct_ link for @MarsCuriosity landing resources, including the liveblog:

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 6, 2012

Attendees on the parade grounds at the #MSL @MarsCuriosity event say "Mars or Bust" #NASASocial

— Ames Research Center (@NASAAmes) August 6, 2012

2.5 hours til the @MarsCuriosity behind me in this pic lands on the surface of Mars! #MSL #NASASocial

— James Gomez (@GomezJames) August 6, 2012

Got a few sodas, some pizza, and a bag of chips. I am ready to watch the Curiosity landing livestream #MSL

— Will O'connor (@TheWillMun) August 6, 2012

This is the feed that I am currently using, leading up to #MSL on #Mars. Hoping for a perfect #EDL in 2.5 hours!

— David Herne (@AunatEridu) August 6, 2012

Praying for a safe landing for #MSL and a lot of great scientific knowledge to follow. #NASASocial

— Brent Haeseker (@brenthaeseker) August 6, 2012

There will be Seven Minutes of Terror in about 2.5 hrs when the #Mars rover Curiosity lands tonight. Will you be watching? #MSL

— Anthony Floyd (@AnthonyFloyd) August 6, 2012

Mars curiosity landing in bout 3 hours. Huge step in space exploration #RememberThisDay #MSL

— Andrew Lane (@Andrew_AL98) August 6, 2012

Follow Curiosity all the way to Mars! Live landing countdown and simulated rover-view: #MSL

— Science News (@ScienceNews) August 6, 2012

Actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Uhura on Star Trek, is attending the official NASA viewing party:

Seriously, Nichelle Nichols is *adorable*. #MSL #NASASocial

— Rachel Sanders (@trustrachel) August 6, 2012

Also on hand? Will.I.Am of the Black-Eyed Peas:

Guess who's come to JPL for the Mars landing? It's #MSL

— Jonathan Amos (@BBCAmos) August 6, 2012

Rockin out with the people who make rockets… #nasa #msl #marscuriosity curiosity #reachforthestars

— (@iamwill) August 6, 2012

And here’s Alex Trebek!

We're joined by @Jeopardy's Alex Trebek at the #NASASocial tonight

— NASA Social (@NASASocial) August 6, 2012

A exciting as the Olympics are, MSL is more exciting & important for this country. -Alex Trebeck #NASASocial

— Susan Bell (@susanbellfilm) August 6, 2012

June Lockhart of "Lost in Space" and "Lassie" in JPL newsroom. @MarsCuriosity #msl

— Alan Boyle (@b0yle) August 6, 2012

Social media has revolutionized the space watching experience, for sure:

I watch the social media feeds in awe at the explosion of #MSL @MarsCuriosity interest. So much as changed since '04 @MarsRovers

— Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs) August 6, 2012

Everything is so different now w/ social media. People can be a part of it as it happens. @howellspace #MSL #Curiosity

— STARLORD (@Charizardi) August 6, 2012

Steltzner: We thank you (the public on social media) for your good wishes and support. #MSL

— Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) August 5, 2012

World, take note. @NASA and @MarsCuriosity are doing social media right. #MSL

— Janna O'Shea Zagari (@jannaoshea) August 6, 2012

The #nasasocial hashtag is tracking all the online global water cooler buzz.

We've created a set of #MSL landing event images. Keep checking back! #NASA #JPL @MarsCuriosity

— NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) August 6, 2012

We interrupt the #Olympics in order to "dare mighty things." There's a mobile chemistry lab about to land on #Mars. #MSL @MarsCuriosity

— OKCsoonerSpotter (@OKTXWXSPOTTERS) August 6, 2012

#MSL is currently moving 362 times faster than Usain Bolt! The Spacecraft is still accelerating until hitting Entry Interface… #Olympics

— MSL Curiosity (@MSL_101) August 6, 2012

Via #NASA #EyesOnTheSolarSystem – Current position of #MSL – 1hr 27min from Cruise stage separation

— Talking Space (@talkingspace) August 6, 2012

Live from mission control: @MarsCuriosity is 2 hours from landing. Watch live on NASA TV: #MSL

— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2012

For the full multimedia experience of #MSL @MarsCuriosity, watch @NASA TV coverage and social media feeds at

— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2012

So who's the guy in the control room with the stars & stripes mohawk? #NASA #MSL #Curiosity @MarsCuriosity @NASAJPL

— Sonia Bovio (@sbovio) August 6, 2012

Everyone loves the NASA patriotic mohawk guy! Identified:

NASATV just showed a dedicated engineer who shaved his hair in a "stars and stripes" mohawk for #MSL landing. Hope we see him again."

— Daniel Q Bernardez (@daniel_nro2) August 6, 2012

Photo: If I knew I could rock a Mohawk at NASA I would have been a rocket scientist. #MSL (Taken with…

— Kristian Odland (@kreshjun) August 6, 2012


The crush object of the night on Twitter appears to be Bobak Ferdowsi, the guy with the dyed mohawk at @NASAJPL #MSL

— Ed Hunsinger (@edrabbit) August 6, 2012

Hot Mohawk Guy in control is already internet famous #Curiosity #MSL

— laynie tell (@penstone) August 6, 2012

Nice Mohawk! Science is still punk #msl @marscuriosity @nasa

— rachel hyman (@rachelhyman) August 6, 2012

Mr. Mohawk is on Twitter: @tweetsoutloud – Flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission.

— Michael Rusch (@weeddude) August 6, 2012

He speaks, he tweets!

Folks asking about my hair, here it is. Been doing this for big events on #MSL #jpl #nasa #curiosity #daremightythings

— Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) August 6, 2012


@michellemalkin @dreamyeyed @NASA @MarsCuriosity BEST thing about watching live feed of #Curiosity on NASA – NO Matt Lauer.

— ShelleyMG (@ShelleyMGO) August 6, 2012

12:58am EASTERN

Now NASATV is showing the #MSL "7 Minutes of Terror" video, which still makes me smile:

— New Scientist (@newscientist) August 6, 2012

Applause in #MSL control room: We are now in EDL mode.

— New Scientist (@newscientist) August 6, 2012

#MSL: @MarsCuriosity has transitioned to EDL main — which means that that we move to the next series of commands progressing toward landing

— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2012

@MarsCuriosity: Pass the Peanuts! Everyone's eating peanuts, right? They're an @NASAJPL good-luck tradition since Ranger 7 in 1964 #MSL

— iPhil (@iPhil) August 6, 2012

22 minutes to entry, says EDL chief @icancallubetty. Things are looking good, we're right where we expect to be. #MSL

— New Scientist (@newscientist) August 6, 2012

@MarsCuriosity is now closer to the Martian surface than Los Angeles is to New York City #MSL

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) August 6, 2012

There’s a Times Square viewing party:

:O RT @mslopatto: #NASA swag being handed out in Times Square #msl

— Trace Gilton (@tracegilton) August 6, 2012

Way to go, Odyssey! The Mars orbiter is in position to relay my communications during landing in real-time back to Earth #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

Cruise stage separation complete. So long & thanks for all the navigation. 17 minutes to Mars! #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

Entering Mars' atmosphere. 7. Minutes. Of. Terror. Starts. NOW. #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

I feel lighter & faster already. Cruise balance masses ejected and Mars is pulling me in #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

We are processing data from Odyssey!!

— Caltech (@Caltech) August 6, 2012

#MSL: We have parachute deploy on @MarsCuriosity

— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2012

Powered Flight! #MSL

— Andrés Ornelas (@andres) August 6, 2012

Update 1:34am Touchdown confirmed! Huge outbreak of applause, cheers, and roars in control room and around the world. Twitter blowing up:

#MSL: Touchdown confirmed for @MarsCuriosity

— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2012

“We are wheels down on Mars.” We live in an age in which that is a real thing somebody just said, consider yourselves lucky. #MarsCuriosity

— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) August 6, 2012

The guy who got to utter the phrase, 'we are wheels down on Mars' has the coolest job. Ever.

— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) August 6, 2012

I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

You asked for pics from my trip. Here you go! My 1st look (of many to come) of my new home… MARS! #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

The beautiful shadow of a beautiful rover on Mars. Congratulations @MarsCuriosity team!!

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 6, 2012

It once was one small step… now it's six big wheels. Here's a look at one of them on the soil of Mars #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

Statement from the @WhiteHouse on the landing of @MarsCuriosity #Curiosity |

— (@UPI) August 6, 2012

The president’s statement:

“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.”

"Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history."—President Obama

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 6, 2012

Amid the rejoicing and White House football-spiking, some pushback against the politicization:

You didn't do it “@michellemalkin: RT @UPI: Statement from the @WhiteHouse on the landing of @MarsCuriosity #Curiosity

— Erick Brockway (@erickbrockway) August 6, 2012

@michellemalkin Engineering for the #MSL started in 2004. Even our side doesn't mention this key fact.

— Keith Curtis (@keithccurtis) August 6, 2012

Statement from the @WhiteHouse on the landing. Credit's Bush… oh wait….

— Edward (@US395) August 6, 2012

If for some really stupid reason you want to politicize this Mars landing, chew on this – the mission was funded under George W. Bush.

— Rodney Ramsey (@RodneyRamsey) August 6, 2012

And many reminders on Twitter of Obama’s NASA budget cuts:

Obama: congrats NASA! Sorry I cut your funding… Solyndra was a better investment I think.

— Rukus (@rukusduk) August 6, 2012

*Please* push for @NASA funding.. RT @BarackObama: "Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history."—President Obama

— Michael Crawford (@MiklCraw4d) August 6, 2012

So NASA just put wheels on Mars but it's not worth funding & Obama shut down manned flights. #thismakessense

— Janell Hendren (@JanellHendren) August 6, 2012

"Sorry NASA, I'm cutting your funding. You'll have to use a Motorola phone camera on your little rover." – Obama

— Johnny Coltrane (@Chief_Wildcat) August 6, 2012

@whitehouse Mr. Obama can you please give NASA the funding they need to go further because the @MarsCuriosity landing was incredible

— Austin Wooldridge (@Wooly_Mammoth) August 6, 2012

I think John Holdren, President Obama's official science advisor for NASA, just took a swipe at Obama for funding. #uhoh

— WRXchad (@WrxChad) August 6, 2012

(That’s the same John Holdren, by the way, more well known for his radical population control and global warming views than for his championing of space exploration. But we digress.)

London Olympics cost over $14B, #MarsCuriosity: $2.5B #fundNASA

— Evan Hansen (@evanatmedium) August 6, 2012

But back to Earth:

Meanwhile, back on Earth, my post-landing news conference is starting @NASAJPL. Watch live #MSL

— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012

@MarsCuriosity @nasajpl congrats on the landing! I wonder what the kickstarter rewards would be for a manned mission kickstart?

— Michael Bean (@cannos) August 6, 2012

Animated gif of #MSL mission control: That's pretty much it.

— New Scientist (@newscientist) August 6, 2012


And over to the new Gale Crater Twitter account:

@MarsCuriosity Those pictures make me look fat. :(

— Gale Crater (@RealGaleCrater) August 6, 2012

Exit question:

Curiosity has landed on Mars, where should we go next? #MSL

— Kyle (@kylase) August 6, 2012

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