If you're going to watch a NASA rover land on Mars, why not do it with your fellow Earthlings in one of the busiest places in the world at 1:31 a.m.—TIMES SQUARE! Last night's live broadcast of the Mars Science Laboratory's and Curiosity rover's landing on the red planet was eagerly viewed by science lovers and the, ahem, curious at the crossroads of the world.
According to the Verge, "Each time Mission Control released an update informing the Times Square crowd that the rover had entered the atmosphere, or that the parachute had been deployed, cheers roared out. Each step closer to a successful landing increased the intensity. For those walking down the street unaware of the events unfolding before them, it must have seemed odd... Then the largest roar of all broke out, as everyone heard confirmation that Curiosity was safely on the Martian surface. Cheers of 'NASA — NASA — NASA' and 'Science! Science! Science!' broke out. It was an intensely emotional release: NASA knew the risks, and, so it seemed, did the crowd."
I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012
The joy on the crowd's face is really palpable. And scientists and engineers at NASA are thrilled, too, of course!
And Mars Curiosity says, "FYI, I aim to send bigger, color pictures from Mars later this week once I've got my head up & Mastcam active #MSL"