Long minutes of thunderous applause greeted the managers and
engineers who paraded into an auditorium here Sunday night, triumphant
after a perfect landing on another world
The Mars rover Curiosity sent a picture from the Martian surface just
moments after its self-piloted descent and airdrop, and everyone
assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory could not help but cheer.
It's a huge moment for NASA, which delivered the rover over budget and
two years late -- but delivered it, and beautifully.
Nothing is harder than landing on Mars, and no one does it better
than the United States, said Charles Bolden, NASA's administrator. In a
few moments of proud flag-waving, Bolden, White House science adviser
John Holdren and others trumpeted the space agency's momentous
"Tonight, there are at least 4 countries, and I won't name them, who
are on Mars. And they're on Mars because they went with the United
States," Bolden said. "Our leadership is going to make this world