The pinpoint landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars early Monday went as planned, to the jubilation of NASA scientists. But the budget for the Mars program is on the chopping block, as Washington grapples with debt and deficit.
At mission control, nothing to do now but watch and wait, as the rover and its descent module near Mars' atmosphere and begin to feel the pull of gravity. So far, everything is on track for early-Monday landing.
No planet in our solar system has been linked to more misconceptions than Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is scheduled to touch down on Sunday night. Here are the five most persistent myths about the Red Planet.