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What everyone is saying about NASA's Mars rover landing (+video)

The successful landing of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on the Red Planet marks a historic moment in the history of planetary science. Here's what people are saying about it.

By Staff / August 7, 2012

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming in at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Mars, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena Credit:

Bill Ingalls/NASA


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity successfully landed on the Red Planet late Sunday night (Aug. 5), marking a historic moment in the history of robotic Mars exploration.

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Workers in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory cheered loudly when the Mars rover "Curiosity" landed successfully and sent back its first photos from the surface of the red planet. John Blackstone reports.

The Curiosity rover touched down at 10:32 p.m. PDT Sunday, Aug. 5 (1:32 a.m. EDT; 0532 GMT Monday, Aug. 6), after a harrowing journey through the Martian atmosphere. The rover will now spend roughly two years investigating whether Mars has, or ever had, a suitable environment to host microbial life.

As news of Curiosity's successful landing spreads, here are some reactions from space exploration supporters, space industry officials, lawmakers and President Barack Obama.

Barack Obama, President of the United States (via Twitter

Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.

I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality.

Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator 

Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars — or if the planet can sustain life in the future. This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030s, and today's landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal. [1st Photos of Mars by Curiosity Rover (Gallery)]

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut (via Twitter) 

@marscuriosity has successfully landed on Mars. I'm at JPL on this momentous evening. This is one of many stepping stones to manned missions

Adam Schiff, Representative (D-California)

The landing of Curiosity is a remarkable engineering achievement and the culmination of nearly a decade of work by thousands of people here and around the world. In the coming weeks and months, Curiosity will answer many of the vital questions about Mars’ past and whether it ever had conditions suitable for life. But tonight we celebrate the genius of humankind.

This success must reinvigorate our efforts to restore funding for planetary science and future Mars missions. While we have restored some of the funding –- almost $100 million so far –- much work remains to return the Mars Program to health. Without the certainty of future missions and support, we will find it impossible to maintain the most specialized workforce on Earth –- the brilliant engineers and scientists who made this mission possible.

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