In a show of technological wizardry, the robotic explorer Curiosity blazed through the pink skies of Mars, steering itself to a gentle landing inside a giant crater for the most ambitious dig yet into the red planet’s past.
A chorus of cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Sunday night after the most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built signalled it had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere.
A group of over 200 space enthusiasts gathered at Hotel Ocho near Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave. for Mars Party, one of many celebrations held across the Canada to usher in the landing.
Attendees paid $25 a pop to sip drinks and talk science as two screens displayed live video from NASA’s control room. Around 1 a.m., the crowd had a live video chat with the poster boy for elementary school science education: Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Despite the Nye’s pep talk, some in the crowd were still skeptical that the landing would go according to plan.
“It looks like a crazy, stupid idea,” said Jesse D’Andrade, a 22-year-old University of Toronto psychology grad. “But it’s made by NASA, so it’s probably genius.”
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