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NASA's Curiosity Rover Tweets Its Way To Mars

Can a robot tweet? If it can land on the red planet, anything is possible. Here's what twitter followers read before and after the rover landed on Mars Sunday evening.

On Sunday, mankind—well, actually a robotic vehicle—took a giant leap.

Curiosity, a one-ton rover and NASA's most advanced robot, landed hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack on the surface of Mars to begin its search for water.

Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. local time Sunday night near the foot of Mount Sharp - three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter - and inside Gale Crater, the place scientists believe they will find water, . Curiosity will take about two years to complete its mission.

The project involved thousands of scientists and researchers, all in the pursuit of finding life on Mars. A team of scientists at NASA Ames was instrumental for the rover's arrival because they created the parachute that dropped the craft.

This is the third rover the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team has placed on the surface of Mars. The first two, rovers called Spirit and Opportunity, landed in 2004. However, Curiosity has traveled farther and has been designed with more advanced instruments.

The rover carries scientific instruments, some a first-of-their-kind, with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Curiosity will drill and scoop soil and powdered samples of rock, then sieve and parcel out these samples using analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover.

But Curiosity won't just be digging around for water. It will also tweet, with the help of NASA, about its journey on the red planet.

Did you miss its landing? Here's what made it on to twitter from Curiosity and others about this historic event in chronological:

@MarsCuriosity 8:35pm 2 hours to Mars, 16,300 miles away and closing fast. Velocity = 8,900 mph. Watch live: http://bit.ly/MarsLive #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 9:24pm It's landing day & I'm hours from Mars! Watch my final @NASA prelanding briefing, Aug 5 9:30am PT (1630 UT) http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl

@NASA Ames 9:51pm#MSL @MarsCuriosity "Seven Minutes of Terror" video on the big screens! Applause erupts! YAY! http://youtu.be/Ki_Af_o9Q9s #NASASocial

@AnonNep @MarsCuriosity 10:14pm  Don't tweet & drive - its dangerous!

@MarsCuriosity 10:11pm Way to go, Odyssey! The Mars orbiter is in position to relay my communications during landing in real-time back to Earth #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:16pm Cruise stage separation complete. So long & thanks for all the navigation. 17 minutes to Mars! #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:18pm I feel lighter & faster already. Cruise balance masses ejected and Mars is pulling me in #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:25pm Entering Mars' atmosphere. 7. Minutes. Of. Terror. Starts. NOW. #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:25pm Guided entry is begun. Here I go! #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:29pm Parachute deployed! Velocity 900 mph. Altitude 7 miles. 4 minutes to Mars! #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:30pm Heatshield separation. Next up: Radar must lock on ground #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:31pm Backshell separation. It's just you & me now, descent stage. Engage all retrorockets! #MSL

@MarsCuriosity 10:32pm I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL

@lindsey 10:36pm Current status: with 5,000 cheering humans in a field at NASA Ames, looking at pictures from Mars.

@Camilla_SDO 10:37pm Epic. Truly epic. You should hear the NOISE of the crowd here at @NASAAmes! #MSL Got pictures from #MarsCuriosity already! :)

@MarsCuriosity 10:43pm You asked for pics from my trip. Here you go! My 1st look (of many to come) of my new home... MARS! #MSLpic.twitter.com/894ouNJt

@MarsCuriosity 10:47pm No photo or it didn't happen? Well lookee here, I'm casting a shadow on the ground in Mars' Gale crater #MSLpic.twitter.com/cj1zFJty

@MarsCuriosity 10:58pm It once was one small step... now it's six big wheels. Here's a look at one of them on the soil of Mars #MSLpic.twitter.com/uzO99NZz

@MarsCuriosity 11:16pm To the entire team & fans back on Earth, thank you, thank you. Now the adventure begins. Let's dare mighty things together! #MSL

Additional reporting by Courtney Buchanan.

 

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