Early this morning, Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) rover Curiosity successfully landed on the surface of Mars. MSL is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term initiative for the scientific exploration of the Red Planet. Curiosity is the largest, most sophisticated rover ever sent to Mars. Its objectives are to determine whether Mars could have ever supported life; to study the climate and geology of Mars; and to provide data that can support planning for an eventual human mission to Mars.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Jerry F. Costello (D-IL) released the following statement:
"Today, after hurtling through space for eight and a half months and millions of miles, the rover Curiosity successfully landed on Mars. We congratulate NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and all of the dedicated individuals who have worked on this mission. This is a monumental achievement and a huge step for planetary science. We look forward to all of the exciting discoveries that we anticipate will be made by Curiosity and we urge a continued national commitment to a vigorous program of planetary exploration at NASA."