By Mike Deliman
It's time to celebrate. We have returned to Mars with the most complex roving robotic laboratory ever sent to another planet. We have demonstrated and proved the Sky Crane concept, which opens doors onto other worlds that we have never had before. We can successfully deliver 1 metric ton to the surface of Mars.
This is an achievement beyond words. A new day is dawning on Mars, a day marked with the ability to achieve incredible scientific goals. A team of over 7000 individuals made this happen. A true testament to humankind. None of these contributors could have done this without the support of their families and significant others. And I am extremely proud to work for Wind River, a company whose technology helped make all of this possible.
I'm a California boy. It takes someone very special to have this kind of draw, to pull me to Indiana. Here we are. It’s late. This is a historic evening.
All times in Central time (Valparaiso, Indiana):
10:30pm - we tuned in to the press transmissions on both NASA-TV and USTREAM on JPL channel 3. We spent the next several hours toggling between the audio feeds, glued to the monitor.
10:40 pm - DSN ready to relay signals. EDL team is getting setup. EDL "tone screens" were being finalized. Chatter in the flight control room was muted.
10:52 pm - Mars View from MSL is about 20 degrees - she's getting close.