On Sunday, August 5th, a few Luminati were able to watch the Mars rover Curiosity landing live from the NASA facility in Mountain View, CA. Everyone enjoyed the event, especially since the Curiosity landing was a point in history they would never forget.
"Gathering at NASA Ames to watch Curiosity land on Mars was an amazing experience," said Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate. "The crowd's emotions peaked twice: first, when JPL announced tersely 'Touchdown confirmed' and then again, when we received the first image from the surface. A grainy, 64x64, black and white image electrified the crowd with evidence Curiosity had successfully landed. Photos of rockets taking off, astronauts in zero G, and "Blue Marble" Earth, have long symbolized our success in space. That night a mere thumbnail assumed similarly outsized significance."
Here is the first photo from Curiosity that had the crowds celebrating:
1st image from Curiosity - NASA Crowd seeing 1st image from Curiosity on screen
A few minutes after Mission Control verbally confirmed Curiosity had landed safely, the rover sent it's first image to confirm it had landed on the surface. When NASA shared this photo with the Mountain View facility, the crowd cheered louder than when they received the verbal confirmation Curiosity had landed. Jim Everingham described it as "It was almost like the picture gave the crowd permission to start celebrating. It was our evidence the computers were accurate." This is another proof point that shows we are a visual culture and how pictures are important to us. Even photos as grainy and small as what was shared from Curiosity. The coolest part is this photo is coming from our neighboring planet, which is on average 140 million miles from Earth (225 million km).
Here are a few other links to stories with more photos and information on the Mars landing, including Curiosity's first color photo.