Overcoming its “seven minutes of terror” — and winning the hearts of geeks worldwide — the 2,000 lb. NASA Curiosity Rover landed on Mars at 1:39am, early Monday morning EST.
“We’re on Mars again,” said the exhilirated NASA chief, Charles Bolden. “It’s just absolutely incredible. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Much of the Twittersphere agreed with him — especially as the Curiosity Rover’s official account was live-tweeting the whole landing, writing in what you might well call the voice of the Internet. The first surface-based missive from what many users were calling the “tweeting truck” was this gem:
Moments later, the account paraphrased Neil Armstrong — but went the first man on the moon one better, by posting the first ever twitpic from an alien planet.
Back on Earth, a rapt audience followed along via live feed on UStream. And Flight Director Bobak Ferdowsi, instantly recognizable via his mowhawk covered in spray stars, became an instant Internet sensation. He Instagrammed his view from the control room. His wonderfully-named Twitter account, @tweetsoutloud, went from 200 followers to 11,000 in the space of a few hours.