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Pictures | Mon Aug 6, 2012 | 6:07pm EDT

Mars rover landing "miracle of engineering," scientists say

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012, in this handout image courtesy of NASA. REUTERS/NASA/Mars Science Laboratory/Handout

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale...more

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012, in this handout image courtesy of NASA. REUTERS/NASA/Mars Science Laboratory/Handout
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In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout
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In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout
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Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton
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One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout

One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout

One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout
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Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian (R), 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian (R), 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian (R), 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton
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In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout
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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der...more

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool
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Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving the first few images from the Curiosity rover, in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving...more

Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving the first few images from the Curiosity rover, in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout
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Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving the first few images from the Curiosity rover, in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout

Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving...more

Image shot off a video screen from NASA TV shows members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrating inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory after receiving the first few images from the Curiosity rover, in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout
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Pete Theisinger, project manager stands inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012, prior to landing. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

Pete Theisinger, project manager stands inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012, prior to landing. REUTERS/Brian van der...more

Pete Theisinger, project manager stands inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012, prior to landing. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool
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Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover flight controllers and managers (L-R) Richard Cook, Pete Theisinger and Adam Steltzner congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012.REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover flight controllers and managers (L-R) Richard Cook, Pete Theisinger and Adam Steltzner congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in...more

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover flight controllers and managers (L-R) Richard Cook, Pete Theisinger and Adam Steltzner congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012.REUTERS/Fred Prouser
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A full scale model of the Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Curiosity rover is pictured at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calfiornia August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A full scale model of the Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Curiosity rover is pictured at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calfiornia August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A full scale model of the Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Curiosity rover is pictured at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calfiornia August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
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An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, capturing the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descended towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012 is seen in this handout picture released by NASA on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout

An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, capturing the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descended towards its...more

An image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, capturing the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descended towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012 is seen in this handout picture released by NASA on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout
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