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#BAFact: If all goes well, Curiosity will be the fourth rover to successfully land on Mars… but 7 have been sent.

Getting to Mars is hard. Very hard! Several dozen missions have been sent there, with a success rate of only about 40%. Landing there is even harder, technically, and only half the landers have touched down successfully. Thought there have been some lander failures, the US has been very good about getting rovers to the surface of Mars, with a 100% successful series of rover missions. Let's hope that tonight, they'll add another to that run.

Don't forget to watch my G+ Hangout with +Fraser Cain, +Pamela Gay, and many others tonight: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/01/curious-about-curiosity-heres-info-on-where-to-watch/
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14 comments
 
Oh man. I can't wait.
tim hem
 
If it makes it safe, and on its travels it comes across a Beagle looking lost, you will tell me wont you.
 
What could possibly go wrong?
 
You should toss out a calendar event.
 
+Charlie Ebert I want to eat a Curiosity!

Anyway, the full list of rovers is at the Wiki link. The Soviet ski rovers look very interesting- I'm almost wishing they'd worked! How heavy were they? I'm imagining a mission with a bunch of mini rovers now.
 
Earth 15, Mars 24. 
So far, the score is NOT good in the Mars gravity vs. Earth probes.
I have good feelings about Curiosity!
 
A very complex landing sequence; good luck NASA.
 
Exciting! That's one small roll for a rover, a big roll for mankind! :)
 
Charlie: the Vikings were landers but not rovers. They are still where they were put.
 
Phil, UVa alum here, come visit Charlottesville soon!  Love your blog
 
Congratulations NASA and all who contributed to this historic event.
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