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The engineers and scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL who designed, built and flawlessly landed the Curiosity rover on Mars early Monday (Aug. 6) provide a classic example of how teamwork overcame what appeared eight years ago to be a seemingly insolvable problem: How do you slow a nearly 1-ton spacecraft descending through the thin Martian atmosphere at nearly 6 km a second (13,000 miles per hour) to less than 1 meter per second at touchdown inside a 96-mile Martian crater?"
—"Curiosity's bold engineers delivered the goods," by George Leopold, eetimes.com
"Geeks have hit pop culture," said Ken Denmead, editor and publisher of geekdad.com. "I think more than any other single event in the last five or 10 years, this (Mars landing) has put a face on science and engineering that really gets future generations excited. "People like Bobak and the whole crew on the Curiosity landing just shatter that (pocket protector) mode and that's wonderful," Denmead, a San Francisco civil engineer, said in a phone interview.
—"NASA goes geek chic thanks to hipster engineers running Curiosity rover's Mars mission," Seth Borenstein and Alicia Chang, Associated Press
"I think it's engineering at its finest. What engineers do is they make the impossible possible," said former NASA chief technologist Bobby Braun. "This thing is elegant. People say it looks crazy. Each system was designed for a very specific function."
—Washington Post, August 6