As of noon yesterday the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was about 470,000 miles from Mars, a little less than twice the distance from Earth to the moon. It is traveling at about 8,000 mph and will gradually increase in speed to about 13,200 mph by the time it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere.
Naturally, that is an excuse for scientists to throw a party.
Heather Archuletta has created a handy Google map to help you coordinate the many Curiosity parties that may be near you so you can hit them all. There are squat anywhere near me so maybe I will invite the Poker gang for cigars and bait and switch them with science.
View Mars Curiosity Landing Parties in a larger map
What will it do once it arrives? Here is a NASA-provided diagram of the cute little critter:
H/T Joanne Manaster
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