NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- NASA's Curiosity rover made its landing on Mars early Monday, as millions of people across the globe tuned in to see the historic landing. The $2.6 billion price tag of the rover may well be one small step for man, and one giant leap for technology.
President Obama pointed out the technological feat the world is witnessing to send the rover to Mars.
"The successful landing of Curiosity -- the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet -- marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future, " the president said in a statement congratulating NASA.
While the immediate benefits of the rover may not be known for several years (Curiosity is planned for a two-year mission on Mars), but the technological benefits and hype may help spur a new interest in space. The landing held three of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter, showcasing the interest the public has in the mission. The rover even spawned a Twitter parody account, @MarsCuriosity.Earlier this year, SpaceX sparked interest in private space travel when the private company sent its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. SpaceX is run by Tesla (TSLA) co-founder Elon Musk. The rover project already has sent back several images of the Red Planet, after traveling hundreds of millions of miles to land on the terrain during "seven minutes of terror," a term used to describe its landing process. Pictures from the event were featured using technology from Amazon (AMZN), said Tom Lounibos, Soasta CEO, indicating the strong interest in Curiosity. The increased interest in the event is showing off Earth's technologies as well. A picture of Mission Control shows heavy reliance Apple's (AAPL) MacBook Pros. NASA dhat Curiosity's purpose is "to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms." While the benefits of Curiosity may not be known for years, the increased attention and interest in space travel are most certainly a positive for technology; whether that be in this galaxy, or in a galaxy, far, far away.
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