Several members of Congress stayed up late to watch the event live, with Klobuchar, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and others tweeting in the early morning hours, several having watched from NASA locations.
Additionally, the Curiosity Rover — along with NASA staff members like Ferdowsi — live-tweeted the event in the first-person. “It once was one small step... now it's six big wheels. Here's a look at one of them on the soil of Mars,” Curiosity tweeted early Monday morning, along with a picture sent straight from Mars.
I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 6, 2012
President Obama tweeted congratulations to NASA on the historic accomplishment. Many Democrats in Congress followed the president’s lead in emphasizing the government support of the mission, with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) tweeting her pride in “the civil servants at NASA.” Obama has taken heat in the past allowing NASA to end the space shuttle program during his presidency, but private funding has successfully paved the way to further developments in human spaceflight.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stressed the success of U.S. space exploration overall at a press conference heralding Curiosity’s success very early on Monday morning.
“Tonight, I’m probably not going to include the counties, at least 4 countries — and I won’t name them — who are on Mars, and they’re on Mars because they went with the United States,” Bolden said, according to reports. “I know this may sound a little strange in this international environment, but I want everyone to understand what I mean when I say our leadership is going to make this world better.”
Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) chimed in that the U.S. “can and must lead in Space. Always.”
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) called it “a testament to #NASA’s engineering superiority.”
"I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality."—President Obama— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 6, 2012
So proud of the civil servants at NASA whose ingenuity and determination launched and landed— Barbara Mikulski (@SenatorBarb) August 6, 2012
@marscuriosity safely. Congratulations!
Just home from— Rep Donna F Edwards (@repdonnaedwards) August 6, 2012
@nasagoddard watching Curiosity's pinpoint landing on Mars. Proud 2 be an American: we always ask the next big question.
All I know is that there are a lot more women in the Mars mission control room than there were back in the moon days. Congrats— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) August 6, 2012