This 360-degree panorama provided by NASA last Wednesday August 22, 2012 shows the evidence of a successful first test drive by Curiosity on the Martian surface. NASA’s rover moved forward about 15 feet, turned 120 degrees, then backed up about 8 feet. Curiosity is roughly 20 feet from its landing point, named ‘Bradbury Landing’ after the famous science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, author of “The Martian Chronicles”.

Last Wednesday, the newly landed Mars rover “Curiosity” tweeted that it had named its landing spot in honor of recently departed science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The naming was part of a NASA briefing about the Curiosity Rover’s progress. Curiosity’s Twitter feed shared the news with a photo, saying: “In tribute, I dedicate my landing spot on Mars to you, Ray Bradbury. Greetings from Bradbury Landing!”

Although Curiosity successfully landed on Mars on Aug. 6, NASA officials waited to announce the name of the site until August 22, which would have been Bradbury’s 92nd birthday. During Wednesday’s briefing, Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientists for the Mars Exploration Program said, “In his honor, we declared the place that Curiosity touched down to be forever known as Bradbury Landing,” the Washington Post reported.

Famous for his collection of stories “The Martian Chronicles”, Bradbury had worked as a consultant with NASA (and also with Disney). He was well noted for having brought the world’s attention to science fiction as literature – he died at his Los Angeles home on June 5, 2012 at the age of 91.

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