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Editorial: Curiousity begins new tour of the red planet

Mankind took another giant leap forward in space exploration Monday morning as car-sized space vehicle from the United States quickly landed on Mars.

The Mars Science Laboratory rover was lowered to the Mars surface by a set of cables from its deliver capsule.

The Mars mission started Thanksgiving weekend with the launch from Florida. More than 352 million miles later, the rover, known as Curiosity, went from 13,200 mph to zero in roughly seven minutes.

The landing was an astounding success, especially considering historically that 67 percent of all Mars missions have previously resulted in failures.

And not to be left out of the social media universe, @MarsCuriousity quickly reached more than 700,000 Twitter followers by Monday afternoon. You can follow Curiosity on Twitter, Facebook and Ustream.

The goal over the next two years is for Curiosity to explore Mars searching for the "basic building blocks" need for the creation of microbial life.

This Mars landing was a major step for NASA as the future of its Mars mission as well as the agency's direction was on the line. Critics have repeatedly raised concern in the past two years about the future and the direction of NASA.

Now Curiosity has started a two-year exploration of the red planet, which will help feed our own curiosity of Mars. The six-wheeled vehicle Tuesday sent back the first color photos of the mission from Mars.

This is just the start of a new beginning of understand of the red planet -- Mars.