Earlier, of course, way back on July 20, 1969, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died last weekend, transmitted the first human voice back from another natural planetary body when he said, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
The first human voice transmission from another planet was somewhat of a cheat and done in a roundabout fashion.. NASA Adminstrator Charles Bolden, who is a former astronaut, introduced himself in a message beamed from the Earth to Curiosity.
Hello. This is Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator, speaking to you via the broadcast capabilities of the Curiosity Rover, which is now on the surface of Mars.Curiosity landed on the Red Planet on Aug. 6 after a harrowing descent that NASA called "seven minutes of terror." Since then the rover has zapped its first rock in an attempt to analyze it chemically, and has even engaged in a Twitter exchange with Britney Spears.
Since the beginning of time, humankind's curiosity has led us to constantly seek new life...new possibilities just beyond the horizon. I want to congratulate the men and women of our NASA family as well as our commercial and government partners around the world, for taking us a step beyond to Mars.
This is an extraordinary achievement. Landing a rover on Mars is not easy - others have tried - only America has fully succeeded. The investment we are making...the knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater, will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future.