BROOKLYN - NASA's Curiosity rover made a successful landing on Mars early Monday morning and one of its developers is Brooklyn native Joel Levine.

Levine, who was born and raised in East New York, says his interest in space was sparked when he was a student at Brooklyn College and got his first look at Mars through a telescope at the school's observatory.

"I was amazed to see another world like the earth, but far away," said Levine, who then decided to devote his career to studying the planets. In addition to Curiosity, he worked on the Viking space probe, which was the first spacecraft to land on Mars in 1976.

Levine graduated from Brooklyn College in 1964 and delivered its commencement address last year.

NASA makes historic landing on Mars