Curiosity off to Mars

Every once in a while I like to get my mind off religious idiots and terrestrial oppression.  It’s nice to take a break from bullshit and think about important mind blowing stuff.  NASA has just launched Curiosity.  “The mission will pioneer precision landing technology and a sky-crane touchdown to place Curiosity near the foot of a mountain inside Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012. During a nearly two-year prime mission after landing, the rover will investigate whether the region has ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life.”

Curiosity, the Mars rover.  This thing is big.  A lot to land on another planet.This is what Curiosity will be doing on Mars in August of 2012.  Incredible.

Okay, think about that for a minute.  Mars is a long way away.  It’s moving.  So are we.  And there are some human beings with the mathematical acumen to softly touch down on that planet more than nine months from now.  Unmanned.  No pilot guiding the landing.  Everything pre-planned and controlled right from planet earth.  If that doesn’t give you respect for science and technology, you’re in the wrong species.

I’m humbled by this achievement.  Normally I think of myself as a fairly smart person, but this goes beyond anything I could even imagine.  It really is rocket science.

So in August, if things go as planned, we will have a remote controlled car rolling around on Mars, drilling into the soil and analyzing samples.  I remember when Sputnik got the attention of the media, and shook America out of its science complacency.  To think that just a little over half a century has passed and we have our toys on Mars… the mind boggles.  I think I shall rejoice.  This is the best time to be alive in the history of humanity, and we’re here to witness it.

I have my fingers crossed.  Can’t wait to see the results.

Hey, a “sky crane” touch down?  What does that look like?  Something like this:  Curiosity will have a "sky crane touchdown"  Wow.

 

Just wow.  We’re living in science fiction.

2 Comments »

  1. Random Ntrygg Said,

    November 29, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    I did an interview with Marc Garneau back in the 1990′s

    He was talking about a manned flight to Mars.

    Potentially one way. Potentially by sending separate supply shipments.

    With surfing space gravity wells, it could be a 6 month trip one way

  2. Darwin Harmless Said,

    November 30, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    I’m sure there are people who would be willing to go to Mars one way. I’d be tempted myself. And manned flights are great for getting the attention of the public, which translates to funding. But they don’t make much sense economically or scientifically. Economically, the flights can be cheaper if the risk of a disaster only blows some expendable scientific equipment and not a human life. Scientifically because remote rovers can do pretty much anything a human could do, without the need for elaborate life support and time limits.

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