NASA's successful Curiosity rover is a mind-blowing feat of technology that defied odds, but not logic or reason.
Careful planning by NASA scientists coupled with countless hours of design and testing here on Earth set the stage for one of mankind's truly remarkable achievements.
That being said, while the Internets [sic] have been super excited about humans building and landing what is essentially a nuclear-powered SUV 350,000,000 miles away, I worry that people as a whole are sufficiently jaded to the point where this isn't viewed as an impressive feat.
Certainly, sending a rover (no matter how incredible) isn't as sexy as landing humans, but these are crucial missions if we ever want to get to that point.
This isn't the sixties moon missions where we strapped young men to rockets and wished them the best of luck.
|An amazing composite photo taken by Curiosity.|
The stakes are higher because the challenge is significantly greater. Everything from communication issues to the mental health of the astronauts, even the difficulty of creating the spacecraft is magnified.
As for Curiosity, you've likely seen this video detailing the outrageous landing procedure by now but even so, you should watch it again.
On a side note, I'm totally down to volunteer for a one-way mission to Mars.
Sure that would mean dying on the red planet, but that's extraordinarily selfless to be the first person knowing fully you aren't coming back.
They'd put my face on money and have a federal holiday in my honor. Also, aside from the various rovers NO TRAFFIC.