Monday, August 6, 2012
Curiosity has Landed!
For over four thousand years of recorded history humans have stared at a distant red dot in the night skies; We have wondered what it might be and what it could tell us of our lives here on Earth.
Starting today, a car sized, one tonne, engineering marvel will enable us to explore Mars in ways that were never before possible. We will learn more about the composition of the Red-planet, in the next two years, than in all previous human history combined; All of which is the result of astounding scientific ingenuity and engineering genius. The Curiosity rover required 10 years of direct work and 3.4 million years of accumulated scientific knowledge to become reality. It traveled a total of 352 million miles, in eight months, and landed completely autonomously - with its final landing stages requiring it be lowered to the surface of Mars by a sky-crane!
This morning I find myself filled with absolute wonder about the world and Universe - I want to know what we will learn tomorrow and to see humans push even further past our current limits of understanding. Will we some day be seeing, not a rover, but a manned mission being lowered onto the Martian surface? Will Curiosity lead to new clues as to how life arose here on Earth? What implications will the scientific discoveries of Curiosity have on daily life here on Earth? I don't know the answer to any of these questions yet but I can not wait to find out!