“Curiosity” Lands on Mars
NASA successfully landed the unmanned robotic planetary explorer name “Curiosity” on the surface of Mars last night.
The first pictures are found here:
“NASA – Mars Science Laboratory“
It was an astonishing, complex interplanetary landing unlike any previous landing by any other unmanned spacecraft in history. It exceeds the manned lunar landings in its complexity, yet 154 million miles further away.
“Curiosity” is the most sophisticated unmanned planetary explorer ever built. It now begins its work.
It promises to revolutionize our understanding of the Red Planet as humankind continues its first fledgling steps to explore and inhabit the universe around us.
Thoughts on Space Exploration
This new mission won’t get much notice. Americans have become jaded to our own greatness. The Olympics, politics and another horrible shooting – this time of Sikhs – will take center stage.
That is to bad. Even President Obama has cut back space exploration to the point the United States is no longer capable of launching its own astronauts into space anymore. We have to hitch rides on Russian rockets to get to the International Space Station. We will have to do so for years to come.
But the United States is still capable of extraordinary feats of technological achievement unlike any other nation on Earth.
Even with NASA operating on a shoestring budget, the “Curiosity” mission is proof of that.
It’s true that the United States has a staggering $16 trillion national debt that grows by $3.5 billion every single day. We can’t afford a space program.
But some human endeavors transcend pure dollars and cents.