OT: Curiosity has landed

I'm sure I wasn't the only one glued to my computer for the direct feed from JPL last night! People went nuts when the Mars Surveyors* sent word that the giant Mars Science Laboratory (aka "Curiosity") had safely landed after an unbelievably complex series of maneuvers to brake its speed from outer space and lower it gently to "earth".exactly as planned in a deep basin.
* You want "complex"!! All this was designed so that the "air"-borne Surveyors would be in position to receive signals from MSL and relay them to JPL. How's THAT for planning!!!
The spokespeople at JPL rightly acknowledge the cooperation of entities around the world without whom this triumph might not have been possible.
Takes me back decades when I went out to Pasadena to be present when the first Viking landed on Mars in 1976. When that tiny signal appeared on the screen, people were screaming and jumping up and down on their seats - moi included.
OK, got THAT out of my system.!Will be devouring eagerly data sent by MSL when it's been tweaked and sent off to do its job.
For another reaction, see:
http://tinyurl.com/dymy3ds
where the inimitable Andy Borowitz does his send-up of the reaction of Higgs Boson folks to the Mars landing. Andy is THE best satirist around, bar none. <andyborowitz.com>
Now back to reality...cleaning and rearranging the filthy paint&repair shelves in the garage.
HB
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