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
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:
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.