Monday, August 06, 2012

Curiosity has landed!

Mission Control: Curiosity has landed!

Yes, I stayed up until roughly 1:30 a.m. (EDT) to see NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity land on the Red Planet.

Well, to tell you the truth, I almost missed it. I nodded off while reading Jeff Himmelman's engaging new memoir about the late and legendary Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of the Washington Post. But, I awoke with a start about 1:15 and made it in front of the TV in plenty of time.

Down it came. Picture perfect. The folks at NASA (California) were jumping up and down, high-fiving, grinning from ear to ear. I did the latter, too, figuring this will most likely be my moon moment. I doubt I'll live long enough to see a human being make it to Mars.

As usual, the nattering nabobs of negativism were busy denouncing this mission as a waste of cash. One, on Facebook, actually said, "This is about the future!"

I thought to myself, "Yes. Exactly."

Space is the final frontier. It's in our very nature as human beings to explore it, for one thing to see what's out there, for another to reap the scientific knowledge.

The day the human race stops dreaming, stops exploring, stops searching for information, is the day it is finished. Had no one dared to explore the Earth itself, people might still think it was flat. People once thought, incorrectly until the solar system was studied, that the earth was the center of the universe.

NASA hasn't helped its cause over the years (see the Challenger and Columbia disasters). That didn't matter early this morning.

The United States has put a super scientific vehicle on Mars. On Mars! MARS!

Hey, Olympics: Take one of those gold medals and send it to NASA.

As Walter Cronkite might have said it, "Oh, boy!"

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