An incredibly complex, highly risky, adventure that science flawlessly pulled of over 100 million miles from earth. It's absolutely awe inspiring. So, when does anyone in Congress start listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson and being making plans and preparations for someone to actually get out of landing craft and start walking around up there?
As jaded and jaundiced as most of Congress seems to have become, I would be dubious as to how well they'd be equipped to hear someone like Tyson.
And like you, Pat, I'm floored at how NASA pulled this seeming Rube Goldberg routine off. Worthy of note, there was NO WAY that any form of human intervention could have helped this flight at the critical stage of EDL (Entry - Descent - Landing). The whole business was AUTOMATED, which means that the NASA scientists and engineers who were tasked with the EDL process had to consider how to control and manage that entire business while allowing for ANYTHING that could have happened, then teach a computer (or, more likely, SEVERAL computers!) how to deal with those exigencies.
And They Did It!!!
Does this give me hope for the future of mankind as a whole? Yes! Will America slowly lose the edge in the exploration of universe? Probably. Like Spain that ultimately lost the New World, we too, will lose our position in the forefront. We've already started on our downhill slide. I recall listening to the radio when Alan Shepard was launched on a sub-orbital mission. And, every American pulled their car over to side of the road and held their breath. I recall sitting with my grandmother who actually saw Orville Wright fly his flying machine in 1908, while the two of us watched Neil Armstrong take that one small step. Now, America no longer has a manned space program. Never thought I would live to see this day.
But hey, look on the bright side. In this country, we now have Creation Science and Intelligent Design. I'm actually surprised they might even recognize that we placed such a craft on Mars. Hell, I'm amazed they would even recognize that Mars exists. After all, we staged the Moon Landing.
" After all, we staged the Moon Landing."
Oh, my, yes! I get so furious whenever I hear or read some doofus say something like that. They have NO idea that it would have cost the same to fake the moon missions (with lift-offs, splash-downs, and the obvious difference in gravity) than it would have to just go ahead and DO it.
Is there some genetic cause for such ignorance? Or does wearing white bedsheets and pointy headgear on a regular basis cause brain damage?
I remember there was a super-dumb movie about a Moon or Mars mission that was faked; do these brainless twits think it was a documentary? (Silly me. The same people seem to believe "The Flintstones" was a documentary. Was there something strange in those kids' vitamins?)
Oh, well. I'm still mentally jumping up and down with excitement. I want to hug ALL those people in the blue shirts. I love smart people. We need more of them.
"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased."
I could feel the excitement...not just over the net, but physically filling the air between Pasadena and here. Whatta night! Reminded me of when the volcanoes were discovered on Io, and when the first close-up images of Saturn's rings first appeared on the monitors at JPL. Whoooo-eeeee!
Some good news, for a change.
What Curiosity saw as it landed.
Just for fun...a novel by Ben Bova (written 20 or 30 years ago) was about the first manned mission to Mars. The first astronaut who stepped onto the red sands happened to be Navajo, or Dine'...he was so blown away that he forgot his prepared comment/speech, and just said, "Yah-ha-teh!"
It can also mean a joyful, "Hello."
So an awed "Yah-ha-teh" to Curiosity, and the whole project team.