Thursday, August 9, 2012

Curiosity on Mars

And we thought landing men on the moon was something!
by Charlie Leck

I’m not a scientist – not even close – and I rank pretty low on the science-knowledge index even as the layman I am; but, boy, oh boy, am I excited and impressed with the landing of Curiosity on the surface of Mars and the way it was done. The whole nation – no scratch that and substitute – the whole world should be impressed as well.

What an incredible feat NASA pulled off! Can you just imagine? Do you suppose God was watching with a smile of pride on Her face?

I just finished going through the slide presentation posted on-line by the Washington Post and I could only say “wow” again and again as I clicked through the photographs and read the little captions.

The biggest challenge, I guess, that the NASA team faced was getting Curiosity down on to the planet’s surface without it getting damaged. That involved slowing the spacecraft in only six minutes time – the craft that would lower Curiosity down to the planet – from a speed of 12,000 mph to zero so that it could hover and then lower Curiosity by cables). Can you imagine? No wonder God was smiling!

I just shake my head and say in wonderment: “It’s beyond me!”

I just can’t imagine what is ahead in the future – what wonders my grandchildren will get to witness. Will there come a day when technicians will look back on this achievement and chuckle at the simplicity of it; perhaps as we smile today at the launching of the Monitor and the Merrimac during the Civil War?

For any of you who are as taken by this historic event as I, here’s an article in PC World that will enable you to “tag along online” in the coming days with Curiosity – by…

Twitter (@MarsCuriosity)

Mission Central (NASA’s page where you can find the latest unedited photos from Curiosity and a whole lot more)…

You Tube ( where you can enter your name to get updates when they have new videos.
NASA mobile app (enter NASA Be a Martian in your app search engine to get the app that best fits your mobile phone or pad)..Apple users, for instance, will be sent here (

Oh, yes: You’re welcome!

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