Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wandering about on Mars

No, I am not wandering around on Mars.  My motor-home is capable of taking me many places, but the planet Mars is not one of them.  Now, there is a town near where I used to live in Pennsylvania named Mars, and I am sure it could take me there but that isn't the Mars I am talking about.  I am talking about an automobile sized rover named Curiosity that landed on Mars back during the night of August 5/6, 2012.  I heard a couple of quick comments on the news about it but since then I have heard nothing.  This was and is quite an ambitious project.  It will be running around Mars for at least a couple of years.  Here is a link to the NASA site that shows some of the pictures taken from Curiosity:


Have we got so accustom to the miracles that our space agency and related industries can accomplish these days that no one seems to be awed by them and some just don't seem to be interested.  Back when I was young this would only be science fiction.  I never thought that I would live long enough to see that fiction come true and that no one would really become excited about it.  Yes, I know that Curiosity is not the first rover on that planted, but it is the biggest and to safely land a payload that heavy on the surface of a planet that has such a thin atmosphere that parachutes will not slow it down enough, took a lot of engineering development.  It used a rocket powered pod to lower it on the surface.  This pod had to be completely automatic since a signal from Mars to Earth would take 14 minutes and another 14 minutes back and by then it could be in real trouble.  Sci-Fi shows would be a lot longer if they were true to life and had to wait for transmissions from Earth, but then it would be a very boring movie sitting around waiting for a radio transmission to complete.  Anyway, you all have a great day here on Earth, you hear?


  1. Quite a marvelous feat, in my opinion!

    I would think that it would be on the news every day!

  2. HJ, it IS a marvelous feat!! Every one seems to think it is easy, but it is far from easy - about as far away as Mars. . .

  3. I guess I had not really thought about it...but indeed it took a great deal of engineering.