Curiosity Sticks a Landing

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Human endeavor is truly amazing. Competitors in the Olympics work a lifetime to get the chance to get it “right” and be the best one time. All are blessed to have the opportunity to compete. Most fail. While this hurts (and it often hurts a lot), this isn’t a bad thing. Some say, “It’s the process.” I find this banter a bit dehumanizing. Process IS important, but that approach to the ideas involved in some ways belittles the real power of the human spirit.

Mesmerized I Think Too Much

I believe it’s the chance and wiliness to try that’s paramount – that Faith, Hope, and Love deal that some may mock at times as trite and religious.
These power our endeavor like a rocket engines.
They are a mite trite because they’re so True with a capital “T”.
They’re religious because the patterns and rituals are repetitious and eternal.
We are almost all mesmerized simply bearing witness and listening to the testimony.
That People Power gets me up in the morning.

The Curiosity Lander stuck its landing on Friday night


There was no break in the network media US Olympic coverage to mention the fact as far as I could tell.
NASA did make a major effort to draw attention to the Mars lander project and this “historic” feat. Less than 1% of the US population watched the live mission link on the web, but it was still a whole lot of bodies in spite of the competition and the late hour. Way cool.

By the Numbers

Since my previous post on Faster to Space, NASA also announced $1.5 billion of funding for US commercial launch operations to replace their tithes to Mother Russia someday in the future.

Wow! That’s a Big Deal.

What? Wait a minute.
The real number about exactly what we borrow from the rest of the world each day to pay for the rest of the US government – It about equals a single day’s worth of deficit spending. What a commitment to our future? The current administration lost (perhaps gave away to friends) more than this in dubious solar projects alone in the last 12 months. Like I said, “Follow the Money.”

Catch Me On the Way Down

Some engineers at JPL also managed to have the surveying satellite orbiting Mars snap a real time picture of Curiosity with its hypersonic parachute deployed about two miles up from the Martian surface.
And we think Olympic super slo mo’s are cool. Well they are.

This shot involved some very serious geeky number crunching in orbital mechanics since the picture was taken with a device 100,000,000 miles away and over 200 miles up from the lander.
Probably this project was first prototyped on some bright intern’s laptop.

Can't you hear the intern's roomate?

“What did you do all weekend?
Oh Yeah. Mars?  
Dude, Get a life.“