This planet wasn’t enough for Curiosity

Last night’s successful landing of Curiosity was absolutely a moment I will never forget. For those who chose the sensible option of sleep this is what you missed:

And here is the short dramatized version:

The words “we have thumbnails” instantly became this generation’s “One small step for man…

Of course NASA’s servers went down almost immediately afterwards so downloading the precious thumbnails became something of a challenge. But the long sleepless night was absolutely completely worth it.

And now finally we have more amazing pictures straight from Mars.

Here is Curiosity with the supersonic parachute open:

Taken with the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

And here is the end of the decent from Curiosity’s point of view:

And finally here is Curiosity where she belongs; on the surface of Mars:

Curiosity’s shadow and Mount Sharp

The most spectacular thing is that this amazing landing and these few images is just the beginning for Curiosity.

All of this for less than 20% of the cost of the London 2012 Olympics; money exceedingly well spent. Remember this whenever someone says  NASA is a waste of money. And if that doesn’t convince you watch this:

This is humanity at its best. Never forget we are capable of amazing things.

The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

But only if we dare mighty things.

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