Sunday, August 05, 2012

Curiosity Lands Safely On Mars - Live Via Ulive

There's been a lot of bad mouthing of 'scientists' these days, mostly by some politicians who don't like what scientists are telling them.  But I'd like to see members of Congress perform as spectacularly as these scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab as they landed their cargo safely on Mars.  This was no small feat.  Here are some screen shots from the live online video feed.  Double click to enlarge them. 

Four minutes to go

JPL Staff Waiting

Simulated Image of Parachuting Down

Touch Down
Safe On Mars - Lots of Hugging

More Happy Scientists
First Two Images - Left Shows Shadow of Curiosity, Right is Wheel

There is still live coverage, as I type, online here.

This is what science can do when supported by politicians approving their budgets. 


  1. Do scientists have a cheer for such occasions? Over in the UK, an Olympic sports-drunk nation is looking how to put more money into its sports training programs. Its understandable given such success this year.

    Is NASA's accomplishment training eyes to a similar science objective in the states? A notion? A whimper? This landing is one of the real legacies of American spirit -- something on an Olympics Monday, I'm proud to say my birth country got right -- exploration, seeking, learning wherever it may take us.

    Don't abandon the gains of reaching for the stars above us. I may note Brits generally don't like American culture, but they do love a good space program as do many people on this wonderful place called Earth.

    Congratulations to us all.

    Now please, just don't zap any Martians with that laser, okay? Just too, too wild West! (I'm waiting for the jokes to start about Yanks and guns...)

  2. AT 6:20 AM this site is showing a clean-cut, kind-looking, twinkly-eyed man ready to
    talk about this great achievement and he stands there, calmly waiting while
    a voice-over natters on and on and on about traffic on some bridge -- he smiles, says
    well, at least I didn't have that to contend with -- then the station goes to a commercial...

    He is so patient, probably exhausted, but no exasperation. Perfect.

    6:33 -- he's back on, waiting, waiting, now looking curious, smiling...while other people get interviewed about the possible keynote speakers...he continues to wait, ignored...a woman tells him -- 1 MINUTE...'OK" he says, used to waiting, I suppose.

    He finally talks about the jubilation. I can feel it!
    (Still a cock-up -- can't hear the interviewer asking questions -- he repeats her questions with grace and answers them.) American can get 17 cameras & science lab to a certain spot the moon, but... they have a NASA man now counting to 10... live TV, gotta love it.

    Now he says, "Right now I'm hearing two different shows..."
    I can image the scrambling at the other end...

  3. When the first Mars rover landed many years ago, the very FIRST message it sent back was, "I'm Okay!"

    That still brings tears to my eyes.

  4. It's 2012 and Curiosity has its own Twitter account:

    Curiosity Rover ‏@MarsCuriosity
    I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL

    No more I'm Okay...what innocent times those were...

  5. Barbara, yes, our machines now write 13 words and call it progress. No wonder the letter is dead.


    1. Curiosity sent hundreds of Tweets before the one I quoted. Put them together and it's kinda a letter...

      But here is my favorite clever-boots meme re the little guy so far from home:



  6. OK, Jacob, I propose the Martian Olympics for 2084. Though I'm wary about us going to Mars. The NASA scientists may be doing this out of a love of science and filling in the unknown blanks, but the business world is thinking about all the minerals they can exploit, and think of all the military potential for Mars. Our physical technology is way ahead of our political and social technology and earthlings are like teenagers with technologies beyond their social, emotional, and ethical capacities.

    Barbara, I still haven't figured out how people figure out how, among all the tweets, to find the ones that matter. (OK, on further reflection, I know you can check the hashtags you're interested in. But I already am on information overload.)

    Anon, thanks for visiting.

    1. Me, too, but can't stop. I'll be a tweet (etc.) picker for your site if you don't mind?

  7. Steve, I was a bit jingoistic, wasn't I? Ah, well, it's that residual 'moon race' stuff still kicking around in my brain from the 60s, probably.

    I do acknowledge the conditions for hubristic abuse; however, that doesn't change that which is essentially the urge to explore, to peek around the corner. Our very same teenager's condicio sine qua non is to try things out, to test limits and convention. I still say give it a go. Choices result, through it all, in quite a mixed bag, don't they?

    I can only wish that upon my death, I may very well be some essence that will take a David Bowman ride through a universe / multiverse, seeing, feeling, knowing what is now only dimly-lit imagination, from the infinitesimal to the metaphysical.

    That ride, if there is one, is unknowable. Curiosity's ride provides us with what is. I for one, will take it.

  8. Ambivalence Jacob is my reaction.

    Barbara, how about a guest post on how to monitor the Twitter world?

    1. I don't even Tweet, not having a Smart phone, or even a dumb phone. So I just graze the internet -- anyone can do it -- just key in your subject, add "tweets" and see what Google gives you. Like the real highway system, all virtual roads connect, too -- or lead SOMEwhere.

      Just noodle your way around. It's excellent & educational entertainment -- what you find can cool and excite your brain at the same time.

      I don't monitor Tweets per se, just stumble on some good ones while cruising the web.

      It's just one more piece of the puzzle how humans try to connect with another. It can happen, but mostly it seems people are as isolated as ever, as each just wants to be noticed, without really noticing anybody else. In conversations, too, many people just wait till the other one stops talking, so they can begin talking, usually with the word "I".

      A real conversation is like building a palace of words both contribute to, and the very best -- when laughing dinner table guests bring out the best in each other -- must look like champagne bubbles rising in the flute, dancing in the mind.

      I suspect blogs fail because the blogger posts doesn't ever respond to Commenters who then feel invisible and don't bother posting again. Bloggers then get 0 responses, think they aren't being read, and quit.

      You, Steve, are the exception and I appreciate it!

    2. I try. Sometimes commenters leave statements that don't seem to require an answer. Fortunately I don't have that many comments so I can keep up, usually.

      I googled "Missouri Prayer Amendment Twitter" and got individual tweets. But then I put the words into the Twitter search window and got a long list. Do you have an account? If not, I guess you can't comment on people's tweet. Is that right?

    3. Not that I know'll have to ask a Tweeter or google the question...! Google knows Everything. Google is a god, not THE god... ha!


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