Monday, August 6, 2012

NASA is landing on Mars!

Everyone agrees the Curiosity lander will arrive on Mars sometime in the next couple of hours. The suspense stems from a more difficult question: whether the attempt will results in a scientific triumph or a gently smoking crater.

This project is a big deal, as it gives NASA the ability to do more science on Mars' surface than ever before. Liquid water--and even small-scale life--could be among the discoveries Curiosity digs up. That's neat. What's also neat is that they will be streaming the landing live from more than 350 million miles away... a distance so great it takes light (and radio transmissions) about 15 minutes to traverse.

So by the time you watch Curiosity touch down here...

Live Video streaming by Ustream

... it will already have been on the surface of Mars long enough to listen to half a Weezer album.

No human boots will make footprints like Apollo 11 in 1969. But like that mission, people all over the world (OK, mostly space dorks like me) will be watching... and hoping this is a giant step.

No comments: