Mars – Curiosity – inspiring a generation too?

This morning amidst the amazing sporting achievement of the Olympics we had the great news that the Curiosity Martian rover had arrived and landed safely on the planet Mars. It may not seem quite real, but it has taken 8 months to get to 350+ million miles and then descend and land safely in a complex “7 minutes of terror” as the scientist called it.
The project cost a mere $2.5 billion according to reports. That is a mere drop in the ocean when you consider the money spent on things like banking bailouts and alike.
NASA has always been good at sharing what is going on online, but this time this project is tweeting to the world too. So to follow @MarsCuriosity is a must. The web exists to share information, that was the original intent. So when lots of others are still locking away their information NASA is giving theirs to the world.
We were even tweeted to a picture being twitpic’ed
It takes 14 minutes for a signal to get back from Mars, and to get from earth back to the Rover. It is how ever not doing it on its own. Two other orbiting spacecraft are acting as relays in orbit for it, Odyssey and MRO.
So that’s 3 objects 350 million miles away on another planet interacting with mission control back here on Earth ! It is still just amazing isn’t it!!!!!
The official website has a stack of information, e.g. the batteries on this laser firing, sample collecting and analysing, self driving collision avoiding marvel will last over 600 days! Take that iPhone/3ds/laptop !
London 2012 is set to inspire a generation of athletes and achievers, I hope that Curiosity, now and during the next 2 years of analysis inspires a generation of scientists and explorers. That has to be worth a few billion $?

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