Monday, August 06, 2012
Last week, I noted that it was risky for NASA to make a PR film about landing a robot on Mars when the task was so difficult. This morning proves that NASA knows more than I do. Although the condition of the robot vehicle, Curiosity, is still uncertain, it is on Mars and sending back pictures. That is a stunning engineering, scientific and PR triumph for the agency. It is beyond my limited capacities to understand all that went into building and sending the vehicle on its 154 million mile journey. Then, to choose a never-tried, highly complex method of reaching and lowering the vehicle to the surface of the planet is a definition of insanity. Except they did it. Kudos to the agency. May it serve them well at budget time.