Thoughts After Watching The Mars “Curiosity” Rover Touch Down

6 years ago I wrote that the future was now and was incredible, that you could get raw images from a Martian lander on an FTP site minutes after that were transmitted…. from another planet.

Curiosity Parachute Landing Spotted by NASA Orbiter [detail]

Today it’s different, you can see images tweeted from the @MarsCuriosity twitter account minutes or seconds after they’re sent, and something like 65,000 people watched the live stream of the control room as they waited for the lander to touch down and released barely a day later is video of the actual decent. How’s that for amazing.

I remember something very clearly from when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old at a boy scout jamboree on Vancouver Island. A group of kids were assigned jobs as if we were with NASA, one was flight commander, another mission specialist this and that… The leader looked at us and said “it will be your generation that puts a man in mars.”. No pressure. Of course at the time I thought “hogwash” (or possibly “duh, of course”), but thought nothing of it. I guess I haven’t done much with my life for this, but looking at the people in the control room, well, they were all looking from their 30s to last 40s, so maybe us kids did listen.

Ironically as I re-read this now I have actually looked up the entry that I thought about, I see that I recounted almost exactly the same story as above back in 2006. Oh how predicable I’ve become. I’ll bet when I write this again in a few years when man is finally on the surface of mars I’ll tell the same story once more.

I’m still waiting for my flying car.