Martian Curiosity

It’s down and transmitting. The aptly named Curiosity rover is down on Mars. Right on time and bang on target. Made me think about the heady days of the first manned moon landings back in 1969. I was only 11, but I watched them happen, and it planted my love of science fiction deep within me.

After all the excitement I sat up to see if I could see any early Perseid meteors, only to wake up at half past six with the sun in my face, having missed going to bed.

There are people who say the Moon landings were faked, but they never listen to anything outside the tiny echo chambers in their heads. I was there and saw it happen. I’ve seen faked coverage, and can tell the difference. Likewise, there was no fakery here. What would be the point of such a hugely expensive exercise, if not to explore?

Still think manned Mars landings are at least twenty years away. Mainly because there are too many political and economic issues. The technical stuff by comparison is relatively simple, but the politics? Now that’s complicated. Kennedy set out a clear vision for NASA back in 1961. Just over nine years later, Armstrong and Aldrin put boots on the regolith of the moon. Now the mission motivation is unclear. There is no clear driving vision like in the sixties. If I see a successful manned mars landing happen in my lifetime, I won’t be unhappy, but if not, I won’t be surprised.