Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity lands, curiosity makes us who we are

To quote Phil Plait, "Science makes the world a better place, and it makes us better people.
It’s what we can do, and what we must do."
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a picture of Curiosity on its way down to a soft, precision landing on the surface. Imagine, carrying more than ten times the mass of scientific instruments of any previous rovers, having traveled hundreds of millions of kilometers, Curiosity landed at the projected minute, in a target area covering only a few square kilometers. What an homage to Newton, Einstein, and all the scientists and engineers who have made such magnificent use of what we have learned and continue to learn! We've become jaded about rocket launches, shuttles in low Earth orbit, and so forth, but this - this is flat out amazing! We should be proud, we should keep the excitement, and we should continue to explore! The value should not be balanced against the need to work for humanitarian causes. We need to do both. The fruits of science cannot be foreseen, but they always seem to exceed our expectations if we take a long historical view. Curiosity is one of the best things about being human.

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