Curiosity has Landed

On Aug 5th, the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. I hadn’t really absorbed, at the time, just what a technical achievement this was: not so much getting the thing to Mars, but landing it safely and ready to roll shortly after it hit the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 miles per hour. It weighs nearly a tonne. The Jet Propulsion Lab had, of course, made CGI simulations showing how the process would work, in advance of the landing, but in this brilliant piece of video editing they intercut it with footage of the control team on the ground celebrating its arrival. I suggest you turn the volume up and watch it full-screen.

Rose’s aunt used to work at JPL, and, when I visited many years ago, one of the directors made an offhand comment which basically amounted to a job offer. At the time, it was all very quiet, and though I was interested in the work, the elderly rows of SPARCstations tracking satellites didn’t grab me as particularly thrilling. Now, however, there can’t be many organisations that could put together a recruitment video like this!

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Update, later: I love this tweet from a few days ago:

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