“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein
The Mars Curiosity Rover and the Mars Science Laboratory mission are so important that writing about the landing, going on the news, and writing about it again simply wasn’t enough. So when the Portland Tribune called me and invited me to write an op-ed for them (my first!) on the topic, I just had to say yes.
The Curiosity rover is inside Gale Crater, where a liquid lake almost certainly once existed and billions of years of geological history are waiting to be explored. With all systems functional, it’s in prime condition to meet all six of its science goals, including to explore the martian soil, understand the martian atmosphere, and monitor solar and cosmic radiation on Mars.
But it also means something more, if we dare to invest in it. It means we’re ready to send a manned mission to Mars. We’ve successfully developed and used the technology necessary to make a heavy, safe, controlled landing of human beings on the Red Planet. We know what needs to be done to make the 350 million-mile journey from Earth to Mars ...