Tuesday 7 August 2012

Congratulations Curiosity

A well done to NASA for a successful landing for the rover Curiosity.  No matter how you feel about nerdish accomplishments, this is actual rocket science.

When I first heard about the "seven minutes of terror" landing plan, I thought they'd gotten too gadgety and were going to have complete failure.  A landing which involves a heat shield, self-guided landing thrusters, a sonic parachute, rockets and a crane sounds way too complicated.  But it all worked perfectly.

We watched the Discovery special about the rover and the landing.  Of particular interest was the ChemCam which shoots a high powered laser at rocks to vaporize them and then analyse the dust.

As I watched, the following occured to me: We have built a robot with a death ray and sent it to another planet.  We have officially become the bad aliens in 1950s science fiction.

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