The Long Jump… over the Moon and onto Mars

Antarctica is known for providing among the worst night’s sleep anywhere on the planet.

Last night was incredibly exciting and by far, my worst night’s sleep yet… in anticipation of the MSL landing on Mars.

Of course I am delighted by Great Britain’s success in the Olympics – who wouldn’t be? – weighing in overall 3rd position for such a comparatively, geographically small kingdom and population – it seems we are worth more than our weight in gold!

British olympiad, Greg Rutherford won Great Britain the Gold Medal for the Long Jump – at 8.31 metres.

But perhaps the judges have overlooked another contender.  I believe the Gold Medal should have been shared – with the NASA/ JPL Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover which landed on Mars – making in excess of a 25,000,000 km jump from Earth, over the Moon and onto the surface of Mars, landing perfectly on its feet.  This wasn’t just another ‘giant leap for mankind’ but in fact an ‘interplanetary leap’, from our dreams and imagination onto Mars itself.

If it had been for diving and I had been an Olympic judge, following its perfect take-off, and audacious landing, without causing so much as a ripple – I would have held up a 10 (out of 10).

Mars Society Convention 2012

In a pre-recorded interview very early on Sunday morning I was exceedingly privileged to be given the opportunity, on the eve of the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover landing to share experiences at Concordia with a very special group – the Mars Society’s 2012 Convention at Pasadena.

Among the audience who never fear to dream, notable faces included Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Dr Scott Hubbard, Elon Musk (Founder & CEO, Space X who was presented the Mars Pioneer Award), Dr Story Musgrave, Prof. J. Richard Gott,  Dr. Adam Steltzner (NASA’s ‘hipster rocket engineer’ responsible for MSL’s entry and landing, and Mars Society Director, Dr Robert Zubrin… the list goes on a very long way indeed… all the way to Mars in fact.

Here is a short video showing highlights from the interview:


 

What is the Curiosity Rover?

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, but you have to first imagine a Mini Cooper Car

Audacious

Described as ‘Audacious’ – the outrageous plan was executed to perfection – touching down on the surface successfully today.

It could have been an image from a Ridley Scott or George Lucas film:

The entry and surface landing profile:

“It’s a Wheel!”

Here is one of the first photographs taken from the surface – “its a wheel!” was exclaimed when it arrived on the JPL NASA Mission Control centre screens earlier… Gooooood Morning Mars!

A snapshot from our dreams:

Life on Mars?

Our quest begins here…

Song of the Day, rather predictably, is:

 

David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ …

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