NASA Lands a Car on Mars

| February 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Today, I watched NASA TV for about two hours while the space vehicle “Perseverance” made its final approach and landing on Mars.

Despite being a huge fan of space travel, I had no idea this mission was even happening. It just popped up on my twitter feed. So, I turned on the NASA broadcast and started to watch. I remain fascinated by the unbelievable brilliance of NASA scientist to pull this off. There is a little sadness though, in that there is now a limit to what I will see in terms of space travel. Will I ever see a man on Mars? Possibly, but doubtful. A different perspective than during Apollo when a movie called 2001 A Space Odyssey envisioned manned flight to Jupiter. I definitely thought I would live to see that.

Still, it was thrilling to watch, even though most of the images were of anxious NASA scientists staring at consoles. But you knew that they were intensely excited. And, by spending an hour and a half watching those images, with periodic animations of the actual landing, it earned me the right to tear up when the landing was confirmed and the scientists erupted.

I find it amazing, but not surprising, that the news coverage was so fleeting. There was no build-up. As noted above, I had no idea it was happening. The cable news broke to the event for the last 30 minutes before landing and maybe 20 minutes after. Then moved on.

Today…nothing. It’s like the later Apollo missions. We had men actually tromping around the lunar surface and people were bored with it. Back in the days of Star Trek I could not have imagined that manned space travel would turn into something from history, not the relentlessly exciting future.

But here we are.

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