WOOOOO! AHHHHHH! OHHHHHH! BLEEEEEEERK! SNNNNNERBY!!!! WOWWWWW!
|A photo taken my the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which shows Curiosity hanging from its supersonic parachute as it drops toward the surface of Mars.|
Long-time readers of this inestimable blog are well aware by now that I'm a bit of a fanatic about aviation and space. I am, as my wife informed me, a "Rover Hugger". That's a term she found on the internet that describes people like me who avidly follow the comings and going of those plucky little robots on Mars.
Had I not been one of St. Viator Elementary School's "worst students of all time" and unable to tie my shoes until I was 17, there's a good chance I would have been a brilliant engineer that made cool Mars rovers. However, as one of St. Viator Elementary School's worst students of all time and unable to tie my shoes until I was 17, there was little I could do except for TV Animation. (On a side note, I recently came across a letter written to my parents by my 8th grade teacher which stated, "We feel Paul will need constant care throughout his adult years. Please plan accordingly. We can recommend a number of wonderful group homes.")
Curiosity is safely down on the surface of Mars and the whole thing couldn't have been more exciting. Seriously. If you don't believe me, then please take the next 5 minutes to watch what it had to go through.
I hope you watched that and didn't just pretend to watch that because it's really cool. And if you did just pretended to watch it, but are now feeling somewhat sheepish and slightly curious, go ahead and watch it now. Go ahead. Don't be shy. We'll all wait.
Pretty awesome, right? So there we were last night watching all of this live. In the weeks leading up to the landing I had forced my family to watch the above video countless times. (That's the video I asked you to watch and you did. Right? If you didn't. Do it now. There's still time. Seriously. Don't be ashamed. Just do it.) So, having watched the video, we all knew the various things that had to happen as the rover made it's way down. Luckily my family got into it and you would have thought it was the superbowl. When we heard that the parachute had deployed, we clapped. We we heard the heat shield had come off we clapped. When we heard the rockets had fired for powered flight, we cheered. When the sky crane started doing it's thing...I think that's when I made my SNERRRRRBY sound. And when Curiosity said it had arrived, I jumped up and down. Cuz it's cool. And there aren't enough cool things happening today.
Thanks to the rock star engineers and scientists at JPL for putting some cool back into the world. It needed it.
Now if you'll excuse me, we're going out and I need my wife to tie my shoes.