Like everyone else, last night we stayed up late to watch a bunch of NASA/JPL scientists and engineers watching their computer screens, then burst into cheer and fist-pumps as they received confirmation that the car-sized rover Curiosity had successfully landed on Mars. Here’s a tired Patrick with one of the two images that came through last night, showing the shadow of the rover itself on the surface of Mars:
Congratulations to the “blue shirts.” It is difficult to pour through all the comments and expressions that came through Facebook and Twitter following that achievement, but I’d like to highlight one that is very pertinent to readers here. It comes from Karen James, long-time Darwin blogger and HMS Beagle Project team member (and now in the process of applying to become a NASA astronaut):
3.5 billion years ago life emerged on Earth, reproduced and diversified. Today one of the resulting “endless forms most beautiful” landed a robot on another planet to search for alien life.
Good luck, Karen, on your current NASA endeavour and thanks for putting last night’s exciting moment into even more awesome perspective!