This right here. It’s really not just a boring hole in the ground. It’s a boring hole in the ground. . . on Mars!
As you should know, we sent the Curiosity rover up to Mars a while back and used a jet-assisted aerial crane to lower the rover to the surface of the planet. Which was the epitome of cool, the apex of awesome.
Now Curiosity is doing what it’s supposed to be doing: It’s roving the surface of Mars and conducting some rather remarkable scientific experiments. And just last week it did something no other object of person has ever done. Curiosity went and drilled a hole on another planet.
Sure it’s probably the most boring-sounding bit of awesome ever, but it’s the last bit, the another planet bit that makes it top out on the awesometer.
Just look at this thing.
Curiosity is doing all the drilling so it can grab some of the previously unexposed rocks and begin chemically evaluating them, subjecting them to laser analysis and stuff like that.
We’re looking for evidence that there once was free water on the surface of Mars and to answer the age-old question: Was there ever life on Mars beyond tiny single-celled organisms?
And were they cold, calculating intellects looking on the planet Earth with disdain and longing?
Odds are, probably no.
Still, I just can’t get enough of the supremely cool pictures that Curiosity keeps sending back from Mars. We can look at the pictures and see that it’s only a dry, rocky soil with a slightly reddish hue. No big dealie.
Until we remember just how that picture was taken, where it was taken and what it had to go through to get back to us.
I made sure to download this picture to my phone. I’ve got a group of students at Awesome Elementary School who are doing research reports on the solar system. I showed this picture to one of the students there and she simply shrugged her shoulders until I explained where the picture came from. Then she was riveted and called over some of her friends to take a look.
To stare at a picture taken on another planet, by looking into the slab of technology I pulled from my pocket and used to display photographs.
Truly, we’re living in a remarkable age. I only wish it were a little later in said age so I could take advantage of it. Yes, dudes, I’m still whining about not getting a chance to walk on an alien planet.
Until I can stop whining and actually accomplish my dream, I’ll keep seeking out these sorts of pictures and staring at them in wonder and awe.