We’ve had a lot of posts over the past week, so I wanted to put up a post with all the pre-landing goodness and with all of Brendan’s excellent liveblogging last night.
Adi introduced us to the rover within the context of the ongoing thirtieth olympiad, defined the word that serves as its name: “Curiosity” warned us about the “7 minutes of terror” during entry/descent/landing, and gave us a guide to viewing the landing and some fun pre-landing activities.
Meanwhile, I chatted with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science about the history of water on Mars and the context that creates for Curiosity’s many science instruments.
Andrew Rushby also made his first PaleBlue.blog appearance that introduced us to the human side of our unmanned probes.
But all of that was nothing but a prelude to Brendan Mullan’s outstanding liveblog last night. Having the FameLab Astrobiology winner covering this for the blog from JPL was tremendous… especially because Brendan’s blogging was so on point. Brendan explained the relationship between Curiosity and previous rovers, showed us the “true face” of Curiosity, took us inside the VIP room, gave us some stuff to do while we waited for landing… and then gave us some huge updates in as real-time as the laws of physics allowed as we found out that we’d get data relays from Mars Odyssey, that MSL’s parachutes deployed (one of the most dangerous parts of the landing)… and finally that we had a soft landing on Mars. And he did it all in a way that had me (nervously) chuckling the whole night.
All this stuff is worth a read, even in retrospect. In putting this post together, I thought it was a fun way to re-live the excitement of the last week and remind myself of all the exciting science that’s still to come in the weeks and months and years ahead.
One of the things that we envisioned for this place was having a diversity of styles represented… and between Adi’s playful analogies, Andrew’s thoughtfulness, my over-exuberance, and Brendan’s outstanding ability to break down the moment with culturally-relevant themes… I think we accomplished that over the last week or so.