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NASA Pulls Off Another Miracle

August 6th, 2012

They did it!

Remember the Seven Minutes of Terror? Well, they’re over now, and NASA has yet another spectacular feather in its cap, as the Curiosity rover begins its new mission on Mars. Equipped with several cameras, including color, 3-D, and (I believe) higher-def cameras than we’ve seen on Mars before, Curiosity should provide us with quite a show.

For starters, the simple, low-res image of the lander’s wheel and the horizon:

673560Main Msl5 Full

NASA missions are always fun, and at $7 per American, this one seems well worth the cost. Compare that to $10,000 per taxpayer, or $4400 per American, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. $2600 per American for the Iraq War alone, which was an entirely optional war. Hell, for one-tenth of the cost of the Iraq War alone, we could be sending a manned mission to Mars.

Sorry. So easy to split off and talk politics… What I meant to say was, go NASA, you ROCK!

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  1. Tim Kane
    August 7th, 2012 at 03:03 | #1

    Speaking of $ and politics – Iraq’s GNP before the war was $54 billion. In 2003, Bush’s election budget was about $65 million, and I think he spent more on the primary (about $60 million on S. Carolia/Michigan primaries alone, when McCain was threatening to walk away with it after his big win in New Hampshire). In 2000, for about $1 or $2 billion one could pretty much buy the loyalty of 51% of politicians in Washington, that is, our national government. Given that, a shrew bit of clandestine work ought to have netted the government of Iraq, and therefore the entire country, for only a few billion dollars, at most, complete with infrastructure in tact and no people killed on either side.

    Instead we spent $3 trillion, killed about 150,000 Iragi’s, 5000 of our own, tens of thousand of our own maimed and wounded, more on the other side, and for what? To help Iran enhance their influence in the region?

  2. Troy
    August 8th, 2012 at 00:59 | #2

    the JPL mission control staff were a bit too excited upon landing for me to think that this wasn’t a pretty big gamble for them.

    I guess not just the past work, but their entire careers going forward were riding on this landing.

    Having had my stuff demoed in front of thousands I know the feeling.

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