Just a personal muse!
This has very little to do with anything other than my lifelong fascination in exploring space, which is why just over 21 hours ago I published the taster for this Post. That ‘Earthrise’ photograph and the one below changed forever how we feel about the home we all live on.
First Full-View Photo of Earth
Photograph courtesy NASA Johnson Space Center
This famous “Blue Marble” shot represents the first photograph in which Earth is in full view. The picture was taken on December 7, 1972, as the Apollo 17 crew left Earth’s orbit for the moon. With the sun at their backs, the crew had a perfectly lit view of the blue planet.
December 7th, 1972. Coming up to 40 years ago. I was in my late-20s. This photograph touched me in ways that I still don’t understand. This is such a beautiful planet.
Thus Curiosity: NASA’s latest Mars rover is due to touch down at 05:31 UTC Monday 6th August. I decided to publish this at 04:31 UTC on the 6th one hour before the crucial and novel landing, or in terms of local time here in Payson, Arizona, 9.31 pm on the 5th August.
Wishing the Mission and all the hard-working people who have spent so many years working towards this critical point in time in space history the very best of luck! It will be wonderful wherever one is on this Planet to wake up on the 6th and hear that Curiosity has landed safely! And if you want to follow the Mission then NASA have a website devoted to the latest news.
Let me close by offering you a couple of videos from the fabulous BBC Horizon science series, full hour-long programme about NASA’s latest Mission to Mars.
NASA Engineer Adam Stelzner describes how he hopes the Curiosity rover will land.
Chief Project Scientist John Grotzinger talks about Curiosity’s scientific instruments.