When I was a child – maybe nine or ten – I mailed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a request for pictures of the solar system. When the package arrived, I was so excited. Inside were images from the Voyager and Viking spacecraft. Pictures of Jupiter, Mars, and other planetary bodies. There was something extraordinary about the fact that I was able to see such things – pictures of other planets!

A couple of days ago, the Phoenix Lander touched down on Mars. It’s mission is to drill down into the planet’s north pole, see if there’s any water, and check out the chemistry of what’s to be found. It’s also sending back pictures.

Now, the Martian landscape isn’t that interesting. It’s just rocks. But the fact is, they’re rocks on another planet, and that we are able to see them, I find that just as astonishing now as when I was younger. We can do that! We can go to other planets and see what’s to be seen. Granted, right now it’s through robotic eyes, but that won’t be for forever

The Phoenix Lander

We are capable of this much and so much more.


~ by Samer on May 27, 2008.

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