Just Curious…

 

It was another huge leap for mankind today when NASA’s latest space mission to Mars touched down safely.

The one-tonne vehicle, known as ‘Curiosity’ also managed to find time to send a tweet out to all its followers: “I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!”. Its mision to look for the evidences of life greatly helped, no doubt by a strong Wi-Fi signal on the Martian surface…

There is no doubting the technical excellence that saw the rover safely make its 154.4 million mile journey however I am slightly confused as to its purpose.

One of NASA’s mission goals is to determine whether Mars ‘has ever had the conditions to support life’, but to me, a mere mortal, this seems a little strange. Almost like trying to prove the possibility that the Pope could visit my house for lunch. Proving a ‘possibility’ isn’t worth much, I would have thought it better to try to answer the much bigger question of ‘is there, or has there ever been life on Mars?’. I presume that Curiosity may get the best of the NASA scientists and results permitting, they may turn their attention to those questions further down the line.

In the meantime, the two-year mission costing an estimated $2,500,000,000 ($2.5bn), certainly goes where no man has been before but even if the mission goal is successful, we may still never know if it’s gone where life itself has ever been before…

In any case, I’d like to pass on my congratulations to everyone who’s been involved with this so far, and also wish the team every success for the rest of the mission.

PS… For the record, although the possibility exists for His Holiness to visit my home for cucumber sandwiches, He has never done so, and I am relatively confident that he has not made any specific plans for the immediate future…

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