Sunday, August 12, 2012

What's the big deal about Curiosity and its sojourn on Mars?

All the hype and hyperbole surrounding the Curiosity rover landing on Mars is really quite humorous. Terms like "biggest", "best", "most ambitious", and "powerful" have been landing with thuds as resounding as the rover itself. Frankly, it all calls for a little reality check, which we love to do around here.

First of all, Curiosity is a little over 40 years too late to claim all the big titles. In 1970 and 1973, the Soviet Union landed two rovers, called Lunokhod 1 and 2, on the Moon. They were about the same size and weight, and had more or less the same toys as Curiosity (including laser and radiation detector).

By the way, Lunokhod means "moon walker", so even Michael Jackson got beat on that one.

 Together, these rovers lasted a bit over a year and traveled 10 miles or so. They dug up rocks and took pictures, just like Curiosity presumably will do. If you count the fact that various groups still bounce lasers off of these rovers to measure the precise distance to the Moon, then they've been working for well over 40 years. Full story...

Related posts:
  1. A space station discovered on Mars using Google Earth???
  2. Apollo 11 hoax: one in four people do not believe in moon landing...
  3. And so, 40 years ago, did Neil Armstrong really walk on the moon?
  4. Mysterious Baltic Sea object raises more questions...
  5. Astronomer insists there is a Planet X lurking at the edge of our solar system...

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