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Yay, Science!

6 August 2012

Last night, I watched TV.

In and of itself, this wouldn’t be such a big thing. Oh, sure — Breaking Bad is an extremely well-made show, and the return of professional football to the airwaves is something to be celebrated. But those weren’t the important things I watched on TV last night.

No, I watched the human endeavor on TV. I watched a room full of scientists and technicians absolutely lose their shit when Curiosity (officially the Mars Science Laboratory) reported that it had successfully landed on the Red Planet. I watched them go apeshit again when the first image thumbnail from the surface of Mars came through.

And you know what? I was right there with them, losing my shit in front of the TV (quietly, so as not to wake my wife). Because space exploration is beyond simply cool — it’s important. With previous probes’ discovery of water on Mars, we have a real shot at finding out that life once existed there, too. And that would be huge.

Some people complain that the space program spends tons of money on essentially nothing more than scientific curiosity. That all of this money we spent sending another probe to Mars could be better spent on practical stuff for our own planet. But what those people don’t realize is that scientific curiosity is the spark that lights the fire of practical application. That the answers we find on Mars — and even if we don’t find them, just the process of looking — are going to have global implications, and ultimately make life on Earth better than it already is.

So, apart from my buddy Christopher, was I the only nerd up watching last night?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 6 August 2012 0938

    I just love that through the advances from missions like the rover project, we have everyday, badass things like iPads and stuff we can use to communicate with people all around the world during something like the landing. It was not wasted on me that it was science and engineering that allowed us to text each other while something was landing on a planet millions and millions of miles away. “Yay, science!” indeed!

  2. Bri permalink
    6 August 2012 1148

    You know I was.

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