I have a vision I said to her, that when in time humans build a sustainable habitat on Mars, a museum housing the pre pioneers will display their names along with the robot explorers. She looked at me after I explained the mission and its purpose and she said to me as she often did
‘You’re mad ' but she had her little bird smile on and was soon sleeping peacefully.
We can only imagine that a display many hundreds of years ahead will be spectacular. The future is ours to dream about, dreams are our nets cast forward in time to pull us along and help us grow.
Mara Science Laboratory aka Curiosity , is one of our best chances to date to find evidence for life on another world. What an incredible twist that would be in our human trials and tribulations to understand our Universe.
Mam died from cancer on July 16th, 2011, on November 25th Mars Science Laboratory will launch from Cape Canaveral carrying a special tiny payload, a microchip of names and dreams. I think my family would agree with me that it is more satisfying and uplifting that we look at Mars and think of her going into the future instead of being in the past. 4990 Irish people (including me) put their names on Curiosity out of 12,464,445 people worldwide.
I feel totally blessed that I have been invited to what is called The Mars Science Laboratory Tweetup. This adventure will tick the box on one of my top ten bucket list, must do in life things.
With weeks to go to the launch and months to the landing we will be widely informed about this spectacular mission. August 2012 will see the cruise stage punch into the Martian atmosphere to deliver mankind’s heaviest robot to the surface of the red planet. MSL will land at Gale Crater hopefully to the silent applause of rock locked microbes ready for their moment in history
An interesting fact was put my way by my dear friend Jane Houston Jones. On Mars there is a crater called Wicklow named after the county in Ireland where I live. Jane and I will meet up once again at the MSL launch; it’s been five years since Jane visited me in Wicklow. It is so poignant that we should meet at this event, one of the most important missions in robotic space exploration and science.
Apollo 11 on TV was the first watershed eye opener toward my continued interest in space exploration. To be actually at the MSL launch and to also see a Saturn V rocket for myself will be my second booster shot / watershed for the future.
The MSL entry decent and landing sequence planned for 2012 has to be the most exciting landing ever conceived in the history of robotic advantures. It reminds me of Space 1999 a TV series by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson that I loved back in the 70’s (they used sky cranes). It also has all the drama of an action thriller. Oh if only a camera was in place at Gale crater to bring us live coverage of this historic space epic. I cannot wait, to see how this mission and my visit to Cape Canaveral unfolds you can follow my visit via my Tweets.
Deirdre Kelleghan is @skysketcher follow also @MarsCuriosity and @NASAJPL and @NASATweetup