It’s a robot—not woman, nor man
And it’s doing the best that it can
Like its pictures, that showed
Where the water once flowed,
Making up an alluvial fan
NASA’s Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.
“You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan,” NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.
No, no, no. They are missing the big picture.
I am alive at a point in history when humans have sent a fucking robot to fucking Mars, where it is doing experiments and taking pictures and answering questions that weren’t even questions until at most just a couple of generations ago. It was just over a century ago that the notion of canals on Mars was cutting edge science.
Everything about this is wonderful. Everything about this is cool. Everything about this is the future. Everything about this is making the science fiction of my childhood obsolete in the best possible way.
Again, I am forced to wonder, what will be next? Will this eventually be seen as the space equivalent of the Model T? Or the Mars equivalent of Apollo 11? Is this the beginning of much more, or a high-water mark not to be matched in our lifetime?
The choice, really, is ours.