Dr. Adam Stelzner of Curiosity landing team taking questions (after the landing)

Over the years ISA staffing has had fascinating job description challenges (which we love), but nothing quite like staffing a picnic on Mars. We see a highly qualified Curiosity trained Chef participate with skillfully prepared space-food specialty cuisine. Peanut’s have accompanied each JPL rover’s landing as a treat ritual (shared among the staff for good luck). We say definitely begin with peanuts and add chocolate (Chef’s choice amuse bouche) along with freshly made food. Make it a Picnic on Mars theme, and show JPL’s video gone viral  Curiosity Seven Minutes of Terror .

Two other rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have been on Mars since 2004. Each time a jar of peanuts was opened for a good luck landing. We watched with excited curiosity (!) and breathless calm as the real Curiosity landed on Mars. To astounding crazy odds the first image transmitted today at 10:32PM (PDT). Now famous, the rover’s shadow silhouette arrived viewed from the front end of the vehicle’s Chem Cam. Over 5 million enthralled people watched Ustream live broadcasting, as millions more (worldwide) tuned into NASA TV channel, or NASA/JPL website.

Curiosity Mission EDL and Landing Team heads. Over 400 people comprise the team which includes a Surface Team who will take over for the experiments phase of this commission.

TIP to JPL: We wished for a live Cam feed we could join that runs 24/7 for the duration of this mission. We’d love to watch these riveting transmissions of what Curiosity sees, and how she gets around for this spectacular Mars commission. Solicit a small voluntary donation fee from those wanting to follow this thread. Every little bit helps to offset operating costs.

An Historical event for a world eager to share and prepare for The Great Migration soon to come, seven countries participated, providing instruments and other elements to this American Vision. A seminal undertaking reported as if it was a rock star event (Curiosity is a celeb!), and particularly meaningful for the American people as the proud beacon for space adventures. We’re grateful to student Clara Ma naming this rover Curiosity – we all hummed it rooting for its landing!

neighbor canal builders

Some of the secrets for colonizing Mars may lie in Chile’s terrain. According to Paul Davies article (Davies is director of the Beyond Centre for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University): ‘Mars could well harbor microbes in a similar setting. It’s not impossible. There are salt deposits there too, and although the Martian atmosphere is much thinner and holds less water vapour than the Atacama Desert, there may be niche environments in which deliquescent absorption could still operate. Cocooned in salt, protected from the oxidising soils and the intense ultraviolet radiation, Martian microbes may be able to photosynthesise, and support a Lilliputian ecosystem sustained by traces of water permeating salt rocks.’ See more here.. Seems the uniform size of the small gravel at the surface suggests it’s material carried from the crater rim by water, rather than debris blown out of nearby smaller impact craters.

Over 2M people located here and abroad worked on this immense project for 7 years (to bring this Vision through). That deserves great PR (so please) NASA-JPL, reach out to someone from Hollywood to give you marketing TIPS. And don’t leave it to Congress determining funding approval – they’re clueless about Space adventures (and appallingly neglect their constituents), including Americans who love to dream of going off-world. Hollywood sees billions made on SciFi space movies. Only this adventure is science fact and far more exciting to inspire and prepare children to dream big. Inspiring our children to dream big to go off world is imperative to their survival, and this translates in any language.
Curiosity landed as shown by her feminine foot on Mars

Curiosity landed as shown by her feminine foot on Mars terrain (note to JPL - why not in color film?)

After the landing, a conference was held for the press by the EDL Landing Team (who manned the first phase of the mission’s tracking and reporting), verifying the cam downloading link was operative. Curiosity will wake to become the world’s news with her ‘feminine wheel’ firmly planted on the surface of Mars. Sharing their shouts of joy the ground team (wearing blue engraved polo shirts) high-fived in emotional congrats (tears openly running all around). These are heroic men and women who patiently inch by inch move us along. The dramatic narrative video Seven Minutes of Terror was presented by Adam Stelzner, (do forward it to others it’s high info). Love his Elvis sexy hair and 50’s sideburns; a cool mechanical engineer Stelzner’s vivid passion instantly infused everyone to bring this baby to Mars and make cheerleaders of us all. Curiosity’s name was selected from submissions made by students from around the world. The winning young lady from Taiwan (Clara Ma) was sitting in the cheering audience at JPL watching her dream come true.

Curiosity communication system

Then a handoff from the EDL Landing Team to the Surface Team was commemorated by a jar of red marbles (red for Mars). Each day will see a marble removed for countdown as new data arrives. The Marble Jar ritual is a new JPL tradition (following on the heels of the Peanuts Jar ritual). So when Martians scratch their heads wondering what’s with Earthlings and their rituals with marbles and peanuts, you’ll know where that came from.

Humans can be so sweet and crazy it makes your heart melt. To imagine a vehicle zooming at 13,000 miles per hour suddenly come to a full stop, pivot to position, and then move down for landing during only a 7 minute window, is beyond the beyond. To explore our family of planets back yard (yep, picnic time).

Mars science lab rover mockup comparison

We heard from team member Pete Teissinger how the entire mission was cost budgeted to be about $7.00 per American, the least costly and most exciting movie ticket we could ever hope to see. We wholeheartedly agree!

TIP: purchase something from NASA’s store offerings showing your support towards this wonderful mission. Stay tuned with this stunning legendary event by checking out NASA/JPL channel and websites. If you’re unable to imagine how profoundly meaningful this truly is, close your eyes and picture yourself sitting in Curiosity moving about this Red Planet, with all of its mystery awaiting your discovery.

After the Cam dust covers were removed we could see thumbnails beautifully enhanced to a better quality. For the next three months scientists around the world will work to track experiments for data telemetry. First commission commands were preloaded onto Curiosity acting under those directions (temporarily) to ensure she remains safe. Interactive directives will come from the team for the next set of activities to begin.

TIP: Check things out on Mars by doing your own online research. Do include children and friends who will gladly wish to know about this monumental accomplishment by forwarding our TIPS to them too. Don’t forget to prepare a fantastic Mars picnic to share together and send others Our Best Advice, (see more TIPS on our Sitemap), and if you need Party Staff, call us!

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