Come on NASA, you’re killing me! Will wonders never cease? The agency just released this photo of Curiosity descending by parachute to its destination on Mars. The image was made by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) as the probe flew 211 miles away. You can’t see the rover directly because it’s tucked inside a conical shell along with the rocket-propelled backpack that would tether it down to the surface just a minute later. Curiosity was two miles above the etched plains north of the sand dunes that fringe Mt. Sharp inside Gale Crater when the picture was snapped.
MRO has been circling Mars for six years and shot a similar photo of the Phoenix lander floating down to the surface by parachute in May 2008. Nothing like having another set of eyes looking out when your baby’s 154 million miles from home.
The photo reminds us that anything is possible if we focus our energy and wits to make it happen. I may be dazed and confused today after staying up half the night with the rover, but this vibe of inspiration keeps me smiling.