Today NASA is hosting a telecast program commemorating Curiosity’s first anniversary on Mars.  I’m watching this right now, One Year On Mars.

One year ago we achieved something incredible.  We landed a one metric ton “gizmo” on the surface of another planet.  We returned to Mars, this time with the most complex vehicle ever sent to another planet.  Simply amazing.  Historic.  Absolutely incredible.  Incredible.  Watching the landing was one of the most memorable events I have ever seen.

We landed in a spot that our engines had scrubbed clean of dust.  What was revealed was a conglomerate, a form of rock made up of other rocks and sand, compacted over time. This conglomerate showed us one of the main things we were looking for: was Mars ever more like earth?  Our landing gave us something else: a target to visit that was in the wrong direction.  Discussion ensued, agreement was reached, and that target was visited.  This turned out to be a very valuable visit.  It told us a story of water flowing on Mars, much like it flows in streams on the Earth.

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