St. Charles Herald-Guide

Mars trip another success in space

Our View - August 17, 2012

Cheers went up when NASAís planet rover Curiosity made a successful landing on Mars last week. The eight-month interplanetary voyage is one of several successful trips to the red planet, which so far has been one of our main hopes of uncovering secrets of our universe.

Climax of the trip was slowing of the one-ton vehicle from 13,000 miles per hour to zero in seven minutes. Full contact with it from Earth has already produced many pictures of Mars, including that of the landing site at Gale Crater.

Many more views of the planet are expected in the two years ahead and there should also be much more valuable information received, such as the make-up of the planet and in what ways it differs from Mother Earth.

It could help, perhaps, our future as we learn our differences and what benefits we could derive from them if any. And our science classes should become all the more interesting as we speculate what other spectacular differences could exist out there in the universe.

Our first benefits from the visit will be a pictorial review of one of the most accessible spacial destinations to visit in the future. After all, itís quite a treat to see close-up what we could only view as a very distant star in the past.

It should make for an interesting evening of entertainment for our citizens. And the visit is costing our government only $2.5 billion. That amounts to about $7.50 per U. S. citizen, which is no more than the price of seeing an interesting movie at the theatre.