Geeking out all over
This is where I was last night:
Lori Garver is the second in command at NASA – that I knew. She’s a local girl as well, having grown up not ten miles from where I did – that I didn’t know. I was hardly going to miss seeing her if she was going to be speaking in my (our) hometown, so despite dire warnings of major snow coming last night, off we went. I told her I’d been scared a time or two about the fate of the James Webb Space Telescope, and asked her what the prognosis for it was. She told me to “fear no more”, and assured me that it was on schedule and within budget. (Woot!)
The day before yesterday was the six month anniversary of the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity. A recent tweet I saw included this video, which is remarkable for more than just the slick animation of the landing.
The people in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory control room are genuinely joyous – cheering not for a touchdown or a slam dunk, but because of a wicked-cool triumph of science and engineering. Their triumph. For many of them, that rover is probably their life’s work, so seeing it land perfectly as planned had to be a truly joyous thing. And then there are the crowds of people gathered in Times Square and elsewhere watching with bated breath. Seeing so many ordinary folks excited about science and space exploration gave me a glimmer of hope for the future of the world. Seriously.
Who did you hobnob with this week?