On the day of Curiosity's landing, my friends, Ryan and Jen Kobrick, were married in Yellowstone National Park. As Ryan is an aerospace engineer, there were many of us aspiring astronauts and space scientists present. The ceremony was beautiful and the following reception was a lot of fun. After the reception calmed down, several of us went with the newlyweds to a cabin for some late-night drinking and good company. It was during this time that Curiosity landed. There were about 7 or so of us who were jumping back and forth on Twitter feeds and news sources on our phones to see if the landing was a success. After we found out about the good news, we all had a comforting drink to our friends marriage and to the future of the exploration of Mars.
What a great story, thanks for sharing!
Agreed! Great story Graham.
My story is not nearly so interesting - I watched from home on my laptop as news came in of a successful landing. But it was great sharing the excitement and energy with so many people online across the world!
Here's to the continued success of MSL!
Nice story Graham! Perhaps your friends will one day celebrate their anniversary on Mars itself ;-)
I recall that day vividly... thanks to the wonders of the internet we had setup three streams at our department: one from NASA TV, one from the mission timed landing simulation program, and from the Deep Space Tracking Station here in Canberra.
The limited speed at which light travels meant that a few minutes after the simulation software predicted the mission status, the EDL team confirmed it via telemetry on Earth and we could measure the time delays involved. Celebratory drinks and cake followed ;-)
Kudos to NASA et al. on making the MSL landing a world-wide event.
Three cheers to MSL's first year on Mars! Look forward to its continued exploration of the red planet.