Curiosity about Mars Grows Stronger in Wake of NASA Rover Landing

Barry Lenson

Curiosity about Mars Grows Stronger in Wake of NASA Rover Landing

Curiosity about Mars Grows Stronger in Wake of NASA Rover LandingThere must be a lot of reasons why NASA named its new Martian rover “Curiosity.” It’s up there roving around the Martian surface because Earthlings are curious about Mars. The vehicle itself looks kind of like a curious little robot. It all fits together.

And if you too are curious about Mars, CLICK HERE to enjoy a really terrific look at what Curiosity is looking at from where it is sitting on the surface of the Red Planet. If you hold down your mouse button and move the cursor left or right, the view of Mars on your monitor will change.  You can look up, down, left, right, or even spin around in circles. Being curious can be fun.

Now that Curiosity is up there on Mars being curious, more people are wondering how long it will be before human beings go on a mission to Mars.  I’m wondering about that too, but curious about what kind of training it would take to get ready to be the first human being to go there.

Some ideas come to mind. If you wanted to be the first human on Mars, you would have to learn to overcome claustrophobia, because you’d have to spend months and months in a little capsule on your way there. You’d have to learn to conquer all kinds of phobias and fears – if one thing goes wrong on a mission to Mars, you’re pretty much done for.

But one scientifically oriented friend of mine tells me that if I really wanted to learn to go to Mars, I’d have to start out by studying physics.

That makes sense, because the Curiosity mission is all about physics. A rocket had to blast Curiosity out of the pull of the Earth’s gravity. Then all kinds of servos and smaller rocket engines had to guide Curiosity safely to Mars. Then a big hovering winch lowered the rover to the Martian surface. Finally, motors had to power the wheels to move Curiosity. Getting all that to happen demanded the skills of a lot of people who know all about physics.

So if you’re thinking about going to Mars – or if you are merely curious about the idea – start out by learning more about physics. A good online course could be your smartest first step.

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