At around 1:31 am this morning, I saw the furious tweeting and internet frenzy on the landing of Mars Science Lab, AKA Curiosity, on the Red Planet. This, I thought to myself, is a historic moment that I’ve been waiting to see for the last few months!
To quote a meme featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson…
“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome science is.”
I wasn’t even sure I could get to sleep earlier this morning…the collective nerdgasm on Twitter was just that intense.
Only this Caturday, the new Mars rover Curiosity lifted off on its way to the Red Planet, carrying with it the hope of finding some form of life, past or present, on the world of Edgar Rice Borough’s Barsoom, the planet of the pareidolia-evoking “Face,” and the setting of part of the 1970s Doctor Who episode, “Pyramids of Mars,” one of my favorites of the old series, BTW.
We humans have imagined all sorts of forms hypothetical life on Mars might take, from H.G. Wells‘ octopoid invaders, to the creatures of scads and scads of movies in the 1950s around the height of the UFO flap, then Doctor Who’s Ice Warriors, to possible bacteria-like organisms, perhaps living under the sterile surface of Mars.
Those were times of discovery and hopeful anticipation…
Though the results of the Viking missions were disappointing, the results honed our ideas on what forms life might take, life NOT as we knew it, and set the stage for further discoveries made, and those yet to come.
What tales will Curiosity have to tell us?
When was your earliest exposure to the concept of life on Mars?
How were the Martians depicted upon your first hearing of them?
What do you think about the possibility of finding life there?
MNQ is a question that I pose to you, my readers, and is posted each Monday at 12:00 PM. Do feel free to comment, and don’t worry yerselves overmuch… I’m not an ogre and I don’t bite…much.