You know, I’ve heard some pretty ridiculous things said about the new mars rover, specifically coupled with photos from the surface of Mars.
-“Breathtaking. I hope people don’t stop giving a shit about this in a week or two.”
-“This is what Mars looks like. Hey everyone, this is what Mars looks like. We didn’t know this yesterday.
The problem is, we have had photos from the surface of the mars since 1976.
This photo is from the Viking program, 1976. It was a stationary device.
This photo is from 1997, taken from the Pathfinder program.
This is a photo the base station took of its own rover.
In 2004, TWO rovers, Spirit and Opportunity landed. One of them is still operational, and has sent back photos in 2012. I’ve seen this photo spread around with people claiming it’s from the new rover.
Yes, the new rover is a big deal. It’s much larger and has many more built-in tools to do experiments (it doesn’t just take pictures). It will be analyzing the environment to see if Mars was ever capable of supporting life. Having a successful landing with such a large rover was a big accomplishment. However, it seems everyone completely forgot about all of the progress on Mars that NASA had previously made. Apparently, people have “stopping giving a shit in a week or two” a couple of times already.