|Let's get this party started!|
Man. It wasn't enough that I got to watch Usain Bolt win the 100m again, but UT alum Sonya Richards-Ross won the Gold in the Women's 400m.
I also watched a man with prosthetic limbs race in an Olympic foot race.
But after watching the Twitter Feed for the Mars Curiosity Rover the past couple of months, Curiosity came down successfully on the surface of our sister planet, Mars.
You guys, we live in the future.
I haven't gotten teary during the Olympics. I've done my fair share of yelling and cheering and chanting "go go go go go go go" while watching races.
But I admit I got a little choked up watching the JPL crew high-fiving after the news that Curiosity had landed and we received the first images back from the rover.
This is the dream. I know The Olympics can be viewed through the cynical lens of the business it's become, and I know that you cannot draw a straight line from landing a rover on Mars to the better bottom line of the American small business owner. But these are amazing things. These are the times we're living in, where our athletes run the fastest 100 meters of all time, where men with a disability run in the race for the best in the world. Where a team of people can run equations until they've figured out how to land a robot on a planet somewhere across the cosmos to better understand our own world and maybe to better understand who we are. This is the world I wanted to live in when I was a kid, and, man, in so many ways, it's happening. You just have to look and remember what's important.
I watched the rover land on the NASA channel on my cable dial. I understand others watched the Curiosity landing online. I also hear none of the major news networks thought it was important enough a story to break into their NOTHING at 12:15 AM Central to let the drama unspool. There may be something to how they're making their money and what future they profit from, I'm just saying.
After the landing and celebration, one of the scientists was being interviewed about the end of the flight part of the mission and what came next.
"Let the science begin!" she said.
How much in the way of science and math got us here? And now... Now it begins. And that's a lovely, lovely thought. For every accomplishment we have as a planet, it's not the ending, it's not necessarily even the new normal. It's the start of something new and the opportunity to do more and better.
And that, people, is why I will always love our space program. And why seeing a man on graphite legs run, or a Longhorn achieve her vision of bringing home the Gold, and the peaceful gathering of nations under a common flag for a simple and straightforward purpose.
Today is Tomorrow.