I am such a space junkie, even when human beings aren’t at the center of daring missions into deep space.
The InSight lander has touched down on Mars. It’s beginning to send back startling, stunning and astonishing pictures of the Martian surface. The picture above shows a portion of the lander with the barren Martian landscape in the background.
The journey took 205 days to complete. The InSight’s mission is to probe into the Martian dirt to give us some clues to the origin of the planet and whether there is any sign of life, past or present, on the planet.
I loved watching the NASA ground technicians cheering, hugging, high-fiving each other when they realized the space ship had made its landing safely.
My excitement over the success, so far, of this unmanned vehicle makes me hope my heart will be able to withstand the excitement if and when we send human beings to the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system.
I also hope I am still around to watch it happen. If so, I plan to do what I did when I was a kid and the Mercury astronauts took off on their Earth-orbiting missions: I would get up early and wait with great anxiousness for the rockets to take off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In the meantime, I am going to cheer NASA’s success in landing the InSight vehicle on Mars.
Given all the political furor and grief we’re experiencing here on Earth, this flight gives us a good reason to smile.