Space, the Final Frontier

How amazing is it that we live in a world where we landed a rover on Mars?!
On August 6, 2012 at 12:17 CST Curiosity landed in Gale Crater on Mars!
It’s the size of a car, and it has cameras, and a laser!

I stayed up late that night and watched the live stream of NASA’s flight control at JPL and held my breath with those scientists as we waited to see if she landed safely and sent back footage. I admit, there were a few tears in my eyes as I watched that room full of nerds cheering & attempting to high-five.

It’s just unreal that we can have a picture from the surface of Mars just 15 minutes after it is taken.
Here’s the first picture:

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars

And the pictures are getting better as Curiosity fires up all her systems.

This is another freaking planet!

While Curiosity is definitely the star of the show, another member of the team has gotten a bit of attention from the press too. This adorable guy is Bobak Ferdowsi.
Bobak is the Flight Director for the mission. While all us geeks were watching the JPL live stream and talking about it on Twitter one of the people that caught our attention was the “NASA Mohawk Guy.” Seriously. How cool is he? He’s a freaking rocket scientist, and he has a mowhawk! (and he’s pretty darn hot!)

I’ve been following the “NASA Needs More Mohawks” Tumblr because I’ve got a big ol’ geek crush on Bobak.

Bobak, who tweets as @tweetsoutloud, has become an internet meme.
There are also a ton of articles about him out there, like this one from TheSpec.com. Even President Obama thinks Bobak is pretty cool! I think he’d be an awesome guest for us to bring in to CONvergence.

Alas, not all our space news was awesome this month. Last Saturday we lost one of our national heroes. Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, died at age 82. Mr. Armstrong was the mission commander of Apollo 11. Just as I’m amazed that we can get pictures from Mars, I’m also saddened that we have not returned to the moon since December 1972, when I was only 2 years old. Yes, man has walked on the moon in my lifetime, but barely. There are only 8 living people now who have walked on the surface of our moon.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Armstrong

This is one of the pictures Neil took while on the moon. It is of fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Check out the rest of the pictures from the Apollo 11 mission here. Do you want to take pictures like an astronaut? You just need to get a Hasselblad camera, and then read this. It’s the official¬†NASA Astronaut’s Photography Manual from Hasselblad.

Canada is cool

I’ve only been to Canada two times, but I liked it. Today though, they skyrocketed up my awesomeness meter.

3 words.

Glow-in-the-dark Dinosaur Quarter!

(ok. Even with the hyphens it is technically six words. Bite me. Glow-in-the-dark Dinosaur Quarter!)

Check it out:
The article about it is at NationalPost.com

This is what America needs. Quarters with dinosaurs. Quarters that glow in the dark. Heck, if we did that we could even replace the “In God We Trust” which has no place on government currency with “In Science We Trust.”