Intersectional explorations of society, technology, nature, and spirituality through a creative lens.
Curiosity and the Human Spirit
Today is the birthday of the Curiosity rover that we sent to Mars for us to study away. I am pleased to inform you that Curiosity is indeed still puttering about Mars to this very day, sending back valuable information. Last time, we looked at the James Webb telescope, now let’s take a little trip back in time to remember the origins of a great little robot.
Curiosity was named by a then 6th grade student named Clara Ma, who was quite apt in the naming, claiming to have chosen it because “Curiosity is such a powerful force…the passion that drives us…” On November 26, 2011, Curiosity would be launched on it’s mission to discover Mars. Of course, given that space is so vast, it did not touch down until August 5th of 2012.
Human Spirit in Machines
The rover, which just so happens to have a duplicate called MAGGIE right here on Earth, began it’s work of navigating the difficult terrain to take photos and send back samples and readings from the soil, air, radiation, and the like to NASA. On August 5th, 2013, Curiosity would pause it’s work to play itself “Happy Birthday.”
We personify these things we build, if not just for the sole purpose of being the first song to ever play on a foreign planet. The purpose of said song was to wish a lonely little robot a happy birthday. We do such weird and amazing things as people. One might imagine, anyone watching, would be utterly confused by this bizarre little contraption, pausing to mark it’s anniversary with song.
Curiosity is over on a whole different planet taking selfies and stuff, and I am all in. Sorry, Johnny-5, Chappie, and Jarvis, the award for most charismatic robot goes to the Curiosity Rover. Come for us on this one if you want, we will happily sooner debate which robot was the best than most anything else right now. You can check out what Curiosity is up to today right here. Happy 10th birthday, Curiosity!