The following was written by a friend of mine, Brady Clarke, on Tumblr. It struck such a chord with me that I’ve reposted it here (with permission). Make sure you follow Brady on the Twitters – @pressdarling - especially if you have the same taste in music that I do.
Humans did this. Humanity did this. We put a car-sized robot called Curiosity onto Mars. We control this robot from Earth. It took this picture. You’re looking at a picture that it took, made available on the internet hours after it was taken.
A photo taken on a different planet, available for you to see mere hours later.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a smart phone, you might be using it to look at this picture. How marvellous is that? You have a piece of technology that you carry around in your pocket every day that lets you see photos that were taken on Mars hours after they were taken.
Look at this.
Take for granted, if you will, that this technology all exists; it didn’t 100 years ago (we barely had heavier-than-air flight, radio and photography, let alone effective computers or space travel). Take that for granted if you want. But please don’t scoff at the fact that there is now a robot on Mars that is taking photos, that you can view on the little computer in your pocket.
You’re looking at a place far further away from home than any human has ever been.