Mars Rover “Spirit” Lands Safely!!
NASA announced around 1 am Sunday 1/4 that the Mars Rover, Spirit, had landed safely on the surface and sent a signal showing that it was undamaged. This is a great relief. Mars is called the “death planet” by space aeronautics experts, since 2/3s of missions there have failed. Spirit was put into a crater that may have once held water, and if it goes on functioning, it will tell us a lot about whether Mars once supported life (i.e. microbes). Also about whether there still might be undergound water on Mars. That would be good news, if we are ever to have colonies there. (Hint: It is dangerous for a species to inhabit only one planet, since planets are so vulnerable to meteor strikes and other catastrophes).
You may complain that this item has nothing to do with the Middle East. But I beg to differ. Here is what yahoo.news said: “”Mars is a favorite target,” says Dr. Firouz Naderi, manager of the Mars Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” Firouz Naderi is an Iranian name, and his obvious contributions to the American space program (the rovers are a JPL project) should give pause to all those afficionados of phrases like ‘axis of evil,’ whenever they are tempted to fall into anti-Iranian and anti-Middle Eastern bigotry. Dr. Naderi’s name, by the way, means literally a “rare triumph.” And so it is. Congratulations to NASA and JPL!