Curious and Curiosity

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

—Lewis Carroll,
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Sometimes there is a use in trying. Sometimes we should attempt the seemingly impossible.

At 06:24 BST (half an hour before breakfast) tomorrow morning, the capsule carrying the Mars Science Laboratory—also known as the Curiosity Rover—will enter Mars's thin atmosphere at 21,000 kmh-1 and attempt to do this:

What could possibly go wrong?

One way or the other, it will all be over in seven minutes, leaving the White Queen 23 minutes to believe in five other impossible things.

Good luck, Curiosity!

Postscript (06-Aug-2012):


Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
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