Interessante articolo.

Volevo segnalarvi questo articolo che riassume bene in particolare in alcuni passaggi lo spirito che ho trovato in questo questo forum.

Why do I care so much about the Mars rovers?

A lot of people have asked me that, after seeing printouts of Spirit and Opportunity photos in my folder at work, and hearing me jabber on at them about how beautiful or spectacular the latest panorama is. Well, let me try and explain. Here’s my latest colourised version of black and white “raw” images taken by the rover Opportunity.

Didn’t take me long, about half an hour to “make”. But why bother? Well, try looking at that picture, and what it represents. There are many, many people doing what I do, i.e. making our own images out of NASA raw images. People who don’t do it for a living, but do it for love and personal satisfaction; people who don’t have to do it to get paid, but have to do it because they want to see an image of Mars showing what they would see it if they were stood there. That picture wasn’t put together in a shiny JPL lab, or room, with state of the art pcs and software and a pay cheque at the end, it was made without pay, in a corner of my kitchen, on a normal PC with freely-available software and equipment, with all the distractions and commitments of everyday life going on in the background. It makes my head spin sometimes that we can do that, and that thousands of people across the world are doing it, it really does. (hence my poem “Quilts”)

Why do I feel so strongly about this? Why am I moved to make images, and write poetry, about the Mars rover mission?[b] Well, I have a confession to make. After several decades of optimism I have just about given up on looking forward to seeing people on Mars in my lifetime. Best guesstimate for a manned expedition is what, 2030? I’ll be… fingers time… 65. Not a ridiculous target, I know, but factor in the inevitable engineering and political delays with getting NASA’s proposed moon missions going and Ares and Orion flying, the growing problems of climate change that will need tackling with BIG $$$$$$$ and the growing danger of a terrorist attack of such devastating savagery, nuclear or chemical, that will stop everything else in its tracks for who knows how long, and, well, I just don’t feel that confident I’ll see astronauts bunny hopping across Mars’ surface on my widescreen HD TV before I pop my clogs, I really don’t.

And that’s pretty heartbreaking, because three things, three Events, drive me onwards as far as space is concerned: One, the detection of a SETI signal, two, the first image of an Earth-like world around another star, and three, a manned landing on Mars. Now, I’m pretty confident I’ll see one and two before I go, I really am. But that third one, hmmm, that’s going to be awkward. I’ve stood in front of countless thousands of people these past two decades, giving talks, telling them all how “we’ll see people on Mars in our lifetime”… but the last time I did it I said it and didn’t believe it myself. Which was awful. And very sad.
Of course, when we discover bacterial life on Mars all bets are off, that might speed things up. But I just have this nagging, sick-in-the-bottom-of-my-stomach feeling that it’s slipping away from me, you know?

Which is why these little rovers mean so much to me. They’re MY eyes on Mars, my representatives there. I talked in that last poem about Spirit about “walking alongside” the rover, and that’s really how I feel. Like many “Mars enthusiasts”, I check rover-related websites (Exploratorium, UMSF etc) several times a day, looking for new pics, following the latest leg of the journey. Every time the rovers move and bring a new horizon into view I feel a genuine thrill of discovery, of exploration. That run-up to the edge of VC was UNBEARABLE! Every day so close, so close… then we were there, “Oppy” and I, on the edge, looking into and across it… well, Steve Squyres’ long, tight-throated pause in his interview with Doug Ellison on the Unmanned Spaceflight forum (Google it, you won’t regret it) described my own feelings superbly. It was like the very first time I saw Yosemite Valley, after emerging from that long tunnel into the sunlight to see The View, where giant hands had reached down from the heavens and wrenched the Earth apart. Look. At. That.

So, that’s why I love these rovers. They’re as close as I’m ever going to get, I fear, to either being on Mars myself or following a manned mission to Mars.

And that’s why I sit here, writing poetry about plucky little rovers stuck in martian dust dunes looking up forlornly at Earth, and why I spend many painfully-long hours on dialup downloading black and white pictures and making them into something else. They show me - yes me, that shy, would be astronaut geeky kid from school, who sat in the library pouring over the space books there instead of kicking a ball about outside - what I always dreamed of seeing with my own eyes but never will.

That’s why I love the Mars rovers.

Because they’re me

Stuart Atkinson, Eddington Astronomical Society, Kendal, Cumbria. Atkinson is an amateur astronomer and children’s science author from the UK. A self-confessed “Mars nut” he writes frequently about the Red Planet for newspapers, magazines and websites.

molto bello…
speriamo che i due robottini marziani resistano ancora a lungo e ci regalino altre bellissime immagini (e scoperte!) di Marte!

Amen! :smiley: