Friday, September 7, 2012

Poem From Space: Curiosity Takes a Turn

I was inspired to write a poem about NASA's new rover "Curiosity" when I saw this image from an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Images taken by the Curiosity rover on Mars show a plume of dust, left, which had disappeared when 
another photo was snapped 45 minutes later. Engineers say the plume indicates the crash-landing 
of the spacecraft that delivered the rover to the Martian surface. (NASA)

Curiosity Takes a Turn 
Arthur C. Clark whispers from his grave –
Strains from Songs of Distant Earth
As the images transmit
From Curiosity on Mars.

The robotic cruiser had descended
Onto a barren landscape.
Her mission: to gather data;
To find any possible evidence of life;
To take note of even a distant notion of cellular being;
To employ scientific curiosity at every turn.

True to her mission,
Curiosity began at once
Surveying the undiscovered country –
A land not seen by human eye.

Then turning,
A plume of dust
Registers in the unblinking lens:
An impact cloud upon the horizon.
The mother ship that dropped her in this
Strange new place –
Now scattered remnants.

She records the data:
No way back home.
Nothing left but to proceed as planned
In silent isolation.

                                                                               Charles Kinnaird

*      *     *     *

Here's a fascinating video of how we got there:

And here is some actual footage of Curiosity's descent:

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