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Well forget the Olympics the greatest feat of human endeavor right now is sitting on Mars and it's something only the United States -- do.
At about 1:30 eastern time this morning NASA landed the largest and most sophisticated machine on another planet.
After its eight month 352 million mile journey to Mars the rover curiosity was -- Bang on target and reaction among NASA engineers listen to this.
Dutch -- confirmed receipt at.
If anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of US leadership in space.
Well there's -- one ton automobile size piece of American ingenuity.
And it's sitting on the surface of Mars right now and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest.
Well I love that OK the car sized rover is already sending back pictures like this.
And a lot more are expected -- this mission is just beginning joining us now well known theoretical theoretical physicist professor -- GO taco.
From the City University of New York I'm sure I just totally -- your name he's the author of the new bestselling book physics of the future house science will -- human destiny.
And our lives by the year 2100 welcome to the show it's great to have you here professor but beyond you know you Sydney the break you said this is not a given that they can pull this off.
That's a win for the gold and they struck ten.
Think about it the execution the dismount the landing it was not a given at all no dress rehearsal.
And they scored a -- and this wasn't like a little light weight -- like the last time we did this this was weighed more than a time -- this is the Godzilla of space probes -- Has ten times the instrumentation -- any previous Mars rover.
Which -- about the size of a bicycle this is the size of a pickup truck.
And it -- five times more than any other Mars probe.
Its of getting it down with like a slingshot or something -- how -- -- -- it as a practical is -- -- jumping.
And they had the they had the -- come in -- -- dangled it literally -- -- as the probe came -- it's never been tried before.
Because the atmosphere is so thin a large airplane cannot fly in the atmosphere of Mars.
And because of the fact that it's so heavy 2000 pounds -- -- wanna talk about the cost of this because a lot of people are concerned.
If you look at how much they've spent on that some eighteen point four billion dollars.
The cost of one shuttle launch one point two billion the cost of curiosity 2.5 billion.
Why -- it cost so much more to put and an unmanned.
-- vehicle off on Mars well this is.
Penis -- pocket change compared to -- manned space program.
Because of that requires life support and be quite so many redundant systems.
Robots don't complain.
They don't have to come back and they don't go on strike and as a consequence robotic missions in general are cheaper but this was a huge mission.
Like I said ten times the instrumentation of any previous mission on another planet.
Talk to -- about why it's important for the US to add to make these kinds of missions looked at what spin -- we have first of all we have GPS weather satellites the Internet.
This TV program.
You realize that a huge chunk of our economy and our standard of living is weighted to -- based not to mention the microchip.
The microchip itself which fuels a trillion dollar economy is a byproduct of the miniaturization process that went on in this space program.
Isn't clear out at isn't there an additional benefit the doesn't have anything to do with money at and I think it's it it's what -- gives the American people which is a sense.
There were doing more than -- watching TV and sitting on -- -- -- out there were exploring.
That's right on -- for.
The fact that LBJ was criticized for the costs the space program.
But when the weather satellite went up for the first time.
Did put -- got a hurricane headed toward Texas.
And he was able to give warning for the first time in human history has never been done before and that very same night LBJ -- on television and said tonight.
The space program has paid for -- -- -- -- -- Ake out okay we have a question for our viewers tonight I'm gonna ask you this question which how to spot a little bit our question is is there life on other planets yesterday -- professor.
Yes but we have no evidence for any life forms it on the planet earth and intelligent -- we're still debating whether we have any on the earth I.
But do you really believe there's like another planet I think they're out there because our galaxy alone has a hundred billion stars.
And we no -- about a billion of them are berth light.
And so that is an enormous number three my -- -- -- right which we running at around just like the movie is well -- best fifty.
Maybe not like us -- on non TV we have actors that look just like us.
Because I'm sure the Screen Actors Guild contracts that -- that human actors play the aliens and all these programs so more to come.
Thanks for coming on tonight professor fascinating conversation appreciated them.
Are now we wanna know what you think here's our question tonight as I mentioned do you think there's life on another planet -- -- Gerri Willis dot com vote on the right hand side of the screen.
A share the results of.
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