Why You Should Be More Interested in Mars Than the Olympics

This summer, if you want the world’s best story of international human triumph, you’ll have to look past London (even beyond the amazing hurdlers with very popular warm-up routines). You’ll have to look 200 million miles away, in fact, to discover a spectacular feat of endurance more grueling than the longest ultra-marathon. You’ll have to look to Mars. Yes, the planet. And the dream team that’s about to land NASA’s nuclear-powered super rover called Curiosity.

This one-ton, laser-beam-blasting wonder is going to land on Mars via a "sky crane." Most of us have zero idea what it does or why it’s going to Mars. That’s a real shame, because the Curiosity story is a modern epic of explorers on the path to discovering a second genesis. It will be a tiny blip on our summer radar — landing somewhere between the shot put finals and the Kimye engagement rumors — before it fades away without any of us ever knowing its true brilliance.

Why won’t you hear about it? Because NASA isn’t going to tell us. Sure, they’ll tell you a little bit — press conferences about what they discovered, an inspirational video. NASA partners will create fun websites, and bits of awesome will trickle out. But there is a larger narrative tragedy, and it’s a bigger conspiracy than any tinfoil-hatted crank could come up with — a conspiracy born out of fear.

via Andrew Kessler: Why You Should Be More Interested in Mars Than the Olympics.

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