Mars, It’s the Journey, Not the Destination

What could be more compelling than landing on Mars? It’s the stuff of Hollywood. But what we find truly remarkable is that the country is captivated by more than the images being sent back by the Curiosity Rover; we are as excited by the science of its journey and treacherous decent.

The now famous video “Curiosity’s 7 Minutes of Terror” tells the incredible story of the rover’s difficult landing and explains the complex process the engineers went through and the obstacles they faced in safely landing a $2.5 billion rover on another planet. Using animation and testimony from the engineers, the video turns the complex scientific process into a compelling and accessible story. We often remind people to leave out the process and the minutia of “how you got there.” The video, however, expertly captures the excitement of the landing process and how they overcame challenges by using strong visuals and, more importantly, the passion of the scientists. The video makes engineering dramatic.

The video has been shown on nearly every news outlet putting the science front and center in the story. It’s not just about images from another planet or the prospect of finding indications that Mars could have once supported life, it’s how we got there. This excitement is perfectly captured by John Stewart who, like the rest of the country is drawn in by the compelling video and the story of the incredible engineering process.

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