6 August 2012
I was just watching a press conference with John Grunsfeld (NASA’s chief technologist) and Charles Elachi (head of JPL), and Elachi paraphrased this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Which made me realize that this same quote is where the motto at the end of the infamous “7 Minutes of Terror” video comes from. Up until now, it has been hard to realize what is actually going to happen tonight, but I think it is finally starting to set in. We’re landing on Mars. Tonight. This is really happening. This isn’t some computer simulation or an xbox game. This is for real. The future of the Mars program hinges on what happens tonight. I’m starting to freak out here, you guys.