I know, it may not look like much, but think about what you’re seeing: a sunset on another world. And those images were taken by a robotic probe that took years to design and build, months to travel the hundreds of millions of kilometers to get to Mars, a harrowing few minutes to descend on a breath of fire through the thin air to land on the surface, and then nearly seven years to travel the landscape long, long past its design specifications.
All that, plus all the amazing science, exploration, and discovery done by Opportunity and its sister rover Spirit… and yet, it’s sometimes the stark beauty of simple things like this that remind us that we have, at least by proxy, placed our feet on other worlds.
I know there are worries here on Earth. But when I see something like this, I remember that the good we do, the awe we feel, and the inspiration we can generate are mighty.
Tip of the pancam to Emily Lakdawalla on Twitter.