Mars, From Sojourner to Curiosity

Mars via the 1997 Sojourner Rover

Mars via the 1997 Sojourner Rover

Back in high school I had a subscription to Discover Magazine. One afternoon in late 1997 (most likely August) I opened my new issue and saw a photo that made me stop: a panoramic view of the surface of Mars taken by the Sojourner rover (similar to the one above).

I was looking at Mars! This very photo had been taken on Mars!

I was excited and emotional. Seeing the photo made it real. Mars really was out there and we had landed a robot on it and it had taken the very photo I was looking at. The article was a tiny blurb, just enough to explain the photo, but it was the coolest article in that whole issue to me. In fact, it’s the only article I specifically remember reading in Discover magazine and it’s the only issue that I have saved all these years.

Last night I saw entirely new photos of Mars, courtesy of the Curiosity rover. I didn’t get to watch the landing, but I did see the higher resolution photo as it came through via NASA’s live feed. To me it was like Discover Magazine all over again, only this time I got to see it as it was happening. I was looking at Mars and I knew that this time we would be able to see so much more! I can’t wait to see what another 15 years will bring!

My newest Mars photo memory: 😀
Mars via the 2012 Curiosity Rover

Mars via the 2012 Curiosity Rover

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