Wow. I naively thought this thread would be filled with people saying, "That's AWESOME". Because it really is.
It's incredible that that Rube Goldberg landing sequence they came up with actually worked. Chalk one up for computer simulations, or whatever.
I'm glad I didn't put down any money on my estimation of their chances of a good landing. Seriously, I was expecting another sad story about a probe that stopped transmitting suddenly, and about $2.5 billion that went *poof*.
Kudos to the JPL people.
“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.
"The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."
-- Adam Smith
I think it's cool. Many many modern conveniences and inventions came from our space program. We posted on that topic several months ago, as I recall. It's will worth the cost.
"The measure off intelligence is the ability to change." Albert Einstein
I don't think we need a 'humanity-wide' push before we can get into space exploration... the US spends more on military air conditioning than it does on NASA, and doubling its budget would take... what? 5% reduction in agricultural subsidies?