How can we not talk about the Mars rover? The critter landed on Mars early Monday morning and has already been sending back some amazing photos — just amazing stuff. And if you haven’t seen the video of the crew watching the actual landing, it is so heartwarming.
While it took only minutes for Curiosity to land on the Red Planet, the rover’s mission will last much longer — and has been years in the planning, as NASA’s John Grunsfeld said last night on the PBS News Hour.
I think these kinds of events are not only important because they’re amazing and cool, but they also have an impact on how people think about government — about government workers and making projects work. It is hard to consider the odds — only 40 percent of Earth missions to Mars succeed. The CIO Journal notes that NASA’s Curiosity mission succeeded where other projects failed because the agency followed best practices familiar to many CIOs, including agile development and use of a single database of reference, which helped developers maintain version control.
Yesterday we were talking about the earlier rover missions. The Atlantic has an evolution of rovers — they’re bigger, faster and more capable.
Here’s an amazing photo from the Atlantic.