Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.
It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."
Many neuroscientists and philosophers think it ain't gonna happen, ever.
We're talking about building a machine that functions as the equivalent, or maybe as superior to, a human mind.
A synthetic brain doesn't have to be the exact equivalent of a human brain, but there are humans, the brilliant inventor Ray Kurzweil in particular, who hope one day to dump their minds into such a machine, boot up and go on living, disembodied, but mentally intact, forever.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. While NASA put a rover on Mars, audiences were riveted by the high- stakes landing, and also by some high hair. Bobak Ferdowsi was on the mission control team when suddenly, his haircut made him famous. It's a mohawk, streaked in red and with stars dyed on the sides of his head.
"Mohawk Guy" has become an Internet star. He says he gets a new haircut for each mission, with colleagues voting on the design.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld waits for landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday.
Credit Brian van der Brug / AP
The newsroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is beginning to thin out as the Mars Science Laboratory transitions from an exciting news story, to a long duration — possibly very long duration — exploration of the geologic and environmental history of Mars.
For the reporters still in the newsroom, fatigue is beginning to set in. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been at it nonstop for 30 hours. I feel a bit guilty for stepping out and getting a few hours sleep.