Chocolate Discovered on Mars – Oh The Curiosity!

I wrote a lot during London 2012 Olympics about, er, the Olympics, but did not completely lose track of everything else. In this article I want to turn my curiosity to the turning of Curiosity on Mars…

NASA released a photo at a press conference of the rover making its’ first movements.

"Curiosity" "goal achievement"

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You can see the rover, and the track behind it, where it moved from the landing spot and did a little turn.

It’s a fairly simple image, but let’s think about it for a moment – that rover is not being controlled at the end of the road, or the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world – it’s on Mars!

On Mars.

The scientists are jumping up and down with unbridled joy at how it’s all going so far (it always makes me smile to see scientists when they are at that end of the happy scale!)

Even getting a successful landing on Mars is a feat to be marvelled at, but to then be able to send controls to the craft almost beggars belief at the science involved.

Think of all the failures that have led to this success, because science is all about failure! Someone comes up with a theory, and then other scientists set out to prove it is wrong.

If they do indeed prove it is wrong, then the theory moves forwards to other options, but when it can’t be proved wrong, then that’s a scientific breakthrough.

I read a quote recently from the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who said “the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.”

There could be an argument put against that, because science is proved and tested based on fundamental beliefs which have been shifted in the past, and may be again, but the premise does have logic behind it – if you can repeatedly prove a theory in a controlled environment, then it’s true.

When I grew up (and remember I was only 3 when man first landed on the moon), I used to dream that Mars was made of chocolate. Even when I was watching the press conference and heard the scientists talk of layers they saw in rocks, I was thinking to myself ‘could it be chocolate?’

The mission is still at an early stage, things could go wrong. The signal with Curiosity could be lost in an instant and that would be that, back to the drawing board, but so far all those hours over all those years at various drawing boards seem to be bearing fruit.

I love the fact that scientists, all over the world, are following their passion to break new ground, to push ever forwards. I often write that most goals you can think of have already been achieved by others, so you don’t have to be this ground breaking and it’s a point well worth revisiting today.

Look again at the first movements of Curiosity on Mars. They may not discover chocolate, although I’m still holding out hope. Think though, of the sheer scale of difficulty involved in that project, and ask yourself if it makes your own goal seem that bit easier to achieve?

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‘Till Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book dirt cheap on kindle ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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    • Thanks Katie,
      I just can’t imagine how our own goals can seem as hard when we truly consider what is happening all the way ‘up there’!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • I suppose it’s not always the goal as such that drives us forward…but rather the perspective we have on our goal! Though a goal can often be easy to formulate when we remember to make it realistic and doable, we sometimes forget this when trying to implement it.

    Your post helps put everything back into perspective…comfortable perspective!


    • Thanks Linda,
      You are right that perspective is important both when formulating our goals, and with actually seeing them through!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • Well you used my two favourite words in your title, Chocolate and Curiosity so I had to read! You are right, if they can explore Mars then we can achieve what we want to achieve. Something to reflect on. I mean someone had the first ludicrous idea to explore Mars, and, well it happened. I am curious as to what they will discover though … Now … where did I put the chocolate?

    • Well, they do say the aim is to use Mars as a staging post, to settle there and go on further into the cosmos. The naysayers says ‘yeah, right’, but as you say, the picture of Curiosity on Mars is profound to reflect on indeed. To be reflected on while eating chocolate of course…cheers, Gordon

    • Ha! I must admit I was munching on some when I wrote the article – a bit before actually as well. (and another bit to congratulate myself afterwards!)
      It really does make me wish more people would question if their goal is as hard as they really think it is, when we can do thing slike this! Cheers, Gordon

  • I love the whole Landing on Mars thing. People are so focused on the negative these days, but there are so many amazing things going on! Last week I was at a country music festival in the middle of absolutely nowhere. It was pretty much cash only, but they didn’t tell us it was going to be in the middle of nowhere and to bring cash.

    So I was in line at one of the two ATM machines. It took an average of 6 minutes to get your money. I waited in line for almost half an hour. The people around me started griping about how long it was taking. I finally had to say, “Look, we’re out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing around us, and we have this amazing little doohicky that is going to spit our money out to us. Can we not just take a moment and think how freakin’ amazing this is?!!?”

    BTW, I’m pretty sure Mars is more Barbecue than chocolate. Hey – you have your dreams, and I’ll have mine! 🙂

    • Mars more barbecue than chocolate? What are you, on a different planet or something!!! Def. chocolate.
      I love your ATM story, and I think this is what happened in the UK with the Olympics – people were surprised how good it felt to be surrounded with positivity!

      Of course some of knew it all along, and will carry on like that!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • What a great post Gordon. I agree with you about seeing all those scientists experiencing unbridled joy, I know I felt all emotional watching them jump up and down. Several year ago I had the privilege of touring JPL in Pasadena and the excitement of sitting in a chair at the console in Mission Control was awesome. Just thinking about all the great things that have been accomplished by the creative minds in that building was inspiring.

    Science was always my favorite subject and if I had a better relationship with math, I might have become a physicist. I also love that approach of trying to prove a theory wrong. There’s something very satisfying when they can’t prove it wrong.

    Thank you sharing this today. I hope they find that chocolate for you.

    • I must admit science was *not* at the top of my interests at school, looking back I can see it was taught way too dryly, with importance placed on remembering facts and formulae rather than engagement with the subjects or concepts.

      I’m waiting for the press conference when they do hit that chocolate!
      Regards, Gordon

  • I am so inspired by this latest landing on Mars. Of course I’m a geek and love the science aspect, but space has always hit my “awe” buttons because it’s so vast and we don’t understand even a tenth of it. The distances are so great (thank goodness!), the stars and planets are so large and the unknowns just rock the imagination. And wouldn’t it be awesome if there were chocolate on Mars?

    • Hi Mary,
      I agree with your phrase about space hitting the ‘awe’ button! I’m just as awed at how people over centuries have gone about furthering and hardening our understanding if it!

    • Interesting Rudy! 2023 seems ambitious time wise, but never say never! Has a Dutch person been in space yet?
      Cheers, Gordon