One of my earliest contacts on Twitter helped design one of the experiments that we just landed with on Mars tonight.
This is Keri Bean, also known as the AggieAstronaut, at NASA's Johnson Propulsion Laboratory tonight looking pretty psyched to be seeing the first photos from our Curiosity rover, taken from her delightful Twitter stream.
And this is a sonnet I wrote a few minutes after Curiosity was confirmed safely landed on Mars and sending us a photo of its own wheel.
I have written a lot of sonnets about space in my day. Possibly more than anyone ever has. I watch launches and dockings via NASA TV and SpaceFlightNow and similar services all the time. But tonight was truly special. It felt like everyone on the planet was watching; the closest experience I'm likely ever to have to the Moon Landings in 1969, which I experienced as a fetus if not indeed a wicked twinkle in my mother's eye.
So I have just one question for everybody moving forward: Can we please, please, please, at the very least, have a box to check on our tax returns next year to give a dollar or two directly to NASA the way we now have for public funding of political campaigns? Please?