Not London, but going for the Gold is the rover, Curiosity. One hundred fifty or so million miles from home, on Mars, the intrepid chemistry-set on wheels asks: Four or five billion years ago did, it then, the sister-planet of Earth, support life?
Satellite dishes in California, Spain and here (Australia) – where there is line-of-sight linkup – will wait approximately fourteen minutes for confirming messages, trans-sent, from satellites now orbiting Mars above Miss Curiosity.
Launched in November 2011, the mobile robot, looking like an upgraded Cyclops of Greek origin, the largest most advanced machine of the space age, has travelled 350 million faultless miles for
Instrument options on rover from NASA artist's rendering
the final seven minutes of celestial gymnastics, seven minutes of terror for spectators wishing for a soft landing.
Taking eyes from the Olympics, as reported in Digital Journal and all major networks, millions world-wide watch live broadcasts from NASA.
Celebrating the successful first images in Mission Control Pasadena
The journey from incredibly complicated take-off, the just-so adjustments during flight (no margin for error, none) to set down, that the heat shield parachutes and the rocket sky crane maneuvers must be in perfect sync.
Gabby Douglas would know.