Watching the JPL crew wait anxiously tonight for the time when the Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars reminds me of watching the Gemini and Apollo lift-offs and splash-downs as a kid.
My dad, the thermodynamic expert, was part of the Saturn V rocket booster team with North American Aviation (before it became Rockwell and then Boeing). My brothers and I shared in his excitement and nervousness over each mission. We got to see many of the charred capsules once they returned to earth.
Now, instead of a watching black-and-white images on a little TV screen in our Downey living room, Akemi has a live feed up on her laptop in our kitchen, taking a break from practicing, while I stir a summer batch of chutney with my garden tomatoes.
Time to hold some breaths with our JPL friends. . . .