Kevin Gill / CC Mars must be feeling pretty special lately. Either that, or maybe plagued by annoying little things kind of like mosquitoes, as various crafts from earth buzz around. One of those crafts landed yesterday. Which was sort of exciting, if you’re in to space exploration. I will admit that I am. I have been a fan of space exploration for many years. More years than I probably want to admit to. I have watched many launches of various spacecraft, all from the comfort of my own home, and watched more than a few returns. I can actually remember as we moved from one person spacecraft, to two, then to three and beyond. Maybe some day I could go? I watched yesterday as the latest Mars rover landed on the planet. Then it actually occurred to me that I was essentially watching a cartoon. They didn’t have real pictures being beamed back. It was a simulation. Computer generated. Although someone really missed their chance. Since it was pretty much a cartoon to begin with, it would have been very cool to have ol’ Marvin the Martian on hand to greet the visitor. I can remember watching the first moon landing all the while trying to adjust the rabbit ears on the television to try to get the picture clearer. It didn’t sink in at the time that the reason the picture was so fuzzy was that it was coming from the moon. Sure, those old rabbit ears may not have been the best, but there was only so good that picture was going to get in 1969. The picture was great yesterday. It just wasn’t real. So the population of Mars has increased by one more robot, with a few more on the way. One of those yet to come will pick up samples from the one that just arrived, but that will take a while. In fact, they figure it will be about ten years before some of this information gets back to us. So I guess my dream of someday going to the red planet will stay as just a dream. At least for me. Which I guess is okay. We learned from Elton John back in the 70s that Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. Too cold, according to him. So I’ll just stay here where I can turn that thermostat up a little when I want. Although I’d still like to meet Marvin some day.