posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:23 AM
Let's see. What's at stake: Billions of dollars in cash investment, the future of NASA's Mars exploration missions,
NASA's budget, and their jobs. In addition to lucky peanuts, I'd wager there a were a lot of lucky coins, rabbit's feet, prayer beads, and lucky
underwear present in the JPL control room the night that Curiosity landed. There are no atheists in foxholes.
Besides, I can see this as being a tongue-in-cheek inside-joke kind of thing for those folks.
While one can deduce J P L from the tire markings, the markings are a basic pattern of increasing dots and decreasing
That allows them to determine exactly what part of the tire was in contact with the surface at any point in its journey.
This information would be useful in determining distance traveled, or the amount of slippage the tire may have encountered with respect to a specific
Something like this could serve as an archeological time capsule. Think about how we get excited when we hear of Roman coins
being unearthed in Great Britain. I imagine the next spacefaring society that emerges from the ashes of our current civilization may find such
artifacts informative. I'd say that their archeologist won't be finding many intact dollar bills a few millennia from now. Mars strikes me as a
great place to cache a few bills for future generations.
And, I'd say that if there is cash on board the rover, it's probably uncirculated. And it was most likely irradiated to kill any biological