"... curiosity is, perhaps, the central defining human attribute."
- Dr. Adam Steltzner, 5 August 2012, NASA News Conference held after the safe landing of Curiosity, the latest Mars Lander
Congratulations to NASA, JPL, all the teams across the world that contributed to designing and building the Curiosity Mars Lander, taking it to Mars, executing a safe landing, and bringing us wonderful new images and scientific knowledge from Mars. In the press conference we learned it only cost seven dollars per American for this project. It seems like a good investment to me. Seeing the earlier Mars landers function well past the predicted service life shows, when we put our minds to it, we can still build quality products that exceed expectations. A goal we should all strive for.
How can we relate this to genealogical research?
Our genealogy software developers may one day need to add new elements to the place fields for planet, planetary system, and galaxy. Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday. What we can learn on Mars is a first step to those more distant trips through the galaxies.
Our image enhancement capabilities will likely be improved as the techniques developed by these scientists become part of main-stream software programs. Not to mention whatever cool new things like Velcro may come from the technological teams working on space exploration.
The scientific method of research has the same elements no matter what field of application. We form a question, gather information, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, analyze and correlate the data, publish the results, and retest and review the findings. New data can always change the findings. This applies to genealogical research as well as scientific endeavors.
Curiosity, that defining human attribute, leads us to explore our family history and others to go where no human has gone before.
© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved