One of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, after the landing on Mars
Vatican Observatory director Fr José Gabriel Funes thinks that “everybody” should be happy with the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Fr Funes said he liked the rover’s name because curiosity is “a driving force to do science, to do research.”
“Human beings are basically curious,” he told Vatican Radio yesterday. “We want to know how many things in the universe work, the logic, the ‘logos’ in the universe.”
The priest explained that this drive for knowledge has a basis in the nature of creation. “Because there is rationality in the universe, we can do science,” he said.
After a 36-week flight from Earth, the rover touched down on Mars early Monday morning near the base of a three-mile-tall mountain inside Gale Crater. The Curiosity rover has sent back wide-angle images of the Martian surface. It will send back more images and scientific measurements throughout its operations.
For almost two years, the rover will explore whether the crater area ever had favorable conditions for microbial life, according to NASA.
Fr Funes said that the search for extraterrestrial life is one of the things that has motivated humanity to explore space.
FULL STORY Vatican Observatory head praises Curiosity over rover landing (CNA)