Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Curiosity Rover about to land on Mars

Did you know that another Rover is about to land on Mars? Its name is "Curiosity." The following is an amazing short video of NASA technicians and engineers explaining the challenges in creating a machine that will go through space and land on Mars, successfully. On Aug 5, the rover "Curiosity" will land on Mars after what the scientists call the "7 Minutes of Terror".

"From the top of Mars' atmosphere to the planet surface takes seven minutes. Engineers at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have the challenge of going from 13,000 miles per hour to zero in seven minutes to safely touch down on Mars. Those closest to the project have dubbed this entry sequence window "7 minutes of terror." It is the most critical time in the years-long journey and there is zero margin for error. Further complicating the challenge to rapidly reducing entry into the Martian atmosphere is the fact that Mars' atmosphere is 100 times less dense than Earth." (source)


It is an interesting and amazing video in which the scientists who worked on Curiosity describe the sequence of events that has to happen for the small vehicle to hurtle through vast oceans of space, encounter an atmosphere, and make a precision landing. Interspersed with their comments is a computer model video showing what they are describing. As I watched the 5-minute video, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride, awe, and gladness that I'm alive to witness such marvels of achievement. I was also thinking about the universe God created, and humankind that He created too, to do these things and to be conscious and sentient and have a mind, unlike ALL the other animals he made.

The video ended with a black screen and three words:

DARE MIGHTY THINGS

While I felt pride in humankind's ambition and achievements on these astronomy and technical matters, my bubble of elation and awe was eventually burst. Of course God wants us to be proud of what we have accomplished, but to achieve such a technological marvel and not to acknowledge the One who gave us the mind, means, and opportunity makes the video more of a Tower of Babel moment than a Parting of the Red Seas moment. Moses was the visible manifestation of the power to part the sea but God was the power! Achievement without being grateful to God is empty. Pursuit of the wonders of the universe without acknowledging the One who created it is not daring nor mighty, but only judgment-worthy.

"because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." (Rom 1:25)

Why pursue the universe and not its Creator? because they have exchanged the truth with a lie. And in so doing, they may "dare mighty things" but as 2 Timothy 3:4 says, in the last days men will be "treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."

The word conceited there means "I puff up, make haughty: I am puffed up, am haughty."

Of many of these mighty men doing mighty deeds, unless they are saved by Grace, they will say "Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?' (Matthew 7:22).

"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;" (Revelation 6:15)

"For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name." (Luke 1:49).

For Jesus, in His power and through His Spirit, that where is the daring to do mighty things comes from. On its own, no matter how cool the feat is at the time, it will be shown to be puffed up and paltry. Not mighty. Poor and worthless. As long as the focus of our eyes, mind, heart, and strength is Jesus, and that we do all for Him, we will be blessed. What a poor and empty life to dare mighty things but not have the Rock at the center of it? It will simply implode, like a collapsing souffle.

Jesus is the prize. He is the treasure. He is the mighty One! And He is coming in might and in glory!

"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:62).

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