Did any of you stay up late last Sunday night/Monday morning to watch the successful landing of the robot Curiosity on Mars?

I did. It was an amazing feat. It was the most difficult landing ever tried in outer space.

The planning, design, and building of the rover took over two years. The rover was launched into space last November 26, 2011.

For the last eight months Curiosity has been circling above us; traveling the 34 million to 250 million miles to Mars, depending where Mars is in its orbit in relationship to the earth.

Nothing like this had ever even been tried before.

No one knew for sure if the landing would be successful. Many things could have gone wrong. No one knew for sure if it would land where it was supposed to. No one knew for sure that the robot would not burn up landing on Mars, or if the parachute would work correctly.

Those last seven minutes before landing were more suspensful than an Alfred Hitchock movie.

So much had to go right. So many things could have gone wrong. The success of the entire project depended on just those last seven minutes. I mean it was a real edge of your seat seven minutes.  This very, very short (1 minute) video does a much better job of illustrating everything that had to happen too have a successful landing than I could ever describe. 



A dozen things could have gone wrong. But nothing did. It was a perfect landing and Curiosity began sending pictures back to earth almost immediately, exactly as the computers aboard Curiosity had been programed to do.

America’s Space Program Is Back

DID YOU KNOW:     It took 500,000 lines of computer code to program Curiosity to get to Mars and then land safely.


Five-hundred thousand lines.

Had only one line of code been figured or entered incorrectly; had one letter or number been transposed Curiosity would not have landed in one piece nor been able to send back the spectacular pictures of the Red planet it has been sending to earth.

My word!! I get confused with one line of computer code. Yet the scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology figured and entered 500,000 lines of code without one mistake.

 Bravo to NASA and to the men and women who worked on this perfectly executed project.



Featured Recipe        Tuna Bacon and Lemon Spaghetti

Today’s recipe has evolved over thirty years. I first started to make it when I was teaching during the day and going school after the work day. I would get home late and hungry. Because most of my earnings went to paying for school money was also very tight.

So in those days I just cooked some spaghetti and opened a can of tuna fish and dumped it on top of the spaghetti and ate it. Starving students do things like that. But then I started adding some lemon juice to it and some salt and pepper.

It was years later before I started draining the tuna and used olive oil. I also started adding left over food from the fridge like green onions. It was years before I learned about zesting.

If I don’t have green onions I use red or shallots or what ever is lurking in my fridge.

I still play with the dish adding stuff and taking stuff away.

That heavenly meat bacon is my most recent addition.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1 box of spaghetti

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 can of tuna fish

1-2 lemons

5 slices of bacon

3 green onions

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Put the water up to boil first.

Cook the bacon crisp on the stove or in a microwave.

Boy! The bacon was really thin and stringy today and this was a major brand’s center cut bacon. Cost hasn’t gone up so that is a good thing! I think?

Wash the onions and the lemons. Then zest the lemon. Set aside.

Cut the roots off the green onions and slice them. Set aside.

When the water is boiling, cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

When the bacon is crisp to your liking and it has cooled a bit break it up into pieces.

Drain the tuna fish.

Drain the spaghetti and place in a bowl.

Add the olive oil, (I do not measure.) as much lemon juice as you want, the zest and the salt and pepper to the spaghetti.

Toss to mix well. Add more olive oil if needed.

Then toss in the onions and the drained tuna and toss some more. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Add the bacon and toss again.

Serve and enjoy.

Bon appétit!!!


1 box of spaghetti                 $1.29

2-3 tbspns olive oil                $0.36

1 can of tuna fish                  $1.29

1-2 lemons                           $0.66

5 slices of bacon*                 $1.70

3 green onions                      $0.21

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $5.51

Cost per person = $1.38

Another Recession Buster Recipe©

Quote of the Day

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.

Neil Armstrong July 20, 1969


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2 comments to 500,000

  • I did watch it but it was daytime here. 🙂 Seeing those men jump up and scream and hug each other was something nobody should have missed. Nobody could see that without being inspired. Nerds are good people!

    I’m going to try this pasta dish next time I’m in a hurry. I always have these ingredients on hand.

    • Roberta

      I felt the same way and have to admit I had tears in my eyes when they all cheered and hugged each other. Like your “new” picture.