I’ve said it once today, and I’ll say it again:
Realization: No matter what I do today, it won’t be as awesome as landing a 1 ton robot on Mars with a space crane.
Curiosity is the pinnacle of science and if it’s predecessors (Spirit and Opportunity) are any indication will have a long life of helping us explore Mars.
A neat little side note is that the processor of choice in the rover is a RAD750. Which is based on the PowerPC 750, aka the PowerPC G3. When you look at the specs, you’ve got to admit, it looks a lot like those G3 Mac’s (except they used spinning disks and not flash storage back then):
On-board memory includes 256MB of DRAM and 2 GB of Flash Memory both with error detection and correction and 256kB of EEPROM.
A neat little tidbit. This rover’s close relative was my desktop computer in High School.