In this year of the summer Olympics, it is only fitting that NASA scored a gold medal when it “stuck the landing” on its Curiosity rover, the most ambitious lander ever sent to another planet.
“We need the Mars! Get the Mars!” shouts a frantic firefighter over the VHF fire frequency. A wildfire is racing up a hillside on the eastern fringe of Osoyoos, B.C., Canada, and seems certain to engulf a house in its path. Helicopters are bucketing water onto the flames in an effort to slow the fire’s advance, but still the flames leap up the side of the valley unimpeded.
Inspectors waded through flooded refineries and helicopters passed over wounded drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico early last month, as oil companies struggled to assess how long it would take to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.