The award for best science/science fiction mashup of the week goes to NASA's newly landed Curiosity Rover, which minutes ago not only wished the late Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles a happy birthday, but also announced that its landing sight will henceforth be known officially as "Bradbury Landing":
Happy birthday, Ray Bradbury! My favorite Martian chronicler would have been 92 years old today— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 22, 2012
In tribute, I dedicate my landing spot on Mars to you, Ray Bradbury. Greetings from Bradbury Landing! [pic]twitpic.com/amjkm6— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 22, 2012
Curiosity made the announcement just minutes after completing its first successful drive on the surface of the planet. The photo below shows curiosity's very first tracks on the surface of Mars:
Carl Sagan would often refer to the complementary dance that goes on between science and science fiction. Few authors did more to connect these two spheres than Bradbury, as evidenced by the touching video featured here, wherein he dictates his poem "If Only We Had Taller Been" to a Caltech lecture hall, packed with NASA scientists and engineers, on the eve of Mariner 9's entry into Mars orbit.