NASA - In a surprise announcement today NASA revealed a secret mission assigned to Curiosity Rover - a mission of goodwill and cultural sharing intended for the solar system, the galaxy and the universe that will last a thousand years. A spokesman for Mission Control said, "We had to wait to be sure it would actually work. When we saw the first image coming back and it was standing upright with the slideshow going the whole room let out a cheer! Champagne corks filed the air and it was hugs and back slaps all around."
There's been no shortage of astounding images coming from NASA's Curiosity rover, but the latest is notable nonetheless - it's another view of the martian landscape with a difference. Unlike the previous images, this one was actually created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, showing the first cultural exchange between Earth and Mars. It is a mosaic of 48 different images of the martian terrain - including Mount Sharp, which is visible in the far distance. In the near foreground is seen an anomaly - an artist's easel supporting an HD screen with a slide show of fine art depicting typical realist scenes from Earth.
The work of twelve artists was chosen to be part of this historic first art show on Mars and the first at any venue other than Earth. Artists from every nation applied to be included, over twenty thousand in all. The National Gallery of Art, created in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress, was responsible for assembling the applications and insuring the integrity of the process. The panel of jurors was made up of distinguished artists, galleryists, critics, educators, astronauts, officials and others. The current show can be seen on the NGA website. A new show with a new group of artists will be announced in November and be available for viewing at that time.
Curiosity spent nearly a full Martian day unpacking and setting up the display in what is being called the Martian Gallery without Walls. In the photo taken by the newest rover can be seen the titanium easel painted to look like real oak and the impact resistant 42" HD LCD monitor. All artists in this show and future shows must agree to remain anonymous. Staff researchers believe the painting of a ship seen in the image to be "The Schooner Zodiac", by American artist Robert Bissett, which seem appropriate on many levels. Bissett declined to comment.