Friday July 14, 2006
Steve Squyres vs. Steven Colbert
Steve Squyres is the principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. He appeared on Colbert Report. (This episode was a while ago, but I'm only just catching up on some of my weblog reading.) You know how Colbert sometimes steamrolls his guests with his bald-faced absurdities… well Squyres didn’t flinch once. Choice quotes:
- Colbert: Tonight’s guest is a pioneer in Mars exploration. Hopefully, tonight he’ll explain how they faked a space landing there too.
- Colbert: Have you found evidence of water there?
- Squyres: We have found evidence that there was water below the surface and that water flowed across the surface, yes.
- Colbert: Have you found any evidence that there might be some oil?
- Squyres: No, not a bit, not a bit I’m sorry.
- Colbert stares insistently.
- Squyres: Not a trace.
- Colbert: Because that might come in handy.
- Squyres: We intended these things to last for 90 days; today is day 863 and the mission is still going on…
- Colbert whistles; applause.
- Squyres: …they’re starting to get a little worn out, but of course they’re getting worn out in different ways.
- Colbert: Have you guys thought about designing for GM?
- Squyres: You know, maybe we should talk to them about that.
- Colbert: Because those things run out pretty quick.
- Colbert: What other planets have you explored?
- Squyres: Personally I’ve been involved in missions to Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.
- Colbert: What’s your favorite planet?
- Squyres: Earth. Chuckles, nods. Earth.
- Colbert: Mmhmm. Because America’s here?