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May 26, 2008

Running with the Riverboat Gamblers

Posted: 12:55 AM ET

There is no assignment more fun in my world than a Mars landing. The mix of excitement, anxiety and adventure are hard to match.

Steve Squyres from the Mars Rovers team, CNN's Miles O'Brien and photographer Styke Dimas

I think much of the allure has something to do with the "all-in" high-stakes gamble that is the coin of the realm in this racket.

The people who populate the business of exploring other planets would probably be at home playing poker on a riverboat.

I cannot think of another profession where so much time and effort is focused on a single, highly risky event. If only one widget fails, they all go home empty handed – their blood, sweat time and tears down the tubes.

But when they win, they win big. Really big. And the thing is we all get to share in the winnings – because these riverboat gamblers play with an open hand.

Maybe they will turn over a card on Mars and find something very profound – something that makes us think about our place in the universe.

What are the odds anyway?

- Correspondent Miles O'Brien, CNN Science & Technology

Filed under: Mars • NASA • Space

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Ron Feuer   May 26th, 2008 7:22 am ET

Yes, we need to take time off from wasting gillions of dollars on this nonsense-at-this-time space program and spend money to develop clean fuels to get us off petroleum on this planet before taking our selfish selves to other planets to pollute them. Damn, this country needs to get real for a couple of hundred years and clean up our present mess on the Earth!!!

Jim N   May 26th, 2008 5:46 pm ET

Generally would agree with you Miles, but Riverboat Gamblers put their own money on the line. On the other hand, I don't think this is wasting money. These adventures are with agony with the possibilities of winning for mankind.

steve pagnozzi   May 27th, 2008 2:42 pm ET

All the people involved in this deserves congrats all around! Think of the millions of miles, all the possibilities between the time of lift off till landing, the movement of the planet and result-bulls eye! Good for mankind. Lets get the show on the road, and make plans for mankind to Mars. steve

G MacD   May 6th, 2009 12:44 am ET

The Riverboat Gamblers are an awesome Austin, TX band..I say ck them out!

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