Images from NASA's Mars landing have been circulating around the web for a few days now, but what's the next step for Curiosity? According to CBC, a NASA spokesperson said that they plan for their Mars rover to climb the mountain seen in an image sent back to Earth, but that event won't occur for at least six months.
In six months, it is likely that Curiosity's feat will have drifted out of the general public's awareness. In a fast-paced world of instant news, where a story gets old after 72 hours, slow science does not always garner the interest it once did.
The landing itself is the result of years and decades of research and trials. However, since many outlets do not usually consider the ongoing process "newsworthy," only big events like this one make the front page.
NASA will take up to two weeks just to make sure that Curiosity is working properly. While this makes sense when put forward, many people might feel like they are wasting time when they could be exploring the Red Planet.
As more and more research suffers from the pressure to show immediate results (and sometimes the "right" results, the ones that were paid for), the Mars landing is a reminder of the value of slow science. After all, it takes careful planning and study, not a one-off lucky shot, to really get to the bottom of the universe's mysteries in any meaningful way.