Lets compare NASA flight engineers to Olympic atheletes.

Olympic archers have to hit a stationary target 1.2 meters wide from a distance of 72 meters. This means the target is exactly 60 times further away than it is wide. NASA just hit a moving target 154 kilometres wide (Gale Crater on Mars) from a distance of 205 million kilometres - a target about 1,331,168.83 times further away than it is wide.

That’s like the archer hitting a 1.2 metre wide target from 1597.4 kilometres away.

And it was a moving target, the total distance travelled by the Curiosity was actually 570 million kilometres, more than twice the initial target distance.



(also: maths is fun)