We recall a time when NASA's latest technological marvel would be broadcast on a television wheeled into a classroom, where students and teachers alike would sit at their desks, rapt as astronauts rocketed into space.

On Thursday, a new generation of students watched on their phones and tablets as NASA's Mars rover, Perseverance, landed in an ancient river delta to begin its study of the Red Planet.

The rover is a technological marvel. It took nearly seven months to make the trip, covering 293 million miles before hitting the Martian atmosphere at 12,000 miles per hour. The rover's descent to the surface, dubbed "seven minutes of terror" by mission control, was considered the most dangerous part of the mission, and mission control erupted into cheers and fist-bumps when the landing was confirmed.

Watching the moment online is exhilarating, much like the Apollo moonwalk on TV was in 1969. Thumbs up to NASA for once again demonstrating mankind's, creativity, imagination and, of course, perseverance.

Home tech

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People opening energy bills in the wake of the coldest weather of season, should take note of Matthew Vetting and Tracee Vetting-Wolf, whose Rochester home produced more energy than it used in 2020.

A solar system on the home's roof generates 9.8 kilowatts of electricity, and a heat pump helps regulate the home's air temperature and heats water. But the design of the home makes the difference. The walls are double-studded, the windows are triple-paned and the structure itself is "passive designed" to capitalize on natural light.

The couple's decision to build a net-zero home came after spending thousands to heat a 1920s Craftsman house in Ossining, N.Y. But scientific curiosity and a concern for the future also played roles. Thumbs up to energy self-sufficiency.

Google has landed

The Twin Cities headline held the hint of sour grapes: "Google will open its first office in Minnesota, and it's not in the Twin Cities."

There really shouldn't have been much surprise in Thursday's announcement that Google will establish a presence in Rochester. The Internet giant and Mayo Clinic formed a strategic partnership in the fall of 2019 to process millions of patient records for storage in Google Cloud. The Rochester office space will serve as a hub for its partnership with Mayo.

Joe Miles, Google Cloud’s head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, said that they will work out of the Collider Coworking space on the second floor of the Conley-Maass-Downs building in downtown Rochester. Thumbs up.