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4 Mars Rover Road Trip Tips

Summer is the season for road trips and there's nothing like the open road when it comes to adventure and exploration. Even NASA has decided to send the Mars rover, Curiosity, on a road trip, and if that thing can go on a vacation then we can, too. When it comes to travel gear, Curiosity does things a little differently. Instead of lunch meat, it packs a rock-vaporizing laser. You have rack-and-pinion steering; it’s got rocker-bogie suspension. Your trip might last a couple of weeks and take you hundreds of miles. Curiosity will be on the road for a year ... to go five measly Martian miles ... But, despite these differences, Curiosity can teach us a few things about taking a successful road trip. Check it out: <strong>1. Stop to smell the roses.  </strong> There are no roses on Mars (that we know of), but Curiosity will be stopping to “sniff” stuff all the same as it makes its way toward Mount Sharp. It has an array of sensors, sniffers and other whiz-bang doodads that allow it to more fully take in its surroundings. And, there is wisdom in that. Don’t just fly by that scenic lookout – your tax money paid for it! Stop and take in the scenery, and while you're at it ... <strong>2. Take lots of pictures.</strong> Curiosity may not have a bumpin’ stereo system, but its camera more than makes up for it. What’s even better, though, is that it’s not afraid to fire that thing up and burn through film faster than Annie Leibovitz on a coffee and sugar diet. The lesson here is to capture the moment. You don’t need a fancy camera; the hardest part is having the presence of mind to keep it handy and use it often. <strong>3. Slow down.</strong> We’re always so anxious to get wherever we’re going that we often forget that getting there is half the fun. The old mantra, “Are we there yet?” rings in our heads like an annoying bell and we become convinced that the only way to make it stop is to <em>hurry up and get there already</em>. <strong>  </strong> Curiosity will take a year to go five miles. This is the very definition of taking it easy. Just keep in mind that you’re on vacation, and that there will be plenty of opportunities to fly by the seat of your pants once you clock back in to the real world. <strong>4. Be safe.</strong> As any space cowboy can tell you, the road can be a dangerous place. Curiosity cost about $2.5 billion and there’s no telling how much its road trip will cost. Even so, you and your family are worth far more than that and so you need to remember to keep it buckled up, use your blinkers and turn off that smartphone. After all – you’re on vacation, anyway. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you have a great summer, even if you don’t get a chance to hit the open road.
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