Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Mars rover Curiosity mission: what has astrology to say?

The Mars robot Curiosity. But will it land? [NASA/JPL-Caltech]
At around 5.30am GMT (6.30am BST in the UK), on August 6, we should know whether the nuclear powered Mars rover Curiosity Lander has arrived safely on the planet after a 350m-mile trip. Its mission is to find signs of life. So what does astrology have to say about its chances of landing safely - given that many Martian adventures have ended in tears.

It's a tricky question because horoscopes do not speak in plain headlines. They require interpretation - this is as much an art as methodology. And do you know anyone who's infallible - such as your doctor, lawyer or particle physicist? No. Nonetheless, I have asked the question; so, here we go.....

The Placidus chart is drawn up for 26 November 2011, Cape Canaveral, Florida, 10:02am (local time; 15:02 UT): the place and time of Curiosity's launch. This places the mission's Sun in Sagittarius (expansion and exploration) in the 11th House - the house of space technology, among other things.  Mercury retrograde (communication and travel) is also in the 11th while Uranus (science) sits in the 3rd (ruled by Mercury) along with a generally strong Jupiter.

These are very constructive and promising positions notwithstanding Mercury retrograde which at the very least may indicate delay of some sort - but the precise effect of retrogrades is still uncertain.

Other indicators are also positive. I like Mars in Virgo in the 8th: this describes the huge energy and exacting detailed work poured into this project: Mars is also part of an Earth Grand trine to Pluto and Jupiter, symbolising the dogged, delving practical application of knowledge in pushing back frontiers.

With this set-up I would be surprised if the mission is a failure.

There are problems in the chart. Mars is opposite Neptune, but the orb is very wide (9 degrees) which may simply denote the necessity of unclouded intellect. This opposition apexes in the 11th House Sun in a mutable t-square - perhaps repeating the point I've just made: science rules energy and aspiration. Saturn (limitation, responsibility) in the 9th house (exploration; long-distance travel) may be taken as a bad omen by some, but since this is not an accident-prone chart, the planet here may tell of the mission's huge undertaking and dedication to expanding knowledge.

So, Curiosity should land safely. And what of the mission itself, to find life? Saturn sextile Mercury could suggest that the short trips the lander embarks on will be successful if not productive. Pluto (sub-surface investigation) linked to Mercury by stellium, also sextiles Saturn - another good sign. Sun trine Uranus in Aries is excellent for broadening knowledge.

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