Suppose you’re a planetary scientist. You operate an unmanned spacecraft, surveying a distant moon in our solar system. Years of funding, engineering work, and long-distance space travel have all come together, and at last this machine—to which you have devoted so much of your life—is in place. And it’s just made an incredible discovery.
Maybe it’s a new kind of crater. Or an odd, unexpected mineral. Or the holy grail: liquid water.
It’s thrilling news—years of your career, vindicated! Now you have to wait. And lobby. And hope for the funding to come through. And wait for the next craft to get there...