wasting bandwidth since 1999

Red Planet

Since it didn’t involve politicians trading insults, this news didn’t get a lot of play from the media this Memorial Day holiday (in the US) weekend.

But some of us find it interesting that the latest NASA rover vehicle landed on Mars yesterday and began sending back pictures almost immediately.

Very cool. Can’t wait to see the enhanced color versions.

The Phoenix mission, the first of NASA’s “Scout Program”, will explore an area of Mars’ northern hemisphere to look for signs that water, and possibly life, existed on the planet at some time.

Another goal is to help with the planning for a manned mission to Mars, in the 2020s, which is something we should NOT be spending billions on.

Although not as politically sexy, unmanned devices are much cheaper and should be able to provide more than enough information about the planet for scientists to play with.

BTW, it’s also very cool that my alma mater, the University of Arizona, is the lead institution for the Phoenix mission. They’ve built a great web site to share everything about the program.

1 Comment

  1. Stephen Downes

    It got a lot of play here in Canada.

    American readers and viewers most likely have no idea, but Canada contributed the bulk of the payload for this mission, a martian weather station.

    http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/media/news_releases/2008/0525.asp

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