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26 November 2011


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Farmer Don

What a beautiful way to waste money!
So much technology. So many complications. So much to learn.
Men don't build pyramids any more, but this project says,"look what we can do!".

I hope for USA it goes perfectly. It will be a great boost for their country.



How do you feel about Columbus? pl


It will probable find the 2012 Republican Convention warm ups....


Here is an animation of how its suppose to land:

Looks a bit complicated, but hopefully it works.


Thanks for the great video Jimmy.

When Robert Wilson (Physicist Manhattan Project) was asked about utility of multimillion dollar Fermi-lab particle accelerator for national security, he had said the following

"It has only to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending."

I think the last line aptly sums up why NASA's "Curiosity" is important.


No, I'm serious, this is a beautiful project.
Not all great things have to have a business plan that shows $$$$$ return.

P.S. Managed to get my mug shot posted using Open ID.


It was a beautiful launch and I watched it too from my balcony. This morning I played tennis with 2 retirees, both who worked on the launch of the first Mars mission, and one of them was also present on 6/6/44 in the English Channel.

If for no other reason, I am glad that the searching beyond our planet continues. I think it has something to do with the human spirit. It certainly makes me feel good.

Allen Thomson

It was indeed a very cool launch and NASA's coverage of it was quite good. There are several videos of it on YouTube. (Who can't love a rocket launch?)


And the separation of the Mars probe from the Centaur upper stage


I particularly like the latter. The simulations shown between real images are also interesting as they include a readout of the orbital elements. You can see how, in the early phase, the perigee is rising above ground level and, in the final Centaur burn, how the Oberth effect is being exploited.



Who knows maybe we can one day colonize it and screw up that planet as well....

But I am glad to see NASA with a worth while mission.


The good news is that the people who launch rockets seldom screw up anything. I know that I would not be one to colonize Mars, but I wish those who would good luck. When it happens, I hope it is not because mankind has to.

FB Ali

Impressive as this mission is, I would suggest that NASA's real 'jewel in the crown' is the Voyager programme. The two Voyager spacecraft have now been voyaging out, past the outermost planets, for 34 years! They are still functioning, still sending back data (though it takes 14 hours for a data transmission, travelling at the speed of light, to reach earth!) Currently 11 and 9 billion miles from earth, respectively, they will in a year or so speed out of the solar system into interstellar space. They are expected to remain 'alive' till 2025.

TIME has an article about them in its current issue.

William R. Cumming

This is a useful project to allow the Chinese to colonize Mars somewhere around 2050 after their moon colonization around 2030.

Seize the high ground?

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