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Aug 05 2012

Mars, bitches!

The moment of truth is close at hand. As the countdown clock shows, Curiosity will soon enter the Martian stratosphere and the Internet is abuzz with excitement and no small amount of anxiety. The seven minutes of terror will soon begin for real. There’s a lot riding on it, both literally and figuratively.

Where to watch:

If it crashes taxpayers are out a billion dollars and, thanks to budget cuts, it could set back exploration of Mars by decades. But oh baby, if it succeeds these engineers will become legend, NASA will begin streaming the most amazing pictures ever taken of the Red Planet, and humanity may well stand on the precipice of the greatest discovery in history: Curiosity is designed to operate in the harsh Martian conditions for at least one year, it was built in part to detect signs of past or present microbial life on another world.

Two space craft already orbiting Mars, the MRO and the Odyssey, have been retasked to cover EDL (Entry, descent, and Landing) in an interplanetary ballet worthy of Lakma. MRO will have a perfect view of entry and Odyssey will pass almost directly over the landing site, Gale Crater, right as the skycrane is unhooking and unspooling the rover, if it gets that far. Mission control will be glued to Odyssey’s telemetry, the orbiter will be sending back signals as each mini milestone is reached.

Curiosity

Moore soon :)

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Paul W.

    “Bitches”?

    How about “kikes,” or “niggers”?

    Kinda gross to use such a patently sexist term.

  2. 2
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    The Dave Chapelle skit is widely known and widely quoted.

  3. 3
    SpriteSuzi

    And the Dave Chapelle skit is widely known to be a sexist slur.

    A lot of people use sexist, gender specific slurs. Just like a lot of people used to use racist slurs.

    We need to stop that, not try to explain it away with saying it’s “widely known and widely quoted.” We know – but that doesn’t make it right.

  4. 4
    blindrobin

    They have beeches on Mars? I thought it was all aspen and spruce around the ski slopes of Olympus Mons.

  5. 5
    JoeBuddha

    Makes me wish I could have worked on it. Looking forward to the ultimate Rube-Goldberg win!!!

  6. 6
    christdenier

    Yeah, Paul and SpriteSuzi……whatever. I close all of my blog posts with “Shalom, bitches.”

    It’s an expression. Get over it.

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