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Phoenix Reaches Mars; Everything Is The Same

The NASA spacecraft Phoenix landed on Mars today, completing a 9 month journey to the red planet. NASA technicians and scientists were elated at the success of the landing. Historically, only a third of Mars landing missions have been successful, with the other portion failing due to miscalculations, crash landings, or unknown loss of contact. The lander used a powered descent, the first to do so since Viking 1 and 2 in 1976.

Initial pictures show the planet to be in the exact same condition as we last observed it when Opportunity and Spirit landed in 2003. Let me reiterate: Mars is exactly the same as it was 5 years ago. Once again, millions of taxpayers’ dollars were spent towards a mission to Mars that will most likely accomplish a fraction of its initial goals and still manage to excite all the astronomers and scientists at NASA.

Phoenix, designed to look for water and other signs of habitability, is the 5th successful NASA mission to land on Mars. NASA collaborated with the University of Arizona to design and carry the $325 million project. Earlier today, Phoenix landed in the arctic areas of Mars, and will be digging into the ground with a robotic arm to a whopping depth of 0.5 meters below the Martian surface. Pictures are streaming back by the hundreds, and can be viewed here.

  1. Sean Jin says:

    BTW Chris, not to suggest that you don’t have your work cut out for you.

    Tim: Once again, I am in awe of the wisdom bestowed upon me from those that have come before.

  2. Timothy says:

    Sean, there are two kinds of problems in life: The kind that can be solved with alcohol and the kind that can’t. What you’ve mentioned are clearly not the latter.

  3. Sean Jin says:

    Man, I’m burned out. Give me a break. Mohamed’s killing me with the test tomorrow, vocab quiz on Thursday, video due on Friday, oral exams next week and then finals the week after that.
    Not to mention my history seminar paper, the Hate Issue coming out soon, ISA Co-Director elections…argh. I’m so glad I’m not in ASUO anymore.

  4. Chris Holman says:

    No need to throw insults around Jinny ma boy! You’re far less coherent in this thread than I am, if we’re keeping track of such things. : )

  5. Sean Jin says:

    You’re starting to sound like Michael Moore, Ustathee.

  6. Chris Holman says:

    War was reverse engineered from alien technology? If so, there might be hope for humankind.

  7. Sean Jin says:

    Oh, yeah.
    Same could be argued for war, though.
    M&Ms, the Internet, backyard nuclear power plants…

  8. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Lies! Those were all reverse engineered from alien technology found in the 1947 Roswell crash!

  9. Chris Holman says:

    Kidney Dialysis Machines, CAT Scans, Water Purification technology….

    To name a few of about 1400 or so.

  10. Sean Jin says:

    Care to elaborate, Chris?

  11. Chris Holman says:

    I like stuff like this for the sorts of things we ‘discover’ along the way, and I’m not talking about anything from Mars or the Moon.

  12. Sean Jin says:

    It’s always my blog posts that result in tangential stories of drunkenness.

    I quit.

    Or maybe…I will blog more. Muahaha…

  13. Vincent says:

    Well, I’m glad you at least made it home. The way you were stumbling around, I worried that you might pass out in a puddle of your own urine under that parking garage…

  14. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Oh man, Mars lander pictures make me so hot. Even better than And shame on you, Vincent, for getting on the blog after a night at Samurai Duck. I guess shame on me, too. Shame on us all. Aw, fuck it. I’m drunk.

  15. Vincent. says:

    Totally disagree, guys. I think these sorts of missions are valuable in and of themselves, and far more useful for enhancing our knowledge of our solar system and neighboring planets than simply shooting a few astronauts up in the Space Shuttle for a couple of weeks.

    It’s not just about the pictures. Spirit and Opportunit have far outlasted their projected lifespans, and have transmitted all sorts of data about Mars in the meantime. As far as I’m concerned, the taxpayers have more than gotten what they payed for with those two. I guess we’ll have to see if Phoenix pans out just as well.

    Science isn’t always sexy, but compared to some of the asinine shit the government routinely funds, I’ve little complaint about using taxpayer money to advance our understanding of the solar system.

  16. human nature says:

    somehow, the cost of those pictures doesn’t seem worth it

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