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Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

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Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:34 am

Just around 1:30 AM local time, NASA's Curiosity probe landed safely on Mars, joining his very successful little buddies, Spirit and Opportunity.

Anyone not amazed by this shit is probably incapable of being impressed.

In honor of this achievement, I am forgoing reading or discussing any politics for (at least) a whole week, choosing instead to focus on what is best about our species and how far our curiosity and ingenuity can take us.

Image
This is the third picture received after touchdown, showing the shadow of the craft on the surface of Mars.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:37 am

It wasn't really "late," because I'm always up that late--but I stayed up late to watch this online. Pretty damned cool. Made me want to get a jar of peanuts.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:41 am

Yeah, I watched it too.

Seriously nailbiting and way more exciting than a room full of nerds in blue shirts and headsets speaking technobabble and smiling nervously should be.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby fennel » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:12 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Yeah, I watched it too.

Seriously nailbiting and way more exciting than a room full of nerds in blue shirts and headsets speaking technobabble and smiling nervously should be.
Polo shirts, no less. [shiver]
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby DCB » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:53 am

They lowered it with a freakin hovercraft! Take that, Sputnik!

And the awesome is just getting started.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:07 pm

This picture was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
It shows the rover descending to the Martian surface after the parachute was deployed.

Image

So to recap: A six-year-old spacecraft zipping around Mars at 850+ km/h snapped a picture of a 10-ft.-long object dangling from a 150'x50' parachute* as it descended at speeds near Mach 1.7 towards the surface of another planet.

*150' is about as wide as a football field, 50' is about the length of a shuffleboard court.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Michael Patrick » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:24 pm

It was faked just like the moon landings.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby juanton » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:22 am

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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Michael Patrick » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:20 am

juanton wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbDDQMPKSTo&feature=relmfu


That which has been seen cannot be unseen... :shock:
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby juanton » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:06 am

Here's another one called Admiral Byrd's Expedition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uteiCE02xWQ

You're welcome.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Madsci » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:27 pm

Do you think they will find signs of life on Mars? I am thinking something more like microbes and less like martians.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby gargantua » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:41 pm

Madsci wrote:Do you think they will find signs of life on Mars? I am thinking something more like microbes and less like martians.


Obviously I'm speculating, but I think the odds are against it happening right now. The mission covers a small area, and machine intelligence is still rather limited in its flexibility and imagination. So we could get lucky this time, but I certainly wouldn't count on it. And there may be signs of life that we wouldn't recognize because it's, well, alien.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:14 pm

gargantua wrote:The mission covers a small area, and machine intelligence is still rather limited in its flexibility and imagination. So we could get lucky this time, but I certainly wouldn't count on it. And there may be signs of life that we wouldn't recognize because it's, well, alien.
I think it would be a most extraordinary coincidence if we found (evidence of) alien life not only on the very first place we ever looked, but literally, right next door (or, two doors over, if you count the Moon.)
Heck, I'll be surprised if we find (evidence of) life anywhere else in our solar system. Given the vastness of space, life could be extremely common and still not appear in every star system, let alone multiple times. We have to look, of course, but luckily there's almost assuredly plenty of other cool stuff awaiting our discovery on Mars.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:51 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Heck, I'll be surprised if we find (evidence of) life anywhere else in our solar system.

Considering the discovery of complex life at the very bottom of the ocean near hydrothermal vents that spew water at hundreds of degrees, in addition to parts of Antarctica that never get above -10 C, I'd actually be quite surprised if we didn't find at least microbial life (or evidence of past life) on Mars.
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Re: Curiosity Lands Successfully On Mars

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:26 pm

Pretty cool video of the landing. It's kind of surreal that this is an HD video of Mars:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZX5GRPn ... r_embedded
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