Tag Archives: Mars

Perseverance has landed!

Well…yeah, I’m a space geek and had to watch the landing of the new Perseverance lander on Mars just a few minutes ago…and the lander is in good shape and sending photos already….I just love seeing the reactions of the people running the show when they get the announcement and data saying the landing went off without a hitch and they have a healthy rover…man, to have a job you love that much and to be successful looks like a great thing…can’t wait to see photos from the helicopter…

Red Dragon on Mars….

Well…sitting here waiting for the Fedex guy to come and thought I’d do a little comment on an article I read this morning by Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy. There was a little noticed announcement last week by Elon Musk and Space X that they are going to try to land one of their Dragon V2 capsules on Mars by 2018…yep…when everyone else says they can’t get there until 2025 at the earliest, Space X is going to try it in two years…unmanned, of course, since the Falcon Heavy that they are going to use to launch it has not been tested yet and the Dragon V2 has not been flown either…but, I find it just so cool that private industry is going to do what NASA can’t…and beat them to Mars by 7 years. I know there have been many successful Mars probes sent by NASA and I applaud their work…work that continues to amaze me…but, to fly the hardware that is going to be used to send people to Mars in that short a time frame goes up the scale to really cool. Oh, and one more thing with the Falcon Heavy, which is essentially three Falcon 9′s strapped together….when they test launch the Heavy later in the year, Space X is going to try to land all three boosters; two on land and one on the autonomous barge where they landed the last Falcon 9….that is going to be so cool and I had hoped they would try something like that…Space X is putting excitement back into space and even this old guy is pretty geeked….

Here’s some irony for you…

Well…we had some exciting news from NASA yesterday where they revealed that there is liquid water on Mars during what is it’s summer…as you know, on Earth, everywhere there is liquid water there is life…from the deserts to miles underground, there is life, even in places you would never think it would be. But, this discovery of water rises to irony when you remember a little treaty that was signed by all the countries on Earth in 1968…that we would never send a probe to investigate anywhere there is liquid water present..to avoid contaminating that world with earth organisms that have been shown to be able to survive in space…they even put a bunch of microbes on the outside of the ISS and left it exposed to hard space for two years with most of them surviving the vacuum and the extremes of hot and cold that exist there. So, where does that leave us? One of the rovers that is now in Gale crater is near some of these water flows and can’t be sent to look at them…and no new probes…even the Mars 2020 one that is supposed to bring back samples can go near them….this is a conundrum that we need to address…with the possible discovery of life on another planet, how can we tie our own hands? Not sure what the answer is but the water discovery is still exciting….