Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

“humanity’s first overland expedition on another planet..”

Sat 3 January 2009, 10:32pm

[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.] They’ve said farewell to Phoenix [but they're still keeping an eye on it - Ed] and delayed the next mission there until 2011 but NASA still have two operational exploration rovers on Mars. And on the 5th anniversary of their arrival on the planet, with all the extra data adding significantly to our understanding of the history of that world, they have new plans ahead for Spirit and Opportunity. Nasa video here.

“We keep setting the bar higher for what these rovers can do,” said Frank Hartman, a JPL rover driver. “Once it seemed like a crazy idea to go to Endeavour, but now we’re doing it.” [Steve Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for the rover science instruments] said, “The journeys have been motivated by science, but have led to something else important. This has turned into humanity’s first overland expedition on another planet. When people look back on this period of Mars exploration decades from now, Spirit and Opportunity may be considered most significant not for the science they accomplished, but for the first time we truly went exploring across the surface of Mars.”

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Comments (9)

  1. cynic says:

    Forgive me (and I mean that) but is this a metaphor for Saint Gerry’s political journey?

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  2. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    No metaphors, nor politics, in this post, cynic.

    The Black Knight however..

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  3. Quagmire says:

    “Forgive me (and I mean that) but is this a metaphor for Saint Gerry’s political journey?”
    Posted by cynic on Jan 03, 2009 @ 06:01 PM

    No, I think its something to do with Robbo’s wish of ever getting voluntary coalition. Never gonna happen. If you look closely at the picture u can see him at the bottom left. Stuck with the shinners ad infinitum.

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  4. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Quagmire

    Ignoring the content of the original post is one thing, ignoring a further clarification in the comments zone is another.

    If you want to talk about Gerry Adams or anybody else there are plenty of posts to do so on.

    In the meantime, here, please keep to the topic.

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  5. cynic says:

    Pete

    The story of the success of this project is truly great. These little sung machines have really advanced knowledge of Mars and much of that (and more recent developments) may have profound consequences for our assessment of the probability of life on other planets.

    But in the absences of controversy or issues arising from that, what is there to discuss? I really find these posts interesting but they tend to be closed issues especially, if they will forgive me, as the level of scientific knowledge of the average slugger is not up to engaging in a fully informed scientific debate.

    I know that you feel that at times we are like dogs crapping on your lawn. So sorry for that. I just couldn’t resist.

    And when some of us contribute in an off topic way to crack a joke – perhaps you might lighten up a little.

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  6. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Cynic

    “But in the absences of controversy or issues arising from that, what is there to discuss?”

    Not a lot. But that will always be the case for those who cannot see beyond the immediate party political situation..

    The rest of us may see unlimited possibilities..

    In the meantime, here, please keep to the topic.

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  7. South Armaghlite says:

    no one gives half a shite about your nerdy pastimes Pete :)

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  8. EWI says:

    What, no obligatory reference to “the Professor”?

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  9. Wilde Rover says:

    Seeing Earth as an evening star in the skyline of another planet is both humbling and inspiring.

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