Mars Lander shows rock who's boss
For it's work all day for the sugar in your tay
In case you've been living under a rock on some distant planet, NASA apologizes for the intrusion.
Image courtesy of NASA
The Phoenix Mars Lander has completed the tricky task of nudging aside a Martian rock roughly the size and shape of a VHS tape so that curious Earthling scientists could peer underneath.
The lander's robotic arm moved the rock, called "Headless," about 40 centimeters from its previous location during the mission's 117 Martian day on September 22. Phoenix had spent Saturday enlarging a trench close to Headless to make a suitable place to place the rock.
Scientists hoped to displace Headless while keeping ground disturbance at a minimum in order to study the soil and depth to subsurface ice underneath.
Because the lander receives commands for an entire day during the morning, engineers on Earth had no way to make adjustments during the move if anything began to slip.
Quarry work is also not among the many tasks Phoenix is built to do, making the job one of the more interesting feats of rock rolling since Sisyphus gave it a go.
"The rock ended up exactly where we intended it to," said Matt Robinson, head of Phoenix's robotic arm flight software at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Scientists can now take a gander at the ice table under the rock to get a better idea why the rocks are darker than the material around them. ®
So spending money now to get soil/ice/CO2 samples, surveys and environmental tests using expendable, hardware is "frustratingly useless"? y'idiot, the US can't even launch the space shuttle without having another one on standby 'just in case', they can't even go back to the moon, do you have any idea of the scale involved sending a person to Mars? Even if it was possible, let alone affordable, anything went wrong, and all your eggs, being in one basket would be a omlettey mush, doing stuff now in space much cheaper, giving results now is far more sensible than some pie (biodome) in the sky (space) idea that wouldn't get of the ground (launch) for decades. Crawl back under your rock and stay there until my robot arm comes and gets you......
"mars lander shows rock who's boss"
This has got to be one of the best headlines I've read about the Mars lander.
just what we get from showing that universe is the huge and sub-atomic space is tiny. SHOW ME THE PATENTS. show me the benefit to anyone who isn't on a grant. Make me a better (off) person. you PhDtards. I'm paying for this crap.
Woah, I've calmed down now. No I haven't. SHOW ME THE BENEFITS NOW!