Feeds

Pasadena to party hardy as Martian landing looms

Planetary Society, SpaceX, and Mars Society hit town

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Curiosity Mars mission Pasadena is a fairly geeky place at the best of times, given it's the home to the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but the city is going Mars crazy as Curiosity approaches its rendezvous.

On Saturday night a party is taking place in the city's downtown zone where the great and the geeky are getting together for drinks, lightsaber duels and some dressing up. Bill Nye the science guy is also expected to make an appearance to reassert his long-standing commitment to mankind getting off the third rock from the Sun.

Pasedena mars party costumes

Ground control to major hangover

The venerable Planetary Society has organized the shindig and is using the Curiosity landing as a backdrop for its Planetfest 2012 conference. Representatives from Virgin Galactic, the X Prize organization and key NASA staff are all speaking on the challenges facing the next generation of Martian explorers.

For those of a more intellectual bent the Mars Society is holding its annual conference in the city, with three days of tracks covering everything from advanced rocket design to discussions on the types of construction materials and optical coatings that would be useful on the Red Planet.

Elon Musk's SpaceX crew also has a big contingent on the spot, and the group has parked a mockup of its Dragon capsule on the sidewalk outside the party, with engineers around to give attendees a brief rundown on the craft SpaceX hopes will be the first manned vehicle to land on Martian soil.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule

Next stop Mars

There is, of course, the distinct possibility that Curiosity will crater the Martian landscape tomorrow, or skip off the atmosphere due to a failure of calculation. But for now confidence is high and there are a lot of people crossing fingers, toes, and eventually eyes later in the evening if current partying levels are maintained. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.