Feeds

Pasadena to party hardy as Martian landing looms

Planetary Society, SpaceX, and Mars Society hit town

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.