Feeds

Pasadena to party hardy as Martian landing looms

Planetary Society, SpaceX, and Mars Society hit town

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.