User Input

Message in the Sand – Graffiti on Mars

Here’s a little intergalactic Easter egg…

Our latest Mars Rover “Curiosity”, which set down on the Red Planet last year – August 2012, has a curious pattern molded into the tread of its 20 inch wheels…

For those of you well versed in the ancient language of the Old West, or perhaps even […]

Airborne Awesomosity

Flying Boats – When Mars Doesn’t Involve NASA

Martin Mars Flying Boat

Martin Mars Flying Boat

 

The Mars may have been built in small numbers but it was a success on several levels.

 

Continue reading Flying Boats – When Mars Doesn’t Involve NASA

User Input

User Input: Life On Mars

Your Favourite Martian.

Just a few minutes ago, the brilliant eggheads over at NASA announced that it does seem like they’ve discovered traces of organic compounds on Mars. This is amazing news, specifically because it does appear that they’re a result of, at the very least, conditions in the distant past that would […]

User Input

User Input: Barely a Speck of Dust

The Milky Way. Still think it matters that the barista screwed up your order?

My Facebook friend Staci was lamenting yesterday that she was having one of those days where she felt at odds with the universe, that she was such a tiny, trivial, insignificant speck in the grand cosmic scheme of things. A feeling she blamed on the landing of the Mars Curiosity rover, since the sheer scale of what they accomplished is outside of the comprehension of someone in their day-to-day travels. And yet, when you take a big look at it, we did little more than fire a bullet at a target across our yard. When you start to really explore the scale of the universe, that’s when it really starts to get to you.

Continue reading User Input: Barely a Speck of Dust

Spaceheads

The First Mars Lander

A long time ago, before I was even born, NASA launched a rocket carrying a spacecraft they called Viking 1. In a world where the PC was but a nerd’s dream and the handheld calculator was a relatively recent development, NASA sent a spacecraft not only to Mars, but to land on its surface. When Viking 1 reached Mars on June 19, 1976 I was only a few weeks old and the best was yet to come.
Continue reading The First Mars Lander

Spaceheads

Robonaut 2

Yeah, I look badass.

Robonaut, R2A

In case you haven’t heard by now, this is a big week in space! In addition to the Glory mission (scrubbed, rescheduled for 24FEB11, 2:09am local Pacific time Thursday morning) being launched from Vandenburg AFB, tomorrow’s Discovery launch will have a very special guest on board.

Meet R2A, a highly dexterous anthropomorphic robot scheduled to punch a one-way ticket on STS-133 and become a permanent resident on-board the ISS (International Space Station). Continue reading Robonaut 2

User Input

User Input: Looking Past Mars

A few days ago, AtomicToasters asked if we should return to the moon. Support for such a plan was soft, so we abandoned our plans (code named Picard Maneuver**) and put the money we raised back into the beer and pizza fund. Shortly thereafter, two beers and an 8″ one topping pizza ensued. (In […]

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