http://www.dvorak.org/blog/images/mars_rovers.jpg

As you all know last night the Mars rover Curiosity landed successfully. Here’s a picture of the 3 rovers all together sent to me last year by one of the NASA scientists. Click image to enbiggen.



  1. orchidcup says:

    What an outstanding achievement.

    I watched the nearly horizontal final approach of Curiosity and the deployment of the chute and the sky crane.

    Well, I didn’t actually see it, I saw the computer simulation that was tied to the telemetry relayed by Odyssey.

    Kudos and congratulations to the team of stupid slaves at JPL.

    A remarkable endeavor that deserves recognition, unlike the sports show at the Olympics.

    • Dallas says:

      way cool indeed.

      Finding ANY form of life or evidence of it would cause the religo-fundies to :

      (1) Go crazy
      (2) Go crazy and deny it
      (3) Go crazy and call it contamination
      (4) All the above

      • orchidcup says:

        Perhaps we will find intelligent life on Mars and we will be able to observe the inner workings of intelligence and try to mimic the effect.

        We could then take a shortcut through evolution and achieve intelligence in say, 300,000 years or less.

        The magic man that lives on a mountain might get angry that mankind tasted the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and stamp his foot and throw a fit, but there is a good probability we may survive his temper tantrums.

        • So what says:

          Your assuming we would be intelligent enough to recognize an intelligent life form.

          “So long and thanks for all the fish”

      • msbpodcast says:

        Actually, they already have teams in place to deny it.*

        (Sort of like the politicians… Which if you look at it is exactly what relogions are; built on bluster and bullshit to pull in the punters.)

        *) That’s why some people don’t believe we’ve ever even reached the moon.

        • Dallas says:

          I agree.

          Finding any verifiable signs of alien life I believe will shake the church’s house of cards.

          While I find it unlikely they would find anything, this landing is very significant in terms of where they landed and the advance capabilities of this robot.

          Thank you Pres Obama for this significant accomplishment on your watch ! I’m not surprised if he had a hand in navigating this thing down with the presidential joystick.

      • Brian says:

        There is no way that life here on earth was created by accident or by trial and error. Chaos only begits chaos. No matter how far you go no one or nothing can create something from nothing, but only GOD can. You can qoute the big bang theory all you want but it had to start with something, where did that something come from?

  2. LibertyLover says:

    Cool Pic. Thx.

    • NobodySpecial says:

      I think it was faked – look at the shadows, and why are their no stars in the background, and ….

  3. Far Out says:

    We landed a man on Mars? Cool!

    • orchidcup says:

      Actually, the state of the art of robotics is reaching a point in evolution where we may not need human explorers on far planets.

      Humans are subject to enormous risk and danger, whereas an intelligent rover is expendable if an unforeseen crisis occurs.

      Robots are easier to train and don’t have psychological issues and emotional deficits to overcome during the long and tedious trip to a far planet.

      I doubt a human will ever set foot on Mars in this century because it will not be necessary.

      I hope to be reincarnated in a thousand years to see the colonization of Mars, but that is my imagination running away with me.

  4. CPBrown says:

    Left to right which rover is which ?

    • orchidcup says:

      This grouping of two test rovers and a flight spare provides a graphic comparison of three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The setting is JPL’s Mars Yard testing area.

      Front and center is the flight spare for the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Project. On the left is a Mars Exploration Rover Project test rover that is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. On the right is a Mars Science Laboratory test rover the size of that project’s Mars rover, Curiosity, which is on course for landing on Mars in August 2012.

      Sojourner and its flight spare, named Marie Curie, are 2 feet (65 centimeters) long. The Mars Exploration Rover Project’s rover, including the “Surface System Test Bed” rover in this photo, are 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) long. The Mars Science Laboratory Project’s Curiosity rover and “Vehicle System Test Bed” rover, on the right, are 10 feet (3 meters) long.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity, Curiosity

  5. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    THANK YOU OBAMA, no more achievements like this in the works.

    Just think what we could have done with all that money that went to China, Finland and bankrupt green tech companies….

    too late now.

  6. msbpodcast says:

    I was well worth staying up ’till 02:00 watching Curiosity nail the landing better than Gaby Douglas at the olympics (degree of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10, about a bazillion. :-)

    • orchidcup says:

      Technically, a bazillion is not definable. :)

      But yes, the odds of failure were enormous.

      I jumped up from my recliner and screamed like a girl when the touchdown and first image was confirmed.

      It was better than sex. Well, almost. :)

    • /T. says:

      Stayed up too … it was quite the spectacle!!!

      Surprised the Banksters let them spend the 2.8 billion … a drop in the TARP/bailout bucket.

      I read somewhere that the US military’s annual Air Conditioning budget alone exceeds NASA’s overall annual budget. Sick.

      Awesome space achievement …. looking forward to the pics and discoveries.

      Congrats to all involved.

      • NobodySpecial says:

        The US spend on AC in afghanistan is greater than Nasa’s budget.
        Apparently some rocket scientists suggest that perhaps they could fit insulation to tents in the desert – but that’s green commie liberal eco talk

      • orchidcup says:

        It is tragic that religious fanatics feel the need to kill people to prove that their delusion is real to them.

        If the human race could expend 1/10 of the energy and resources that go into warfare and political bickering on the space program instead, our planet would be safer and a more pleasant environment.

        I know. I am dreaming.

        • jpfitz says:

          We must be in the same dream. America is tooled up to make either weapons or peaceful endeavours. I was lucky enough to have machined at least some peaceful parts. The Hubble telescope was one, and the space shuttle was another. Remember I only made one item in a thousand needed for the projects.

          Unfortunately most of the parts we made were for military weapons or aircraft. Big money in the military industrial complex. Not for the machinists but for the shop owners.

          • NobodySpecial says:

            Both the Shuttle and HST were originally military projects or spin-offs from military.
            The shuttle’s problems were mostly due to the airforce’s requirements and HST was just a Keyhole with better instruments

  7. The0ne says:

    It’s nuke power so that alone makes the Rover way awesome! Go hi-gain antennas, we want more pictures!

  8. orion3014 says:

    well done! Bravo!!! Nice to know the US can still on ocassion hit one out of the park….
    Cheers!!!

  9. jpfitz says:

    Those rims on Curiosity are wicked looking. They appear to be machined from a billet. I wonder if any rim manufactures will machine some NASA Curiosity rims as a novelty for space nuts like myself. On second look the hubs appear to be some sort of spring and not solid all the way around the perimeter. Maybe to help the rover’s wheels absorb shocks on it’s journey.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Its partly to let sand flow out of the wheels partly to give some extra grab to the tread, partly to give the wheels some spring-loaded deformability. (With all NASA’s budgets woes, you know that there is nothing on the craft that is purely single purpose. :-) )

  10. bobbo, orchestrating the sublime from couplets to libraries says:

    I do wonder what the “real gain” is/can be from this mission.

    To find life?…. or the remains of it? //// Seems rather silly to me. Would much rather be goal/self directed: just assume the answer we want…. and what possible difference does life or no life on Mars even make? …. if you can imagine otherwise?

    Religion is irrelevant.

    Religion was born on the bedrock that Earth was all there was, the center and be-all of the universe. Now we walk on the Moon and land machines on Mars. What does Religion do? Ban homosexuals, genetic engineering, evolution theory, and thinking for oneself.

    That will be 10% of what you made this year.

    Thank you.

  11. jim g says:

    If anything good results, Obama will claim the credit.
    If anything bad happens, Obama will blame BUSH.

    • bobbo, orchestrating the sublime from couplets to libraries says:

      Jim–as Obama did not cancel the project, why should he not get credit or blame as per custom whereas in fact he and Bush have practically nothing to do with this subject one way or the other?

      As you filter your world thru your political prism, how do I know you are a “thinking republican?”

      Ha, ha.

      Offered Science – he wants to shit on it.

      The Plutocracy marches on, over the bodies of the unthinking easily led electorate.

      Silly Hooman.

      • Guyver says:

        Offered Science – he wants to shit on it.

        Ha! Sounds like you when you make an appeal to authority based on a consensus even in the absence of the scientific method. :)

    • orchidcup says:

      Bush is an idiot and everybody knows it.

      Dimwits that don’t remember the sequence of events that led up to the financial crisis of 2008 are likely to insist that Obama was at the helm when TARP was initiated.

      Not that I agree with the policies of the Obama administration, but he did enter office with a handicap, and that was 8 years of the Bush administration.

      • So what says:

        Hey now be nice, Bush Jr. entered with a handicap, he was Bush Jr.

      • Guyver says:

        Dimwits that don’t remember the sequence of events that led up to the financial crisis of 2008 are likely to insist that Obama was at the helm when TARP was initiated.

        Housing problems started in the 1970s under the Carter Administration and every president since then has been part of the problem (along with Congress).

        Not that I agree with the policies of the Obama administration, but he did enter office with a handicap, and that was 8 years of the Bush administration.

        So Obama inherits a bonfire of a problem and throws gas on it to put it out. In doing so, he reminds everyone to look at where we started so that he can take no responsibility for the mess he’s compounded.

        This is the same guy who has outspent Bush Jr.’s 8 years of spending in only 2 years. This is the same guy who guaranteed unemployment would drop to ~ 6% after the Stimulus Plan was put in place. This is the same guy who has cost tax payers $178k for every job created / saved under the Stimulus Plan. This is the same guy who promised transparent government but organized his health care plan behind closed doors. This is the same guy who has spent millions of dollars trying to keep his college records sealed from the public. This is the same guy who only saved GM Delphi employees entire pensions if they were members of the UAW. Obama’s got lots of handicaps.

        But you choose to see what you want to see.

  12. sargasso_c says:

    I admit saying it would probably make a small radioactive crater on Mars, and which would be mankind’s only enduring legacy. My cat agreed with me.

    • orchidcup says:

      That was a good probability, but they pulled it off in spite of the odds.

      It almost makes me feel like there must be a God.

  13. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    THANK YOU OBAMA, redirecting NASA funding to the now Bankrupt Green Tech companies was sheer genius…

    While spending billions in the “jobs of the future” that vanished shortly after their bundlers got the cash, and putting tens of thousands of NASA workers out of work….the fundamental change from #1 to nothing was achieved in record time…

    No doubt redirecting what remains of nasa to Russia will ensure our technology remains secure in the hands of them who know what to do with it…

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      Perhaps they’ll put it to good use when they build that base in Cuba.

      • orchidcup says:

        Now you have developed a sense of humor finally.

        The punch line needs a little reworking, and the premise is a bit shaky, but it is a good first try at humor.

        • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

          Critical thinking requires actual thought, orchidhead.

          • jpfitz says:

            You have no thoughts that were not created from your god. So are you being philosophical for a change? If yes than good on you.

          • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

            Wow, Pelosi….then jpfitz…what grasp of reality, what synthesis…

            clearly the “no thought” experts

          • So what says:

            Alfie has no thoughts not put their by Fox.

    • jpfitz says:

      “Let’s start at the beginning there. Yes, a lot of money was spent. But making it seem like NASA’s budget comes from the “Good And Charitable Things Fund” of the US Government is inane. No one’s taking money from other needed projects to go to NASA. And, people tend to have a wildly exaggerated idea of just how much of the US budget goes to NASA. A 2007 poll showed most Americans think it’s about 25%. The reality? In 2011, it was half of a percent. That’s half of what we spend on foreign aid. It’s about 1/50th of what defense gets, at 24.8% of the budget. Nobody’s taking money from anything to fund NASA.”

      http://jalopnik.com/5932213/why-its-great-we-send-robots-to-mars-and-why-people-should-follow

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        jp, you reasonably but incorrectly say: “No one’s taking money from other needed projects to go to NASA.” /// Anybody that had a project that wanted funding and didn’t get it disagrees with you.

        So–if you had a few Billion dollars for research or applied research or whatever–where would it best be spent?

        A–as here==spending money to explore a remote place returning almost nothing of value or….

        B–just about anything that would provide a return? High speed internet? Global Warming something or other? Artificial Intelligence if not too political as it is totally needed by the Republican Party? Genetic Engineering? Pure Physics Research as with that Collider in Texas half started, Green Energy Research…..

        ….and on and on. A $ spent here, is a dollar not spent there. Not saying where dollars “should be” spent but CHOICES are made. It would be nice if they were intelligently made and not emotionally made.

        Yea, verily.

        • jpfitz says:

          Did you read the link I posted related to my quotation, I think not. Therefor read this snip-it.

          “is space exploration worth it, fundamentally — is a bigger question.
          Technologically, the case is pretty clear, if you bother to check more than one website that you close when you see the word “NASCAR.” There have been an incredible number of advances made thanks to the intense demands of the space program on technology. Much of the miniaturization of computers that allows us to carry around hand-held porn-delivery tools that make phone calls is thanks to engineers figuring out how to cram room-sized computers into Gemini and Apollo capsules. Solar power systems owe much of their development and advancement to the space program. It’s not just Velcro and Tang; like auto racing, space exploration provides the extreme situation and demands that spur technological growth.”

          I follow your train of thought about spending money on some silly robot that will look for signs of water or life on a distant planet when right here and now our own citizens of the planet earth are in need. The emotional aspect of space exploration has excited man from the days of Kitty Hawk, through the 60’s and 70’s. Today the expenditure may seem unworthy considering the energy and social problems we’re facing now, but I have “faith” in science and that the exploration of the solar system will bare some fruit for future generations.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            jp–fine but standard and weak response. The benefit of miniturized electronics is a good example–lets assume it came from the space program? Now–lets identify “Miniturizing Electronics” on its own as a valuable societal goal and go at it directly without the space program interfering?

            Which approach would give us miniturized electronics at the cheaper price? That $$$ left over for other similar collateral benefits of research and study?

            All going to Mars will give us is the Knowledge /pride that we can go to Mars. I see NOTHING of value coming from the venture that couldn’t be had directly at 1/10th the cost.

            In a vacuum, colonies on the Moon seem more functional and useful. A space vacuum perhaps as solving the carbon pollution on Earth with its attendant lack of fresh water, energy, top soil etc are about the chop us off at the knees.

            Priorities and thinking the process thru. Its what science is supposed to be good at?

            Maybe not.

          • jpfitz says:

            bobbo said, 8/6/2012 at 9:30 pm,
            “Earth with its attendant lack of fresh water, energy, top soil etc are about /to/ chop us off at the knees.”

            Yes that statement is the most disconcerting about our future. And your right that exploring Mars at this juncture in mankind’s history will not bring about any inventions we need right now. Unless the mission brings absolute proof of alien intervention in mans evolution, which would enlighten the pious, now that would be a “revelation” worth the money.

            The media and PTB ignore and acerbate the problems of our planet. That damn medium (tv) which is programming the population into believing that companies like GE and Conocophillips have centuries of “clean” coal and natural gas available. Not to worry, these power companies has our backs, also the’re working on new energy solutions for the future, har.

            Some call me paranoid and crazy when I explain that the earth will not sustain the population as we exponentially expand both the human population along with the economy. A 7% growth rate per year will double the start number in ten years. We will run out of food and water at the current growth rate.

            The ass-wipes in NY have decided to start fracking in one of the largest fresh water reserves in the country. This is not the kind of progress needed for energy. NY’ers will eventually have polluted tap water, New Yorks tap water is rated one of the best in the country. This is the progress spoken of by the rich and powerful who will destroy the pristine upstate area for a few bucks. Ah, I’m disgusted and sick now. I think I’ll go and get a hug from the wife and try to remain calm.

  14. jpfitz says:

    Will the Curiosity rover have the same fate.

    http://xkcd.com/695/

    • orchidcup says:

      In a thousand years the first Chinese colonists will arrive on Mars and discover our abandoned rovers and wonder how they got there.

  15. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Its good to see that they didn’t mix their English and Metric systems on this one.

  16. gonasa!bringerofwar says:

    Just keep that damn contraption away from my feline friend.
    They don’t really have 9 lives.

  17. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    THANK YOU OBAMA, its high time we let the Chinese carry the ball:

    “Each year since 1976, NASA has published a list of every commercialized technology and product linked to its research. The NASA journal “Spinoff” highlights these products, which have included things like improved pacemakers, state of the art exercise machines and satellite radio. Each product was made possible thanks to a NASA idea or innovation.”

  18. NewformatSux says:

    $4 billion to put legos on Mars. Didn’t Eisenhower say something about government policy being hijacked by a technological scientific elite?

    • orchidcup says:

      Eisenhower spent a bundle of money on the interstate highway system.

      The socialist, universal interstate highway system.

      The interstate highway system that is shared by everyone.

      He was a Republican.

      Eisenhower spoke of the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex, and how it would subvert the democratic process in America.

      He warned us of the corruption that was to come, but nobody listened.

      • NewformatSux says:

        Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    • NewFormatSuxSux says:

      The sticker price, icluding delivery, was 2.6 not 4. The TSA spent $11 billion last year keeping shampoo off planes.

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    Can you get those at Best Buy?

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