August 8, 2012

Link Hive #6; or Red Planet, Schmed Planet

It's time for another Link Hive! in bullet form.  Despite the Olympian-themed posts recently (at least one more is on its way), this one is dedicated solely to Mars, the reddest of the planets. (That' because it is camera shy and embarrasses easily.)  Enjoy.
  • Apparently, despite certain wings of the politisphere whinging* over budgets, those eggheads over at NASA really do get stuff to work.  In all seriousness, the successful touchdown of the new Mars rover is a very big deal.  Go read this article over on about how incredibly hard it was to safely land the over 2000 lb. Curiosity rover on Mars.  With obesity being as common as it is will we see sky cranes for everyone in the near future?
Retrorockets aren't rockets from the 80's (image source: NASA JPL)
  • One of the first view of Mars sent from the Curiosity rover.  Here's an entire image gallery on NASA's website.
A snap from Curiosity's back-up camera. Just like the one on your Lexus. (image source: NASA JPL)
  • Interplanetary easter egg hunt: Curiosity rover spells out "JPL" in Morse code with every tire revolution.
File:Curiosity wheel pattern morse code.png
J: - - -, P: .- -., L: -.. Engineers love hiding easter eggs. (source: NASA JPL)
  • If one NASA probe photos another NASA probe, do they both get sucked into an infinite self-referential loop?  Or is this the space probe equivalent of bumping into someone you know at a strip club?  How embarrassing!  This is a shot taken by the Mars Reconnasaince Orbiter (MRO) while Curiosity's drag chute was deployed.
Caught ya on camera!  This one's going to your wife. (source: NASA JPL)
*Someone has been bloody-well watching too much BBC. -ed.

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