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I don't want to set the world on fire/I just want to start a flame in your heart
November 19, 2012 3:49 AM   Subscribe

Five years ago today Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com released the Amazon Kindle, a move that would revolutionize the publishing industry. While often controversial, most recently for its international tax avoidance schemes, Amazon has been very successful and has made millions for its founder. What has Bezos done with some of his tax-free millions? Well for one, he launched and landed a rocket vertically, and posted the video to YouTube, just yesterday.

The Blue Origin site.

Blue Origin's Wikipedia page.
posted by Toekneesan (99 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
According to the Wikipedia page, NASA has contributed $30M to the development of the spacecraft. So I guess Bezos is just like any other "self-made" American oligarch libertarian, with a hand outstretched to government.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:56 AM on November 19, 2012 [35 favorites]


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?
posted by pipeski at 4:05 AM on November 19, 2012


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?

Short version: easier/cheaper reuse, hopping across a planet you land on.
posted by jaduncan at 4:08 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a specific reason for it?

Because there's no oceans on Mars to splash down into? And if you crash there's no way home?

That was an incredible video. I can't imagine trying to do this a) for the first time and b) basically without computers like they did in the 50s and 60s.

Bezos is also a major funder of the Clock of the Long Now. The final site for the clock will be in some Nevada mountains, IIRC, but they are building a full-size prototype on Bezos "ranch" in Texas. Here they are boring the shaft in the mountain.
posted by DU at 4:13 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


He also bought a pretty damned sweet 5 acre estate on Lake Washington. My wife and I were caretakers there for the previous owners.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:19 AM on November 19, 2012


Yeah wonderful, now how about your fat rich company pay some tax in the UK? Honestly. While people in this country have to resort to food parcels to feed their kids, our government allows this to happen. It is all a con.
posted by marienbad at 4:21 AM on November 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?

Because landing without a parachute is more Kerbal.
posted by daniel_charms at 4:21 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


(my first thought upon watching that video: so he's using his millions for playing Kerbal Space Program IRL).
posted by daniel_charms at 4:23 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. I bet, for a second, that farmer thought his corn had gone forever!
posted by run"monty at 4:24 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is no big deal, this is how rockets landed in every single book I read when I was 12 years old.
posted by HuronBob at 4:27 AM on November 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?

ISTR that the fuel for landing + associated bits can actually use less mass than other landing systems.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:27 AM on November 19, 2012


Let me get this straight:

1) A common argument for tax avoidance is that private individuals make better decisions about how to spend their money than the government, and space exploration is often cited as an example of wasteful government spending.

2) Jeff Bezos, a private individual, has taken some of the money he would have paid in taxes to the government and spent it on space exploration.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:33 AM on November 19, 2012 [22 favorites]


Well how cute. Maybe instead he should install air conditioning in his warehouses and pay his pickers a decent wage. Having fun, Jeff?
posted by tommyD at 4:34 AM on November 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


...has taken some of the money he would have paid in taxes to the government and spent it on space exploration.

He also took money that other people did in fact pay in taxes and spent that on space exploration.
posted by DU at 4:35 AM on November 19, 2012 [15 favorites]


I hate good, interesting things. Perfection or nothing!
posted by Burhanistan at 4:36 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wasteful? Efficient? Who cares? This is how all rockets should land. Any other method of descent is hereby now quaint like bakelite.
posted by deo rei at 4:39 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spaceflight is now affordable! Spend $30,000,000 on any rocket and get taxFREE DELIVERY!
posted by orme at 4:40 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe instead he should install air conditioning in his warehouses and pay his pickers a decent wage.

I believe the plan is to replace 'em all with robots.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:40 AM on November 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


He also took money that other people did in fact pay in taxes and spent that on space exploration.

I assume those people will be fairly compensated for their generous investment with a share of any profits his vertical landing rockets generate.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:45 AM on November 19, 2012


He can land a rocket vertically, but he can't prevent multiple accounts with the same email address? I mean, I know it's not rocket science, but ...
posted by Elmore at 4:48 AM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Look, I hate tax dodgers as much as the next man, but I am a bit sad that we're not going to get to talk about this video. Perhaps someone could make a UK tax avoidance thread? I'll do it myself if I get a minute.
posted by howfar at 4:49 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I believe the plan is to replace 'em all with robots.

Funnily enough, the robots might require air conditioning to function properly.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 4:50 AM on November 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


Funnily enough, the robots might require air conditioning to function properly.

MECHANICAL TURK. SO HOT. NEED. LIE DOWN. STOP COMPUTE.
posted by DU at 4:54 AM on November 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Damn, I really want a bakelite rocket ship. With walnut fascia.
posted by Segundus at 4:55 AM on November 19, 2012


Is there a reason this rocket had to look so much like a penis? Is no metaphor sacred these days?
posted by MuffinMan at 4:56 AM on November 19, 2012


That's a common misunderstanding of Freud, actually. The problem isn't when the rocket is a penis — that's all good fun. The problem is when you start thinking your penis is a rocket.

Wait. Did I say problem? I meant awesome.
posted by cthuljew at 5:03 AM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hate good, interesting things. Perfection or nothing!

I wouldn't have such a problem with it here except that this was framed as something Bezos did with his own money, which is not true. That's all.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:07 AM on November 19, 2012


Pretty much just ripping off SpaceX. How about innovating, Bezos, if that is your real name. God I hate things so much!!!!
posted by Ad hominem at 5:09 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Didn't the Soviets have working VTVL spacecraft, like fifty years ago?
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:14 AM on November 19, 2012


Tax avoidance aside, I love how these dot com millionaires are investing in space exploration instead of, say, superyachts. It's like the cold war writ small but without nuclear Armageddon as a byproduct.
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:17 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


He also did this.
posted by floatboth at 5:20 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Russia had the Zarya descent module in the 80s. WTF Bezos, you aren't even as good as a superpower was at the height of its influence!
posted by Ad hominem at 5:21 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Bezos is also funding the Clock of the Long Now.

Listen, I'm not a huge fan of plutocracy, but at least these guys (Bezos, Musk, Gates) are funding legitimately cool stuff that contributes to the progress of human knowledge.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:25 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do these billionaires actually benefit from poverty and disease in some way that makes them not want to use their money fighting them?
posted by rocket88 at 5:26 AM on November 19, 2012


Gates is doing awesome things with his fortune, and is making a positive difference as a philanthropist to hundreds of millions of people.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:27 AM on November 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


I can make a Kindle land that way if I drop it just right. About what's it's good for too.
posted by spitbull at 5:27 AM on November 19, 2012


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?

Asteroid mining.
posted by carter at 5:28 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how these dot com millionaires are investing in space exploration instead of, say, superyachts.

Even destitute Palestinians under a total embargo are investing in rockets so it's not really so impressive to see some of the richest people on the planet pull it off.
posted by three blind mice at 5:31 AM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Do these billionaires actually benefit from poverty and disease in some way that makes them not want to use their money fighting them?

See the thing is, unlike tax money, there's no mechanism in place for ordinary people to vote or elect representatives to lobby on their behalf to spend the money in ways that benefit them. So all we have left is blind hope that whatever toys they spend their tax avoidance money on will somehow have tertiary effects that will also benefit the little people someday.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:35 AM on November 19, 2012


Gates is doing awesome things with his fortune, and is making a positive difference as a philanthropist to hundreds of millions of people.

...partially reversing the damage down to billions of others.
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, in this thread if you say something negative, even about Micro$oft, you "hate things".
posted by KokuRyu at 5:45 AM on November 19, 2012


You know, one could argue that if Bezos was paying more taxes in Britain and France, he would be indirectly helping those governments pay for nukes and warplanes. Since they're both allies with Israel, he would also be indirectly repressing the Palestinians. Both articles in the post on tax avoidance pretty much admit he is using legal loopholes. It's avoidance, not fraud. So it's up to those governments to bring their tax laws into the 21st century.
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:59 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's avoidance, not fraud. So it's up to those governments to bring their tax laws into the 21st century.


Ahhaaahhah ahhaaahah ahaahaa ha ha.

No.
Wait.
posted by lalochezia at 6:09 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess you are right. This isn't solely about his VTVL rocket,which is cool in my book.We are here to judge the totality of Bezos's impact on humanity. On one hand we have a cool rocket, on the other hand we have a billionaire who destroyed the local bookstore, and publishing to some extent, by forcing workers to endure terrible working conditions and using every trick in the book to get out of paying taxes. I am predisposed to liking tech billionaires, especially ones with cool rockets, but even I must admit his CV tips toward the dark side.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:17 AM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Listen, I'm not a huge fan of plutocracy, but at least these guys (Bezos, Musk, Gates) are funding legitimately cool stuff that contributes to the progress of human knowledge.

posted by leotrotsky at 5:25 AM on November 19 [+] Adding... [!]


Eponysterical!
posted by DigDoug at 6:18 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't get me wrong, it's a cool rocket and cool technology; just don't get me started on what an amazing philanthropist Bezos therefore is because of it, is all.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:21 AM on November 19, 2012


We are here to judge the totality of Bezos's impact on humanity.

Given the problematic way this FPP was framed, there was no way this thread was going to stick to talking about cool rocketships. (Kindle -> death of publishing -> controversy -> tax avoidance -> dirty money -> rocket video.) I'm sort of surprised the mods let this stand.
posted by aught at 6:26 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft.

Compared to what?

...and space exploration is often cited as an example of wasteful government spending.

Yes, it's completely wrong for government to spend money on essentially peaceful missions that require employing large numbers people in high paying jobs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:39 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cities will be built around this device.
posted by etc. at 6:41 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


To train pilots, they only need to play Lunar Lander.
posted by scose at 6:48 AM on November 19, 2012


Cities will be built around this device.

Well, we know that a Starship did build this city...
posted by kmz at 6:50 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


A common argument for tax avoidance is that private individuals make better decisions about how to spend their money than the government, and space exploration is often cited as an example of wasteful government spending.

Actually, most of the rightwing types I know cite space exploration as an example of good government spending (ostensibly because it's science, but I suspect it's really because of military applications with a side order of conquorship). It's stuff like food stamps and affordable health care and education that the Bezoses of the world want eliminated.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:51 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's completely wrong for government to spend money on essentially peaceful missions that require employing large numbers people in high paying jobs.

Bezos isn't the government, so we're talking about two different things.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:59 AM on November 19, 2012


I assume those people will be fairly compensated for their generous investment with a share of any profits his vertical landing rockets generate.

Well, if Amazon is any indication, Bezos' enterprises don't generate any profit.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bezos isn't the government, so we're talking about two different things.

Yes, I was responding to a point about government spending, not Bezos
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who do you expect to finance private space travel research? The Park Slope Rocketry Co-op?
posted by brain_drain at 7:08 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


*registers parksloperocketrycoop.org*
posted by brain_drain at 7:10 AM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you watch closely when the rocket lands, you can see a curious, frightened, trash-compacting robot burying himself right before the rocket lands on him.
posted by resurrexit at 7:11 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


So basically 1950's sci-fi movies got it pretty much spot on?
posted by ciderwoman at 7:13 AM on November 19, 2012


Cities will be built around this device.

I'm only half-awake but this seems like a Gene Wolfe allusion to me.
posted by aught at 7:13 AM on November 19, 2012


Who do you expect to finance private space travel research? The Park Slope Rocketry Co-op?

I would go to Brooklyn for that. As a kid I launched Estes model rockets in Prospect and Central Parks. I wonder if that is still possible in this day and age.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:14 AM on November 19, 2012


I was confused why they referred to it as VTVL (Vertical Takeoff, Vertical Landing) instead of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off/Landing) - apparently they are the same thing but the differentiation is just that VTVL is rockets and VTOL is aircraft.

That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft.

VTVL is like driving to the top of a hill in a car and driving back down again. Regular rockets are like driving to the top of a hill in a car, then leaving it there and riding back down on a skateboard (next time you want to go up the hill you have to buy a new car).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:16 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


and posted the video to YouTube, just yesterday.

I think this was actually posted a year ago yesterday.
posted by aught at 7:18 AM on November 19, 2012


And it is 20+ year old tech...
posted by JoJoPotato at 7:23 AM on November 19, 2012


Cities will be built around this device.

I'm only half-awake but this seems like a Gene Wolfe allusion to me.


Bezos said that about the Segway.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:38 AM on November 19, 2012


WTF did any of you ever do for humanity, anyhow?
posted by 2N2222 at 7:40 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this post about a) the kindle, b) tax avoidance, c) a vertical rocket landing, d) Jeff Bezos, or e) axe-grindy activist framing of anything and everything?
posted by stp123 at 7:41 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


> I believe the plan is to replace 'em all with robots.
Funnily enough, the robots might require air conditioning to function properly.


Even funnier, AC was first installed in factories where the materials required specific temperatures to flow properly through the machines; places like print shops and textile mills. Only later was AC installed for people. (Source)
posted by benito.strauss at 7:49 AM on November 19, 2012


I must admit his CV tips toward the dark side

It's called disruption -- in technology, in business and eventually in governance. The first-mover will change the way things are done, then the system will change with it, and the cycle of innovation continues on. It's only the dark side in the sense that it changes the current order of how things are done and threatens the regimes that govern them.
posted by slogger at 7:55 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there a reason this rocket had to look so much like a penis? Is no metaphor sacred these days?

"It's a question of aerodynamics. You build a missile in the shape of a vagina, and it just. Won't. Fly." - Greg Knauss
posted by plinth at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's called disruption -- in technology, in business and eventually in governance. The first-mover will change the way things are done, then the system will change with it, and the cycle of innovation continues on. It's only the dark side in the sense that it changes the current order of how things are done and threatens the regimes that govern them.

Or, you know, it's the dark side because the disruption is designed to enrich a select few rather than society at-large.

Terms like "disruption" and "innovation" are tossed-around today as if they are magic, shining talismen that are naturally positive and good for all. Much of the time, however, they're mostly marketing terms meant to smear a thick layer of lipstick on a very ugly pig.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:06 AM on November 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sorry about the incorrect date on the video. It was pointed out to me as new, and at the time only had a couple thousand views so I didn't think to double check. Oops.

Also worth noting, Fortune has named Bezos Businessperson of the Year.
posted by Toekneesan at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2012


It's only the dark side in the sense that it changes the current order of how things are done and threatens the regimes that govern them.

No, it's the dark side because it makes things worse and people suffer.

Or what Thorzdad said more intelligently.
posted by tommyD at 8:10 AM on November 19, 2012


rocket88: Do these billionaires actually benefit from poverty and disease in some way that makes them not want to use their money fighting them?
Do you? Because, if you aren't homeless, you actually make more money than some other wretches do - and yet you don't give it all to those causes!!!

I'm not saying the rich shouldn't give back to society; I'm watching this thread fill with armchair billionaires who think this person is horrible for not spending his money in the absolute most correct way.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:30 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Less tax paid in the UK means more tax paid in the USA, according to the FPP. We would just spend it on subsidised interpretive dance routines whinging about US multinationals anyway.
posted by alasdair at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2012


Funnily enough, the robots might require air conditioning to function properly.

MECHANICAL TURK. SO HOT. NEED. LIE DOWN. STOP COMPUTE.
posted by DU at 4:54 AM on 11/19
[6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


"AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK IS PEOPLE! We gotta stop them! Somehow! Listen! Listen to me… PLEASE!!!"
posted by Bwithh at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2012


Ah crap. We already know how to make them rockets land nose first (think ICBM). This is a good thing. I've been waiting for over 60 years to see this happen.

Now, I want to go to Mars. Next week is good for me. I don't want to wait for the transporter to be perfected, and I don't want to bounce down inside a buckyball balloon thing either.
posted by mule98J at 9:53 AM on November 19, 2012


That flight is actually from September 2011, and they lost the ship on the next flight.
posted by Sophont at 9:57 AM on November 19, 2012


...he launched and landed a rocket vertically...

As God and Robert Heinlein intended.
posted by The Tensor at 10:00 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


On one hand we have a cool rocket, on the other hand we have a billionaire who destroyed the local bookstore

And by "destroyed the local bookstore" you mean "did more for book lovers than anyone else in the last few centuries." Amazon, far from being a blight, was a godsend for the vast majority of readers.
posted by Justinian at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


So this is pretty much just a pointless cockup, then.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 AM on November 19, 2012


Wake me up, when somebody builds a flying saucer...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 10:09 AM on November 19, 2012


So this is pretty much just a pointless cockup, then.

Space flight? Well, yeah, for the most part. But it keeps plenty of engineers off the streets making trouble.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:13 AM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, Bezos may also be having shits and giggles at David Icke's expense: Blue Origin's Logo
posted by protorp at 10:28 AM on November 19, 2012


"Or, you know, it's the dark side because the disruption is designed to enrich a select few rather than society at-large."

But in the case of Bezos (and Gates, and Musk, &c, &c) I can see direct benefits to society at large. Here we see direct investment in technology development and infrastructure that helping us explore the final frontier, in ways that are more cost effective and sustainable than was being pursued in the public sphere.

Don't get me wrong, I do not support Amazon's exploitation of tax loopholes. But is this the fault of Bezos or the tax system? Without people to point out (and exploit) where things are broken, it's much more difficult to identify and fix them. Not that I think Bezos (or et al) is any kind of saint, but I do think that Blue Origin and Space X are two great examples of where the profit motive is truly in line with investment that benefits humanity as a whole.
posted by slogger at 10:36 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


pipeski: “That seems like an incredibly wasteful way to land a spacecraft. Is there a specific reason for it?”

daniel_charms: “Because landing without a parachute is more Kerbal.”

It actually seems like a pretty efficient way to land a spacecraft. Keep in mind that we don't have a perfect idea of the makeup of the atmosphere on Mars or other bodies we might want to visit – if there is an atmosphere at all. If we put a parachute on a spacecraft and drop it over Mars, there's really no easy way to know precisely how fast it'd fall. I'd actually be interested to know if parachutes would work on Mars, or at least to know how much we know about this right now. Anyway, good luck using a parachute to land on the moon.
posted by koeselitz at 10:50 AM on November 19, 2012


Don't get me wrong, I do not support Amazon's exploitation of tax loopholes. But is this the fault of Bezos or the tax system?

Amazon spends over $2 million a year on lobbying to buy Congressmen that defend those tax loopholes. Those loopholes aren't just accidental.
posted by JackFlash at 10:53 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm watching this thread fill with armchair billionaires who think this person is horrible for not spending his money in the absolute most correct way.

You could, I don't know, actually listen to what people are saying and understand that while people want to cheer for this sort of thing, it's hard to feel unalloyed enthusiasm when we know that the money that made this possible was gained in shady ways (substandard working conditions, etc.).

Or you could try to be holier than thou.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:04 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


And it is 20+ year old tech...

And still state of the art, sadly.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 11:38 AM on November 19, 2012


meh. Call me when he does it on another planet with 20,000 screaming fans.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:14 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I believe the plan is to replace 'em all with robots.

Amazon.com is buying an army of robots.

The online retailer announced on Monday that it is acquiring Kiva Systems, a maker of robots that service warehouses, for $775 million in cash. Amazon, a customer of Kiva’s, is buying the robotics company as it builds out its vast network of warehouses and tries to improve its margins.

posted by donovan at 12:15 PM on November 19, 2012


Amazon spends over $2 million a year on lobbying to buy Congressmen that defend those tax loopholes. Those loopholes aren't just accidental.

In my view, this exposes flaws in our system for petitioning our government. For Amazon, this is a completely legal way to maintain a competitive advantage. For the American people, it's another reminder that we are unable to elect leaders who can enact change on behalf of their constituents.
posted by slogger at 12:20 PM on November 19, 2012


rocket88: "Do these billionaires actually benefit from poverty and disease in some way that makes them not want to use their money fighting them"

Yeah, but fighting poverty is BOOORING. Space rockets are awesome!

I would think with your username you would already know this.
posted by graventy at 12:30 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


We would just spend it on subsidised interpretive dance routines whinging about US multinationals anyway.

I've been to the ballet. It's infinitely more inspiring than this toy rocket.
posted by klanawa at 12:53 PM on November 19, 2012


For Amazon, this is a completely legal way to maintain a competitive advantage.

"It's legal" is a very low standard; it just means you don't get thrown in jail. Don't expect us to admire a company for merely obeying the law.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:17 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


another of similar type: Draper's GENIE Free-Flight Test & Masten Space Systems' Xombie suborbital rocket

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT0GFYexSHg
posted by 70150 at 1:59 PM on November 19, 2012


Koeselitz: Keep in mind that we don't have a perfect idea of the makeup of the atmosphere on Mars or other bodies we might want to visit – if there is an atmosphere at all. If we put a parachute on a spacecraft and drop it over Mars, there's really no easy way to know precisely how fast it'd fall.

Ooo ooo Mr. Kot-ter!~!!! Ooo ooo ooo...YES! WE KNOW ALL THOSE THINGS!

I LEARNED ALL ABOUT ALL THAT STUFF ON THIS NOVA PROGRAM ABOUT THE MARS ROVER CURIOSITY MISSION WHERE A PARACHUTE WAS DEPLOYED TO BREAK IT'S FALL BEFORE A ROCKET CRANE DEPLOYED:

Ultimate Mars Challenge

Watch it, and be dazzled. Superior excellent.

/HorseShack
posted by Skygazer at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The applicable segment on the Mars atmosphere and the use of a parachute is 10 minutes into the program. But the whole program is just fantastic stuff.
posted by Skygazer at 5:52 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


2N2222: So this is pretty much just a pointless cockup, then.

Space flight? Well, yeah, for the most part. But it keeps plenty of engineers off the streets making trouble.
Giggling at the image of of bands of ruthless engineers, cruising the countryside and America's Heartland in search of babes, booze, and poorly designed bridges.

Terrorizing the math-fearing people of this great nation.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


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