Brace yourself for immediate disintegration
January 3, 2004 6:32 PM   Subscribe

Mars, take II - Still no word from Beagle 2 (discussed here), unfortunately, as Mars maintains its tough reputation. However, the first of two rovers much larger than 1997's very successful Pathfinder is expected to hit the Martian surface with a giant bounce tonight at 8:35 p.m. PST. Check out the realistic simulation videos of how it will land and get to work, then watch Nasa TV (RealVideo) for live coverage.
posted by planetkyoto (51 comments total)

score another one for the martian air defense command.
posted by quonsar at 6:40 PM on January 3, 2004

Exactly. the page title is a Marvin the Martian quote, not my hopes. I love this stuff, and really hope the Beagle can be resuscitated.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:44 PM on January 3, 2004

This is kind of cool -- a simulated view of Mars from Spirit as it approaches, updated every minute.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:49 PM on January 3, 2004

If nasa is lame enough to use realvideo, the project is probably doomed.
posted by Trik at 7:20 PM on January 3, 2004

Trik: The video looks pretty good for 84kbps. It's cool they're doing this, and I'm certainly glad it's not WiMP.
posted by rhruska at 7:46 PM on January 3, 2004

They're opening their "goodluck candy packets" now on the feed : >
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on January 3, 2004

entering the upper atmosphere! so exciting :D
posted by kliuless at 8:30 PM on January 3, 2004

Will there not be video until and if it lands and opens up?
posted by amberglow at 8:32 PM on January 3, 2004

Houston, we have bounces.
posted by fatbobsmith at 8:36 PM on January 3, 2004

So what does this spell for a manned mission to Mars? As cool as it would be, I really doubt it will happen before 2025. Getting to Mars is hard.
posted by Daze at 8:44 PM on January 3, 2004

awww crap! lost the feed, hope jpl got theirs :D any signal yet?
posted by kliuless at 8:47 PM on January 3, 2004

Feeds have dropped for me and all my friends listening/watching. Anyone with an active feed - please keep us posted.
posted by stevengarrity at 8:47 PM on January 3, 2004

they had lost the bounces, and then I got cut off....does anyone still have the feed?
posted by amberglow at 8:49 PM on January 3, 2004

No signal! It cut off right after the first few bounces!
posted by azazello at 8:49 PM on January 3, 2004

maybe they purposely cut it off?
posted by amberglow at 8:50 PM on January 3, 2004

feed cut of me also at the first bounces
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on January 3, 2004

Stream is back for me and others.
posted by stevengarrity at 8:51 PM on January 3, 2004

They got it! Signal found!
posted by stevengarrity at 8:52 PM on January 3, 2004

posted by clavdivs at 8:52 PM on January 3, 2004

it's back, and it's live on CNN too : >
posted by amberglow at 8:52 PM on January 3, 2004

posted by azazello at 8:53 PM on January 3, 2004

right side up, yay! waiting for deflation :D
posted by kliuless at 8:55 PM on January 3, 2004

so, why can't they send people that way?
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on January 3, 2004

posted by Guy Smiley at 8:59 PM on January 3, 2004

People don't bounce as well
posted by fatbobsmith at 9:00 PM on January 3, 2004

For great justice!

I'm giddily looking forward to some purty pictures in the next few days.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:09 PM on January 3, 2004

so, why can't they send people that way?

I smell new amusement park ride!
posted by y2karl at 9:49 PM on January 3, 2004

That little film, 6 Minutes of Terror, is awsomely well done. Who's responsible to doing it so well? Kudos, and bravo for the mission!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:53 PM on January 3, 2004

Daze: The estimated date popular at NASA's advanced space propulsion laboratory for a manned mission to Mars is sometime around 2018, but that's just what they're shooting for if everything goes well. Now that will be a giant leap for man kind...
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:37 PM on January 3, 2004

ParisP - That video was made for NASA by a one-man shop, Maas Digital, run by Dan Maas - I blogged about it here. Dan Maas makes NASA look damn good.
posted by kokogiak at 11:03 PM on January 3, 2004

planetkyoto, congratulations! You made me agree with ParisParamus about something. That video is amazingly great.
posted by scarabic at 11:25 PM on January 3, 2004

I see Mars! Whee!
posted by homunculus at 12:04 AM on January 4, 2004

Is anyone else watching this?? Perfect landing at a flawless site, couldn't be better. And the after party is the boss announcing "OK everyone, back to work." wakitcha, wakitcha!
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 12:05 AM on January 4, 2004

Status updates.
posted by yonderboy at 12:14 AM on January 4, 2004

First Images. Coolness. That was fast, considering that thing was traveling 11,000 mph just a few hours ago.
posted by kokogiak at 12:25 AM on January 4, 2004

I'm glad I stayed home to watch the Internet tonight.
posted by crasspastor at 12:58 AM on January 4, 2004

Me too. This is so great, and such a relief after so many disappointments.
posted by interrobang at 1:05 AM on January 4, 2004

BTW, thanks for the link to Spaceflight Now yonderboy, it's probably the only site I've found being updated in near-real-time. It even has more interesting (current) info than NASA does on any of its big ol' sites.
posted by kokogiak at 1:10 AM on January 4, 2004

God I'm such a sucker for these sorts of things. All the pics make me feel giggly, even though I'm still sort of depressed about Beagle 2. that I think about it, these rovers are the only form of technology that I actively anthropomorphize. Weird.
posted by aramaic at 1:16 AM on January 4, 2004

Trik, better quality video of NASA TV is available for free from DishNetwork (EchoStar 7) and AMC 9. It's probably free from DirecTV as well (never checked).

I don't know what your location is, so maybe you can't get these satellites, sorry...
posted by shepd at 3:37 AM on January 4, 2004

Interesting. NASA's list of all international missions to Mars doesn't list the Beagle 2 (while the Beagle 2 page already features a congratulatory message for NASA).

Looking at the list, though, makes me think that if there is intelligent life on Mars, they must be mightily annoyed by now at us for flinging so much stuff their way.
posted by pzarquon at 6:44 AM on January 4, 2004

It is a "historical log". Beagle is not history.
posted by stbalbach at 7:24 AM on January 4, 2004

Hey, isn't that a tentacle in one of the pics? ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:56 AM on January 4, 2004

I stayed up and watched the NASA TV cycle over and over. I'm giddy. I hope Spirit's twin, Opportunity, also lands safely and that Beagle 2 wakes up and starts calling home. Think of it: three rovers sending photographs and material analysis back to earth from Mars. Blows my mind.

I love NASA.
posted by swerve at 2:15 AM on January 5, 2004

swerve : I second that.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 11:20 PM on January 5, 2004

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has captured its first color image of Mars. It is the highest resolution picture ever taken of another planet

Is that cool or what?
posted by y2karl at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2004

Is that cool or what?
Actually, it'd be cooler if there actually was a martian or something living in the pic.
posted by amberglow at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2004

Not only is this amazingly cool, but the accessibility to the pictures, due to the Web is almost as cool. I can't help but think this will help keep and expand support for space programs.

By the way, how is it that one of those rocks looks like a can of Pepsi?
posted by ParisParamus at 11:07 AM on January 7, 2004

PS: the exuberance of the JPL team; their mix of seriousness and sillyness, THAT's very American, and makes me proud (actually, it's very US/Brit/Commonwealth, but still...)
posted by ParisParamus at 11:10 AM on January 7, 2004

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