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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Max Leung, Jul 8, 2003.
Second NASA rover finally blasts off for Mars Took them long enough! So, where's Julie?
An interesting PR twist: NASA never gave these missions a romantic "official" name (as in "Viking," "Pathfinder," "Beagle-2," etc.). They were simply designated "MER-A" and "MER-B" ("MER" standing for "Mars Expedition Rover") with the rover components receiving the popularly submitted "Spirit" and "Opportunity" monikers. But these little guys are extremely important. If all goes well—and that is a big if—there will be a much-welcome traffic jam at Mars this winter: Two U.S. spacecraft already in Martian orbit will be joined by Japanese, British, and additional American vehicles (and landers will detach from the orbiters which will remain aloft). Do the HTF faithful have any idea how exciting this is going to be? Most people live in the moment. With a deluge of good data coming from Mars, along with images from those rover vehicles people like to identify with (and assign "personalities" to), a grassroots sentiment for a human mission to the Red Planet is possible. I am very, very excited by all this. Remember, also, the Chinese may very well by then have launched their first manned spaceflight, Shenzhou 5. Spaceflight is exciting.
Obviously no more exciting than the loss of Britney's virginity :p). -- H
I forgot to go outside and watch. I was up, too. I caught the replay on the NASA channel last night. They got some good video off the rocket-cam, even hundreds of miles down-range. Todd
Actually MER stands for Mars Exploration Rover, not "Expedition"... They'd need something like a Saturn V to send a Ford Expedition to Mars http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/
Charles, I often speak "typo" late at night!