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    K7 Rides Again
    "Coma Girl" wrote:
    Yikes, NASA just can’t win with these rovers…

    2nd Mars Rover Having Problems :shock:


    You’d think our some of our brightest could make these things work :(

    I read somewhere that future missions will be handled by many small robots that collectively can acquire all the same data these larger ones can.

    Pros- Cheaper to build
    – If one out of fifty malfunctions, the remaining 49 can still do the task

    Seems like this would be a better route to go, rather than these one shot deals


    Bucky Ramone
    "Coma Girl" wrote:
    Yikes, NASA just can’t win with these rovers…

    2nd Mars Rover Having Problems :shock:

    …..that link also seems to have some problems….:

    Here’s the CNN story :roll:

    The area is of interest to scientists because it is believed to contain large deposits of an iron-bearing crystalline mineral called hematite

    Hematite – Formula: Fe2O3

    ……we learned another name for that in chemistry class: Rust :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Nice to know that all those millions of dollars are well spent on examining some old rust :P :twisted:



    Bucky Ramone

    Going up the country….. 8)

    A small Mars discography:

    David Bowie – Life on Mars
    the Ran-Dells – Martian hop
    Ash – Girl from Mars
    Television – Mars

    the Mars Volta
    Mouse on Mars
    M/A/R/R/S :?:

    Wings – Venus and Mars

    …more suggestions?


    Bucky Ramone

    …another song:

    the Monochrome Set – Martians go home! :aliensmile:



    Back in 1955 jazz trumpeter Shorty Rogers had a couple of albums called Martians Stay Home and Martians Come Back:(Shorty also played on some Looney Tunes cartoons too 8) )

    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDCASS70401311021312704&sql=Ai09ks36ya39g”>http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=am … 9ks36ya39g

    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDCASS70401311021312704&sql=Arp5uaknkgm3l”>http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=am … 5uaknkgm3l



    Royal Trux-Sewers Of Mars
    Guitar Wolf-Drive To Mars
    John Coltrane-Mars


    Bucky Ramone


    from: hubblesite.org 8) 8) 8)


    Bucky Ramone


    You can find every picture coming from Mars here 8) 8) 8)


    Bucky Ramone

    Drama in space: Black hole rips star apart! (from space.com) :roll:



    Sounds like a perfect time to be looking up, hopefully I’m not too foggy later to check it out… :wink:

    StarDate Online :aliensmile:

    February 2004
    Venus blazes brilliant white in the west-southwest during and after dusk. Mars glows much dimmer orange far to Venus’ upper left. Watch the gap between them diminish during February. Saturn, meanwhile, shines high in the east, in Gemini, left of Orion. Look well below Saturn for Procyon. A similar distance to Procyon’s right or lower right is brilliant Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

    1 The Moon is surrounded by stars and planets this evening. Face southeast around 7 to 8 p.m. and look high overhead. Saturn is to the Moon’s lower left. Capella is to its upper left, near the zenith. Aldebaran and the Pleiades are to the Moon’s right. The constellation Orion is to its lower right.

    2 The "star" near the Moon tonight is Saturn.

    3 Pollux and Castor are just left of the Moon this evening, almost hidden in its glare. Saturn is farther to the Moon’s right or upper right. 6 Full Moon tonight. The full Moon of February is called the Snow Moon. Once the Moon is high up in the east this evening, look below it, by about two fist-widths at arm’s length, for bright Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.

    7 Jupiter shines below the Moon in mid- to late evening.

    8 Jupiter shines to the Moon’s upper right in mid- to late evening.

    14 If you’re up before first light, look south-southeast for the waning Moon with orange Antares just to its lower left.

    16 The Moon is at perigee.

    21 The Islamic year 1425 begins at sunset.

    22 The thin waxing crescent Moon shines beneath bright Venus in the west during dusk.

    23 Look west during evening twilight for bright Venus and the crescent Moon beautifully paired side by side.

    24 During and after dusk, the Moon stands about midway between bright Venus below it and fainter Mars above it.

    25 Mars appears very close to the thick crescent Moon this evening. Take a look with binoculars! Bright Venus is far below them.

    28 The Moon is at apogee.

    29 Look for Saturn below the Moon during twilight. Saturn swings to the Moon’s left in late evening, then stays there until they set after 2 a.m.


    Bucky Ramone

    Took a couple of pictures of the moon (or what’s left of it) and Venus yesterday at dusk, it looked great, hope that the pictures will turn out well…. :roll: 8)


    Bucky Ramone

    More drama in space: Star eats star! 8) (from space.com, sorry for the eventual pop-ups :roll: )



    Hope The Rosetta gets launched soon, sounds like a wicked plan :aliensmile:

    Europeans Delay ‘Comet Chaser’ Launch


    Associated Press

    DARMSTADT, Germany – A chunk of foam that fell off a rocket forced the European Space Agency to delay the launch of a comet lander Friday for the second straight day.

    The Rosetta probe – meant to be the first spacecraft to land on a comet – had been scheduled to blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane-5 rocket 24 hours after high winds in the upper atmosphere delayed a first attempt.

    But scientists called off the start of the 10-year journey after discovering the 4-by-6-inch piece of insulation during a routine inspection of the launch pad.

    Fearing that ice could form over the hole left in the insulation and strike part of the rocket if it broke off after launch, scientists decided to repair the damage and aim instead for a launch on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    "Of course we are all disappointed not to see the launch today, but that is life in this business," Gaele Winters, the European Space Agency’s director of operational and technical support, said at mission control in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt.

    "The spacecraft Rosetta is in good shape and was not affected by these events," he said. The agency says it has a window until March 17 to launch Rosetta toward an ice-caked comet called 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko.

    A large chunk of foam insulation brought down the U.S. space shuttle Columbia last year, killing seven astronauts. The foam snapped off the external fuel tank during liftoff and knocked a hole in the wing.

    Mission officials said Rosetta’s insulation likely cracked off the main rocket due to freezing and warming as the super-cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen was added for launch, then removed after the first postponement.

    The space agency originally hoped to begin its mission in January 2003, but its plans were delayed after another rocket in the Ariane-5 family veered off course the previous month and had to be destroyed. The rocket now launching the three-ton Rosetta is a more time-tested version of the one that malfunctioned, and scientists described Friday’s problem as minor.

    In May 2014, Rosetta is scheduled to rendezvous with 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko and go into orbit. Six months later, the probe will send a box-shaped probe onto the surface as the comet speeds through the solar system at 83,600 mph.

    Comets formed at the same time as the solar system – 4.6 billion years ago – and are believed to hold deep-frozen matter left over from the birth of the sun and planets.

    Since comets pelted Earth in the time after the solar system formed, scientists theorize they may have brought some of the building blocks for life, like water and organic materials onto our planet.

    If the $1.25 billion European mission succeeds, it will be the first time scientists have a chance for an up-close exploration of a comet. Previously, spacecraft have only made brief fly-bys of comets to take pictures.

    The mission is named for the Rosetta Stone tablet that helped historians decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.



    Something else this week, Look up & east :aliensmile:

    Sounding out Europa

    By Ivan Semeniuk, February 27, 2004

    If you like your planets super-sized then this is a great week. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, reaches opposition on March 4th. That means it’s at it’s nearest and brightest for the whole year, and it looks like it too.
    To find Jupiter these days all you have to do is look due east this week about 9:00 pm. By then Jupiter is well above the horizon, and far too bright to mistake for a star. And if you want to be sure you’re looking at the right object keep your eyes open on March 6 when you can see a full moon and Jupiter rising together in the east.

    These days Jupiter is more than a bright light in the sky. It’s become an important future destination for scientists searching for life on other worlds–a destination that could ultimately be more important to us even than Mars.

    Right now on Mars, robotic rovers are busy looking for signs that the red planet was once a watery place capable of supporting life. But if we look towards Jupiter we find a world where those conditions may exist today.

    Europa is just one of more than sixty moons orbiting around Jupiter, but it’s by far the most interesting. Twenty-five years ago this week NASA’s Voyager 1 probe took the first close-up of Europa. The picture reveals an unexpectedly smooth and icy surface. Europa turned out to be a frozen ball with countless cracks but no mountains or major craters.

    Since then there’s been growing evidence that Europa is so flat because its surface is just an ice shell covering a global ocean. In other words, there could be a lot of water down there! And if Europa has an internal heat source, like the deep sea vents we find on Earth, there could even be life.

    From 1996 to 1999 NASA’s Galileo spacecraft made 11 close passes of Europa. Data from these encounters confirm that Europa once had liquid water near its surface… and that it must AT LEAST have a slushy layer in its interior now. But if you’re looking for life there’s a big difference between a layer of slush and an ocean of water. So the next step is to find out if Europa’s ocean is still there today.

    That task will likely fall to the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). It’s an ambitious mission to Europa and it’s sister moons, Ganymede and Callisto, that could be on its way as early as 2012. By orbiting around Europa JIMO can measure how much the moon flexes or bulges under the influence of Jupiter ‘s gravity. The bulges are just like the tides that the moon causes here on Earth. And the bigger the bulge the more likely there’s liquid water under the ice.

    Measurements like this will probably prove once and for all that there is an ocean on Europa, but it won’t tell us how far below the surface it is… and whether we could ever reach it to search for life.

    Recently a team of scientists led by Nick Makris at MIT and Robert Pappalardo of the University of Colorado at Boulder suggested a way to find out how thick Europa’s ice really is. Their idea involves using JIMO to drop a small instrument package onto Europa’s frozen surface. The package would include a "geophone" – a device than can pick up sound waves traveling through Europa’s ice.

    And there could be a lot to hear. Scientists have determined that if Europa’s ice crust is floating freely on a liquid ocean, then it must rotate at a slightly different rate than the moon’s rocky interior. The difference in rotation rate, combined with tidal bulging, will cause the ice to fracture again and again.

    On earth, when ice fractures it makes noise – This would be even more true on Europa where the ice is -170*C and hard and brittle as rock.

    On Europa the noise of cracking ice could travel for thousands of kilometers, reflecting and echoing off the boundary between ice and water. By listening to the pattern of those echoes a geophone could determine exactly how thick the ice on Europa really is. If it turns out the ice is less than 10 kilometres thick there’s a good chance we can design another spacecraft to penetrate that ice and begin searching Europa’s ocean for signs of life.

    Today Europa is a frozen, inscrutable world, hidden from us like a pond is hidden under winter ice. Finding out what’s under that ice will take a lot of scientific creativity. The reward could be the biggest discovery in the history of space– the discovery of another place in our solar system where life has carved out a foothold.

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