Landing On Mars

A little over half an hour away. Watch live.

[Update after the successful landing]

I’m seeing a lot of the usual nonsense about how if NASA can land a robot on Mars why don’t we believe them about climate? That’s like saying, if someone on a baseball team is a really good pitcher, why don’t we pay any attention to the outfielder’s opinions about politics?

Also, this.

10 thoughts on “Landing On Mars”

  1. It’s too bad they don’t really show anything other than people sitting in chairs watching screens. They should drop a camera, or at least transmit from one pointed downward!

  2. I remember around a decade ago how JPL and NASA were floating the notions of how impossibly difficult it is to land on Mars. In particular for the much larger sized payloads needed for any manned mission.

    They focused on the difficulty of the final transition between the parachute phase and the rocket landing. They claimed that larger payloads would require the rockets to retro fire while at supersonic speed, and presented this as some black magic terribly difficult barrier to future Mars missions.

    And since then SpaceX does supersonic retro firing all the time during recovery of Falcon 9 1st stages. Guess it wasn’t such a barrier after all.

    1. Yet, I just saw a National Geographic Channel’s “Race to Mars”, which listed supersonic retropropulsion as a major yet-to-be-solved tech challenge, while in the same video showing pictures of a landing F9.

      I guess even minimalist research isn’t their strong suit.

        1. Wow, the comments there are monumentally stupid, even for YouTube.

          I guess 18-wheelers must be fake, because they don’t speed up as fast as a two-stroke motorcycle!

  3. I am glad they took the opportunity of the latest conjunction to send a solitary probe. When it comes to Space, there is nothing quite like the minimalist approach…. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t insist on sending it via SLS.

    There seems to be quite a bit of confusion among the lay folk about whether this is a rover or not. It’s great to see the enthusiasm, in about two months people will be saying Mars InSight? What’s that? Are you implying there are Martian psychics?

  4. It’s mostly engineering, i.e., applied science, but there are always theoretical advances being made as well. However, I’ll allow it is mostly well trod ground that has been confirmed countless times over with unambiguous, controlled experimentation and application. I.e., not the same as Climate Science, and not the same people doing it, either.

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