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The Cosmic Ghoul Missed One

Congrats to JPL on the successful (so far) landing of the Phoenix. Interestingly (though almost certainly coincidentally), it happens on the forty-seventh anniversary of Kennedy's speech announcing the plan to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

And (for what it's worth--not much, to me, and even more certainly coincidentally) it's the thirty-first anniversary of the initial release of Star Wars in theaters. I didn't see it that day, but I did see it within a couple weeks. I remember being unimpressed ("the Kessel run in twelve parsecs"...please), though the effects were pretty good. But then, I was a fan of actual science fiction.

[Update late evening]

It's worth noting that (I think) this was the first soft landing on Mars in over twenty years, since Viking. Surely someone will correct me (or nitpick me) if I'm wrong.

[Monday morning update]

OK, not exactly wrong (it has been over twenty years), but it's thirty years. I'm pretty good at math. Arithmetic, not so much.


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redneck wrote:

Data point, the ghoul may not like rebuilt leftovers.

FC wrote:

Nice to see that NASA can still bullseye the occasional womp rat.

Mike wrote:

Your memory is correct, both the earlier PBS program, "Phoenix Mars Mission: Ashes to Ice" (5/22){you should really have found time to watch}, and tonite's FoxNews coverage of the landing confirmed the first soft landing since Viking.

Anonymous wrote:

More like 30 years , Viking landed during 1976

Mark Michael wrote:

Mars Pathfinder - 1997?

I still count a bouncy-bouncy landing as a soft one.

A "hard landing" is better known as the kind of landing that Mars Polar had.

You know, one that leaves a widely scattered debris trail.




Pathfinder didn't go boom.

Rand Simberg wrote:

That was a soft landing for the spacecraft, but not for the bouncy ball.

Pete Zaitcev wrote:

Has anyone noticed yet how much having in-space infrastructure helps mission? In this case it wasn't much, only a couple of imagining satellites, but still.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 25, 2008 5:43 PM.

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