Monday, May 26, 2008

Meanwhile, 171 Million Miles Away...

As a politics junkie, I have to make it a point to step back every so often and remember the important and/or interesting things that are happening elsewhere.

NASA just successfully landed a new probe on Mars called Phoenix. You can read about the mission here, but I've copied a few key paragraphs below.

I'm a big fan of the space program, but even for those of you that are not, I think things like this remind us of the extraordinary things we can accomplish given the right focus and resources.

...Phoenix is designed to look for organic material and other signs that life has existed on Mars, or could exist on the planet. Unlike the two rovers that have been exploring the Martian surface for nearly five years, Phoenix is built to stay in one place and use its robotic arm to dig into the soil and ice. The vehicle is equipped with several miniature chemistry labs to analyze the material it digs up.

The lander touched down further north on Mars than any previous lander. NASA scientists think the frozen water on or near the surface may tell them whether the minerals and organic compounds needed for life as we know it exist, or have ever existed, on the planet.


Unknown said...

I just wanted to put in an unsolicited plug for a NASA project that is near and dear to my own heart and will be up and running soon, the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, an orbiting observatory that will detect high-energy gamma-rays from our own Galaxy and from thousands of distant galaxies. It's scheduled for launch on June 3, and hopefully, we will be seeing new scientific results within just a few weeks. Exciting!

Jared said...

Please consider further updates fully "solicited" :)