Say what you like about NASA --
and there's plenty to say! -- they still have some of the best engineers on any planet we know about.
NASA has managed to nudge veteran spacecraft Odyssey, which has been orbiting Mars since October 2001 – into a better position to pick up communications from rover Curiosity as it lands on Mars on 5 August. NASA's Mars orbiter Odyssey Mars orbiter Odyssey . Credit: NASA/JPL The space agency had been a tad concerned that it …
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The top of the cylinder unscrewed slowly and a creature, the size of a bear but beset with tentacles emerged. A quivering, unearthly hiss emanated from it's leathery lips "Phear us, Earthmen, for we have returned and this time we have Penicillin; mwahahahaha!"
I turned and ran, as fast as I could, at first not knowing where I was going, just allowing myself to be swept along by the stampeding mass of humanity. The,n my senses returning, I fought my way sideways through the press of fleeing man, my destination clear; the hospital at Maidstone where I knew I would find a weapon capable of eliminating the alien horror that had descended.
Too often the human race is all too simian: brutish, cruel, thinking only of stuffing ourselves and fighting for territory or a higher rung on the ladder, superstitious, eager to be stupid, and I think: let us die out. And then we reach delicately across vast empty spaces to turn and drop our frail little constructed bits of metal onto a place that, to our eyes, is a small dot in the night sky, and I think how wonderful, how marvellous our brains are, how glorious is rationality and curiosity. Much can be forgiven such a species.
"Herman Hollerith (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an American statistician who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards to rapidly tabulate statistics from millions of pieces of data. He was the founder of one of the companies that later merged and became IBM."
Well you asked.
Reads this as 'we're damn lucky we still have this old brick flying around, and we're damn lucky we got it back in order. Otherwise we would really be in the dark...'
Forgot the sequence in events - was ussing odyssey as a relay always part of the plan? Wasn't there some course change applied to the lander so that it would land inside the crater / closer to the crater?
Ah well, still thumbs up to Nasa for pulling this off.
7 minutes of terror, relay satellite almost broken, what else can go wrong now ;-)
It did an unusually short burn for orbit correction (1.5 secs) and one of the reaction wheels wasn't happy with trying to maintain attitude, so Odyssey entered safe mode as precaution. This correction was 6 secs and it was able to maintain attitude successfully, so I presume it is OK now.
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