Sunday May 25 is Gonna Be Big

It’s in the middle of Memorial Weekend of course, but it’ll also feature:

  • Monaco Grand Prix
  • Indianapolis 500
  • Mars Phoenix Lander landing

Kind of exciting honestly, for all sorts of reasons. I’m sure there’s a few other things too.

— Alan

I’m not much of a basketball fan, so I couldn’t care less about those first two sports things you listed there. But the Phoenix will be awesome considering the Michael Bay treatment they’re giving it in the video halfway down this page.


The Monaco GP is usually a snoozefest that they only keep around for historical and glamour reasons. But they’re calling for rain and there’s no traction control this year…

That was completely absorbing. I loaded it up to see what you were talking about and sat grinning for five minutes. I totally wanna track what happens on Sunday, now.

Also, from a related story:

The craft shut itself down once during its journey when a cosmic ray struck its computer memory, which was the way it was designed to behave in such an event,

This thing is gonna bring back a superhero.

That Mars video was awesome.

Laugh if you will, but with increased transistor densities cosmic rays are expected to become a bigger and bigger problem for computers here on Earth.

That video had me ready to march down to the local recruitment center immediately… then they started interviewing scientists a minute in and they lost me… Morgan Freeman would have made all the difference in the narration.

Is there going to be a live feed of the data stream we can view (to see if it survives touchdown)? I’d love to see the machine code come through on my own computer the same time NASA sees it. Be kinda like sitting in the control room yourself.

Also - is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter going to be able to image the descent or landing site real time? It’d be pretty awesome if they had that perfectly coordinated. Granted it’d fly by so fast it’d only get a few shots - but even a couple shots would be fasinating.

NASA TV coverage, which you can stream from your computer, is mostly in real-time, and starts at 5PM I think (Central). CNN is going to broadcast live starting about an hour later. Not sure who else is doing what.

I don’t think they’ll be offering the streams directly to people though, usually that just gets filtered through their systems like when the pair of Mars rovers landed. The information was up pretty quickly either way, though everyone on the net was hitting on their servers at that point.

— Alan

This NASA TV stuff is actually pretty great. The interviews with delighted staff members was quite entertaining - these folks seem genuinely thrilled that the lander made it down in one piece. Also interesting just hearing the chatter as they call off from the different stations.

Considering the two factors you listed, the driving (let alone the racing) was much less spectacular than you’d expected. Nothing on the order of, say, the opening laps of the '97 Monaco GP. Lots of crunching bodywork, though. Too bad BMW wasn’t able to pull off its first win, and huge disappointment for Force India. Stupid Kimi.

Anytime there’s a space mission going on, I’ve usually got the NASA TV feed running in the background on one of my PCs. God I love space shit. I can only hope I live long enough to see hotels in orbit, people living on Mars, and beyond. There’s so much amazing stuff out there, and that’s just what we can see from the little speck of dirt and rock that we live on. They need to hurry up with the immortality research already so I can spend a few million years cruising around and checking a lot of this stuff out!

Haha, this video is awesome. Michael Bay treatment indeed.

First images are supposed to start coming back around 9:30EDT at the earliest. Also, 3 satellites in Mars orbit were supposed to be close enough to take pictures of Phoenix as it entered the atmosphere, and it was carefully coordinated so it would turn out that way. Hopefully we’ll get some awesome reentry pics :)

First image just came in of the deployed solar array. Looking good.

And now first landscape image.

— Alan

It’s time like this that I really feel lucky to be alive in this day and age. Which is nice, since there are a lot of good reasons to NOT want to be alive nowadays :P

But really, it’s amazing watching history being made in real time like this. It’s amazing to think that I’m sitting here in my bedroom watching images coming in from ANOTHER FUCKING PLANET. :O

I can only imagine what my grandchildren will get to see. Hell, people will probably have their own personal remote control Mars rovers by then :P

Epic fucking win!

Epic win to Enduro Man, but looking to see if his C64 screenshot looked much different than the Atari version I played, I found this:

Real first images:

Interesting stuff! The sedimentary patterns are intriguing.

Fuzzy but cool picture of the MRO capturing a picture of the lander as it was hanging from the parachute.