Monday, May 26, 2008

Phoenix has landed!

Yesterday was a great day for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. After being plagued by a string of expensive and spactacular failures, the appropiately named Phoenix finally vindicated the rocket scientists at JPL. Phoenix landed on Mars at approximately 06:54 CDT close to the Martian North Pole. The goal of Phoenix will be to look for water and signs of organics in the soil which might indicate life.

Here is one of the first pictures returned:

They say that the surface resembles a "tundra like" terrain, without the plants of course. Looks like the footpads have a good area to rest on and the lander is stable.

Here is a look out to the landscape:

Its a horizon begging to be explored, but the Phoenix is fixed and has no wheels. She will dig around the lander, but we will have to wait till future fiscal years to explore that horizon.

Last night was pretty harry for me. I thought I had a power spike that knocked out my modem. We had some pretty hairy lightning storms last night. Now this was in the middle of the coverage for the Phoenix lander. Since I don't have cable, I have to watch it on the net. so I was talking on the phone with a friend when I heard a loud beep and both the phone and the internet went out. The picture on the net freezed at the Mission Control at JPL, after the landing. I was waiting for pictures to come in and I didn't want to miss them. However, after that, I started a power spike protection protocol and started unhooking everything. I have two UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) units for battery backup and protection for power outages and surges. But the Modem is a different story. After the storm when I hooked everything back up, the internet wouldn't come back up. After trying for a while I figured the modem was knocked out. So I figured I would call AT&T the next day and get a new modem, if I needed one. I would just try to diagnose the problem a little later when I didn't have to go to work.

Well, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!) I got back this morning and booted up the system and checked the cables again. Now I have been trying to get my router to work and those cables were lying around. Simply said, I hooked up a dead router to the computer and that's why I couldn't get on the net. Now I have it hooked back up and everything is great which is why I am writing to you now.

Dear reader, I feel OK now. If one has seen Office Space, there is a scene in that movie where the guy tells his hypnotherapist that every day he experiences is worse than the day before. And each day following is worse and is getting worse. His hypnothearpist tells him, "that's messed up dude," and preceedes to die of a heart attack right in front of him. I feel like that. Some days are diamonds and some days are rain.

Today is a diamond day, with partly cloudy skies.

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.