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An alien landscape

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what it looks like on Mars.

That is the vista that will greet the first humans to set foot on that planet. I do not expect to be around to share in that experience but I still tingle with excitement at the prospect.

20 comments to An alien landscape

  • BigFire

    Why that look just like the dirt off Ft. Irwins (the US Army opposing force training ground in the High Desert of California)…

  • bobby

    Here is a photo that liberal-controlled NASA is tryin to supress.

    I can’t tell you how many of us died to bring this into the public light:


  • David,

    You say:

    “I do not expect to be around to share in that experience…”

    Why not? I do.

  • gomtu

    Beautiful images, David.

    This horizon shot in particular is quite poetic; more than any other NASA image it made me feel vividly, “I am looking at the landcape of an alien world.”

  • mws

    Why that look just like the dirt off Ft. Irwins (the US Army opposing force training ground in the High Desert of California)…

    Except for the complete and total lack of any vegetation as far as the eye can see of course (which the high desert of CA has).

    Plus, it only looks the same to complete moonbats…in the terms that there are rocks and sand in both pictures. It never fails, someone always thinks pictures of mars are some desolate spot on earth with a red filter on the camera.

  • ed

    What a complete waste of time and money!

    Frankly this mission is nothing less than a publicity stunt to make NASA look better than it is. To make NASA appear successful instead of the incompetent monkeys that they are. Frankly NASA should be excised from the federal flesh of the American government and the ancient Roman law of Decimation applied to it. Take one out of every 10 Nasacrats and force the other nine to beat him to death with staplers and three ring binders.

    What a boondoggle.

    So what exactly is this mission supposed to do that the other ones haven’t already done? What major overwhelming issues is this mission supposed to resolve? Nada. Nothing. Nyet.

    Frankly NASA is a complete waste of money. At one point it was useful but now it’s degenerated into a morass of useless scientific flailing. I suppose the next great test of our time is to throw a nerd, a monkey and PS2 into orbit to see who wins two falls out of three. Seriously. What does this mission accomplish?

    So we get more pictures of Mars. *Yawn*. So we get a lander that runs around. *Yawn*. So we get telemetry. **Yawn**. So bloody what?

    It’s like the ISS. A $100 billion dollar waste of time. The only thing that the ISS has been useful for is the Russian space tourism industry. Does anyone else find it appalling that the ISS is little more than an expensive and uncomfortable travel destination? That the Russians are the only ones making any money or getting anything of value from it? That even then all they are getting is a mere pittance? How much have they made so far? $40 million? Compared to $100 billion dollar cost for the damn thing isn’t that ridiculous?

    Now don’t misunderstand me. I love space and I love science. But neither of those two elements have anything to do with what is going on at NASA. Frankly the world would be far better off in taking the entire NASA annual budget and farming it out as prizes for private companies to compete for. Anyone want to guess how many private companies would compete for a $10 billion dollar prize for a single stage earth to orbit reuseable vehicle?

    I’m guessing we’d have lunar colonies by now without NASA. God knows when we’ll anything worthwhile with NASA around.

    Shoot’em all, let God dump’em into the privy.

  • ernest young

    quite poetic; more than any other NASA image it made me feel vividly, “I am looking at the landcape of an alien world.”

    With a name like Gomtu, he must be from Mars, so he must know an alien world when he sees one, as for being ‘poetic’, well – just what are these folk smoking?


  • Richard Thomas

    From the website:

    To hold 15 terabytes, it would take a stack of more than 20,000 CDs – without cases – reaching more than 100 feet high! Keep checking back as traffic gets lighter.

    Which, just coincidentaly, just happens to be the expected install requirements for Windows Longhorn.


  • ed: NASA is indeed a dreadful bureaucracy, and is an organisation through which vast sums of money have been wasted doing relatively pointless things. However, compared to what has been spent on the Space Shuttle and the International Space station, the money spent on unmanned planetary exploration is small and has generated (in my view) immensely interesting results. It may be that these equatorial landers on Mars are duplicating what has been done before (although they are actually much more capable vehicles that will do more than any that have landed previously) but the last lander that NASA sent was a Polar Lander, which would have looked at things largely new and interesting. That one failed, but I give them points for trying.

  • peter

    I’ve got to disagree too. NASA spends waaaaay to much on manned missions – shuttle, space station. The public likes astronauts and feeds from space.

    However, these unmaned missions to Mars, Hubble Telescope, etc… provide a real bang for the buck and are able to really push to boundaries.

  • ed

    Being a rather disagreeable person I enjoy it when people disagree with me. However nobody has offered a specific relevant refuation of my original point. That this Mars mission is a waste of time and money because it’s not doing anything realy useful.

    If there was something useful, that hadn’t been done before, then I’d appreciate a word or two. But from what I’m reading it’s little more than an attempt to garner the favorable press that Sojourner did. Which was wildly successful, more so in the public view than the scientific one.

    Are the manned mission generally worthless? Yes. Frankly we’d be much better off using single use missions for specific scientific experiments that using that least useful boondoggle the space shuttle. At $500 million dollars a mission I can think of many other things to spend that money on.

    So while some projects have value, the Hubble as an example, far too many are utterly worthless. Fact is that we could drop a cargo pod of 99 self-inflating red ballons onto the Mars surface. Have them inflate and, while they float off into the Martian sky, the population of Earth stand up and sing the song “99 Red Balloons”. At this point I figure that we’d actually get *more* scientific data from the balloons, wind patterns perhaps, than this latest loser of a mission.

    For myself I have finally come to a decision long in the making. I’m going to visit a local t-shirt printer and have one made up with the slogan “Kill NASA!”.

    Quite possibly the finest blow for Democracy made in the year so far.

  • BJW

    Jeez Ed, relax, have a beer and a smoke man.

  • ed

    Then I’d stop being disagreeable. 🙂

  • Jacob

    Privatize space !
    But I rather like the pictures from Mars, and the idea that man is capable of exploring the planets. Is it useless ? We will never know until we explore.

  • What this rover is doing is essentially what has been done before, with more precise instruments and with a roamer that can roam further. If I could add “in a dramatically different Martian terrrain”, then I would be happier and , but I don’t mind this present mission. It may find something different from what the earlier missions found, and it may not. NASA’s continuing Mars exploration program of the last ten years or so has amongs other things accurately mapped the surface of the planet from orbit, which is something I consider worth doing. Of the four landers NASA has sent in that time, the Polar Lander was the most interesting in terms of mission, but unfortunately that one failed. That’s a shame, but that could not be controlled.

    But yes, I will confess that I am much more interested in what Cassini orbiter finds at Saturn when it gets there later this year. That it will find lots of new things about the planet and its rings and moons strikes me as close to certain.

  • rjsasko

    The rover is there to look for signs of life where scientific evidence indicates liquid water was present at one time. This mission has far more actual scientific value than the Sojourner mission ever had.

    As for wasting $100,000,000.00 on the ISS, it sure as Hell beats spending $10,000,000,000.00 on welfare! At least we get pretty pictures for the hundred billion. All the ten trillion has gotten us is far worse generational poverty problems and massive social decay. We would be far better off taking our entire welfare budget, giving it to NASA, and watching the Nasacrats waste a shitload of it. What wasn’t completely squandered may not help us much but at least it wouldn’t hurt us like welfare spending has.

  • Dave O'Neill

    To be fair to NASA, these are the first really sensible Rover’s we’ve had on the surface. The Vikings were pretty low spec compared to what we can do now, and Pathfinder was more of a publicity stunt that worked well than anything else.

    This is the real McCoy when it comes to moving a sensible distance, for example, actually being able to extend the horizon beyond the lander and so forth.

    I’d prefer them to land in a polar region but I suspect that’s just far too hard for an automated soft landing, and the airbag system can’t be used in that terrain.

    What I’d like to see first is a proper sample return.

    Anybody care to place wagers on the first manned landing. I’m still guessing 2027 +/- 2 years, but that is starting to look shaky to me.

  • ed

    I can’t disagree with evaluation of welfare. What a mess.

    I’d have to say, on the point about a manned mission to Mars, that it’ll probably never happen. I can’t see what good it’ll do compared to the difficulty and cost. What’s the real point of putting someone feet down on Mars? What could a person do that a robot couldn’t do as well or better? Frankly I’ve yet to hear decent argument for a manned mission to Mars. Mostly it ends up being some sort of prestige thing with massive costs and not much to show for it.

    Also I’d like to point out that the last thing I’d like to see my tax money spent on is yet another tourist destination for the Russian’s to flog.