Opportunity has landed! Every time I think about the logistics involved, I end up realizing how unbelievably astounding an achievement it is for NASA to have carefully orchestrated the successful landing of two complex, mobile exploration rovers on the surface of a planet that’s anywhere from 55 to 400 million kilometers from Earth. Sure, Spirit is having problems with its flash memory (and who hasn’t?), but NASA engineers seem to have a handle on that; soon, we’ll have two little friends rolling around the Martian soil and experimenting on our behest.

Now, wouldn’t it be damn cool if Opportunity could hunt down Pathfinder and restore it to life, then go and tag-team a definitive repair on Spirit, and lastly find the Beagle 2 and resurrect it? I picture a merry, Wizard-of-Oz-like band of robotic friends marching around actuator-in-actuator, looking for answers to all that ails them…


Just because spaceflight is common doesn’t mean it’s easy. That’s what I always tell folks who ask me about my job. ;)

• Posted by: Geof on Jan 25, 2004, 12:18 PM
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