Sunday, May 25, 2008


Is anyone else going to be up late watching to see if Phoenix lands successfully on Mars in about eight and a half hours from now? I am not quite sure why but I feel a bit embarrassed to admit that I am looking forward to watching it. Does this make me a geek?

And if so... so what!!?

The first time I did anything like this was the moon landing early one Monday (?) morning in the summer of 1969 (and yes, I am firmly convinced it happened!)

The Phoenix landing will be 'live' on NASA TV (incredibly it doesn't work on need IE). I say 'live' because the actual landing will happen some 15 minutes before we receive the signals from the surface of Mars; that's how far away it is (wow...that still presses those geek buttons of mine!)

Edit: This is a good link to an animation of the landing sequence.


Jay said...

Well, if you're a geek, so is my Other Half - he's watching it right now!

Thanks for the heads-up. He didn't know it was happening and he's always been a sucker for the space exploration stuff. :)

Yellow Swordfish said...

yes thanks. I somehow missed this was happening. I guess news on TV doesn't bother with this stuff much any more.

Neutron said...

My pleasure. Always happy to help a fellow geek. I feel we are a dying breed!

Doris said...

Does it make you a geek to stay up to watch something so magnificent or me a geek for going off and finding which day of the week it was?!

Is it the moon landing you remember or the getting out the space capsule some six hours later? Ahhhh .....

I was in Australia and we were given a half day off school to go home and watch the excitement on our little black and white TVs. I still remember that exciting run home to watch it unfurl. And, for what it is worth, I don't know if I watched touchdown or the first steps. Or maybe both?

Exciting times.

BTW 20 July 1969 was a Sunday and the 21st a Monday. The BBC in GMT times puts the landing at 10.17pm on 20 July and the first opening of hatches at 2.56am GMT on 21st July.

So, is it a Sunday or a Monday if you use GMT or US times? It was definitely Monday in Australia.

And no.... sorry to let the side down but I didn't stay up for this one as there had been lots of Mars attempts and landings before.

Neutron said...

The roads to geekdom are manifold.

I was there (in front of tele or radio) for the take off, the trans-lunar injection, lunar orbit insertion, LEM separation...the lot!

Doris said...

"I was there (in front of tele or radio) for the take off, the trans-lunar injection, lunar orbit insertion, LEM separation...the lot!"

Ahhh you are truly a geek god and I bow to your greatness :-)

No, I didn't say Greek god!

Anji said...

That expains why you've got so many posts all of a sudden