53 thoughts on “The Mars Rover is about to land!

      1. Me too! And to get even more nerdy, Qa’pla is a “war order” in World of Warcraft, Qapla’ is Klingon for “Success”.

      1. If the man who doesn’t like sci fi and has never seen “Star Trek” (the movies anyway) or “Star Wars” for that matter, wrote Greg’s comment, I’d worry. What happened to Jerry? Body snatchers? The sci fi theme keeps on giving.

    1. Me, too! My father was a navy Commander who worked on a very secret project after WW2 ended. This wonderful little explorer has brought many, many names along with her…one of which is my dad’s. It’s fitting, isn’t it?

    1. Yes! Although I’m sure he’s trying to claim credit. He probably wanted his name engraved in gold on the rover’s side.

  1. The (I assume computer-generated) closed-caption script at the bottom of the screen is interested. I saw “terrorist,” and something in the ballpark of “it is a good death” or something close to that (I should have jotted these down), “president” (apparently for “Perseverance”). Others. I hope to read the transcript. Perhaps Covid masks contributed to this. 😉

    Bravissimo, NASA! (I wonder what “way of knowing” they used to accomplish this feat?)

  2. Tnx for the connection jerry. Amazing feat of human ingenuity, careful, painstaking engineering, and yes, a hint of good luck or at least no bad luck. Now on to the life science mission!

  3. Can’t remember the last time I saw a group this universally and infectiously happy. Certainly hasn’t been during the past year of pandemic.

    Does a body good.

      1. True. But the joy wasn’t universal. There were 74 million of our fellow Americans who somehow let themselves get deluded into backing the election’s loser.

        For them, there was no joy in MAGAville. (AFAIK there is no anti-Mars-rover constituency, though I wouldn’t put it past the crazy conspiracists in the QAnon crowd).

  4. Distracted some of the people at the office. One of them was like, is that video feed of Mars? Well, I said, it doesn’t much matter; the images from Mars after landing could be static or video…not much is happening out there except when we do stuff. But the helicopter will be tested soon…I don’t know exactly if today or tomorrow or what.

    1. It should work. Several of my nasa flight controls engineers and their flight dynamics and atmospheric science colleagues had proposed a mars airplane about 25 years ago. This was before drone technology had really developed and was a winged air craft. If i recall correctly it was designed, developed and flight/drop tested on Earth from a balloon at 100,000ft altitude, matching martian atmospheric parameters. So i would guess that ingenuity has been similarly flight tested…still there are both known and unknown unknowns for the actual in situ test. Best of luck to the team

    2. They’ll have a lot of system testing before they “unleash the beast”. There’s a lot of vibration and a moderate amount of heating in the landing process, and that’s not good for machinery or electronics.Everything else will get tested before they try flying the beast. It is a “technology demonstrator”, not a mission objective.
      As I recall, when they landed Spirit and Opportunity in their airbag truncated tetrahedral cushion, they sat on the unfolded landing capsules for around a month before they rolled off.

  5. Meanwhile back on Earth: Revive & Restore and our partners (US Fish and Wildlife Service, ViaGen Pets and Equine, San Diego Zoo Global, and the Association of Zoo and Aquariums are pleased to announce a major milestone for the genetic rescue of one of North America’s most endangered species. The world’s first successfully cloned Black-footed ferret has been born.

    Born on December 10, 2020, Elizabeth Ann is now the most genetically diverse individual of her species. The goal of this genetic rescue project is to increase genetic diversity for the breeding population and therefore improve the species’ chances for a full recovery in the wild, independent of conservation management.

    Named “Elizabeth Ann,” this kit was cloned from a historic cell line of a female named “Willa” that has been cryopreserved since 1988 at the San Diego Frozen Zoo. A genomic study funded and led by Revive & Restore revealed in 2017 that this cell line holds nearly three times more genetic diversity than today’s living Black-footed ferret population.


      1. Really. And where the blackfooted ferret has gone, other species are sure to follow… My own personal favorite for the next one would be the red panda—no matter how many of them there are in the world, it just ain’t quite enough.

  6. During all this I had a live proctored online exam with a small class. One student had the coverage on her screen, which I recognized. After much praise, I had to tell her to close the tab, unfortunately.

    Now the real work begins.

    1. Sorry gang. It is 1735 and all i see on c-span right now is nancy pelosi and no crawl on the nasa news conference. We can stick the landing on mars but cannot seem to communicate a simple press conference on earth…
      Mea culpa…official jpl schedule has pressconference scheduled NOT before 1730 est..cspan took some liberties!

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