Monday, May 26, 2008

Robot on Mars

Last August the USA launched a Delta 7952 launch vehicle with a robot inside.

The robot is called the Phoenix Mars Lander. Getting to Mars is not much of a problem...Landing on Mars and being capable of functioning afterward is quite the accomplishment.

I love this stuff. It's proof to me that America did not always dislike Science and that a good portion of it still reveres the rigorous search for knowlege in the quest for enlightnment. Based on our history of failed Mars landings, it may seem like a "miracle" that Phoenix survived, but miracles were not involved...It was science and engineering.

The Phoenix left the ground in the USA all folded up inside a nose cone.

Within a few minutes, It was accelerated to over 17,000 miles per hour, the velocity needed to escape the Earth's gravity (only a "theory"). The problem with going 17,000 miles per hour is that the little robot is aimed at a rock and had to slow down from 17,000 miles per hour to zero miles per hour in about five minutes, and then call home and tell everybody not to worry, pictures on the way soon.

Way to go, little Robot!

Way to go, Scientists and Engineers, and their teachers back in 5th grade who showed them how to make a battery out of a potato( not a "potatoe")!

Way to go, Science!

A miracle could never have accomplished as much.



There are lots of places to see the pictures our little robot, Phoenix, will send back. It has already sent a bunch of them. This link will take you to the Wikipedia page on the Phoenix which has the history and lots of other pictures, as well as the ones coming in now.


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