a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew


Posted by Thomas Nephew on June 19th, 2008

My Mars Phoenix Lander question

…if it’s looking for water a robot-arm-scooper length away from where it lands, how much sense does it make to use retro rockets in the final descent? Seems like the bouncy ball idea would have made even more sense this time than last time with the two rovers.

answered. I’d been imagining the lander sending back telemetry to the effect, “that’s funny, it’s as if everything around me had been scorched, blasted, and desiccated by some kind of retro-…. d’oh!”

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