Wondering about wild grapes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wondering about the Mars Rovers.

Do you all remember those two little rovers that landed on Mars and thrilled the people of this world with their wanderings around our sister planet and the awesome pictures that they sent back? Well, Opportunity is still running around up there. In fact, on June 1st of this year, it has traveled 50 times the distance originally planned for the mission. This rover, Opportunity, and its twin, Spirit, completed their three-month prime missions on Mars in April 2004. We have lost contact with Spirit but Opportunity just keeps on ticking, like the Energizer Bunny.

Here is a picture that the rover took on May 12, 2011 of a small impact creator. By the way, it was taken on the 2594th Martian day of the rovers work on Mars.

How soon we seem to forget the great feats of modern science. They seem to become ho-hum everyday projects. To me, a little rover running around on a planet with a very harsh environment for over seven years and still being able to take such great pictures and still beings able to communicate with us on Earth, is amazing and a wonderful technological feat. I don’t think any of the vehicles that I have ever owned would be able to stand up to such a harsh environment and still function as designed. We, the United States, have been the leader in space technology, but that may soon be coming to an end.

You all have a great day and keep chugging on like that little Mars rover.


  1. They must have been built by Timex,, 'Takes s licking and keeps on ticking"!! :-)

  2. Good little buggies. Great science. People forget how hard the science and engineering for a Mars mission really is. Too bad it feels like the end of an era. We seem to be slowly getting out of the space business.

  3. Space Exploration always fascinated me. It amazed me that in a short 10 years, we went from nothing, to man on the moon. While tragic, the fact that the Apollo 1 fire was the only loss of life is amazing in such an endeavor.

    But, I'm not sure about leading technology. The space shuttle was a financial and safety nightmare. True fact, it costs more to turn around a shuttle flight, that it does to launch the same payload using more traditional rockets. I welcome the end of the shuttle program, and I'm excited to see what comes next (something will). It's a shame that it's the Europeans that are really pushing the envelope with a single craft space plane http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft),and the Japanese promise to build a space elevator (http://jsea.jp/, translate with google). The US just doesn't seem to care.

  4. Ben, I was thinking that, but used the bunny example instead. Thanks for stopping by.

    Sixbears, We were not the first to launch a satellite, but caught up and quickly surpassed all other nations. Afraid we will now have to take a back seat.

    Grant, It is too bad, like I answered sixbears, we are going to take a back seat. We, as a nation, are broke and have to increase our industrial output to try to catch up. BTW, the space elevator theory would work if nano-technology would figure out how to make the tether. It would have to be light weight but very strong. Read about that a year or so ago.

  5. That photo strangely reminded me of some of the territory around Monahans and Kermit. Am I the only one that noticed this?

  6. Michael, I don't know. I have been up 84 and on I-10, but have never been in between. So I don't know what Kermit looks like. If it has big holes in the ground like the picture, you better get a hard hat.

  7. My grandkids have more energy than the Mars Rover & the Energizer Bunny combined! I wish I had half as much :-)

  8. RonJoe, my only grandson is in his early 20's and I don't get to see much of him. When he was small, he sure did have the energy you are talking about.