A Morning of Phoenix

A Morning of Phoenix

(disclosure: I left my cellular internet dongle in my room, so I’m twittering sessions live and posting blog entries on a semi random basis when I can go out and find internet) I’m leaning against the back wall of a packed ballroom filled with the brim with silent and attentive geophysicists who are absorbing all they can about the Mars Phoenix Lander. This fairly large (5,5m or 18 ft long) and heavy (350kg or 770lb) spacecraft parachuted to the surface of Mars on May 25, 2008 and poked, prodded and dug into the surface until it froze to death on November 10. While this seems like a short period, the original plan was to wind up operations in August, so the craft had been living on borrowed time. While it is unexpected that the craft will be able to...

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I’m not messing with Texas, Just with LPSC

Currently I’m on my way to Houston Texas to attend the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference courtesy of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Jet Propulsion  Lab. This is my third LPSC and I have to say I’m really excited. This is one of my favorite conferences for 3 reasons: I always learn something new, the people are exceedingly friendly, and planetary science just rocks (pun badly intended). Seriously though, I am a geology neophyte and LPSC provides me a once a year chance to just learn learn learn. This year’s conference looks especially good as it offers entire sessions dedicated to the Mars Phoenix Lander, the current class of Moon explorers, and even info from Venus Express. One thing LPSC seriously does right is they offer...

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