Friday, March 10, 2006

Life on Mars?

From the news coverage you would think it's a godawful small affair, or not even an affair at all. We have fifteen news channels and not a single one is showing anything about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the most technologically advanced spacecraft ever sent to our neighbouring planet. It's designed to study the history of water on Mars.

I guess I watched too much Star Trek when I was young and impressionable, but this news gives me a thrill. It represents a tremendous achievement for the engineers and scientists involved, and an important moment for humankind. But if I didn't have Web access I'd have no idea that NASA was just able to reestablish contact with the orbiter after it had gone out of range. I can only imagine the party that's going on in California right now: sure as hell can't see any of it. Stupid "news" networks.

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