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Mars Rovers TV special – a “heads up” for our US readers…

You absolutely MUST watch this

Hopefully it won’t be too long before this airs in the UK 🙂

Phoenix still Twittering on…

Well, I went online this morning fully expecting to hear that Phoenix had died during the night. When I went to bed NASA had just released the news that the lander wasn’t communicating with Earth and wasn’t responding to commands, so it seemed like Phoenix was on the hospital bed with her ECG machine screen showing that fateful green Flatline of Death… but overnight she showed signs of life, so all is not lost yet… Hang on in there Phoenix..!

As Phoenix’s mission draws to a close, there’s no doubt that one of the greatest successes of the Phoenix mission has been its Twitter page. Here followers and fans of the mission have been able to read short, chirpy and informal updates on the lander’s mission, and it’s been a huge hit, with almost 40,000 – yes, 40,000!! – Followers! But with Phoenix’s life drawing to an end, and lots of those Followers having very real feelings for the lander, which has come to seem almost alve to them, how have the Twitter entries been handling the very delicate situation?

Answer: brilliantly.

Here are the last three…

In case we don’t get this chance again, thank you all so much for the questions, comments & good wishes over the mission. It’s been awesome.

Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I’ll be keeping an eye from here. Space exploration FTW!

Whew! I’m afraid it will be this way for awhile – shutting down & waking up again. I’m back, for now…

Wow… quite emotional reading, don’t you think? I think the person behind the Twitter page has handled the whole mission brilliantly, and is handling this particularly difficult phase of it especially brilliantly. It is a huge, huge responsibility telling people – especially people as enthusiastic and as involved as space enthusiasts – bad news, but the Twitter page is doing a fantastic job. Always hard dragging out a goodbye, but this is the way to do it.

As for poor “Steve The Cat”, Phoenix’s feline passenger, well, although I personally think that wasn’t the best ever Outreach idea, just because it contradicts so much science, all credit to the team behind it for trying to get kids involved in the mission.

 Steve’s blog has some fantastic Photoshopped pics showing him inside and even on the lander, and some funny animations too, but I am slightly worried that as the mission draws to an end – even tho the blog states that Steve will be returning to Earth soon – many kids are probably very worried about the fate of the cat living inside Phoenix as they hear how the lander is dying of perishing cold. But I’m sure all will be well, so good luck Steve, and a safe return to Earth. 🙂

Oppy on the rocks…

… but in a good way 🙂

Opportunity’s Long March South has taken her away – at least for a while – from those perilous dunes and onto some nice flat bedrock, which should be nice and easy to drive on… Here’s a 3D pic showing the new terrain, so click on it for a full size version…