The Phoenix Mars lander touched down yesterday on Mars’ northern polar region, where it will prospect for frozen water and any possible artifacts that the presence of water might have enabled.
Despite the seemingly relentless tide of foolish anti-science sentiment our culture has made its hallmark since 1980, despite sham budgets and ignorant indifference from visionless leaders, and despite occasional setbacks that get far more tabloid-level press coverage than their victories….
Amazing people at NASA, JPL, and the University of Arizona continue to accomplish heroic levels of engineering, coordination, and sheer cleverness. They ably carry on the work of the old big-ticket manned programs, solving problems that nobody has ever run up against (or could have foreseen), and push back the limits of what we know—all on a far grander scale than the public’s attention would suggest.
And for more apt commentary about the ever-present noise competing for your attention, I direct the reader to this gentleman, who is very good at shining a light on the cockroaches.
Also, my thanks to Randall Munroe, whose brilliant online comic XKCD inspired part of the inscription for my latest gadget acquisition: