Opinion? What's that?
Published on July 28, 2008 By kryo In Misc

In the latest fascinating news from our robotic minions on the red planet, Phoenix is in a sticky situation once again. It seems our little neighbor's asparagus-friendly soil is being uncooperative with the lander's attempts to analyze it; Phoenix is trying to shake and bake it, but try as it might it can't seem to get the frozen soil to come loose from the scoop. At least so far, we can be thankful that it hasn't been damaged in its attempts.

It's a bit funny really, that the (by NASA standards) dirt-cheap Spirit and Opportunity rovers have done so much for so long, and are still running... yet this latest lander, built on the experiences we've had with the rovers, can't seem to do much of anything right. At least we know there's water on Mars now, so how about we just get on with putting boots on the ground? I bet an astronaut would be a lot more skilled at digging holes and getting the mud to come off the shovel.

on Jul 29, 2008

I d say its prolly cause the first landers were simpler that made em last and what not.... more complex just means more stuff can go wrong.  Even Failure can lead the science to get better.

on Jul 29, 2008

US engineers never learn to leave well enough alone, you would think we would have learned this lesson from the Russians. Remember NASA spending millions on a pen that would write in zero gravity when the Russians just used a pencil?

The Russian space program has been able to keep up because they only re-engineer things with obvious flaws, sticking with the tried and true instead of unnecessarily introducing new variables to the mission. 

on Jul 29, 2008

I agree... NASA has lost it's way and has forgotten to keep things simple.