If you're even an occasional visitor to Blogistan over the past few days there's no way you could have avoided the abundance of celebratory links about the successful landing of the Mars probe "Spirit" (although I prefer the more dignified official name, "Mars Exploration Rover-A"). Here at WorldChanging, we're certainly ready to do our part to welcome our glorious new Martian overlords. Here are some interesting Mars-related links you may not already have encountered:
Maps! -- Want to know more about the neighborhood for good old MER-A (and, in three weeks, MER-B)? Try the MER 2003 Prime Landing Sites page at NASA, which includes massive topographic maps of Gusev Crater (where Spirit now sits) and Terra Meridiani (soon to be home to the second lander, "Opportunity"). Also included are the maps of the now-rejected candidate sites. Perfect for covering your walls!
Pictures! -- But not just the current photos. The NASA Photojournal site includes thousands of photos of Mars and every other planet in the solar system (including Pluto, although Pluto may not really be a planet, but a big KBO). Among the pictures from MER-A are the three "descent imager" photos taken by the lander on the way down.
Video! -- This is very cool. "Six Minutes of Terror" is a set of interviews cut with high-end computer graphics of the MER during its "Entry, Descent, and Landing" (EDL) phase. This is a Quicktime movie, and totally rocks. I'm serious.
I admit it. I'm a total Areophile (a fancy word for "Mars geek"). I have Mars maps and globes throughout my office, and even worked on a produced-but-never-actually-shown TV show set on Mars. In my view, learning as much as we can about Mars -- and, eventually, going there -- definitely counts as world-changing.
Thanks for the sentiment, but I already have a nice guitar and don't need another.
I really like how they sort of aped the fight club throbbing techno in the background while Adam Staltzner plays Edward Norton's conspiratorial-guy-in-a-bar speech, Wayne Lee [Tyler Durden] popping in with unreasonably angry descriptions, staring straight at the camera. I never realized how much Fight Club was just a really awesome science documentary.