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Martyo does the Curiousity Mars Landing at Tidbinbilla

By johnboy 6 August 2012 27

the big dish

Today NASA accomplished the most complicated thing humanity has done since the moon landings by putting a 1 tonne laser wielding nuclear tank onto the surface of Mars via a hypersonic parachute and a rocket powered sky crane.

The boys and girls out at Tidbinbilla were in the hot seat for the landing and the immensely talented MartyO was in attendance to record it.

packed crowd

three ways

it's been raining lately

happy ambo


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Martyo does the Curiousity Mars Landing at Tidbinbilla
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LSWCHP 9:44 pm 07 Aug 12

poetix said :

farnarkler said :

How mucha did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals. While those at NASA and Tidbinbilla are breaking out the champagne, the uninsured residents of Detroit do without a public hospital. Disgusting.

I disagree. What price do you put on wonder?

Wars cost far more. Cut back on them.

You got that right.

LSWCHP 9:40 pm 07 Aug 12

Sandman said :

How do they get 40mbps on Mars, yet I’m less than a km from Transact offices and can only manage 15?

Don’t expect much sympathy from the poor schmucks of Giralang, who get 1.5 mbps if we’re lucky.

Sandman 9:29 pm 07 Aug 12

How do they get 40mbps on Mars, yet I’m less than a km from Transact offices and can only manage 15?

poetix 8:42 pm 07 Aug 12

And if I can be forgiven one more comment (anyone would think I’m a geek) here’s a link to Ray Bradbury reading his poem about space exploration, just before a launch to orbit Mars back in 1971.The poem starts after 2 minutes or so (ok, I don’t work for NASA):

http://boingboing.net/2012/06/06/ray-bradbury-at-nasa-jpl-1971.html

poetix 8:27 pm 07 Aug 12

Swaggie said :

So MartyO was one of the innumberable dickheads walking around yesterday with a Video Camera or Hi End DSLR (usually with huge phallic symbol lens attached) yesterday? I lost count of how many Media wannabees I saw and the constant on/off on/off floodlighting fom tungsten and LED arrays was a pain in the ass. The news crews I can understand but all the other media wannabees with their constant walking around and jockeying for position looked faintly ridiculous and took the edge of what was very enjoyable afternoon.- Full credit to Glen Nagle and his team for a job well done.

I am glad that Martyo was there to bring us some interesting images. I particularly like the one of the puddle with the reflection of the big dish which is bringing in images of another planet. Thanks M!

thatsnotme 7:23 pm 07 Aug 12

Also, beautiful work MartyO. That shot of the dish in the puddle of water is just superb – I’m impressed that you managed to find any water that wasn’t rippled by the wind yesterday, however small!

thatsnotme 7:20 pm 07 Aug 12

Swaggie said :

So MartyO was one of the innumberable dickheads walking around yesterday with a Video Camera or Hi End DSLR (usually with huge phallic symbol lens attached) yesterday? I lost count of how many Media wannabees I saw and the constant on/off on/off floodlighting fom tungsten and LED arrays was a pain in the ass. The news crews I can understand but all the other media wannabees with their constant walking around and jockeying for position looked faintly ridiculous and took the edge of what was very enjoyable afternoon.- Full credit to Glen Nagle and his team for a job well done.

Did you even bother to look at the photos above before you posted this drivel? If you’d bothered to look up any of MartyO’s previous photographic posts here, you’d have seen that far from being a ‘media wannabe’, his work concentrates on the art of photography.

As for your ridiculous ‘phallic symbol lens’ comment, you obviously have absolutely zero idea about how photography actually works. Believe me, if optics allowed that a compact lens could produce the same quality of photo as the phallic lenses that so offend you, I’d be thrilled. They’d certainly be a hell of a lot lighter and less cumbersome to lug around.

Dare I say that tarring everyone who dares to take photographs with the ‘media wannabe’ brush does nothing but add you to the rank of those dickheads.

martyo 6:50 pm 07 Aug 12

Swaggie said :

So MartyO was one of the innumberable dickheads walking around yesterday with a Video Camera or Hi End DSLR (usually with huge phallic symbol lens attached) yesterday? I lost count of how many Media wannabees I saw and the constant on/off on/off floodlighting fom tungsten and LED arrays was a pain in the ass. The news crews I can understand but all the other media wannabees with their constant walking around and jockeying for position looked faintly ridiculous and took the edge of what was very enjoyable afternoon.- Full credit to Glen Nagle and his team for a job well done.

Hey I was working – I was photographing the event for Glen 🙂 And yes lot’s of media wondering around that’s because they where not aloud to go anywhere – hence the scrambling about.

Gungahlin Al 6:45 pm 07 Aug 12

Swaggie said :

So MartyO was one of the innumberable dickheads walking around yesterday with a Video Camera or Hi End DSLR (usually with huge phallic symbol lens attached) yesterday? I lost count of how many Media wannabees I saw and the constant on/off on/off floodlighting fom tungsten and LED arrays was a pain in the ass. The news crews I can understand but all the other media wannabees with their constant walking around and jockeying for position looked faintly ridiculous and took the edge of what was very enjoyable afternoon.- Full credit to Glen Nagle and his team for a job well done.

Martin was there on CSIRO’s request as their official photographer. Every crew there using floodlighting was media. Remember this was a national interest story. I felt it was a small inconvenience for the incredible goodwill the media attention created towards science and education.

Swaggie 4:46 pm 07 Aug 12

So MartyO was one of the innumberable dickheads walking around yesterday with a Video Camera or Hi End DSLR (usually with huge phallic symbol lens attached) yesterday? I lost count of how many Media wannabees I saw and the constant on/off on/off floodlighting fom tungsten and LED arrays was a pain in the ass. The news crews I can understand but all the other media wannabees with their constant walking around and jockeying for position looked faintly ridiculous and took the edge of what was very enjoyable afternoon.- Full credit to Glen Nagle and his team for a job well done.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:44 pm 07 Aug 12

Wraith said :

farnarkler said :

darkmilk you read that script perfectly. What do you really think Curiosity is going to find. Traces of water thousands or millions of years ago? Great, I hope it does. How does that permanently expand the human race’s knowledge???

You and Snarky should sign up for the Scientologists.

Ooooh, membership drive?? Will there be lamingtons and pork ribs? I hear there some pig to be had lately……

Hey, she was beautiful on the inside!

SigmaOctantis 3:24 pm 07 Aug 12

“It’s achievements like this that give me a faint glimmer of hope for us as a species. Weeks and months have been pissed away on RA over plastic bag debates, Greenpeace moronity, political prevarication and coverups and the godawful endless arguments that keep coming up again and again and again.”

I absolutely agree and couldn’t have said it better. The human race is capable of such incredible ahievements, but all the powers that be decide to focus on is micro non issues. Space exploration is about securing a future for the whole human species, this event gives me faith too that the future is bright, something that is never ever otherwise mentioned.

Wraith 2:28 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

darkmilk you read that script perfectly. What do you really think Curiosity is going to find. Traces of water thousands or millions of years ago? Great, I hope it does. How does that permanently expand the human race’s knowledge???

You and Snarky should sign up for the Scientologists.

Ooooh, membership drive?? Will there be lamingtons and pork ribs? I hear there some pig to be had lately……

damien haas 2:11 pm 07 Aug 12

One thing that amazed me was that the processor the Curiosity has as its main CPU is a G3 PowerPC chip – the same chip found in early iMacs. Its a 200 mhz version.

HenryBG 2:05 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

How much did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals.

The US could shave off a tiny fraction of its defence budget and fix the US healthcare system.

Getting this rover to Mars is a brilliant way to spend money.

Skidbladnir 1:55 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

How much did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals.

2.5 billion dollars. So about 10 hours worth of total US Healthcare expenditure (federal state private), or 12 hours of their military budget.

US Healthcare needs about 1.5 trillion dollars injected into it for the sake of rolling out a more sustainable system; the NASA budget is a pittance compared to almost any other budget allocation.

    johnboy 2:02 pm 07 Aug 12

    The NASA budget is less than the cost of the airconditioning for the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan circa 2010.

poetix 1:36 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

How mucha did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals. While those at NASA and Tidbinbilla are breaking out the champagne, the uninsured residents of Detroit do without a public hospital. Disgusting.

I disagree. What price do you put on wonder?

Wars cost far more. Cut back on them.

davo101 1:29 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

How much did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals. While those at NASA and Tidbinbilla are breaking out the champagne, the uninsured residents of Detroit do without a public hospital. Disgusting.

It cost about the same amount as the US spends on defence every 21 hours.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:27 pm 07 Aug 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Instead, we got pictures from Mars within minutes of landing, a picture from a satellite around Mars of the landing actually *in progress* and all at the same time as we get live broadcasts of the Olympics from the other side of this planet – all made possible because of space exploration.

Images like this really are nothing short of incredible. Later this week there will be high resolution images available.

Gungahlin Al 1:15 pm 07 Aug 12

farnarkler said :

How much did it cost and how much better would it have been if the US had put that money into, say, public hospitals. While those at NASA and Tidbinbilla are breaking out the champagne, the uninsured residents of Detroit do without a public hospital. Disgusting.

Seriously? For less than $7 per American taxpayer, they got a bargain. And the science hasn’t even started yet. And remember – every one of those dollars was spent back in that same country, in turn generating more spending and tax revenue.

If exploration and research stopped every time the gamblers in the finance markets backed the wrong horse, we’d still be communicating these sentiments via letters to the editor to a newspaper. Note: Letters – by snail mail.

Instead, we got pictures from Mars within minutes of landing, a picture from a satellite around Mars of the landing actually *in progress* and all at the same time as we get live broadcasts of the Olympics from the other side of this planet – all made possible because of space exploration.

Curiosity will lay the groundwork for opening up another planet for us to live on one day. I think that’s a worthwhile venture, and was proud to be at Tidbinbilla yesterday to witness Australia’s role in the project. The shift superviser in the control room told me that the DSN43 dish managed to track the craft directly almost all the way to the ground, without actually needing the feed via Odyssey. That’s an outstanding feat.

I’ll blog my interview with him over the next day or two, plus another with Mike Dinn, who was the tracking station boss during the Apollo era. (And another guy Milton Cottee who was there and was a fighter plane test pilot – just for fun.)

To put it into perspective, one US election costs enough to run the entire Mars Curiosity mission 2.5 times. And for that, they’ve re-inspired their nation, plus a good chunk of the rest of the world to boot, in a way that hasn’t really happened since the Apollo era. But clearly not you.

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