Saturday, May 21, 2005

Space geekery...

I am a geek in many ways, I am a computer geek, a Sci-Fi geek, a film geek. I have been this way for many years, but longer than all of these I have been a space geek. The thought of everything that is out there, how much we don't know, how much we do and how we found it out always amazes me.

One of the best things about being a space geek is that it sits quite happily with my other geek obsessions. Space exploration is a very technical endeavor and the Internet has been a boon to us space geeks for getting all the latest information, even seeing space exploration as it happens.

People in my office know that if there is a big space event happening during working hours they will probably be able to stand behind me and watch it. We all saw SpaceShipOne's historic flights into space, all three of them. We sat around and watched as the Genesis probe crashed into the desert.

Such visual images of space exploration, whether good or bad, still captivate me, they always have. I remember the first time I saw Viking images from the surface of Mars, especially the ones where you could see Martian frost! I doubt many people could forget the pictures of Earth rise from the surface of the moon. These images still manage to give me butterflies.

The most recent one is perhaps the most geeky one to date. Few people that I have shown this too get quite why it makes me geek out, and it is hard to explain. But I figured that the people who read this blog would instinctively get it. Over the last few months Nasa seems to have been on a Mars hardware hunt. Spotting various Mars landers from orbit, they think they have spotted the doomed Mars Polar Lander.

Cool though those images are, it is another one that amazed me. It is the first clear(ish) picture of a man made probe in orbit of another planet. It is a picture of the Mars Odyssey probe taken from the Mars Global Surveyor. It's not a great image, but damn does it put a big smile on my face.



She-ra said...

That's pretty fucking cool, Matt!

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