Phoenix "EDL"

Tomorrow this happens. Due to the more massive nature of the lander the old Pathfinder airbag system isn't useful, so the Phoenix Mars Lander must use heat shield, chute, and retro landing rockets.

Gotta hand it to NASA. Not only is the lander going to do its thing (we trust), but in addition they have a pretty good PR team doing their little filmmaking efforts.

("Give me your most attractive Phoenix team members, the director from the Bourne movies or someone who can fake it, and some of the CGI guys from Foundation Imaging or nearby, stat!")

EDIT: Nailed it! Good job NASA!


Neat Research: "Wink of an Eye" (TOS)

This is interesting research. Youtube user albion432 slows down some of the accelerated Scalosian speech so one can make it out.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK ... But funny as hell.

Okay, I warned you.

If you're at the office, or near family, friends, pets, or anything else with ears, don't say I didn't warn you.

There, see, I warned you again.

Now click here. Watch the video. Don't drink anything before doing so, though, because that wouldn't be safe for your monitor, either. I'm just sayin'.


Such Primitive Ablative Armor, Ha!

I'm interested in knowing more detail on the reference in this story about NASA's lightweight ceramic ablator heat-shield material withstanding 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously that must refer to a certain thickness lasting a certain length of time before burning off (i.e. ablating) entirely, but no data is provided.

Nonetheless, that's pretty cool. Might've been helpful on the hull of the Invisible Hand, which managed to get pretty cooked during a low velocity atmospheric entry.