25 May 2008

Amazing Things UPDATE

The first bit isnt amazing...yet.

Jim Payne is the Wheat Ridge Fire Chief. Chief Payne was critically injured following a fall at his home on April 5, 2008. He remains in critical condition in the ICU at a Denver Metro hospital.

Jim is a generous man. He is warm and funny and caring. A great man who's family is in need. So far this sounds much less than amazing but wait...it is because you can do something to help.

The James Payne Assistance Fund has been established to help pay medical and related expenses. Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may send donations to Wheat Ridge Fire directly or stop by any branch of Wells Fargo Bank.

Check can be made to:
The James Payne Assistance Fund
c/o Wheat Ridge Fire District
P. O. Box 507
Wheat Ridge, CO 80034

Q and I will be doing whatever we can and if you feel driven to help a great family, i hope you can do the same.

Did you get a chance to watch the mars landing this afternoon/evening? If you arent familiar with the story, the Phoenix Mars Lander was making its landing today. Unlike spirit and opportunity, two other rovers, Phoenix was too big to use the inflatable balloons...

Phoenix had to do a soft landing, like NASA has done on the moon. So, how do you get a freakin lander to go from Mach 1.7 to 5km? A supersonic parachute of course...

"Shortly after the parachute blossoms, the vehicle's protective heat shield is jettisoned. Then the probe's landing radar is turned on and its legs extended.

Even under parachute, Phoenix speeds through the martian atmosphere until it comes within .6 miles (1 kilometer) of Mars' landscape. At this point, the lander frees itself from the parachute. It then throttles up a set of landing thrusters fed by ultra-pure hydrazine and decelerates.

When Phoenix is either at an altitude of 39 feet (12 meters) or traveling at 7.9 feet per second (2.4 meters per second) the spacecraft starts traveling at a constant velocity. On touchdown, the landing engines are turned off, controlled by footpad-mounted sensors that detect contact with the surface."

How amazing is that??! Check out an animation video of the landing...be warned it takes a while to load.

Needless to say, it landed and by 10pm est we will have photos of mars. New photos, color photos like we've never seen before...




1 comment:

Jackie said...

Proof of life on mars:

This made me laugh