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Mars Curiosity Rover's First Road Trip Planned

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the off-to-kill-cats dept.

NASA 65

littlesparkvt writes "NASA has announced the first destination for the Curiosity Rover. They're sending it to 'Glenelg,' a natural intersection of three kinds of terrain. 'The trek to Glenelg will send the rover 1,300 feet (400 meters) east-southeast of its landing site. One of the three types of terrain intersecting at Glenelg is layered bedrock, which is attractive as the first drilling target. "We're about ready to load our new destination into our GPS and head out onto the open road," Grotzinger said. "Our challenge is there is no GPS on Mars, so we have a roomful of rover-driver engineers providing our turn-by-turn navigation for us." Prior to the rover's trip to Glenelg, the team in charge of Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is planning to give their mast-mounted, rock-zapping laser and telescope combination a thorough checkout. On Saturday night, Aug. 18, ChemCam is expected to "zap" its first rock in the name of planetary science. It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world.'"

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65 comments

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035639)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

##

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

* Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
* Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
* Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
* Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
* Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
* Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
* Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
* Search out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
* Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

#

I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

#

"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack:
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

#
eof

Re:Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (0, Offtopic)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 2 years ago | (#41035891)

I've always wondered with incredulity, who is it that has that much of a hardon for trolling that they spend what must be hours writing this copypasta in the first place? Does anyone ever actually bite? Other than to point out that it's obviously a troll? It's mystifying...

Re:Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41037135)

I think you need some sort of genuine mental illness to produce that stuff...

Zap ! (5, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41035641)

People have been talking about doing Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy in space for decades, so I hope it works well with Chemcam. It has a lot of promise, both to speed up exploration, and in places like asteroids and comets, where it may not be feasible or safe to actually touch the target.

They have picked a boring nearby rock for the first target. There has been a discussion of whether or not Mars rocks have a "desert patina" (or varnish), and, if so, what is its nature, and even if it has a biological component. The Chemcam samples the top layer of the target, so may help to answer that.

Re:Zap ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036313)

Yeah but whenever I see the words "most powerful" and "first time" I expect bad things will happen. With engineer's history I'm guessing this thing will break the first time they try to use it.

Re:Zap ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036953)

That's if the Mars Negroes don't steal it's hubcaps first.

Re:Zap ! (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41037349)

If they can make the frakking SkyCrane work I think that they can get a laser to work. After all, unlike the SkyCrane, the ChemCam can be fully tested here on Earth.

Re:Zap ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41038455)

Next time they will replace the SkyCrane with a freakin' big laser - feel this radiation pressure, sucker

Re:Zap ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41039759)

One has to keep in mind that this is a first-of-a-kind space instrument. It does not use a simple semiconductor laser diode, but a (really delicately aligned) neodynium-doped crystal laser, which is something noone ever sent to another planet as for now. It had to endure the various vibrations, shocks and thermal variations of the liftoff, space travel and Mars landing in order to still work well enough (i.e. output enough power) to vaporize rocks as intended!

(I have worked on the successor to ChemCam, with the team who designed it)

Re:Zap ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41040883)

One has to keep in mind that this is a first-of-a-kind space instrument. It does not use a simple semiconductor laser diode, but a (really delicately aligned) neodynium-doped crystal laser, which is something noone ever sent to another planet as for now. It had to endure the various vibrations, shocks and thermal variations of the liftoff, space travel and Mars landing in order to still work well enough (i.e. output enough power) to vaporize rocks as intended!

(I have worked on the successor to ChemCam, with the team who designed it)

But it also had to be tested to be survivable in all those environments. So far everything downstream of the laser seems to be in working order (verified passively).

(I worked on chemcam and my part is verified to be working already)

Hello (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035673)

Hello. I have just poured hot grits down my pants!

Re:Hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036063)

You're doing it wrong, man. It's "I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you."

Congratulations -- by failing even at this simple Slashdot troll, you have officially failed at life.

Re:Hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036145)

Listen, if you mention hot grits and don't mention a naked petrified Natalie Portman covered in them, then you have failed at being a Slashdot troll. I mean, WTF? Wasn't this taught at Troll School [slashdot.org] ?

Oh, well.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035713)

..It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world.'

And knowing humanity's propensities for such things, it won't be the last time and it won't always be at inanimate targets..

Road? (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41035805)

Road: You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means?

Re:Road? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036657)

Road: You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means?

Mars Curiosity - "Roads. Where I'm going, I don't need 'roads'."
(best read in Stephen Hawking's computer voice.)

Re:Road? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036809)

It's nuclear powered, direct drive, and has six wheels. The definition of "road" varies a lot for a vehicle like that.

Re:Road? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41038383)

The Martian roads are in a better state of repair than many USian ones

Re:Road? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41038429)

Where Curiosity's going, it doesn't *need* roads.

Re:Road? (1)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 2 years ago | (#41039521)

Not sure about NASA, but for Russians, a "road" is whatever place you plan to drive through.

Is there life or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035905)

Isnt it all an expensive waste of time?

All the public cares is about life, be it bacteria or whatever, but NASA keeps sending only geological instruments. At this time its clear they are not going to find dinosaur footprints so it seems pretty absurd to just send a rock finding webcam.

Re:Is there life or not? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036259)

It's very very unlikely that we're going to find any kind of functional ecosystem over there. The best we can hope for is a surviving remnant - a few scraps of past life that still manage to live. Fossil evidence of past life would be second best. Curiosity is fossil hunting, among other things, and that includes chemical traces of long dead single celled life.

If it doesn't find evidence of past life, it'll also be studying the geological history of mars to give us a much better idea of whether to give up on the fossil hunting entirely.

Being sure that mars is dead, and has always been dead, would actually be a good thing. It would mean we have no worries about contaminating the place with human missions. We could be as messy as we like whenver humans finally arrive, safe in the knowledge that we're not destroying irreplaceable unique evidence.

Re:Is there life or not? (1)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#41037951)

It's very very unlikely that we're going to find any kind of functional ecosystem over there.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

If life can exist here on Earth near underwater lava vents spewing toxic brews, then life is certainly a possibility in the water-soaked soil of Mars.

Re:Is there life or not? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#41040241)

It's very very unlikely that we're going to find any kind of functional ecosystem over there. The best we can hope for is a surviving remnant - a few scraps of past life that still manage to live. Fossil evidence of past life would be second best. Curiosity is fossil hunting, among other things, and that includes chemical traces of long dead single celled life.

If it doesn't find evidence of past life, it'll also be studying the geological history of mars to give us a much better idea of whether to give up on the fossil hunting entirely.

Being sure that mars is dead, and has always been dead, would actually be a good thing. It would mean we have no worries about contaminating the place with human missions. We could be as messy as we like whenver humans finally arrive, safe in the knowledge that we're not destroying irreplaceable unique evidence.

If something is living there, then by definition there's an ecosystem - it may not be a diverse one, but it would be there.

It would also be hugely significant. Mars is probably not the greatest target for finding interesting life in the solar system, but if Martian-evolved life of any type were discovered it would pretty drastically alter at least 1 of the variables of the Drake equation.

Re:Is there life or not? (2)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41042177)

If something is living there, then by definition there's an ecosystem - it may not be a diverse one, but it would be there.

It would also be hugely significant. Mars is probably not the greatest target for finding interesting life in the solar system, but if Martian-evolved life of any type were discovered it would pretty drastically alter at least 1 of the variables of the Drake equation.

There is a pretty good reason to think that geological material (potentially harboring microbes) has been exchanged several times over the past few billion years, with the K-T event (that killed off the dinosaurs) being one of those events that sent material back to Mars again and likely seeded at least some sort of life almost everywhere in the Solar System where liquid water can be found.

If fact, a strong hypothesis suggests that life as we know it may have even originated on Mars and then came to the Earth many millions of years ago to see the Earth.

This isn't galactic scale panspermia [wikipedia.org] but rather just something happening on a stellar system scale and certainly sounds reasonable with current scientific thought on the subject. When Apollo 12 landed next to the Surveyor lander and then found microbes which lived on the surface of the Moon for several years (from the Surveyor spacecraft), it seems reasonable that at least some microbes could cope with a multi-year journey through the solar system.

In other words, the Drake equation would not be altered here as it still is just a sample size of one, just on a larger scale.

On the other hand, if you could find some type of life on Mars that uses something other than DNA to pass genetic information, that would be incredible in so many ways. I would expect that any sort of life on Mars must have found ways to cope with the environment there that would make it quite different from life on the Earth, even different from the extremophiles that are often used by comparison, but there may still be common genes that indicate a shared ancestor. Curiosity is not going to be examining potential life forms to that level of detail, so that would need to be a follow-up experiment if anything resembling a life form is even found at all.

Interplanetary panspermia might give hints to interstellar panspermia though, or at least not rule it out as a mechanism for spreading life throughout the universe. It may even be hypothesized that after a planet, any planet at all in a galaxy, has been able to develop life forms that over a comparatively short period of time (when measured in billions of years) the entire galaxy is eventually "infected" with life to some degree at least where it might be remotely possible. Even though it is still just a sample size of one in terms of having life self-generate, in terms of calculating the number of planets in the Milky Way that could have life it might make that part of the Drake equation much closer to one than zero.

Re:Is there life or not? (1)

arse maker (1058608) | about 2 years ago | (#41036293)

NASA is forbidden by congress to fund the search for ET.

Re:Is there life or not? (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41037361)

The search for life on Mars != the search for ET.

Proof that Curiosity is on Earth! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035935)

Case closed. [glenelgsa.com.au]

Re:Proof that Curiosity is on Earth! (1)

Antarius (542615) | about 2 years ago | (#41036405)

Indeed. I've been to Glenelg many times and was once a fan of the Glenelg Football Club. [glenelgfc.com.au]

If they're looking for proof of intelligent life, they're going to the wrong place. ;-)


(Just kidding, of course. Nothing wrong with Glenelg)

Re:Proof that Curiosity is on Earth! (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | about 2 years ago | (#41037045)

Ahem. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Proof that Curiosity is on Earth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41038423)

England doesn't count. *grins, ducks, runs*

And watch out for the "claw"! (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41035937)

> ChemCam is expected to "zap" its first rock in the name of planetary science.

Take the quotes off that zap and smile when you say it, pal.

If a freakin' robot on Mars shooting a murderous, rock-vaporizing laser doesn't deserve the unquoted use of the verb "zap", nothing does.

Re:And watch out for the "claw"! (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#41036095)

Some of the same people who drove Spirit and Opportunity are on the Curiosity driving team. Here's Scott Maxwell's (of the 'Mars and Me' blog) Google+ page. "https://plus.google.com/112648317373638762082/posts#11264831737363876 2082/posts"

Re:And watch out for the "claw"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036869)

TRAFFIC CITATION

Officer : K'Breel the 3rd
Vehicle Description : Two small rovers, and a large SUV
Offense: Driving without a license, speeding, littering (leaving a disabled rover parked instead of towing it away), espionage, invasion of the Red Planet
Offenders: NA'SA rover drivers

You are HEREBY ORDERED to report to the Mars 10th Federal District Court on the Blue World date of August 20, 2012, at the Blue World hour of 2:00pm EST, to face these charges. HEREWITH FAIL NOT, or we shall be forced to invade your world, kidnap your women (Mars needs women!), awaken Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra, amputate your gel-sacs, and roast them over an open fire.

P.S. Could you tell me where the gel-sacs are on a Blue Worlder? I wouldn't want to disappoint Grandpa; gel-sac amputation is always the high point of his day, and I wouldn't want to disappoint him. (Better yours than mine!)

Re:And watch out for the "claw"! (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#41037139)

>> It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world.

And so it begins.

Re:And watch out for the "claw"! (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41037475)

What it deserves is one of the girls screaming, "Fire Da Laser!".

If I heard that in the control room I think I would die laughing.

An easier drive than (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035969)

the original Glenelg:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenelg,_Highland

You've never seen so many schoolchildren throw up on one bus journey as when going over the pass to reach it.

yang-terbaru.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41035997)

wih... new era.. i dont understand.. but, nice info....

yang-terbaru.com

adv (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036027)

what Troy responded I am dazzled that someone able to get paid $7546 in one month on the computer. have you seen this web link makecash16.com

Laser (3, Funny)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 2 years ago | (#41036341)

Did they remember to attach a shark to it? It can't possibly function without one!

Re:Laser (1)

der_pinchy (1053896) | about 2 years ago | (#41036567)

yes a petrified shark no less. dont u watch the news brief?

Re:Laser (-1, Troll)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#41040425)

Did they remember to attach a shark to it? It can't possibly function without one!

This is very disturbing. Not your comment, but the fact that enough people wasted their modpoints to get your post to +5 Funny.

Now sit back and take a long hard look at this.... after a while the only thought left is... "why?"

It doesnt even come close to barely scratching the broad definition of "Funny". It *may* have been funny many years ago when the Austin Powers movies were in cinemas, but it ceased to be funny soon afterwards.

Are there actually people out there who genuinely find that comment funny? If so we should be concerned, deeply disturbed and frankly, quite scared.

What is wrong with us? Does humanity have no real hope left?

Re:Laser (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#41042213)

Two.

Two people reflexively modded up a familiar meme. Not "slashdot", not "humanity". Two.

If you want to be concerned about humanity and fucking slashdot is your go-to example, you have not been paying attention.

We're the aliens here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41036773)

And we have LASERS! Yee-haa :-)

Navigation for more road trips (1)

gnapster (1401889) | about 2 years ago | (#41036795)

Clearly what is needed are more Martian satellites -- some for imaging and mapping, and a constellation for GPS -- so we can get some real roadtrips going.

Re:Navigation for more road trips (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41037279)

Couldn't they use stellar navigation. Just point the camera up at the sky at night. They used to do it on earth for the longest time.

Re:Navigation for more road trips (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41037393)

It would be better to use observations of Mars's natural satellites, especially Phobos. This has been explored with Phobos's transits of the Sun, which could give you positions to a few 100 meters. However, the real problem is not really that they don't know where the rover is, but that they don't know where objects on Mars are relative to the rover, and orbital and ground imaging suffices for that.

Re:Navigation for more road trips (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41044379)

I say it's high time we get a GPS constellation around Mars, especially if anyone's even *thinking* about sending a manned mission there. What a disaster we would have if the first astronauts arrived on Mars, and weren't able to use their TomTom to find the nearest pizza joint!

Road Trip! (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41036991)

Best thing to do when your frat is on double secret probation.

Is there a shark (0)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41037383)

attached to this laser?

This Is Insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41037563)

The use of a sky crane equipped with retro rockets to deliver a massive 1-ton craft was foolhardy enough. It was only by sheer luck that we didn't trip one of the sensors and set off an invasion. Rumbling around on the surface of the Red Planet is just asking for it, and if blasting their rocks with the most powerful laser we've ever sent to the surface of another world doesn't cause the theramins to start playing as a fleet of UFOs emerges from underground bunkers, well... I, for one, welcome our new Martian Overlords.

Shotgun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41037813)

Can we stop soon? I gotta pee.

Rock Cairns or Bread Crumbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41038975)

Don't forget to leave piles of rock cairns Curiository..

And be back in time for the sky crane to dust you off and take you home.

Photos of that rock.. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#41039217)

Here is the rock they plan to zap:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4485 [nasa.gov]

And quite a few more images here since I last looked:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/ [nasa.gov]

Re:Photos of that rock.. (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 2 years ago | (#41041379)

Here's the rock's Twitter account [twitter.com] .

First time laser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41040829)

It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world *by humans*. FTFY

Adelaide humour (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | about 2 years ago | (#41041373)

Yeah, send it to Glenelg!

Re:Adelaide humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41042269)

No.

All the other Glenelgs, in South Australia, Nova Scotia and Maryland, rivers in Victoria and Western Australia, and now a rock on Mars, are named after the Scottish town [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Adelaide humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067897)

Yeah, perhaps they're hoping to find a frikken shark for the laser...

Let's play with lazers!!!! (1)

englishstudent (1638477) | about 2 years ago | (#41042325)

I hope mars doesn't burst into flames.

Cool. (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 2 years ago | (#41042603)

They are going to a palindrome.
Doc, note: i dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

GPS? (2)

Fuzzums (250400) | about 2 years ago | (#41048481)

"We're about ready to load our new destination into our GPS and head out onto the open road."

It seems Mars has GPS aswell. Time to start Geocaching on Mars...

Re:GPS? (1)

MrHops (712514) | about 2 years ago | (#41058091)

"We're about ready to load our new destination into our GPS and head out onto the open road."

It seems Mars has GPS aswell. Time to start Geocaching on Mars...

I know it's obvious, but wouldn't that be "areo-caching"?

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