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Columbia Memorial Station

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the risky-business dept.

Space 35

EngrBohn writes "NASA has named the Mars Spirit landing site the 'Columbia Memorial Station'. They've obviously been planning this, as there's even a plaque at the CMS."

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35 comments

Memorial? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897234)

But did they have the lander drop a 40 for it's fallen homies?

Re:Memorial? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7898926)

But did they have the lander drop a 40 for it's fallen homies?

Of course not. No more non-metric units at NASA. It was a 1182.96ml'er.

happy it didn't auger (5, Insightful)

bandy (99800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897254)

Consider the mega-bummer had they pre-announced and it had ended up augering into Mars like the last probe did.

Bets on whether or not there's a plaque on Opportunity as well?

Re:happy it didn't auger (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7898838)

Bets on whether or not there's a plaque on Opportunity as well

Yes on second plaque, but rather than the "Columbia Memorial" it will be named the "STS-107 Memorial" or something else that differs slightly.

Re:happy it didn't auger (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7899241)

The "Beagle" memorial perhaps?

What about the Challenger?

Re:happy it didn't auger (1)

bandy (99800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7899696)

My guess is that the second is a more generic memorial to our lost astronauts - perhaps for ours and the ones the Soviets lost, too.

Re:happy it didn't auger (1)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7902221)

I sit and look at the picture of the Mars-scape that I downloaded from NASA with the same awe as I had when I downloaded it day before yesterday. Todays' picture of the memorial was a nice touch, and brings back some of the feelings I had last February (I live in the Dallas area, and heard the explosion).

I wonder how long it will be before the wonder wears off.

Yeah, but... (-1)

Staos (700036) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897292)

Won't somebody think of the challangers?

First Ninnle Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7902153)

Won't somebody think of the Ninnles?

A fine memorial (4, Interesting)

ferralis (736358) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897304)

What better memorial? A plaque on the first permanently occupied extra-planetary base, I guess, but this is definitely a close second. I just hope that we (humans) can get out there to put some flowers around it someday.

Re:A fine memorial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7901233)

I have a predilection to have my initials carved into the Moon with nuclear weapons so that everyone on Earth can see them at night. But thats just me.

wonderful (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897409)

they put a monument to the tragedy where no one will see it (at least for several decades). that way no one will be reminded of what a fuck up nasa and boeing did that cost the lives of brave men and women. just for once can we have a memorial that isn't quietly buried (like this one effectively is) or turns into a gross commercialization project (like the 9/11 thing)?

They'll need an ISS plaque next ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897513)

If the leak from ISS continues they'll need a plaque to commemorate the two guys on ISS next.

Martian weather (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897518)

The plaque is aluminum and approximately six inches in diameter

I wonder what would be the impact of martian weather on the aluminium...

By the way, does anyone know what local store might carry 3D viewer to see the new 3D images of Mars?

Re:Martian weather (1)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897563)

You'll find lots of online shops with a search of google
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF -8&q=anaglyph+glasses&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]
Folks in the UK should visit http://stereophotoworld.com/handtable5.asp [stereophotoworld.com]

Re:Martian weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897575)

Hint: The key word was local.

Re:Martian weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897596)

You mean Google isn't local!

Re:Martian weather (2, Insightful)

kippy (416183) | more than 10 years ago | (#7897759)

shouldn't be anything. CO2 doesn't react with aluminum, at least at the low temperatures of Mars unless I'm mistaken. Dust might wear it down after a while but that should be a really long time since the low pressure winds won't hit it very hard.

I'm guessing that it will get dusty at most. They proably made it out of aluminum because it's light and plastic would probably degrade faster.

Re:Martian weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7897966)

Aluminum because its cheap and light. They could have made it out of magnesium and gtten it cheaper still.

Some plastics, like ultrahigh molecular weight polyethelene have spectacular wear resistance, and while they'd certainly be degraded, I'd expect they would far outlast aluminum. But the uv radiation from the sun might have a little something to say about that too.

Re:Martian weather (4, Informative)

babbage (61057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7900037)

They proably made it out of aluminum because it's light and plastic would probably degrade faster.

Well, that, and the plaque is stamped on the back of the probe's high-gain antenna [nasa.gov] . Space & weight are at a steep premium on these probes, and there really isn't room to add an extra slab of metal for any non-scientific purpose, even if most people would find the gesture fitting.

By way of comparison, read about the Marsdial [slashdot.org] project [slashdot.org] , which does basically the same thing: mount a "frivilous" device onto one of the key components of the rover, done in a way that there's substantially no additional hardware (extra mass to require fuel, additional parts to possibly break down, etc).

Sentimentality is nice, but pragmatism is critical here.

On a related note, a question.... (5, Interesting)

KarMann (121054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7898371)

I first noticed these jack-o'-lantern faces [nasa.gov] on the propellant tanks of the cruise stage while taking a look at the craft with Celestia [shatters.net] , and at first I was thinking it was just some humour on the part of the person creating the skin for Celestia. But then I saw the picture linked to above, and obviously it wasn't just the programmer having a lark. I haven't been able to find anything on the Web about who came up with the idea, and why, though. I've developed a pet theory of my own, which would be that they needed a certain amount of dark surface on the gold-foil-wrapped tanks to maintain the proper thermal balance, and decided to do something more catchy than just a big bulls-eye dot on them or something like that.

Anyway, anybody know just what the real story is, and whodunnit?

Re:On a related note, a question.... (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7898640)

It's like a gargoyle. Damn martians keep messing with the equipment.

Re:On a related note, a question.... (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7899443)

I don't know anything about the real story, but I'd guess that it was some engineer with a sense of humor and really imaginative design skills.

SB

Re:On a related note, a question.... (1)

fstanchina (564024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7903045)

They wanted to scare the Martians so that they would leave the craft alone this time. Apparently, they were successful.

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7898501)

I'm calling my 'high gain antenna', Marilyn Monroe memorial station, for another hot piece of ass it ain't never gonna see...

Columbia Memorial (4, Informative)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7898527)

It's very interesting... Many many people at JPL knew all about this, however the information was not known to be secret until yesterday, when it was announced that there'd be a bit of "unvieling" of the disk.

I"m surprised news didn't get out to the public before.

Cheers,
Justin Wick
Science Activty Planner Support Staff
Mars Exploration Rovers

Re:Columbia Memorial (1)

applemasker (694059) | more than 10 years ago | (#7899892)

Spaceflightnow.com has pre-launch and in situ pictures of the plaque here: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040106colu mbia.html

Which reminds me.... (2, Informative)

gnalre (323830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7901524)

I had totally forgotten until I read this story that also on the rover is a DVD containing the names of millions of people who could register via a website

http://spacekids.hq.nasa.gov/2003/disk.htm

I only remember it because my daughters name is on the disk.(Well I hope so, its a little difficult to check)

Re:Which reminds me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7902290)

But do the Martians have an MPAA approved DVD player to see the names? I'm thinking intra-solar lawsuit.

re: high gain antenna ??? (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7903502)

... not wanting to be cruel, but isn't that just a CD (AOL?) ... small flat disc with a hole in centre, about 6" [where did I read that] made of aluminium, bet it has a handy plastic coating ...

[PS: CDs are only about 5 inches but can't remember where I read it was 6. Is it flat> It looks like it in the picture, how's it work if it's flat?]
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