Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Saturday, January 03, 2004

  It's 9:20PM... do you know where Spirit is?

For all my cynicism regarding our space priorities... having the extremely knowledgable Christopher Hall (whose spacecraft blog I read with reverence) call me "The anti-Zubrin" hurt - I hope that I am merely AN anti-Zubrin... and one day I will finish writing up more on that - but not today.

Because... once the spacecraft is launched, you have to respect the effort. You have to help will the thing to land -

Damn it, I root for all of them. I root for the craft and the people investing their lives in making it succeed.

I had hope for Nozomi (Hope) for five long years. The Japanese performed engineering miracles that kept that craft running well past the design life, through disaster after disaster - until finally they lost communications in early December and gave up Dec 9th, 2003.

I wanted to write on Christmas Day, 2003 - "The Beagle has landed" - but it looks to have crashed, too. I always root for an underdog, and the Beagle was the epitome of British pluck and European innovation.

I didn't want to write Uncle Bill's Helicopter the way I did - it just came out that way - and we all brought spacecraft earth in for a safe landing... enough to try for another series of mars landings this year.

Now, an hour after a glitch in my personal life caused me to miss tonight's landing webcast of the Spirit lander, I have no idea whether or not Spirit made it.

I am willing Spirit to land... and speak... with all my heart - and soul - and I hope you are too.

I don't have TV, the coffee shop I'm blogging from closes at 11 - (before any transmissions will be heard from spirit) - and I keep hitting reload on the ap-newswire....

I wonder if I can get some bar around here to turn to the news. Maybe I can find one usually dominated by sports to spend just a few moments on a nasa channel - if there is one - Not that any station will cover the landing live, in a world full of floods, death, destruction, and paid advertising... no doubt there are dozens of reporters out there with two stories pre-filed in their laptops - one, a sentence long - describing the landing - the other, pages long blasting whatever variety of factors they think caused the failure - all ready in advance...

Oh, yea, cynicism is my way of coping with my streak of idealism, I admit it. I don't have two stories filed. I don't report - I just blog - and think that exploring space - any part of it - is worth it. Especially when it's time to land.

Go Spirit, go! Go you bastard! Land! Speak!

10:10PMsome signals from Spirit received... Yea!

10:20PM Lots of news releases... oh, my cynicism was misplaced... hundreds of stories filed on google... hundreds... hundreds... maybe I can catch some of this on TV.... outta here!
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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