Look what I found!

Extra deductions!  No, sorry.  For those of you that are not tax payers in the United States, today is the last day to file your income tax forms with the Federal government.

But to relieve the stress, here is one way that our tax dollars have been spent.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken some amazing images during its time in orbit. But now a Russian game of “Where’s Waldo” has been won.

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/image/spacecraft/mars3_iki.jpg

Russian citizens found features in a five-year-old image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that resemble four pieces of hardware from the Soviet Mars 3 mission.  The items purportedly recognized were the parachute, heat shield, terminal retrorocket and lander.

Launched on May 28, 1971, from the U.S.S.R, the Mars 3 lander arrived at the red planet only to disappear.  The Mars 3 lander transmitted for several seconds after landing on Dec. 2, 1971.  It was an amazing spacecraft as it was the first spacecraft to survive a Mars landing long enough to transmit anything.

       
However, the Mars 3 lander possibly landed during a large dust storm, or equally unfortunate, got caught in one of the infamous dust devils that plague the planet.  For some unknown reason, the lander stopped transmitting 20 seconds after landing.

Talk about a bad day.  It reminds me of the old Wide World of Sports intro: “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

So having to pay taxes today isn’t so bad as I image it was like on that day in the control room.  It kind of puts it all in perspective.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman

I Need A Nap.

Really! After a gruelling 255 day trip, with a very frightening landing I get put on the “garden” spot of Mars.  I mean really.  First, they shoot me through space, parachute and rocket me down, then lower me on a cable (and a wing and a prayer if you ask me) and abandon me to my own resources.

Can you imagine?  Then those bastards at JPL put me to work!  I am so tired, I just think I will nap for a few weeks.  The sun is low in the sky and I need to save my strength for the next round of commands (look at that rock, move over there, collect some samples, Jeesh!).

 

I swear if my laser had enough power…POW, straight to the Moon, JPL, straight to the Moon!  I think I will just sleep for about a month.  I’ll feel less stressed after a good long nap.  See you on the flip side, of Mars that is…

BTW, please don’t worry if you didn’t get the Honeymooners reference.  I happen to be a fan.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman

An Elephant on Mars?

That picture sure looks like an elephant, but in reality it is just an unusual geological structure on the surface of the red planet.  The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the image during its mission.  It seems like everyone is focused on our red neighbor and there is a lot of activity currently happening, and soon to be happening on Mars.  I wasn’t really aware of how large some of the rovers that we have successfully landed on Mars were until this last Saturday during Jared Head’s talk.  The sizes are quite impressive.

The mid-sized rover on the left is a model of the two mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.  Although Spirit is no longer operational, Opportunity has been operational on Mars for 9 years.  Nine years!  The original mission for both the rovers was only 90 days.  Considering that Mars temperatures average -55 °C (−67 °F), and there is a LOT of dust that can mess up electronics, the durability of these vehicles is amazing.  Opportunity is currently parked for the winter (about −125 °C or −193 °F, way too cold for me) waiting for a nice dust devil to clean its solar panels and continue on its mission.

If you would like to find out more about everything Mars head on over to the Mars Science Labratory for lots of activities and information for kids and adults.

– Ex astris, scientia –