The Little Rover That Could

Popular Science | 2/17/2018 | Staff
TimHyuga (Posted by) Level 3






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So all the scientists cried out together: “Please, shiny new funding! Do carry our missions to the planet in the other elliptical orbit. Our research has hit a roadblock, the Soviets might beat us to other worlds, and our scientists will have no data to work with if you don’t help us.”

But the shiny new funding was only able to accomplish so much. “I, pull you?” The Mariner missions snorted. “Listen, we still have to figure out some of the basics of visiting planets, much less exploring them. Mariner 3 failed to deploy correctly, Mariners 4, 6, and 7 actually managed to get some decent pictures of Mars while flying by, Mariner 8 didn’t even make it to Earth orbit, but hey, maybe Mariner 9 can get you at least a full map of the surface and a glance at Mars’ moons.” And off the Mariner missions went, either into orbit around the sun, smashed into a planet, or lost in the cold, dark depths of space.

Agency - Scientists

How sad the not-so-little agency and all the planetary scientists felt!

The data from the Mariner missions to Mars was a surprise. It showed that there were no canals on the surface—as people had thought in the 1800s—but revealed the existence of massive canyons and volcanoes. This world was more complex than we'd initially thought, which meant that researchers were eager to return. Luckily, a more scientifically...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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