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Archive for February 8th, 2008

Well, as you may or may not know, MESSENGER passed by Mercury not too long ago.

Excitingly, the instrument I got to help put on that ride is still working. Granted, by the time enough anal-retentive people review your designs it’s got a high likelihood of surviving, but there’s still that insecure part of you that dreads the phone call where someone says “Uh, the schnozzle broke on the beeblebobbit”.

Mercury - MESSENGER FLYBY #1

But that’s negative thinking. On it’s first contact, Flyby #1, they turned the instrument on and the gosh-darned thing WORKED and it was able to detect sodium ions being sputtered off the Mercurian surface by the solar wind. How is that for cool?

mercury-parting-shots.jpg click on the pic for larger size view…

Information about the flyby can be found here, complete with images, movies, and general factoids:
Johns-Hopkins/APL Page on Mercury/MESSENGER

(pictures shown are courtesy of NASA and JHU/APL)

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Testing the waters of the blogging world. Figured I would be the last person to do it because, well, I hate to jump on bandwagons right away. That would be too much like being a lemming (“if everyone else jumped off a precipice into frigid water, would you do it too?”)

So anyway, more when I have something to say.


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Let’s have some fun.

Let’s actually do it when I figure out what the #%*^& I am doing.

Be patient.

– critter

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