Monday, May 26, 2008

Hey, there's my name...

on the Phoenix spacecraft on Mars! Well not my name exactly - but this image shows the "Messages from Earth" DVD that's attached to the lander, and my name is part of the data on that DVD, along with thousands of names and a lot of other stuff. The enthusiasts posting at unmannedspaceflight.com are following the Phoenix imagery closely and even making mosaics and color images from the raw images before official versions are available. For example, here is a color version of the picture above.

There are already a lot of images and it's only sol-1! The (big - 27 MB QuickTime) color video found here gives a great "you are there" feeling just by zooming and panning in a vertical image that extends from near the spacecraft to the horizon. Emily Lakdawalla's posts at the Planetary Society blog often provide some of the best insights into the imagery and its context.

3 comments:

mvl said...

Is there actually anoybody thinking that someone there will get that DVD and will see/listen to it?!? Or is it a kind of a joke?

FlyingSinger said...

Well, as with the Voyager "interstellar record" back in the 1970's, it's really more of a "message to us" than a message to anybody now on Mars (which I understand has very few DVD players). Of course not many current Earthlings will read that material now either, but you can learn about it at the link below.

It could conceivably be a kind of time capsule to some future humans, in the event that we wipe ourselves out or something, or finally send astronauts to Mars in 200 years or something. It's a special metallic DVD that is intended to last for many years. They always tell you to keep a backup copy somewhere off-site and Mars is about as off-site as you can get right now.

http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/messages/phoenix_dvd.html

FlyingSinger said...

Here's a Planetary Society blog post that talks about the "send your name to..." projects they have done, and includes a link to a YouTube video on this:

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001474/