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24 September 2004 @ 08:29 am
NASA's funniest home videos  
First up, happy birthday ayvah!

Secondly, I have to say that the new Update page is a vast improvement, and anyone who says otherwise is either smoking crack, or has some kind of crappy monitor that is incapable of displaying at any kind of useful resolution.

That said, the Semagic client is still much better, so why don't you download that instead?

I watched Catalyst last night, and I must say I feel kind of guilty about laughing at the Genesis probe crash, but still, you have to laugh at the folly of humankind.

Basically, the Genesis probe was catching particles of the sun from the solar winds, to bring them back to Earth for study.
The solar particles were caught in fragile, crystalline collectors, that needed to be kept sealed to prevent contamination by contact with Earthly particles.

Anyway, here's what should have happened:

The chute opens, and as the probe is gently floating towards the ground, it is caught midair by a stunt helicopter, thus preventing even the slightest impact from shattering the fragile solar atom collectors.

And here's what actually happened:

The chute failed, and the probe hit the ground at approximately 300 kph.
Bear in mind that NASA wanted to avoid the relatively small impact of the probe landing with a parachute.

And the punchline?
There's another one of these babies coming back in 2006, relying on an identical parachute.
Current Mood: geekygeeky