Mars News 3-20-2020

Welcome to the weekly news roundup! For those of you at home, well..might as well be on Mars, at least in imagination. Did find some interesting stuff to report on this week. Check Fly-To-Earth for recent updates from earth.

NASA’s InSite probe (wiki) apparently landed on tougher ground than expected. So the probe was having trouble drilling and got stuck. Again, a testament to the brains of those running these missions, simple solution? Whack it with the rovers shovel. As simple as this sounds, I’m quite sure the testing on Earth was quite exhaustive. Sometimes a good whack is the fix! Great work guys! Compliments on utilizing the simplest solution!

The Rosalind Franklin mission has been delayed till 2022 due to various concerns, especially regarding the landing part of the mission. Failed parachute tests and such. This is really excellent news as the ESA and russia are working jointly and for once the problem is the technology and not cost overruns. Nice catch guys, wouldn’t want some dumb mistake like the destruction of the Mars Climate Orbiter confusing imperial over metric. I have always wanted to see heads roll over such a profoundly stupid mistake. You would have thought it would have been caught in one of the tens of thousands of testing simulations. No excuse there, guys.

Which brings me to a bit of sad Mars news. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (wiki) recently located some of our fallen space-faring friends. Rest in peace, Phoenix Mars Lander (wiki) and Spirit (wiki).

In other even sadder space news, it appears we might abandon our friend, the 2001 Mars Odyssey. (wiki) Here is the link to the official website. It should be noted that this is not due to the recent NASA shutdown, but the real reason to abandon a fully functioning spacecraft that is still yielding worthwhile data will be due to bureaucratic stupidity. I have faith that the last sleep commands will be sent by the dedicated team that spent a solid portion of their lives working on this mission, and if needed we can reawaken it. This spacecraft serves a much larger purpose as a relay, along with the other orbiters, to increase our very expensive data feed from mars that has been decades in creation.

That’s the roundup for this week! Stay strong, folks!