Phoenix Mars Lander

pia09943-330-bigger“I’m awake for my sol 1 duties. Have received commands from Earth and will spend the day carrying them out,” MarsPhoenix via twitter – 5/26/2008

Sunday was a good day. Even though I had no time to be away from the massive packing job at my apartment, I had arranged with bro-in-law Paul to give them my TV and upgrade their Macs. After moving the TV, I hooked up their computers to their new FIOS ultra-high-speed Internet connection and then remembered that the Phoenix Lander was due to land on Mars and found a live video-stream on the web. I was in geek-heaven, surrounded by four screens, tinkering away and following the progress of the little lander.

And one of the coolest things was that I got to share the experience with my sister, bro-in-law and nieces. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to watch the Gemini and Apollo launches as a kid in the 60s. This felt a little like that. Add to that how cool it was to be watching the live NASA video stream and a Ustream.TV stream with commentary, not on the TV (that might get pre-empted by some commercial interruption) but on the Internet. The distant past childhood memories were linked to this futuristic “right here/right now” communal experience of watching this little probe successfully land on Mars and cheering right along side the technicians and scientists that made the thing happen. That made for a very good Sunday. jbb

Music: Too Raw from the album “Neva” by Neva