Friday, August 10, 2012

"Hope" is the thing with feathers¹ :: Also, plutonium

The project that landed #Curiosity on Mars started a decade ago. A new scientist working on the team set her course for this future years earlier; an experienced scientist working on it steered by that star even longer.

That's a lot of hope.²

Also, plutonium: The rover is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, whose heat produces electricity and keeps #Curiosity warm in the -150°F Martian night.³

Getting ready
Climbing hills

  1. “Hope” is the thing with feathers
    By Emily Dickinson
    “Hope” is the thing with feathers 
    That perches in the soul 
    And sings the tune without the words 
    And never stops - at all 
    And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard 
    And sore must be the storm 
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm 

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land 
    And on the strangest Sea 
    Yet - never - in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb - of me.
  2. More than three million people watched the #Curiosity landing live on Ustream, according to the web platform, with feeds from NASA HDTV, NASA JPL and NASA JPL 2.

  3. Plutonium decay heats #Curiosity and other robotic space machines. Plutonium was also used in "Fat Man," the nuclear bomb detonated over Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945, three days after Hiroshima was destroyed by the uranium-based "Little Boy."

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