Neil's News

Mars Memorial

1 February 2004

For all intents and purposes, the lander will be dead on arrival, leaving the rover to roam independently [...]

The objective is to maximize the use of all equipment being brought to the surface by placing the bulk of the avionics and mechanical systems onto a much larger "rover" and leaving only the bare essentials on a "dead-on-arrival" landing system.

Both landing techniques could use what is called a "dead on arrival" lander, carrying a large rover [...]

Mike Shepard: What happens to the landers after the rovers are deployed?
M. Adler Response: They are effectively dead on arrival at the surface.

After years of describing them as "dead on arrival" landing systems, NASA's use of the term suddenly vanishes. Why? Because shortly after the first landing the site was officially renamed to the "Columbia Memorial Station". NASA are obviously aware of the sick irony; whereas in 1997 they renamed the Pathfinder lander to be the "Carl Sagan Memorial Station", this time they named the area around the lander. As usual the media didn't make the connection.

Update: The second landing site has been named the "Challenger Memorial Station".

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