A highly talented and possibly slightly bored fellow called Jan Fröjdman has taken lots of detailed photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and put them together to create an amazing flyover of the red/brown planet.
For the past 12 years, the Orbiter has taken over 50,000 images using its HiRISE camera, which are available to anyone online. Mr Fröjdman then coloured these images, edited them together, and turned the result into something that resembles a high definition flyover of the planet. It took him 3 months and is stunning. I would love to go to Mars but will probably wait until they have organised return flights.
Recently, Elon Musk talked about going to Mars. He wants humanity to be a multi-planetary species, so that we should survive a disaster. (Hopefully some other animals too – I want a genetically adapted giant space dog I can write around.) The rationale is that at some point, something awful may/will happen and it would be a shame for civilisation to be wiped out when we have gone to so much sodding effort for millennia. Which I think is a valid point. I get the argument that we have messed up the Earth but I will only accept that argument from someone who hasn’t bred. If you have kiddywinks, look to the future. Also, most of the people I see arguing that climate change is real, the need for renewable energy, and generally being less dickish to the planet, tend to be the same ones that want to go into space. Leave the frackers behind.
I think Musk is a good guy and at time of writing, hasn’t shown any hints of: “You will kneel before Musk” agenda. So you can imagine how excited I was when he was talking about Martian colonization plans that will become possible thanks to his “Mars Colonial Transporter”. There is even a video clip showing how it will be done:
You can then imagine how that excitement rose further still when he renamed the Mars trip equipment stuff to the even more exciting: “Interplanetary Transport System”. The only possible conclusion being that he wants to go to more than just Mars.
Sadly for the “tl;dr” crowd there isn’t a video of future space exploration but as a placatory extra, Elon ‘Stark’ Musk and his gang have released a load of pretty pictures on the interweb. There are quite a few to be found on the SpaceX Flickr account and here are a couple. Enjoy and engage!
This is a picture of Mars. Mars! How awesome is that? This was taken by the Mars Rover – a 10 foot nuclear powered robot that is wandering around the red planet doing scientific analysis with the aid of lasers that shoot from its eyes. The picture was beamed across the vast vacuum of space back to NASA who then put it on their website which I then accessed at home on my shiny laptop through the genius of the internet and a wireless network.
There are times when humanity makes me despair (see buying magic on eBay). But there are times when we rule. Like now. I feel so proud of my fellow humans.
I really hate people who think it is all a waste of money. These small minded bores think that the money should be spent on hospitals to make everyone live longer on this already crowded planet. They believe that we should risk having humanity wiped out by a disaster because funds could go elsewhere. Basically these collections of human-shaped yawns are of the opinion that we shouldn’t reach for the stars and dream big planetary spanning dreams. We should just stay here, use up all the resources and die out. Of course the people who think we shouldn’t expand into space won’t be around when the remnants of humanity struggle Mad Max-style over a piece of boiled rat and some car fuel. It will be their kiddywink’s kiddywinks.
Essentially, if you don’t want to go to space you want your children’s children to suffer a slow and agonizing death. You are dooming your ancestors. You’re obviously a wanker and probably don’t have any friends.
Conversely, if you want to go into space and expand humanity then you are awesome and probably fun to be around. Hooray for you!
Ok, sorry, went a bit off topic there. I basically just wanted to share this photo because it is incredible and inspiring. As you can probably tell, I hope you share this sense of wonder. Go humans!