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Monday, June 30, 2003

We Missed the Opportunity (no pun intended)

From left: Alex Moore, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), and Jim Keener.
From left: Alex Moore, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), and Jim Keener.
Credit: Steven Moore
Jim and I may have missed seeing the Mars Exploration Rover-B launch on Saturday night, but we had a wonderful time. We arrived back in Pittsburgh today. First of all, don't let anyone tell you otherwise: the launch on the 28th was rescheduled, not because of a problem with the insulation, but because an unidentified boat was too close to the launch pad. At T-4 minutes, the countdown went on hold so that the boat could be removed from the area. The launch was scheduled until a half-hour later, but high altitude winds caused the scrub until the following day. That launch was rescheduled because of an insulation problem on the Delta rocket. To be honest, I think we should thank that fisherman/terrorist for anchoring too close to the launch pad. Without his thoughtless/malicious act, we could have missed Opportunity altogether.

Yes, that is Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jim and I got to meet him, as well as several NASA engineers and developers. Dr. Nye is apparently a terraforming enthusiast and was familiar with Red Colony.

The launch has been moved until Saturday night. The last possible date for takeoff is the 17th.

- posted by Alex @ 21:55 EST