Mars: Did You Know? #4

The U.S. just launched a new mission to Mars. As in JUST launched. It successfully took off shortly after 7 am (EDT) on Saturday, May 5th from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California!

It’s a lander (not a rover) called Insight. And is expected to land on Mars on November, 26, 2018 Earth calendar.

BONUS: This is the first interplanetary launch from the West coast of North America.

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Mars: Did You Know? #3

While the USA was first to successfully fly by and image Mars (Mariner 4) in 1964, the former USSR was the first to both successfully orbit Mars and successfully land on Mars (Mars 3 Orbiter/Lander) in 1971!

I bet you didn’t know Earth has been successfully sending visitors to Mars for 47 years.

And of the 44 attempted missions to Mars by various countries on Earth, 23 have failed. That’s more than half! Granted the failure rate is heavier in the 1960s and 70s than it is now. But the most recent failure was 2011. (The most recent failure for the USA was 1999.)

The point being: It’s hard to get to Mars! Even after 47 years of trying and succeeding! That’s why we still celebrate every time there’s a success.

Mars Exploration Historical Log

Extra Credit:
1) The ESA – European Space Agency on its own, the ESA together with Russia, and India on its own, have all successfully orbited Mars.
2) Japan, Russia (post USSR), and Russia together with China, have tried to reach Mars but failed.

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Timeline of the demise of my future

- 2018 -
March 12: Close on new condo. Drywall repairers at house.
March 13: Drywall repairers spot paint with attempt (and spectacular fail) to color match, and attempt (and again fail) to cleanup. Move all currently boxed and binned up items from house to condo
March 14: House cleaners. Carpet cleaners are supposed to come late today, insist on coming early when I keep telling them we’re not ready. Show up, see we’re not ready, and postpone to next morning. Supposed to have photos taken today. House is supposed to go on the market today. (Neither happens because realtor’s Mom goes into hospice)
March 15: Carpet cleaners. Photos taken. House goes on market late this night.
March 17: Prep new condo
March 18: Finish prep condo, MOVE from house to condo!

March 18: Need an offer on the house if I’m going to start school for Spring term.

March 19: I start being unable to sleep though the night. And it’s not because of living in a new place.
March 23: Need to be through inspection on the house if I’m going to start school for Spring term.

March 24: Yard cleanup at house.
March 25: Open House.
Weekend of March 24 / 25: I work out a Plan B and a Plan C in case (since) the house has failed to sell like everyone expected it would. I am now able to start sleeping through the night again.

March 27: I finally summon enough courage to write a letter to school saying I can’t start as planned and can I PLEASE delay my start until Summer session? Thus initiating Plan B. The answer is yes, and my application and acceptance letters are updated correspondingly within 24 hours. WHEW!
Week of March 26: House interior painting quotes #1 and #2

April 2: Dad has a contractor come to refinish the hard wood floors of my old house.
April 3: Contractor finishes hard wood floors.
April 4: Class registration opens. Except the system isn’t letting me register.
April 5: Frantic attempt to redo my class schedule plan for Summer and Fall based on the fact that I’m going to miss the Spring term. Get Summer set. Fall is a disaster waiting to happen.
April 6: Receive word that I (and 3 other MEDPREP students) now have access to register for classes. One more round of redoing my schedule for Fall, and I make it work very nicely! (by giving up on working into my schedule the Spring pre-req class I’m missing. I’m just going to have to catch up at the start of the second class in the sequence.) Registered for classes!

April 8: Carpet installation estimator misses the 2 hour appointment window by almost an 1hour late. I’m already gone to put Aurora down for nap.
April 9: Carpet installation estimator missed appointment AGAIN, by 30 minutes. I’m literally locking the door to the house on my way out to my car when he shows up.
April 11: House painters quote #3.
April 13: Carpet installation.
April 16: Inside of house painted.
April 17: New photos taken.
April 18: Remove house listing. Relist house with new photos and $1,000 price drop (after spending $8,000+ on carpeting and paint, and Dad spending more on wood floors).
April 20: I get that horrible stomach sank to the bottom of the pit and got eaten feeling telling me the house will not sell in time. I start looking for a new job. The start of Plan C (where I don’t get to go to school.)

April 22: Open house.
April 23: Drop price of house $15,000.
April 27: School Orientation.
April 27: Need an offer on the house if I’m going to start school for Summer term.

May 4: Need to be through inspection on the house if I’m going to start school for Summer term.

Week of April 30 – May 4: At some point in here I will have to summon the strength to tell school I can’t come….

There is no path I know of for starting school in the Fall term and getting in the 3 class Chemistry sequence I need in time to take the MCATs. Which probably means not being able to go to school (this year).

Thus will end the month (and a half) of emotional Hell. I hope.

Week of April 30 – May 4: I start applying for a new job.

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I So Want to Be Here

Yesterday I went to orientation for MEDPREP. I *SO* want to be here. :(

Last night I had normal (for me) dreams. I like my dreams. If only I could get back to this everyday.

Side Note (because I keep forgetting to post it):
During the so hard physically month, one of the things that helped keep me going was Aurora climbing into bed with me each morning and either playing “go sleep, wake up!” with me or cuddling with me. Aww, Loved it.

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Mars: Did You Know? #2

Mars is half the diameter of Earth, but both planets have the same amount of dry land. (Yes, it’s a coincidence.)

How Big Is Mars

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The sunset room is gone…

The last knife in my gut.
We’ve been erased.
Hopefully that knife will cut the cord weighing me down so heavily with the past.
I need to be able to move on.

I like it here.
I want to be here. Focus on here.
But I can’t, yet, and it hurts.

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Mars: Did You Know? #1

While Curiosity celebrated being on Mars for 2000 sols (Martian days) on March 22, I think it’s cooler that Curiosity celebrated being on Mars for 3 Martian years on March 26!

Extra Credit: It is currently year 34 on Mars.

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Mars Rovers!

In honor of the “Mars Rovers!” lesson I will be teaching tomorrow at a local elementary school, here is a picture of the 3 generations of Mars Rovers.

It’s a real picture too! “How?” I hear you ask, as you are savvy enough to know the Mars rovers did not all land in the same location on Mars. Well, every rover has a “twin” back here on Earth called the flight spare (for the first) or test rover (for the others).

SO, without further ado, I give you in NASA’s own words:
- Marie Curie (the flight spare for Sojourner)
- Surface System Test Bed (the test rover and working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity)
- Vehicle System Test Bed (the test rover for Curiosity)

Here’s a picture with humans in it, for perspective. I wish I could link the one where the humans are standing, so you can see that Spirit / Oppy are shorter than an average scientist and Curiosity is well taller.…/imagegallery/image_feature_2154.html

Another Fun Fact:
The 4th generation of Mars rovers is already in production, and will be launched in 2020. This yet to be named contraption is currently being called “Mars 2020 Rover”.

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Look At Me the Way…

Last Tuesday she looked at me like this. And for the first time, someone looking at me like this didn’t scare me or creep me out. I actually liked it. Remembering that look on her face makes me smile.

Courtney :)

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Chocolate or Poop?

How many times have YOU played “chocolate or poop” since the New Year?

I’m in the “dozens” range.

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