Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Will Phoenix Rise From the Ashes?


Word came down yesterday that NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander has ceased operations and is now considered officially shut down by NASA\JPL. The end of Phoenix' life was not unanticipated, since it was always going to be a relatively short duration mission due to the harsh weather conditions at the landing site near NASA's North polar cap.

Along the way, Phoenix not only took some 25,000 images of the featureless plain upon which it landed, it also pushed the Brookings "time release aspirin" ball a little further up the field, at least in terms of playing footsie with the idea that Mars harbors life. The most significant discovery of the mission was that water ice exists just beneath the surface of the Red Planet. Readers of Dark Mission will of course be well aware that not only ice, but liquid water exists on the surface of Mars, as does microbial life. The findings of Phoenix are quite unremarkable to us, but pretty spectacular by NASA's standards.


What we find far more fascinating is the symbolism connected with this mission. A Phoenix is, naturally, a bird of Egyptian legend that rises magically from the ashes of its own destruction. Again, readers of Dark Mission will be well aware of the significance of yet another NASA mission steeped in Egyptian mythology. By finding and confirming the source of all life, water, Phoenix signaled symbolically the Resurrection of Mars as an abode of life. But we don't expect the death\resurrection symbolism to stop there.


When the lander parachuted into its eventual landing site (captured in an amazing image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) it did so according to the Masonic\Egyptian ritual pattern we have all become so familiar with.


Finding Orion's Belt Star Mintaka on the horizon (an Egyptian symbol of resurrection) was no great surprise. But if the Phoenix symbolism is to be taken to its full extension, then we can expect that the death of the Mars Phoenix Lander has been greatly exaggerated. Time will tell, but we fully expect that Phoenix will be heard from again. After all, science is "nothing, if not prediction," as Richard likes to say.

We'll keep our eyes (and NASA's ears) peeled for any sign that Phoenix has risen from the ashes.

16 comments:

The Fool said...

So Mike
I'm sure you and Richard disagree on how Obama will "change" humanity's direction.

I'm curious, what's your take?

Mike Bara said...

Jimmy Carter on steroids.

marsandro said...

Let's hope not....

:-)

Hathor -- The ULTIMATE Political Pundit

;-)

T'Zairis said...

I just have a really hard time believing that Phoenix is actually 'dead' at the moment. Why spend all that money and expertise on sending Phoenix to Mars for just a few months of scratching at the top layers of the Martian kitty litter tray? It isn't telling us anything we (and 'they') don't already know, so I want to know what else in the way of technology that Phoenix is packing, and what it's doing.

Peace,

T'Zairis

Mike Bara said...

Well Richard had an interesting take on this in a phone conversation tonight. He speculated that the "resurrection" could take the form of a late release of data indicating microbial life. You know, a "look what we found buried in the data" kind of thing. We'll see.

T'Zairis said...

It will be interesting to see if they will indeed cough up any data on microbial life on Mars. I sometimes think they'd rather cough up yards of their own intestines before any meaningful info on the Martian life we already know is there.

The thing that's always bothered me about all the 'new-(old)-fangled probes' stuff is that in this day of miniscule cell phones with internal baby-fingernail-sized fractal antennae, the NASA yobbos want us to believe that they still are sending out probes with modestly tricked-out pooper-scoopers as high-end gadgetry. In this day of postage-stamp-reading spy satellites, I just cannot suspend my sense of disbelief enough to swallow that idea.

No, I think Phoenix must have some high-end mini-goodies on board, and it may even still be able to talk to Earth. After all, we have aged probes out in the cold hind-end of the solar system that we are still getting signals from, and yet with the more advanced tech of today, Phoenix can't talk if its little internal heaters are powered down? I don't buy that, nor do I buy the whole idea that a multi-million dollar probe would be so 'technologically inept' as to be unable to give us any more info than the Viking missions.

I mean, I am not expecting bouquets of live crinoids or anything, but I refuse to have my credulity strained by the assertion that all Phoenix can manage is a few tinker-toy back-scratcher-sized scoops of dirt dumped into a little on-board lab that can barely detect the presence of water-ice.

Peace,

T'Zairis

Sphinx said...

I think that the problem is IF NASA will tell us when Phoenix resurrect, and not the usually bullshit about system failures, fatal error, lost contact..etc

Btw, Mike, any news regarding the info that NASA give us on August this year, about the soil on North Pole of Mars that is full with perchlorate?

Until now I don't know any new intel about that. My guess is that Phoenix itself contaminated Mars with perchlorate.

What is your opinion?

The Fool said...

What is Richard's take on Obama?

I see there is a mention of his Hyperdimensional Election on TEM.

Mike Bara said...

He'll be talking about that on his Coast to Coast AM hosting gig.

joe said...

RCH is going to hoast C2C?
Is that on a schedule?

Mike Bara said...

Its not scheduled yet but it will happen soon, from what I know.

marsandro said...

Hi T'Zairis,

You are SO right about the
on-board sensing technology.

My Accu-Chek[tm] Aviva blood glucose meter
uses a plastic-coated carboard-substrate
sensor palate no bigger than a gnat to read
my blood glucose level as accurately as the
big machines at the VA hospital.

Moreover, there is a *new* meter now on
the market that does not even require an
external sample of blood---it simply reads
*through your finger* using, of all things,
MICROWAVES.

The newer meter is even faster and more
accurate than the direct-reading meters that
require a sample of your blood.

Both meters are powered by 3V button cells.

And we are to believe that NASA does not
have this technology?

It probably CAME from NASA!

:-)

Hathor -- The ULTIMATE Sensory Experience

;-)

marsandro said...

Hey Mike,

Any clue how come my Big Cat
isn't showing?

I tried reloading the image,
and even tried loading a new
"reversed" image.

It shows in previews, but not
on posts.

I'm catless!!!!! :-O

Any idea why? :-

:-)

Hathor -- Checking the ftp's

;-)

marsandro said...

Ah---NOW it shows...!

Meow. Purr.

...self-satisfied "roar"....

:-)

Hathor -- Buffing her nails

;-)

T'Zairis said...

Marsandro--

Yep, that's exactly what I am talking about: we've got all this great super-miniaturized and powerful stuff like your microwave glucose-level meter, and yet poor, poor multi-mil-$$ Phoenix cannot definitively tell us whether or not there is microbial life in Martian dirt???!!!???!!!???

Since I still have a brain in the old skull-box and not a chunk of boiled cauliflower, there is no way that I accept Phoenix-as-pitched by NASA/JPL: nothing more than a high-end 'Viking redux'. It's more 'don't pay any attention, folks... move along... nothing to see here...' crapola.

Or, as RCH says (quoting Alice in Wonderland) 'There's jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never jam today...'

BTW, I laughed over the 'It probably CAME from NASA' line...

It sounds like the title of a cheesy B-grade horror-flick:

'It CAME from NASA!'

Thrill to man-eating crinoids, scantily-dressed Martian Tiger-priestesses, and rampaging robots with antimatter cannons!

See the exciting battle for control of the Cydonian Hyperspace Star-Portal!

Discover the terrible secret lurking hidden beneath the ice at the Martian South Pole!

Starring: Richard Carlson, Walter Pidgeon, Robby the Robot, the entire crew of The Enterprise Mission, and a cast of thousands of NASA and JPL workers as the dreaded 'Martian Bureaucracy of Chryse Planitia'.

With Special Guest Stars: Betty Page as Valis-Kaa (the wanton Empress of Olympus Mons), Hunter S. Thompson as Darth Chasma and Jack Parsons' eternally damned soul (channeled through Johnny Depp) as Professor Rocket.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'd pay to see it...

Peace,

T'Zairis

marsandro said...

I'll pay DOUBLE
to see THAT!

:-)

Hathor -- Working the ticket booth

;-)