Thursday, 13 November 2014

A wing and a prayer

I am approaching the end of the year with the almost optimistic impression that everything is under control. I am probably going to regret thinking like this.

I can imagine how the team are feeling now that - after a ten year journey - the little craft bounced in slow motion a couple of times before settling down on the comet, and how they let out their breaths when the Earth turned again this morning to allow the first pictures of its little feet - settled on the frozen lump 300,000,000 miles away and moving at about 40,000 miles per hour - to come through, meaning that all but the harpoon anchor is working, and working well.

So different to the atmosphere in the control room of Beagle, when Professor Pillinger had to go around consoling tearful scientists after he broke the news that the little thing's brakes had failed at the end of the long journey, and it was most likely lying strewn in small pieces, somewhere on the surface of Mars.

I had a little plan at the beginning of this year, and - so far - it is going worryingly well.


  1. Visualizing it I can feel the excitement in the room; a great day for Europe, for space exploration, for all of us. Well done, as they say.

  2. I agree, it is amazing -- to get these clear excellent pictures from the surface of a comet 300,000,000 miles away is a real WOW! I can't even hit the wastepaper basket from 3 feet away...

  3. Amazing. Hope your little plan works out well.

  4. I saw this on the news and one of the women scientists practically exploded with excitement. Now what of this mysterious plan that is going so well - I hope you haven't jinxed it by telling us.

    1. I hope so too. It's not a lot to ask, so it maybe alright.

  5. You're not building a 'Stephenson Rocket' are you|?

  6. Even the best made plans occasionally go wrong. The poor thing landed behind a rock out of the sun's rays. C'est la vie.