Print 26 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Jan 2 at 7:36 PM

Word art message was not what (most of) the crowd was hoping for

The Curiosity Rover's official Twitter account, maintained by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, titillated space exploration fans with a Twitter message promising, "Will you be in @TimesSquareNYC for New Year's Eve? Look for a special message from Mars on the giant Toshiba screens."

Fans were hoping for some new images or video from the Rover -- possibly even news of a new discovery.  Instead they were treated to a brief pre-rendered animation, followed by a word art "text" from the Rover commenting "Happy New Year From Mars".

The Verge, whose offices are based in Manhattan, New York, described the build-up and delivery as "groan worthy".  One commenter hints that maybe budget cuts were to blame, commenting, "I think we should double NASA's budget, purely for the reason that they can then go and license decent typefaces."

However, the $2.5B USD third generation NASA rover perhaps has earned itself a bit of slack for its hard work blasting rocks on the hostile Martian landscape and for becoming the first Mars rover to directly observe the long hypothesized dried stream beds of the "Red Planet".

Hopefully NASA gets the memo and treats the crowd to a more impressive display next year.

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Can you really blame them?
By Articuno on 1/1/2013 3:07:39 PM , Rating: -1
2.5 billion dollars to find out that yes, Mars is still the barren empty rock we knew it was ten years ago. Meanwhile people are still starving to death every day on Earth.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By DiscoWade on 1/1/2013 4:38:09 PM , Rating: 5
Although I personally believe there is no life on Mars and could never be life on Mars, I don't consider this to be a waste. There are other parts of NASA that are a waste. And there are other things in government that should be cut, but obviously won't because doing so requires a backbone and the desire to think beyond the next election. The things that NASA does when reaching out like this provides benefits for all us. But that is the problem with NASA now: it is a shell of itself now run by activists.

There is so much waste in our government, and you are going after the some of the most important work NASA currently does.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By Visual on 1/2/2013 3:22:05 AM , Rating: 3
Ok, "could never be"? Really? Do you really believe that?

RE: Can you really blame them?
By mcnabney on 1/2/2013 9:51:52 AM , Rating: 3
The current pressure/temperature make life extremely difficult on Mars. However, we do know that it wasn't always this way - so looking for signs of life in the past is not such a bad idea.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By dark matter on 1/1/2013 4:44:07 PM , Rating: 5
Cool, no doubt tomorrow you'll be selling your laptop/desktop/tablet/phone and cancelling your Internet and donating all the money to help the starving.

Talk is cheap otherwise.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By Ringold on 1/1/2013 8:22:11 PM , Rating: 3
What the poor really need isn't a handout from some self-righteous Westerner, anyway. They need jobs.

What makes jobs? We do, when we buy stuff. That's the beauty of capitalism. Individuals pursue self-interest, and the net effect is prosperity.. generally speaking.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By FaaR on 1/2/2013 9:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
That's an over-simplification, to put it mildly.

Generally speaking - in the real world, rather than in some silly rose-colored glasses fantasy - globalization capitalism is much better at enrichening a few individuals at the very top of the food chain than it is at spreading prosperity around the poor people of the world.

It's kind of like hoping that throwing even more money at the military-industrial complex will lead to job growth back home.

RE: Can you really blame them?
By Bubbacub on 1/1/2013 4:52:35 PM , Rating: 5
2.5 billion isn't going to put a dent in the figures with regard to starvation

the reasons behind why people starve on this planet are pretty complex. we already produce more than enough food to feed the planetary population.

most human starvation is direct consequence of conflict, local overpopulation and a complete lack of infrastructure.

even if you wanted to spend all your salary to fund taxes to support an international army to take over and police all of sub saharan africa, build local infrastructure for them and feed them - there isnt enough money, there certainly arn't enough soldiers and there is zero desire to have our soldiers killed by belligerents why we try to help them. look at somalia and the events from 'black hawk down' as simple example of why starvation and famine will not be eradicated for a long time.

IMO, the starving children argument for not performing science research is completely and utterly invalid

RE: Can you really blame them?
By MartyLK on 1/1/13, Rating: -1
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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