Home, Rover, and space records

Suzanne just found out from our builder that we are still about 10 weeks away from being able to move in. Sigh. Every day we look at each other and say, “It’s going to be so good when we can move into our own house!”. I thought we’d be about 6 weeks away, but we can hold out another few weeks. We’ll appreciate it that much more I think.

The MER-A rover is returning lots of nice pictures. I’d like to take one of the panorama ones to a printer and get a poster made of it. I saw one from Viking about 1.6m long at a shop when I was in Montreal. It really looked cool, but I had no way of getting it home because it was block mounted.

Still waiting in anticipation for Bush’s election enhancement announcement, but it looks like more than wishful thinking this time. NASA sent a press release detailing the announcement tomorrow at 4pm eastern US time. I’m excited about this, but in reality I can’t see a manned Mars trip happening. Collaboration with the Russians would be ideal, after all they have all the experience in the world with long endurance space missions. One of the last NASA press releases from December made me laugh… they made a big deal about Mike Foale (who is a Brit, by the way) setting a US cumulative space endurance record of 271 days, and by the time Expedition 8 returns from the ISS he will have spent more than a year in orbit. At last count, there are 20 Russians who have done this. The world record for cumulative time spent in space, 748 days, is held by Russian cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev, who flew three missions on Mir. Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov holds the world record for the longest single space mission: 438 days.