Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sunday fun

This was a fun day. 


First we had a nice ride and lunch on the Napa Wine Train with friends. I don't know if this is the greatest deal in the world, but we did have fun. Seeing the restored Pullman 'Heavy' cars was great.






On the way home, to loosen up our muscles after sitting around, I took Toni to Rodeo beach to show her where the Golden Gate Marathon was. It was a beautiful day with full sun and spanking clean air from across 7000 miles of open ocean!







The blowup of a cell phone photo above shows the Farallon Islands which we could see wiht the naked eye! This is only the 2nd time since 1990 we've seen them from the mainland.


They are 27 miles away!


My leg muscles are feeling better..I think after another day of rest on Monday they'll be good to go!


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Tonight at 10:30pm PST Curiosity, the latest Mars rover, will attempt to land on Mars. I am crossing my fingers and toes that it survies the "7 minutes of terror" during landing. They are doing a very risky seeming skycrane method to get the rover down from the 'jet pack'. 


The smaller rovers that have been so successful were very light by comparison and used a 'bouncing ball' method for the last part of landing. But this can't work with a heavy rover like Curiosity that is loaded with much more sophisticated science equipment.




It's hard not to anthropomorphize a one ton machine that is as independent as this one: the speed of light delay to/from Mars means people on the earth can't help with any problems, once she starts entering the Mars atmosphere she's on her own. 


I so hope everything goes well..if so they'll be a ton of learning about Mars and the potential for life having evolved there long ago ....when Mars was wetter and had more atmosphere.


Crossing fingers and toes! Good luck Curiosity!



4 comments:

  1. Those pullman cars are so cool! I would love to take a ride in one of them.

    Beautiful photos! I used to live in the bay area when I was in the military. The coastline is spectacular.

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  3. Ooops...needed to edit:) Love the pics and am very jealous about going on Napa Wine train. I love Napa:)

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  4. Paul...those pics were gorgeous and the pullman car was very nostalgic I have to say...I am fine, but a bit absent. Thanks for checking up on me and I will get out there shortly!

    what is your wine of choice btw? I am loving a good Argentina malbec at the moment :)

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