back to article Nuclear Mars tank to roam imposing crater

NASA has announced that its Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity, will touch down in Mars' Gale crater, described as boffins' "top choice to pursue the ambitious goals of this new rover mission". Gale crater is a depression 96 miles (154km) in diameter – covering "about the combined area of Connecticut and Rhode Island" – …


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  1. 4HiMarks

    But in Reg standard units

    96 miles in diameter is 896.4971 milliWales. Other conversions left as an exercise for the reader.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: But in Reg standard units

      For example, how high is the mountain in linguine? And how much does Curiosity weigh in jubs?

      1. Ralthor


        That is all.

      2. Scott Broukell

        Presumambly Curiosity weighs ...

        ... about as much as a Jubble Telescope ?

        Which may or may not be roughly equivalent to 1 x Mega Jub.

        (Curiosity - maybe that will be the name future Mars inhabitants will give to it's decayed remains when they are unearthed in years hence - just a thought)

        Right, I'm off - jub done :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward

          But did it run over the current Martians' family pet?

          Because as we all know, Curiosity kills the...

  2. John 98

    SI units not

    How big is Rhode island? As a true Brit, I need to know how many Routemaster buses that is. Like the tank idea, though (unless the lift rocket malfunctions)

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    You know it makes sense ....

    "Curiosity is tasked with sniffing water, but also organic compounds - although Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA HQ, described the chance of finding the latter as "a long shot"."

    Methinks all here on Earth recognise that there is every chance of lead scientists for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA HQ sniffing organic compounds, as a former for their long shots.

    The crying shame though is that they could surely do so much more, better, at home, rather than pratting about in an alien field they know absolutely nothing about.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      amanfromMars 1

      I was surprised to find that post was completely comprehensible to me.

      Then I spotted the 1 at the end of your name.

      The cash value of NASA's budget is huge.

      But it's size as a *percentage* of the US federal budget is *tiny*. At the peak of Apollo this reference

      shows the peak year was 1966 at a whopping 4.41% of the *whole* US federal budget.

      The last *listed* year it (2008) it was 0.6%.. That's 6/10's of *one* percent.

      So dumping NASA would release a whole 0.6% of the US federal budget (don't think it'll go back to voters. Governments can always find a use for "savings")

      I've no idea what that's the equivalent of. Possibly enough to give every US solider in the field another meal a day (as if US soldiers were starved already)?

      There *are* reasons for shutting down (or radically re-structuring) NASA

      Funding a *massive* increase in health, social or defense spending (depending on your personal outlook) is *not* one of them.

  4. Beachrider

    Jaded Friday thinking, for some...

    Phoenix confirmed hypotheses about water on Mars. Only really-smart bloggers 'knew' that before Phoenix. The world struggles to keep up with the really-smart bloggers...

  5. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Nuclear Mars Tank?

    Ok, just don't piss the Mysterons off, k?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The next 3 probes

      could be called Symphony, Rhapsody and Harmony...

      1. nyelvmark

        I don't remember a Curiosity angel

        Let's see: Symphony, Rasphody, Harmony... er, Melody... Scary, Baby and Posh?

        It's been a long time.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          How about using the lesser known virtues as names?

          Tubso and Bissonomy spring to mind.

          Mine is the one with "Going Postal" in the pocket.

  6. Bernd Felsche

    Don't let Wolowitz near the controls

    What's the speed limit on Mars? Any GATSOs?

  7. Clockworkseer

    The missing one is...

    Destiny Angel.

  8. Jonski

    Please check location, NASA.

    It's red, it's sandy and it's shaped like Australia...

    It *IS* Australia!

    PS Could also make comparisons with intelligent life, sophisticated culture, lack of water...

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    "PS Could also make comparisons with intelligent life, sophisticated culture, lack of water..."

    But there's no broadband.

  10. Antony King


    Was it just me that read it as "Nuclear Mars tank to cause imposing crater" ? Was disappointing to read given that build up :-(

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