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Submission + - NASA's Mars Phoenix ready for Launch

StaffInfection writes: "After a one day delay in fueling of the Boeing Delta II-7925 ( elta2/delta2.htm) launch vehicle due to weather, the Phoenix Mars Scout Mission is prepared for launch on Saturday, August 4th, at 5:26 a.m. or 6:02 a.m EDT. The Mars Phoenix lander ( is a table for four — about the size of a modest dinner table. At Mars, it will soft land a suite of science instruments for studying the Martian Polar regolith. Phoenix is the rekindling of the Mars Surveyor Lander, twin to the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander (MPL, Code=MPL). The science payload will analyze the martian polar soil for water and mineral content and study the surrounding morphology and atmospheric conditions. The stationary lander includes an 8 foot robotic arm that will feed soil samples to miniaturized chemical laboratories (MECA, php and TEGA, Landing (animations at &y=2007) will be a Viking style soft landing rather than the air bag system used on the Mars Pathfinder and Rover missions. All missions to Mars are challenging but Phoenix represents a last chance to rectify for the loss of MPL and Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999. All three spacecraft share a common development lineage at Lockheed Martin, Denver. A successful landing will present our first visit to the Martian Polar environment. In the last ten years, American, European and Japanese Mars exploration has resulted in seven successful missions and four failures. Phoenix will be supported by a constellation of orbiters presently at Mars — Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express and Mars Odyssey, functioning as communication relays."

Bacteria Eat Styrofoam 253

chaosmage42 writes "Scientists at the University of Dublin have found a way to break down styrofoam, the bane of recyclers/composters everywhere. This could be a great step towards sustainability, but it does require the styrofoam to be heated first."

Comment Re:More Then Just The Article (Score 1) 692

I interned with MS for over about a year and a half, and had a very similar experience. I worked on some excellent projects, and with some amazing people.

I do still hate MS as a corporate entity, but you can't hold that against the people working there. I certainly didn't have eny of the 60+ hour week / no social life horror stories that some other people seemed to have. I generally worked a 40 hour week, with an occasional 50 hour week as things were getting close to release. It really just depends upon the group you are with.

The BBQ at Bill's house has changed though in recent years. My first year there it was open to all interns. The second year though they changed the rules so that only interns who were graduating in a year got to go to his house. The rest just got a dinner with him on campus. With over 700 interns every summer, I'm amazed that they do anything like that.

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