The Mars Report – June 6th, 2014

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Impact Scar Detected-in Mars Weathercam Image

Impact Scar Detected-in Mars Weathercam Image

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 Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I apologize for the delay in the publication of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I have, yet, to write about it but my health is giving my fits and starts. For three days, this week, I had golf balls under my armpits, and fevers that would come and go within a day. I desperately need to get to my doctors, but I am unable to do so by myself. Anywho, I am here now and I have a pretty incredible edition of ‘The Mars Report” for everyone to read and enjoy.

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Just a little promotion, before we get started, of yesterday’s article here at The Other Shoe. Yesterday, and just below this article I published the Tenth edition of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ (click that link to go directly to the story). Yesterday’s episode saw a turn in the luck of our two hero’s, Timmy and Archer, and the introduction of an all new character – Mr. Champion. I would get into any spoilers, but Mr. Champion… is… well, special. And not to tip my hand too much, but you might be seeing a lot of Mr. Champion in upcoming episodes. If you haven’t, already, be sure to drop by and give it a read. Later today I will be publishing another review of all the parts (episodes) so far. So, if you have never taken the time to read this tale of adventure and horror? You will be able to go to one place to get caught up on the adventures of Timmy and Archer… and ‘The Tall Man, too.

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Today we visit the Martian surface not for any accomplishment of our sojourning rover, Curiosity. No, today we are going to see images from Mars of the “Best Ever Pinning Down of When a Space Rock Hits Mars.” It really is an incredible event, from a scientific point of view, and helps me to bring to focus just how in touch for the events on Mars America is. This is a ‘Good Thing’ for America and for the furtherance of our people and our species. As I relayed in the earlier edition of ‘The Mars Report’ right here on Wednesday of this week, America needs to focus on exploration and colonization of Mars.

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This is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the National Research Council, too. As stated in their report[1] to NASA and Congress (‘Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration’), the need for timely exploration and eventual colonization of Mars is of the up most importance to scientific development and the continuation of our species. This goal was firmly in mind when NASA planned (and launched) the ‘Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’[2] projectand the largest rover ever to land on another planet, ‘Mars Science Laboratory – Curiosity’ project[3]. It is no coincidence that, for the first time in the history of man, we have a rover on the Martian surface at the same time we have a scientific laboratory in Martian orbit.

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As well, for the purposes of this article this combination of scientific platforms has allowed us to make the single timeliest observation of a galactic body crash to the Martian surface. My Dear Readers, this is (really) a major scientific achievement. An achievement that should have been heralded from every rooftop, by every media outlet and held up as the accomplishment that it truly is. You see, this is what is possible… this is our potential as a nation, a people, a species. I am happy, and honored, to share this achievement here on my blog.

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At the top of this page you will see one of the very first images that altered NASA of the strike. The image was taken by Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter[4] on May 9th, 2014. I am bringing these images, and this news, to you just a matter of a couple of weeks later. Honestly, I had all these images ready… last week. If it hadn’t been for the gold balls under my arm pits… and this nagging fever, well I would have broken this news… ,like, an actual news outlet! J

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Large, Fresh Crater Surrounded by Smaller Craters

Large, Fresh Crater Surrounded by Smaller Craters

(Large, Fresh Crater Surrounded by Smaller Craters)

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Now, the image above of the largest impact crater associated with the March 20th, 2012. The crater is 159 feet wide and is surrounded by several other smaller craters. Further… well here is the statement directly from the NASA/JPL web site;

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“It is the biggest fresh impact crater anywhere — not just on Mars — ever clearly confirmed by before-and-after images.”[5]

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The exploding asteroid rained debris at the time of impact, resulting in the creation of the surrounding smaller craters. This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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Best-Ever Pinning Down When a Space Rock Hit Mars

Best-Ever Pinning Down When a Space Rock Hit Mars

(Best-Ever Pinning Down When a Space Rock Hit Mars)

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Like I wrote, earlier in this article, with the images I am sharing here today. NASA/JPL managed to develop the ‘Best pinning down of when a space rock hit Mars” in the history of our observation and exploration of Mars. Now, remember, that NASA/JPL made this accomplishment in spite of what the National Research Council called “an anemic budget”. Just image what scientific accomplishments and exploration American scientists could do with adequate funding!

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Fresh Mars Crater Confirmed Within Impact Scar

Fresh Mars Crater Confirmed Within Impact Scar

(Fresh Mars Crater Confirmed Within Impact Scar)

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The image above is not quite as clear to the naked eye. I had to download this Image and blow it up with my own programs to clearly see the crater. Yet, if you take a moment and really focus on this image, you can make out the outline of the impact crater, in the middle of this image. I include this image because it was in the series that NASA/JPL presented on the web site. I feel strongly that I should do my best to share all the image, all the evidence when I relay discoveries and scientific accomplishments to you, My Dear Readers.

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Before-and-After Views Confirm Fresh Craters

Before-and-After Views Confirm Fresh Craters

(Before-and-After Views Confirm Fresh Craters)

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The images above were taken by the Context Camera (CTX) aboard the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The image on the left was taken on January 6, 2012 and the image on the right was taken (by the same camera) on April 6th, 2014. Remember, that these images are being taken from miles above the Martian surface. I think that these black and white images are a lot better, as far as being able to clearly see the impact carter, than the color comparison images above.

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Landslides Near Fresh Crater on Mars

Landslides Near Fresh Crater on Mars

(Landslides Near Fresh Crater on Mars)

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Which bring us to the image above, the last image for this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 6th, 2014. The impact of the exploding asteroid appears to have caused landslides in the area of impact. Again, this is great science that NASA/JPL are involved in, here on the Martian surface, millions of miles away from Earth. The presence of the rover Curiosity and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have given American scientists a unique opportunity to make scientific discoveries in a timely fashion. What would, from earth observations only, would take decades of observations and imaging is, right now with our dual presence, taken only a matter of twenty to twenty-two months!

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My Dear Readers, I am not so sure that I adequately conveyed the importance of this discovery. Conveyed how much of advancement, to previous means and methods, this discovery has made. Worry not, I have months and months more of this mission to cover, and tons more scientific discoveries and observations. I am sure, that in time, everyone will understand the importance of the dual scientific and exploratory tools. The opportunity that NASA/JPL has brought to not only American scientists and astrophysicists, but to the whole of mankind. It really is just a matter of time before mankind looks on Earth as our starting place… our crib. Only a matter of time before mankind sees all of our solar system as its home, and the stars and universe beyond as obtainable.

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We live in a very special time, My Dear Readers. A time of great discovery and accomplishment. Through my work here at The Other Shoe I hope that I expose all of you, My Dear Readers, to some of these accomplishments and the potential of our aspirations in the stars. Earth is where mankind started out. Earth should not be where our species… ends. We heave it in our spirit to move West… to land on the moon. I have no doubts that if mankind were to set his sights on the farthest star from our own. That in time, we would reach our goal.

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The only limitation mankind has, is the reach of his imagination.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!
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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

 


 

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The Mars Report – June 4th, 2014

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Curiosity Lowered By 'Sky Crane' to Martian Surface

Curiosity Lowered By ‘Sky Crane’ to Martian Surface

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                Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It has been more than a week since I wrote, and published, an edition of ‘The Mars Report’. However, today’s edition just could not have come at a better time. For those of us that, daily, look to the stars and dream of living in outer space or another planet? A report from the National Research Council (named Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration) outlines the genuine necessity of planetary exploration and colonization, a goal, which I have strong, and positive feelings about.

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The report, written by a committee of experts in space exploration was mandated by Congress and sponsored byNASA, sets the goal of “putting a man on Mars”. This is consistent with NASA’s long-term vision for space exploration. However, the report noted, current funding for NASA is too meager to reach the goal”.[1]The report also states that it is “in the best interests of the United States” to include China in future space partnerships. This goes against a recent law, drafted and sponsored by Republican Congressman Fran Wolf (Virginia).[2] Quite honestly, the future of the human race is far more important than trumped up ideas about ‘national security’ drummed up along party lines.

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The report also pointed out that the current budget for NASA “is anemic” and does not provide enough funds for two major projects essential to their long-term goals. The first of these projects is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a large airborne infrared telescope, which is currently grounded. The second project is essential for any manned Martian space flight, the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and the companion Orion deep-space crew capsule.

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My Dear Readers, these projects and NASA’s budgetary limitations are the result of partisan politics and the victim of an austerity based budgetary mindset. This is not just inconvenient for NASA these (rather short sighted) decisions could well place the very future of our species at risk. The report made that point very clear by emphasizing the “‘aspirational’ reasons such as the shared destiny of humanity and the ultimate survival of the human species”. The current population of our planet is seven billion and shows no sign of decreasing. Further, with the most recent meeting of environmental scientists releasing a statement that “Global warming is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than previously anticipated…”[3] Mankind would be best served by Terraforming a planet, like Mars, sooner rather than later.

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In just the introduction of this paper, the experts on space exploration, stated:

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Today the United States is the major partner in a massive orbital facility – the International Space Station – that is becoming the focal point for the first tentative steps in commercial cargo and crewed orbital space flights. And yet, the long-term future of human spaceflight beyond this project is unclear. Pronouncements by multiple presidents of bold new ventures by Americans to the Moon, to Mars, and to an asteroid in its native orbit, have not been matched by the same commitment that accompanied President Kennedy s now fabled 1961 speech-namely, the substantial increase in NASA funding needed to make it happen. Are we still committed to advancing human spaceflight? What should a long-term goal be, and what does the United States need to do to achieve it?”[4]

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It is time for the future of our species to come before partisan politics. Time for the budget, for space exploration and settlement, of the single wealthiest nation on the planet equal the scope of the task at hand. It is worse than foolhardy for hyperbolic partisan politics to pinch pennies when it comes to the very future of our people, our species! We simply cannot wait for another Kennedy-like President to come along and enamor the public and challenge our Congress with a national goal in space exploration. We simply must find a way to do the ‘Right Thing’ for the preservation of our nation and our species without a President Kennedy to lead the way.

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For the past hundred years science fiction writers have put on paper visions of our future. Everything from geosynchronous satellites to cellular phones were first dreamed of by science fiction writers in novels of a better and more technologically advanced man. How many men, of the age 45-55, have proclaimed, “where are the flying cars and rocket packs?” If you think about our future, if you (as a boy or young girl) read science fiction you just cannot help but be let down by the lack of scientific progress America, and mankind, has made since the Apollo missions.

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Most of us, that have these dreams, know. That the major reasons mankind does not have flying cars and jet packs? It is because of; greed, the technologically stunting disease that is ‘the politics of, and for, the wealthy’ and all the fear mongering that comes from the fringe. That when any man… a man that has the convictions that come with beliefs, and the courage of his convictions, steps forward and says “NOW is the time for America to take the lead in space exploration and colonization…” is immediately attacked and torn down by the talking heads that live among the fringe of our political system. Truly it is the fears spread by these overly loud ‘talking heads’ that occupy the fringe of our political system that rob America of the opportunity to, once again, lead our species back out into space.

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My Dear Readers, I encourage you all to take a few moments (today) and follow the links I have provided to the content I have quoted. Take a few moments and familiarize yourself with the reality of Human Space Exploration. The limitations that are placed on NASA, and by association our nation and the people of this planet. I remember a time… I clearly remember a time when boys and men looked to the stars and saw America’s future! We looked to the stars and knew that American Astronauts were taking the very first steps mankind made off of Earth. Nightly we all looked at the Moon and the stars, either with our naked eyes or through the telescopes, we begged for, for our birthdays or Christmas.

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We looked at the moon, the planets and the stars with a longing and anticipation. A longing to join Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and anticipation for when our time would come to be among the stars! My Dear Readers, I write this article not just for the boys and girls that, joined me, in looking towards the stars with anticipation. I write it, as well, for the “ultimate survival of the human species”.[5] Realize, My Dear Readers, that when the time comes… the tides of extinction will not recognize distinctions of; wealth, race, religion or party. When our planet’s tides encroach on our cities, they will drown us all. That when our air becomes so toxic it is fatal to breath? It will be fatal to breath for all Americans, regardless of how wealthy we are or what party we vote to support.

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People can deny scientific facts for as long as they want. However, one can deny gravity all they desire, yet you still will go splat when you jump off of a three story building. For centuries men denied the curvature of our Earth, they were proven wrong in a very big way. Today, even though Pope John Paul II told his Vatican Scientific advisors “the theory of evolution is now fact. The story of ‘Adam and Eve’ is just that… a nice story”. Yet, to this day, tens of millions of Americans deny the science embraced by the descendant of Peter (the “rock of the Church”) and the head of Christianity on this planet Earth… and still cling (out of desperation, like fearful of falling “off the edge of the Earth”) to a story of a single man and woman from which all of mankind… arose.

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Dinosaurs roamed this Earth for more than One Hundred Seventy MILLION years! Yet, tens of millions of Americans (honestly) believe that the Earth is only ‘thousands of years old’. My question for everyone is; will Americans stand by and allow our very species to become extinct, ‘go the way of the Dodo’, simply out of ignorance and greed? Mankind settling Mars is the logical next step for our species. Today, we posses the basic science to; put man on Mars, build viable and livable structures on Mars, and (with time) to Terraform Mars so that it is livable by humans. My Dear Readers, will Americans allow our nation to fall, our species to become extinct merely for “more tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses”?

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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It is my humble opinion that, if we allow this to happen… if we allow our planet to die and take us with it… without the space exploration and colinzation needed to extend the life of our species beyond that of this Earth? Then mankind, quite simply, deserves to die.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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P.S. My Dear Readers, I realize that this edition is not ‘like’ any other edition ever published. I had something to say… and I didn’t want pictures to distract from that point. However, I will publish ANOTHER edition, later this week, WITH PICTURES FROM MARS! Please, stay tuned for another edition of ‘The Mars Report’ with images from Mars, later this week. Thank you!

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

The Mars Report – May 145th, 2014

Welcome back MY Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It is, already, Wednesday and the problems with my primary blog location have been resolved. It appears that the blog is back up and working. I just wrote and published a small edition of ‘Notes from Behind the Keyboard’ to get everyone up to date. With that taken care of, now it is time to present the few new images available from NASA/JPL for the Curiosity mission. There are a large number of RAW images, but quite honestly I am suffering with the intolerable temperatures in this apartment, so I am going to keep this short, today.

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There are two great new images of the rover Curiosity. I have decided that these two images are what I am going to share, for today. If I can keep this short, I just might be able to get out an edition of ‘The Mars Report’ and ‘Lost in Space’ before I become fully involved in the writing and production of ‘The Horror in Smithville’. Quite honestly, that piece is taking up most of my time and creativity.

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Our very first image of the day is a selfie taken by the rover Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) located on its arm. The image was taken to make sure that the cover was operating properly, and that sand was not building up on the wiper assembly or the door hinge. YES! This image was taken during a bit of a sandstorm on Mars. Not often that we get a shot, from Mars, taken during a sandstorm.

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Rover Curiosirty Takes Self Portrait

Rover Curiosirty Takes Self Portrait

(Rover Curiosirty Takes Self Portrait)

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For our next, and final, image of the day is another selfie. This time we get a picture of the whole rover Curiosity! NASA/JPL likes to take these images frequently, so that they can monitor any damage done to the rover. So far, the rover Curiosity is fairing very well. There is no damage anywhere on the rover. This is great news for NASA/JPL and all of us that enjoy the images and science coming from Curiosity.

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High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera

High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera

(High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera)

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Well My Dear Readers that brings us to the end of today’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I hope that you enjoyed the selfies that I have provided. I am going through all the RAW images, over the rest of the week. It was a slow image week for Curiosity, which gives me nothing much to share. I look forward to bringing you a full edition, next week.

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Now, back to sweltering in my apartment with a dysfunctional air conditioner… and a genuinely lazy staff. Super!

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

The Mars Report – May 5th, 2014

               Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. A big welcome back to ‘The Mars Report’ for May 5th, 2014. Tomorrow I must make a journey, by mass transit, from here in Orange County all the way into Los Angeles County, Rolling Hills Estates. I leave at 8:30AM and return home at 8PM. Yes, a twelve hour journey to see one doctor. Anywho, I am mentioning this because I am pressed for time, today. Therefore, this will be a shortened version of this storied series. Not to diminish this edition, because in this edition you will get to witness… … … Martian Dunes MOVE!

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That’s right, at the end of this issue I will share a time lapsed image, from NASA/JPL, showing dunes on the Martian surface move. Now, until we get to this point, let’s get back to the major focus of today’s edition. Since I last posted, the Curiosity rover has engaged in another scientific experiment. We had arrived at the Kimberly and had moved up beside Windjana’, a sandstone formation in the Kimberly. The image below shows Curiosity’s current location on the Martian surface.

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Location of Mars Sandstone Target 'Windjana'

Location of Mars Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’

(Location of Mars Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’)

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You know, I think it was really brilliant that NASA/JPL put a satellite in orbit over Mars at the same time as Curiosity’s adventures. This gives everyone the opportunity to track the rover’s progress and protects our investmentby having eyes in the sky. Below is the very first image Curiosity sent back upon arrival at the Kimberly ‘Windjana’ location.

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Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target 'Windjana'

Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’

(Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’)

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Now, as I mentioned in an earlier edition, our arrival at Windjana is monumental in Curiosity’s journey because this is the very first instance of sandstone formations. So far, Curiosity, had only been around mudstone formations. This, harder, sandstone formation will give more of Curiosity’s instruments a challenge while providing more scientific evidence for future study. Below is the first transmitted image of the Windjana sandstone face.

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Martian Sandstone Target Windjana Before and After Brushing

Martian Sandstone Target Windjana Before and After Brushing

(Martian Sandstone Target Windjana Before and After Brushing)

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Our next image is after Curiosity has drilled into the face of the Windjana sandstone face. You can see the darker core fragments around the edge of the bore hole.

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Preparatory Drilling Test on Martian Target 'Windjana'

Preparatory Drilling Test on Martian Target ‘Windjana’

(Preparatory Drilling Test on Martian Target ‘Windjana’)

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Our next two images are of sand dunes on the Martian surface. These images are taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Aye, that’s the orbiter that I mentioned above the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that monitors; weather shifts, planetary location, and even sand dunes on the Martian surface. It is Curiosity’s ‘Eyes in the Sky’. Our next image is a stationary image of Martian sand dunes that the orbiter has been monitoring for the past several months. They look just amazing!

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Active Dune Field on Mars

Active Dune Field on Mars

(Active Dune Field on Mars)

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As always, I have saved the very best image for the last one of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. This image is a time lapse of composite images taken from the Martian Orbiter of the very same sand dunes that are pictured above. And, YES that is ICE on the Martian surface you see above, and below. If this uploaded correctly, and you sit there and look for a minute, you should be able to see the Martian Sand Dunes move, right before your eyes!

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Time Lapse of Martian Dunes

Time Lapse of Martian Dunes

(Time Lapse of Martian Dunes)

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the end of yet another edition of ‘The Mars Report’ here at ‘The Other Shoe’. I would like top thank you, one and all, for dropping by and taking a few moments to share these incredible images from the Martian surface. It is always a pleasure to share, and have enjoyed, these images from another world… with someone. Have a great and productive week, and I will see you again right here, later this week.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning

The Other Shoe’s Daniel Hanning 2/2014

The Mars Report – April 28th, 2014

               Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today is Monday April 28th 2014, and this is ‘The Mars Report’. Today I will share a duo of unique finds, from the NASA/JPL web site. Our first find is a series of five images from the Martian rover Curiosity’s ‘Right NavCam’ (Navigation Camera). Today at 4:50AM the right navcam captured a meteor falling in the distance. Now, a few eccentric bloggers are (of course) spinning this as so ‘ET’ moment. The evidence is that Curiosity’s diligence was repaid with the capture of a falling celestial body, a meteor. The next five images, below, are the images showing the falling meteor.

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Meteor 1

Meteor 1

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Meteor 2

Meteor 2

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Meteor 3

Meteor 3

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Meteor 4

Meteor 4

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Meteor 5

Meteor 5

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Well, that was fun. Wasn’t it? I am not convinced that this is ‘an alien dropping to the Martian surface’, and it will take a lot more evidence to convince me of that dubious finding. Moving on, the next image I have for your consideration is a graphic. This graphic shows the purposed pathway to Martian landing by American explorers in the year 2030. The pathway below is are goals outlined in the bipartisan NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and in the U.S. National Space Policy. So, if I manage to live to 73, then I will have lived to see mankind land on the Soon, and Mars! Here’s to me living to 2030!

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The projected pathway to Man on Mars by 2030

The projected pathway to Man on Mars by 2030

(The projected pathway to Man on Mars by 2030)

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Now, My Dear Readers, we come to our final image for today’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. My Dear Readers, my health is worsening, and it is this fact which determines how much and how often I write and publish. I am no fool, I can clearly see that my traffic is lower than it has been for months. This adds to my depression, but there is little I can do to change this fact. Oh, I can push myself to publish more and more, longer and longer, and end up in a world of pain and suffering. I am pretty sure that nobody wants that outcome.

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The image, below, is the very first image from Curiosity since its arrival at the ‘Windjana’target location. This is a sandstone rock, and the very first of this type Curiosity has encountered since landing. Now, My Dear Readers, I go to the NASA/JPL ‘Mars Science Laboratory’ web site, daily, looking for new and interesting or entertaining images. Today the site was bereft of such, and I have worked to provide you with some content to digest .

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Just as soon as Curiosity completes the scientific experiments, I will be sharing (with you My Dear Readers) the science and the images created. I will keep checking back, during the week, and if there is anything new I will post an updated edition of ‘The Mars Report’. Until then, I hope you enjoy the following image of Curiosity’s arrival at ‘Windjana’!

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Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target 'Windjana'

Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’

(Curiosity Mars Rover Beside Sandstone Target ‘Windjana’)

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Well, I have managed to scrounge up some more images for you to enjoy. Each and every day Curiosity transmits, what are called, RAW Images. From these images NASA/JPL refines the ones they deem worthy of media use, or scientific use. Otherwise, they are stored on the web site. Today I have put together some of these RAW images for you to enjoy.

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Unlike other images I share, there are really no descriptions or science to share, regarding the images. Therefore, I will give you an explanation of where the images were taken, and by which camera. Beyond that, if there is anything I can find to share, I will! Our first RAW image shows a bit of the rover Curiosity and the Martian horizon in the background. Honestly, I look at all of these RAW images, each week, and I really enjoy all the views of the horizon and the Martian surface. I imagine I am on Mars, and looking at the surface and the horizon. It takes me away, for a few moments, from the world of pain and doubt I live in. Here is the first of the three RAW images I have to share.

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HandCam Second Image April 24th

HandCam Second Image April 24th

(HandCam Second Image April 24th)

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The next RAW image I have to share is of one of the smaller wheels to Curiosity and the bottom of the MASTCAM. There is none of the horizon, in this image, but you can see a good bit of the rover.

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Hand Cam Image April 24th 2014

Hand Cam Image April 24th 2014

(Hand Cam Image April 24th 2014)

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Our final image of the day is another of the Martian horizon as seen by Curiosity. I really like this image. Matter of fact I took this image and adjusted the tilt, cleaned it up a bit and now it serves as my desktop for my computer. I really like Mars, if you couldn’t tell by now. This image was taken on April 24th, 2014 near the ‘Windjana’ sandstone rock, shown above. I could just sit and stare at this image, and several others like it, for hours on end. Hoenstly, it takes me away… to another place… peaceful and quiet… calm.

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Martian Horizon Curiosity 4-24-14

Martian Horizon Curiosity 4-24-14

(Martian Horizon Curiosity 4-24-14)

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And, with that, My Dear Readers, we come to the end of yet another edition of ‘The Mars Report’ here at ‘The Other Shoe’. I do hope that you have enjoyed the images I have shared. I do so look forward to your visits… your ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’. Like I said, earlier, if there is anymore news or science discovered over the week, I will publish another edition of ‘The Mars Report’. Again, thanks for dropping by and have a great week!

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Thank YOU!

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Adieu!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning

The Other Shoe’s Daniel Hanning 2/2014

The Mars Report – April 14th 2014

                  Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Well, since I last published about Mars, April 7th, there has been some hubbub about… well, a light… on… Mars! Yes, as on can well imagine, this had the blogo’sphere burning daylight. ‘An independent light source seen on Mars!’ Had very nutcase and shut-in burning up their ISPs with radical ideas about its source, and reason. My Dear Readers, if that is the ‘kind of’ blogging you are looking for… then this is not the place for you. Please exit stage left…

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However, if you want the scientific explanation, then you have arrived at the correct blog. First, let’s get all the anticipation out of the way. Below is one of the images that has raised all the fuss.

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First Martian Image with Light source

First Martian Image with Light source

(First Martian Image with Light source)

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Now, from the left eye camera, within seconds of the image above, there is no light source.

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SAME Spot Left EYE within one second

SAME Spot Left EYE within one second

(SAME Spot Left EYE within one second)

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Anyone with experience with photography will understand; if it is does not appear in both camera images… at the same time. Then it is likely not a ‘Martian trying to signal our rover’. More likely thatn not, what we have here is a very shiny natural source somewhere in the foothills of Mount Sharp. A rock surface with a very shiny surface which, when viewed at this spot from a very particular angle reflects in a camera lens. It is quite likely that, if there were humans there, they might very well not see this reflection.

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Further proof of what (and NASA) have proffered as an answer, is the image below?

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A pair of Navcam images in the same direction from the previous afternoon has a bright spot similarly located in the right-eye image.”[1]

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Same camera previous afternoon

Same camera previous afternoon

(Same camera previous afternoon)

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At least for me, this is more proof that what we are witness, is nothing more than a lens flare. If you have ever had photography as a hobby, and made either rock concerts or landscapes your forte then you will have been exposed to (even lost great images, too) lens flares. Below is our final image in this conversation. I have taken the liberty to copy and paste the text from NASA.

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“This image from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover includes a bright spot near the upper left corner. The sun is in the same direction, west-northwest, above the frame. Bright spots appear in images from the rover nearly every week. Typical explanations for them are cosmic rays hitting the light detector or sunlight glinting from rocks.”[2]

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Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

(Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover)

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So, for me at least, this puts this whole matter to bed. However, If sometime in the future… by some galactic fluke, these images crop up in the news again. I will take the time to address them… again. Honestly, there is so much ‘good science’ happening with the “Mars Science Laboratory – Rover Curiosity’ that all this is a merely a distraction. ‘Good Thing’? These images brought Curiosity, and the science NASA is involved, on the Martian surfaceinto the view of the public. Like the old saw ‘Any exposure is good exposure’.

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Sitting here, and putting this article together, I thought to myself… ‘I would certainly be remiss to just publish about this lark…’ Looking at the published images (refined, categorized and ready for press release) there really isn’t anything new since my last edition of ‘The Mars Report’. Honest, I looked at several of the sites.

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Now, I do not wish to be remembered as ‘that guy who never went the extra mile…’ So, I have managed to put together some images I had taken a pass on, before, that have real scientific merit. For all of My Dear Readers? Those wonderful regulars that come often and stay long? I am writing this Sunday afternoon at 6PM, long after the publication of ‘A Week in Review’. This week promises to be very busy and I am working to get ahead of the curve.

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Our next image is the strongest evidence, so far, NASA/JPL has found of flowing liquid water on Mars. Now, for science junkies and the like, this a majorly important image. Rather than work to paraphrase what NASA/JPL has released with this image. Let me present to you their words, exactly as presented with this image.

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“The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. Water transport is the only process capable of producing the rounded shape of clasts of this size.”[3]

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Sounds reasonable to me, how about you? Now, let me share the image they wrote about.

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Link to a Watery Past

Link to a Watery Past

(Link to a Watery Past)

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Since we are on the topic of fluid water on the Martian surface, let me bring you another image as evidence. In an outcrop called Shaler’. In the Yellowknife Bay of area of Mars’ Gale Crater this outcrop was found. In this image we see inclined layering called ‘cross-bedding’. This only occurs as the result of passing fluid water and is indicative of sediment-transport in stream flows. Thus adding to the growing scientific evidence that fluid water once flowed on the Martian surface. Me thinks that it is surprising (and also rather revealing) that science like this does not make the news… yet lens flares, somehow, do. What curious creatures we American humans, are. Yes?

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'Shaler' Unit's Evidence of Stream Flow

‘Shaler’ Unit’s Evidence of Stream Flow

(‘Shaler’ Unit’s Evidence of Stream Flow )

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Week, before last, I ended this series with an image of the Earth from Mars. I am always working to keep things in perspective. How small our planet is, when view from the Martian surface. It gives me pause, and should serve as food for thought. Tonight, I bring you yet another image of perspective. In this image, if enlarged enough, one can see our Earth and the moon from the Martian surface.[4]

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Earth and our Moon from Mars

Earth and our Moon from Mars

(Earth and our Moon from Mars)

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With that, we come to this week’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I really do enjoy bringing this series, and these images, to you My Dear Readers. I can only hope that they, and I, have brought some wonder and even joy… to you.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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P.S. Just a little FYI for all of you, My Dear Readers. ‘The Mars Report’ has become the #1-article aeries here at The Other Shoe. Last week’s edition gathered 31 ‘Likes’ in less than one week! Be a part of the phenomenon and be sure to ‘Like’ this edition, too. I must admit… when I started this blog… I never imagined I would be publishing two weekly series looking to the stars. Thank you!

.

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The Mars Report – April 7th, 2014

Martian Northern Hemisphere & North Pole

Martian Northern Hemisphere & North Pole

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I hope that everyone is having a Good Monday, a great start for a wonderful week. I am most pleased to announce that I have a rather nice batch of images, from Mars, to share with you today. Now, I will be the first to admit, they are not as stellar (did you get that?) as my offerings last week. Our intrepid adventurer the rover, Curiosity, has made progress and has arrived at the next waypoint, the Kimberly.

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Ok, I kind of got things bass-ackwards. Let me tell you about the image above. This article opened with an spectacular image of the northern hemisphere of Mars, showing the Martian North Pole. My Dear Readers, until the 14th of this month, you can get a better look at Mars than anytime since 2008. For, you see, Mars is only 56 million miles from Earth for the next week. That is less than 1/5 of the greatest distance Mars travels away from us, at 256 million miles.

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You see, My Dear Readers, Mars has always held a special fascination for me. Even as a boy, looking through a telescope I made with paper towel cardboard tubes and lenses from a broken pair of binoculars, I would spend hours looking up at the Martian surface. Granted I could not make out more than patches of dark and, in the spring, the glow of the northern pole. This great red orb in the sky fascinated a young Danny. I had always hoped to own a better telescope.

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Now, I spend hours upon hours viewing images at NASA and JPL. Devouring all that I can read, see and glean Mars still captures my fascination and imagination. You now know my reason for ‘The Mars Report’, eh? Having said, let’s get started with today’s images, and the stories they tell.

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As I mentioned, above, Curiosity’s next waypoint is the Kimberly. Our next image, for today, is from Curiosity’s ‘NavCam’ (Navigational Camera) on the 588th Martian day, or Sol day. This position was picked as a vantage point for extensive viewing of the various rock types. In the background, the horizon of this image, are the primary science destinations for this mission. The lower slope of Mount Sharp. In the coming weeks, and months, watch with me as this destination gets closer and closer.

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Curiosity's View From Before Final Approach to 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Curiosity’s View From Before Final Approach to ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint

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In our last edition of ‘The Mars Report’ I shared a map showing the journey, so far. Today I have a similar offering, for our next image. The image below was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. There were two images, to choose from, showing this path. One was in black and white, the other was in color. I picked the color image for today’s publication. So, here is a nice splash of color for your enjoyment.

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Map of Curiosity Mars Rover's Drives to 'the Kimberley' Waypoint

Map of Curiosity Mars Rover’s Drives to ‘the Kimberley’ Waypoint

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Oh, what the heck, I looked at the black and white image and it shows a lot more of the journey Curiosity has made so far. Therefore, below is a large image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Showing several of the pervious waypoints, this image gives us a better idea of just how far our intrepid rover, Curiosity, has driven.

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Curiosity Mars Rover's Route from Landing to 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Curiosity Mars Rover’s Route from Landing to ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint

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The next to the last image, for today’s edition of ‘The Mars report’ I give you ‘The Kimberly’ waypoint. This image was taken on Martian Day number 589, April 2nd, 2014. Taken by Curiosity’s navigational camera (NavCam) shortly after arrival this image marks a major accomplishment. The center of the image shows an outcrop called “striated” by the project scientists.

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Curiosity's View From Arrival Point at 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Curiosity’s View From Arrival Point at ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint

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The final image… well, I have saved the very best image for the very last image. Taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter this spectacular image is of a recently made crater in the Martian surface. The very center of this crater measures 100 feet in diameter (30 meters) and appears blue in this image. The bluish color is due to the fact that all the red soil, customary to the Martian surface, was ejected on impact. The explosion created the blast area seen around the center crater. This blast zone is several miles in diameter, and the blast threw ejecta (the term used for displaced soil in a crater) as far as 9.3 miles.

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A Spectacular New Martian Impact Crater

A Spectacular New Martian Impact Crater

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That brings us, My Dear Readers, to the conclusion of this week’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I hope that you all have enjoyed the images I have shared, here today. I look forward to any comments or suggestions. If images from space strike your fancy? Then drop back by, later in the week, for this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’.

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Until then, I hope that everyone has a great beginning of their week. Come back often, as I plan to have a full week of material, stories and more images from space. Thank you for your time and your support.

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Martian Southern Pole

Martian Southern Pole

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Thank you!

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The Mars Report – March 31st, 2014

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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          Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today I have a very informative edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for all of you, My Dear Readers. The image you see above is an artist’s concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This orbiter has many missions and two of them are in support to the rover Curiosity. First, this orbiter takes high-resolution images of the Martian surface. These images are then used to plot Curiosity’s navigation and course. Second, the orbiter relays information and images from the rover to earth.

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Now, I had not been keeping up with the mission (daily) like before all the new additions to The Other Shoe. Seems that the orbiter took a bit of a break. On March 9th the reconnaissance orbiter went offline as it switched computers, from primary to backup. This left a vital link in communications from Curiosity to earth and us. That has left people, like myself, quite bereft of new mages to share with our readers. I have five images that I am here to share, today. However, we might not see ‘The Mars Report’ next week if there are no new images of science to report. Just a little FYI.

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Our next image is of the rover Curiosity. This is a selfie taken of a shadow of the rover. The shadow falls on a slope of the McClure-Beverlin Escarpment. This escarpment is located on on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The images was taken on March 20, 2014 by the rover’s rear hazard-avoidance camera. Well, we humans just love taking selfies, now it is Curiosity’s turn.

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Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

(Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope)

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With the orbiter back up and running, a new discovery was made on the Martian surface. Our next image is of that discovery, an all new gully. Taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) of the orbiter on two different occasions. The image to the left was taken November 2010 and the image on the right was taken May 2013. The second image reveals the formation of a new gully on the crater wall slope of the southern highlands. It is believed that it was formed by activity by carbon dioxide frost.

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New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice

New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice

(New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice)

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Switching back to a black/white image, the shot below is of rock rows on striated ground. These rock rows are in the foreground of this image. In the background we can see our, eventual, goal Mount Sharp. The rock rows are in an outcrop called “Junda”. Curiosity passed this outcrop during a drive of 328 feet (100 meters) on Feb. 19. 2014.

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Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp

Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp

(Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp)

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Ahhh, we are getting close to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ so I am getting to the really good images. Joy! Our next image is one that I have searched for… for many months. Taken with the combination images from the the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Platform, in orbit over the Martian surface. This image shows… … … (drum roll, please!) … the route driven and route planned for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover from before reaching “Dingo Gap”. Now, this is a ‘Must Keep’ image for all hardcore Curiosity fans and Martian Fanboys. If I had the money? I would have this puppy enlarged, wall sided, and put it up on a wall in my apartment. Yes, I am a ‘Martian Fanboy’… if you hadn’t already guessed that by the ongoing weekly article series.

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Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014

Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014

(Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014)

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Well, My Dear Readers, this brings us to our final image of the day for this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. As I mentioned earlier, depending on available materials next Monday there may or may not be an edition next Monday. I really hope that they get the uploads flying and post lots and lots of images in the next week. The Mast Camera on the rover Curiosity took our final image of the day. This image was taken February 25th, 2014, about a quarter mile out from our next waypoint ‘The Kimberly’. This image shows sandstone layers with varying resistance to erosion are evident in this Martian scene. This is important because so far, on our trip with Curiosity, we have only encountered mudstone formations.

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This is the why of my hopes that they get the orbiter busy relaying more and more images from this sandstone area. As well, there is a real opportunity for a lot of good science in this area. So, as we bring this edition to an end, enjoy this final image from the Mast Camera of the rover Curiosity.

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Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones

Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones

(Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones)

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Thank you all for dropping by today and sharing these images. I hope that I have brought a little wonder into your world, today. That is the gift I give to you, My Dear Readers. Wonder.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank YOU!

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The Mars Report – March 24th, 2014

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Curiosity Making Headway West of 'Dingo Gap'

Curiosity Making Headway West of ‘Dingo Gap’

(Curiosity Making Headway West of ‘Dingo Gap’)

[CLICK on ANY image in This Article to See LARGER Version]

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe and ‘The Mars Report’ for March 24th, 2014. With the lost airliner in Asia, the turmoil brewing in the Ukraine, it is difficult to pull our eyes away from all this disaster and look to the skies. However, that is exactly what I did today, and what I am asking you MY Dear Readers to do for the next few moments. Actually, it is comforting to think that not all of our human condition is pain and suffering of other humans. Though it occupies little real estate in; newspapers, Television reporting, cable news networks and even blogs.

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Curiosity, remember, is the Martian rover that we are following here at The Other Shoe. Even though it does not make the news, there is a lot of ‘good science’ happening on the surface of Mars. Hundreds of America; scientists, teachers, students, interns and elder scholars work tirelessly to bring useable science out of the mystery that surrounds our sister planet. Even science from back when I was still in school has relevance today. Take, for example, the image below. This is an image from the Voyager Project back in 1979.

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Martian Morning Clouds Seen by Viking Orbiter 1 in 1976

Martian Morning Clouds Seen by Viking Orbiter 1 in 1976

(Image of Martian Clouds from Orbit – Voyager 1 1976)

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The twin Voyager orbiters were the first, and last, manmade research vehicles to ever capture this sight. This is an image of morning clouds over Valles Marineris area of equatorial Mars. Never before, and not since, has any other humans brought back images of this complexity, and splendor. Even thirty-five years ago, American orbital research vehicles brought back scientific discoveries that help us better understand other climates, and ultimately our own. No other nation, on the planet earth, has ever managed to bring back images like this. American still stands as the founding nation of interplanetary flight, and discovery.

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Now, for something completely different… a recent image from the surface of Mars thanks to the Curiosity rover’s NAVCAM. The navigational camera sits atop the center mast on the rover Curiosity. This image is a composite of several images taken by the NAVCAM on Mars Day 574 dating March 18th, 2014.This image looks southward toward a planned science waypoint at “the Kimberley,” with an outcrop of eroded sandstone in the foreground. ‘The Kimberly’ is named after a region of Australia, here on earth. Now, ‘the Kimberly’ on Mars is made up of sandstone formations. This sandstone area in the Kimberly will be new and different terrain than the mudstone Curiosity has been limited to, since landing. This gives Curiosity, and scientists here on earth, a new opportunity to study sandstone formations on a foreign planet.

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Panoramic of Sandstone Outcrop Near 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Panoramic of Sandstone Outcrop Near ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint

(Panoramic of Sandstone Outcrop Near ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint)

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For our next image, we go back into orbit over the Martian surface. The image, below, was taken by The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched prior to Curiosity and is meant as a navigational and support vehicle for the Curiosity rover. Well, let me clarify just a bit there. This orbiter does have its very own missions. However, it does help provide navigation for Curiosity, tracks Curiosity’s movement, and high resolution images from this orbiter are regularly used to help map out Curiosity’s movements and to plot its overall course. It was launched in conjunction with Curiosity and is immeasurably helpful to the Curiosity rover’s missions. The image below shows the rover Curiosity on ‘Murray Ridge’ on the Martian surface.

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Curiosity From Space Murray Gap

Curiosity From Space Murray Gap

(Curiosity from Space on Murray Ridge approaching Murray Gap)

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Staying in orbit, for the time being, our next image is still from the HiRISE camera. This is a very unique image, even for one from the Martian surface. As we approach the spring on the northern continent of Mars, we begin to see Martian sand dunes appear. They appear as they surface from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice. Well… I tried to phrase this different… I could not. So, here is a quote from the NASA web site.

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        “The steep lee sides of the dunes are also ice-free along the crest, allowing sand to slide down the dune. Dark splotches are places where ice cracked earlier in spring, releasing sand. Soon the dunes will be completely bare and all signs of spring activity will be gone.”[1]

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Martian Sand Dunes in the Spring

Martian Sand Dunes in the Spring

(Martian Sand Dunes in the Spring)

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Well now, My Dear Readers, I had planned to share three or four more images. Had it all planned out, saved to my hard drive and ready to upload to both blogs. Going to be a smashing good issue of ‘The Mars report’ for its return to The Other Shoe. Apologies all around, as my pains (the severe sharp pain in my cervical spine, the lovely shooting pains form my cervical down my left arm and all the way into my left hand, and the very entertaining pains into my face and checks… that often make my left eye do the oddest things… even messes with the vision in my left eye)… yes, those pains… are really kicking up. Thus, resulting in a growing severe headache and accompanying irritability. Apologies, that I must include and narrate this final image. I hope for improved health… it never comes. Again, my apologies for this issue being shorter than planned.

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The image below… YES, it does look like ‘communicator badges’ from ‘Star Trek’! However, they are sand dunes. Again, staying in orbit to the very end, this image was taken by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Dec. 30, 2013.

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Martian Dunes Flying in Formation

Martian Dunes Flying in Formation

(Martian Dunes Flying in Formation)

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Well… one more image. The image below is from the Mastcam back aboard the rover, Curiosity. This image is a scene looking back at where Curiosity crossed a dune at “Dingo Gap” combines several exposures taken by the Navigation Camera (Navcam) high on the rover’s mast.  The panorama is centered toward the east and spans about 225 degrees, from north-northwest at the left to west-southwest at the right..

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Panoramic view Backwards at Dingo Gap

Panoramic view Backwards at Dingo Gap

(Panoramic view Backwards at ‘Dingo Gap’)

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That brings us to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for March 24th, 2014. My Dear Readers, I want you to know and understand that bringing these images to you brings me great pleasure. All my life I have looked upward to the stars. Filled with boyhood wonder, even at 55, I have looked at the moon and stars. All my life I have wanted nothing more than to slip the surly bounds of earth and set foot on another planet. It is my humble opinion that earth… is/was meant merely as mankind’s cradle. That like our young, we are meant to leave the crib and walk elsewhere. Mankind simply cannot stay on earth. For those in-the-know you understand that, one day, our sun will explode. At that time, all life left on earth shall perish. Period.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Earth as Seen From Nightitme Martian Surface

Earth as Seen From Nightitme Martian Surface

(Earth as Seen From Nightitme Martian Surface)

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Thank YOU!

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[1] http://www.nasa.gov/content/martian-sand-dunes-in-spring/#.UzCnUahdX85

 

400th Article at The Other Shoe – Part Four

Curiosity

RAW/Natural/White Balanced image from Curiosity

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. This is Part Four of the series of article celebrating my 400th article here at The Other Shoe. Now, My Dear Readers, I have taken you back to the very beginnings of this love of mine, The Other Shoe. I have shared retrospect of several of the successful series I have published over the years. Today, I am devoting this Part Four to a look back over the series The Mars Report.

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Started the day of (or the day after) Curiosity made a soft-landing on the surface of Mars at Bradbury Point. I published over a dozen articles of The Mars Report. On October 4th, 1957 Sputnik was launched from the former U.S.S.R. and, just weeks later Daniel Hanning was born. I am, quite literally, a child of the ‘Space Age’.

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My curiosity for all things space and extraterrestrial I have had an unquenchable thirst. The Mars Report was a natural extension of that unquenchable thirst and a tall glass of relief, too. Since my reading of ‘The Martian Chronicles’ (by Ray Bradbury – Namesake of the landing zone of the rover Curiosity on Mars) I have viewed Mars through deeply curious eyes. We now know that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars.

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The presence of liquid water tells us that, at some point in the past, Mars had an atmosphere. Of all the extraterrestrial bodies, in our solar system, Mars is the best candidate for Terraforming. That the moon may be mankind’s first celestial body/space, that Mars is the only logical starting point for any travel outside our solar system. Regardless of mankind’s ability to see, today, the eventual role Mars will play in our evolution. Mars will be a huge stepping-stone from which mankind will launch himself into the stars.

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Today, with this Part Four of the celebratory series of articles for the 400th publication here at The Other Shoe. I chose to highlight The Mars Report series of articles. Therefore, without further adieu, I bring you a short history of my scientific series The Mars Report!

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Curiosity Lowered By 'Sky Crane' to Martian Surface

Curiosity Lowered By ‘Sky Crane’ to Martian Surface

  • Curiosity’s First Images from Mars : “This Saturday (August 5th, 2012) NASA and JPL reached the climax of the current Mars Lander/rover project, Curiosity. I was watching, on JPL web TV as the ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’ culminated with America putting the largest and most sophisticated rover on the surface of Mars. The one ton Curiosity has its own; nuclear reactor, laser drill, 20″ tires, and ten scientific instruments and High Definition cameras. Just released today, 3D images coming from Curiosity. Looking at them, I think we will all need to dig up our ‘Red/Blue’ 3D glasses to enjoy these gems.” This article is the beginning of The Mars Report. It was not until later in the series that I ‘landed’ (pun, intended) on the current title for the series; The Mars Report. I really did sit and watch, via internet broadcast on the JPL Web site, the Mars Lander successfully place Curiosity on the Martian surface @ Bradbury Point. Curiosity represented the single heaviest non-human payload ever deposited on extraterrestrial soil. They accomplished this task with the very first use of a ‘Sky Crane’ that hovered over the landing site and slowly lowered the Curiosity package to a successful soft-landing. I think I might have held my breath the majority of the ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’ along with the staff/crew at JPL. The successful accomplishment of this task has opened huge vista of exploration for NASA/JPL, and mankind. After witnessing the landing… I just knew that I had to write about the adventure Curiosity had just embarked. I had to involve and inform you, My Dear Readers, of this Herculean effort and journey. I am write happy I did.
Self Portrait

This is a self portrait of the mast of the Curiosity rover.

  • Curiosity Update – The Mars Report – September 1st 2012: “This is our first ‘The Mars Report’ for the month of September, 2012. Since I wrote, last, the rover has moved! Yes, Curiosity has moved from the landing zone and is starting the longest journey of any extraterritorial vehicle in the history of mankind. If Spirit and Opportunity are good examples, we will be seeing Curiosity roving and taking samples and pictures in 2020. Curiosity has his own nuclear power plant and supplemental solar power, too. So, I am sitting here and looking at the images that I have uploaded for today’s article, trying to figure out which I should lead with, what image comes first? The ‘Vanity’ shot, of course! Here is an image, from the Curiosity rover, showing the tracks it has made in the Martian soil. You can clearly see the robotic arm, in the foreground, with Curiosity’s name.” This is, like, the second or third of this series. It is the first edition where I have panoramic (HD) images to post with the article. I have started to incorporate more and more of the information from the NASA/JPL web site into the descriptions of the images. Basically, I am honing my work and improving the quality of the articles in this series. Now, I am a long way from the level of work I am publishing now. However, already I am seeing that The Mars Report has the ability to drive a lot of traffic to my blog. That is welcome news, at this point, as I am (at the time of it first publication) I was working hard to raise the funds I needed for my power chair. I really do wish I could repeat that success, now. I would really like to eat on a regular basis.
High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera

On Sol 84 (Oct. 31, 2012), NASA’s Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture this set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait.

  • Mid-May The Mars Report: “Welcome back, My Dear Readers, to the Mid-May edition of The Mars Report here @ The Other Shoe. It is a genuine pleasure to bring you this edition of The Mars Report. Reason? This is a special edition devoted to panoramic shots of the surface of Mars! This article has NO: rocks, drilled holes, tire tracks or self-portraits (well… maybe just one shot of the rover Curiosity… Have to give her props for what she does!). So without further adieu I bring you the plains and mountain of our sister planet, Mars.” At the time of the publication of this article, Curiosity had found its way out onto open areas. This allowed for huge panoramic views from the mast camera and I spared no time sharing these breath-taking views with you, My Dear Readers. This article was the very first to include a self-portrait of/by Curiosity. This series was getting better with every edition, and I was all too happy to see the corresponding increases in traffic.
Huge Full HD Panorama of Curiosity location

This is a High Definition Panorama of the Martian horizon from Curiosity in the shadow of Mount Sharp.

  • The Mars Report in 3D! : “Welcome, My Dear Readers, to the 3D issue of The Mars Report here @ The Other Shoe. This entire issue will contain nothing but three-dimensional images from curiosity on Mars. I have wanted to bring a three-dimensional issue to you, My Dear Readers, but until this week the NASA JPL website just did not have enough images. That situation changed this week.” This edition of The Mars Report was my very first 3-D publication. I explained what kind of glasses you needed to find/use to see the images in full three-dimensions. The article received a fair amount of traffic and 19 ‘Like’s. I did not repeat this type of article. I was concerned that you, My Dear Readers, might have difficulty finding the right type of 3D glasses to full enjoy the technology. This article shows the creativity and joy that writing and publishing this series brought me. I continued to publish this series, up until my health became more of an issue… and a hindrance.
Mars Rover Looks For Route via Dingo Gap

Mars Rover Looks For Route via Dingo Gap

  • The Mars Report – January 30, 2014 : “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today I am ushering in the return of one of Today I am ushering in the return of one of my favorite series of articles; The Mars Report. I remember when I announced, right here at The Other Shoe, that the rover Curiosity had successfully landed on the surface of Mars. That was more than 500 days ago, and now I bring you the most up-to-date news from Curiosity and Mars.” This issue of The Mars Report signals the, hopeful, return of this series to The Other Shoe. Curiosity has traveled a great distance, since last we checked in on the rover. We are no approaching the ‘Dingo Gap’ looking for the safest approach to Mount Sharp. In the images included in this issue you can clearly see the foothills (of Mount Sharp) in the background. The panoramic images are still breath-taking and a real draw. I hope that I can continue to update this series on a regular basis, and bring all of us more and more news from the Martian Surface.

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That brings us to the end of this, Part Four of ‘400th Article at The Other Shoe. I am working on bringing you the Conclusion of this celebratory series, this weekend. I will bring together all the content from all five of the series in a way that showcases the very best of my blog’s first 400 articles and four years.

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I am hoping that my health holds out, until I am finished with this review. Today I am making a venture into Anaheim to help Allen with the resolution of a legal matter. It will be a long day, starting at 6AM and I will get done about 6PM. I hope that everyone has enjoyed this retrospect of 400 articles and four years here at The Other Shoe.

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My Dear Readers, I consider it a responsibility as well as a joy to write and publish for your entertainment and education. I will always work just as hard as my body and pain allows. I hope that you have enjoyed this retrospect of The Mars Report and I look forward to bringing more of the Martian adventure to you, soon.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning

The Other Shoe’s Daniel Hanning 2/2014

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