The Red Planet
A planet of dunes and craters. The surface of the planet Mars is seemingly uninhabited except for the alien robots sent by humans to investigate and send back images to earth.
The Machine Dies
Opportunity lasted 14 years on Mars.
The famous last words of Opportunity the Rover were "My battery is low and it's getting dark" and this became a viral tweet (we know this is a translation of the data not actual words).
Solar Power and Energy
The machines are solar powered, and something of an experiment as the Rovers have lasted far longer than anticipated according to NASA. Reading about them inspired an idea to create a solar or a partially solar powered synth. Hopefully we will not ever be in a situation where there is no energy but we like it as an idea or as an alternative to using the grid.
The Sun as Collaborator
Any light dependent resistor reacting to the light off the sun is effectively accommodating the sun as a collaborator, an accomplice in the act of making noises. Passive or not. Solar Panels can be used in a similar way to an LDR but can produce their own control voltages directly rather than just controlling an existing voltage.
Nuclear vs Solar
This is not a nuclear vs solar investigation. The main scepticism we had about Chernobyl when making the Chernobylizer was the govt/corporate negligence that led to the disaster. There is no doubt in my mind that another disaster at a nuclear plant will happen either due to negligence or as a result of a natural disaster similar to Fukishima.
Plastic has been found on Mars. A robot has died on Mars. Mars is no longer a virgin.
Humans like things that are dirty and to extract, excavate and get things out from under a planets surface. The desire to go to the moon and to Mars is not only about exploration. They want the goods. To extract substances, materials, precious and rare things from the moon and from Mars. If the universe left it there, it belongs to humans.
The Surface of Mars
A mysterious and beautiful landscape devoid of human life. Dunes, valleys, craters and markings. The surface of Mars was until recent years untouched by humans but touched only by the hands of the universe itself. Formations developed over thousands of years by the elements and huge dust storms. River-like markings puzzle astronomers as they strive to learn more about this planet.
The machines on Mars enable us to see images of this planet, machines are expanding our minds. The first photograph of mars was actually a painting. Humans acted as a printer for machine data:
Where are the aliens?
As in Ray Bradbury's "The Million-Year Picnic", we are the aliens, the robots are the aliens. Mars is not our planet.
"A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust)." source: mars.nasa.gov/resources/26988/sample-collection-and-rock-analysis-at-wildcat-ridge/
A Robot Arm
"NASA’s Perseverance rover puts its robotic arm to work around a rocky outcrop called “Skinner Ridge” in Mars’ Jezero Crater. Composed of multiple images, this mosaic shows layered sedimentary rocks in the face of a cliff in the delta, as well as one of the locations where the rover abraded a circular patch to analyze a rock’s composition." mars.nasa.gov/resources/26995/perseverance-workspace-at-skinner-ridge/
Going to Mars
We are going to Mars.
You can too, get your boarding pass.
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