Congratulations to the 2009 Mission Madness winner - Superpressure Balloon. The Balloon Program Office is based out of Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. They did a great job of rallying their fan base to dominate the competition. Mars Rovers, Mars Odyssey, Expedition 1, Orion, New Horizons, and SOHO all fell victim to the mouse clicking of the SPB troops. I thought Orion had a shot to deflate SPB in the quarterfinals but they stopped voting on the second day around 6:45 PM. Then when New Horizons took a 2,500 vote lead going into day 2 of the semifinal round I thought for sure SPB was done. Not so fast my friends. SPB did one thing that none of the other mission voters were able to do and that is play each round for the full 39 hours.
Thank you to all who participated in the tournament, commented on the blog, and provided feedback on our social networking sites - Facebook and Twitter. We will compile all your suggestions and use them for next year's competition. Here's the breakdown of the votes count by round.
Round 1: 128,898
Round 2: 122,558
Round 3: 125,843
Total Vote Count: 742,445
Is SPB the greatest NASA mission of all time? In my opinion - absolutely not, but there are a ton of people who now know about the Superpressure Balloon. In fact (and be honest), how many missions in the field of 64 did you learn about? How many didn't have a clue about some of the missions? Some of the objectives of the madness:
1. Allow the public and internal NASA to learn about 64 different missions. We tend to focus on one mission at a time.
2. Provide a fun and exciting way for the public to learn more about NASA in general.
3. Receive feedback from the public to see what types of missions they are interested in.
There are a few lessons learned from this experience and I am sure next year's competition will be even better. We'll have a new field of 64 with great missions that didn't get included this year. So start lobbying for your mission today so that they may have the chance to do what SPB did....shock the world.
And don't forget to keep watching NASA EDGE (http://www.nasa.gov/nasaedge), an inside and outside look at all things NASA. On tap down the road:
2. Orion simulators
3. STS-125 Launch
4. Launch Abort System
5. Apollo 40th Anniversary Vodcast
6. Desert Rats
7. Arex I-X flight test
8. Pad Abort-1 test
9. Superpressure Balloon????
All the best,