Trash Talk,Missing Missions and three weeks of Mission Mania

“40 years later, and the Apollo astronauts still have a better 40 yard dash time than any rover.”

“Apollo 11 was great, but where is the science.”

“You might want to keep an eye on Expedition 16.  They have quite a following.”

“Lunar Prospector 1 was the original LCROSS”

“Orion?!?  That’s like nominating a film in pre-production for Best Picture.”

Get used to it, folks.  This is what you will be hearing over the next three weeks as people begin to sort through and size up the matchups for the 2009 Mission Madness Tournament.  And this is where you want to come to make your case for your favorite mission (ER2 is the real front runner) or trash missions that face some pretty tough odds*.  Of course, there are also plenty of missions that didn’t make the field of 64.  We really want to hear from you.  Remember, all information exchanged during this year’s competition will be evaluated by the Selection Committee for next year’s competition.  So don’t be afraid to let your opinions be known.

Good luck, and may the best mission win!

The Co-Host

P.S.  I know I don’t need to say it, but please refrain from using profanity, foul language or any other abusive language.  Not only is it not going to be posted… it will count against your mission.

*2009 Mission Madness does not support gambling of any kind.  The use of the term odds here is merely coincidental.

88 thoughts on “Trash Talk,Missing Missions and three weeks of Mission Mania”

  1. Here’s my final four.

    Nebula – Hubble
    Galaxy – Bell X-1
    Stellar – Mars Rovers
    Horizon – Cassini

    Winner – Mars Rovers

    NASA EDGE Host

  2. Where is ICESat, GRACE, SEAWiFS?

    ICESat has been at the forefront of studying the polar regions since 2003. Through ICESat data, we are learning just how changes in the polar ice sheets/sea ice levels and concentrations are being affected by global climate change and how these changes will affect the entire planet, from sea level rise to changes in ocean salinity.

    These missions are at the forefront of Earth Science Missions that are elevating our knowledge of Global Climate Change and pushing the public towards global climate literacy. It is a shame such ground-breaking missions have been omitted and yet there are some dinosaur missions that have been included that the majority of the voting public will have never heard of nor knew about.

  3. What? That’s insane!

    Here are my final 4:

    Nebula- Apollo 11
    Galaxy- Vikings I & II
    Stellar- Apollo 13
    Horizon- Gemini IV

    Winner: Apollo 11 (The *clear* winner)

    And I would *love* to hear why I’m wrong! 😉

  4. Where are all the Earth Science Missions?

    ….and so on!

    Not very happy that the Mission Madness list is 97% heavy on Space Science Missions!

  5. Hubble is too worn down, they’ll go down as surely as Gonzaga in the first bracket. My (hypothetical) money is on STS-114. With Collins at the helm and her mad 360 slam-dunk skills, they’re the ones to beat.

  6. How on Earth are we supposed to choose between X-15 and Cassini? Or STS-26 and Friendship 7. Some of these are just too personally close to call.

  7. As Co-Host of NASA EDGE, I have the following responses to earlier posts.

    Guest made the following comment:

    “Hubble is too worn down, they’ll go down as surely as Gonzaga in the first bracket. My (hypothetical) money is on STS-114. With Collins at the helm and her mad 360 slam-dunk skills, they’re the ones to beat.”

    Love your enthusiasm, however, the Shuttle is older than Hubble and will retire before Hubble, so there is some inconsistency. Thank goodness you’re only talking hypothetical money. LOL.

    Cariann wrote:

    “Winner: Apollo 11 (The *clear* winner)

    And I would *love* to hear why I’m wrong! ;)”

    Well, Cariann you are wrong because Apollo 11 is going up against ER-2 which is responsible for Irish rock band, U2. If ER-2 wins, U2 will play on NASA EDGE. Enough said.

    All posters commenting on Earth Science Missions (or the lack there of)

    You have a point. You mention some fabulous missions (EO-1 – Terra, is actually seeded) but the missions were selected by each mission directorate. Please contact them and make your case for future competition.

    That’s all for now,

    The Co-Host

  8. Cariann – Gemini IV? Really? I believe the co-host knows to pick New Horizons over Gemini IV, planet or no planet.

    NE Host

  9. KaiYves, let me help you out.

    Cassini over X-15, and Friendship 7 over STS-26. Cassini has provided us with loads of scientific data on the Saturn system and even dropped a probe on the surface of Titan. And lets go with the first American in orbit over a return to flight.

    My final four is:


    Hubble beats MER in the final match. Going for scientific output here.

  10. How exactly do you propose we decide? Should we have one general principle, like “Always already flown over conceptual” or “Always robotic over human” or “Always in my lifetime over before then” and not let personal opinion be involved, or should we decide each “match” individually?

    Sorry, I’m kind of new at this.

  11. Cariann is wrong — and here’s why:

    Look at the comments so far, Cariann. The majority of the missions pick as finalists are robotic.

    Bots vs. humans — and the bots win. I’m just sayin’…

    Clear Skies! — QuarkSpin

  12. So to all the “haters” out there:

    Blair: If this is true… I will in fact change my answers. But only for my love you both you and U2.

    Chris: This is of course assuming that New Horizons doesn’t get destroyed, become fununctional or in some other ways fail before it’s mission is over. I, for one like to base my decisions off of proven missions (ie: done) as opposed to some sort of crazy “future” talk.

    QS: We’ve already had this discussion on SVC… and without humans, bots would never be made in the first place. Have some respect; Cylon!

  13. Wow, how can you all be so wrong?!?

    Orion – Helping send humans to build a colony on the moon. DUDE, A MOON BASE! Gotta get there somehow, and Orion is it!

    Skylab – Hollowed out Saturn V turned space station. That’s like turning my house in to a floating city of awesomeness.

    Apollo 11 – The first time any species from this planet set foot on our alien neighbor, The Moon. Forever etching in to our culture the phrase, “If we can land a man on the moon, why can’t we…”

    James Webb Space Telescope – You thought the pictures from Hubble were cool? Think again! When this thing goes up it is going to *blow your mind*. It is like space porn. Wait, no… It is space porn.

    And it’s official — QuarkSpin is a Cylon. Fraking Toaster.

  14. And to Kai:

    I am also new to this, but because I believe so much in human space flight, I just simply went through all of the mission details and thought about which I prefer when I had to put them up head to head… like is someone said, “If you had to choose only one ice cream flavor to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?”

    Hope that helps!

  15. Ben,
    To quote the Co-host,
    “Orion?!? That’s like nominating a film in pre-production for Best Picture.”

    Enough said.

    And what were your picks for the final and champion?

  16. I can’t believe that SMD would overlook its Discovery missions. They’ve provided the most bang for the buck… some literally (Deep Impact!)…

  17. Blair you wrote:

    “Love your enthusiasm, however, the Shuttle is older than Hubble and will retire before Hubble, so there is some inconsistency. Thank goodness you’re only talking hypothetical money. LOL”

    OH PLEASE! I think the red in your hair is frying your brain. It’s those tried and true workhorse programs that get the job done. These young guns are all mirrors and … more mirrors. Hubble is a wounded player, barely limping along … and the only one able to fix him is shuttle. My vote remains where it stands. BRING.IT.ON.

  18. I’m curious, who exactly picked the list (was their a selection committee?). And, where are the Great Observatories? Chandra, Spitzer…Compton? How is JWST on when it’s not in existence yet?


  19. My humble apologies to Sten the Intern and the Co-host:
    My husband has a tendency to get a little ahead of himself.

    Ben’s final four picks are:
    Nebula- Apollo 11
    Galaxy- Skylab
    Stellar- ORION
    Horizon- JWST

    And… I’m guessing he is going to side with me and say that Apollo 11 is the (*clear*) winner.


  20. Maybe my eyesight is failing in my old age, but I paged down your list 3 times and still did not see Galileo on it. I find this absolutely incredible – the first mission to orbit an outer planet (not to mention the largest!), and the first and ONLY mission to drop a probe into the atmosphere of an outer planet (again…!!) A mission that was supposed to last only 2 years and managed to endure for almost 8 and end in a literal “Blaze of Glory…” I could go on and on. This was, for me, the greatest mission of all time and without it on your list, your little game is meaningless for me.

  21. Sam wrote:

    “It was easier picking names for my 4 children than it is to choose my favourite mission! Although at the moment Voyager wins, or should it be Apollo 13? No, Voyager…no, Apollo 11…no, Voyager…no, definatly Apollo 13…NO,…Voyager…..[omitted – because I couldn’t figure out how to edit well]!!!!”

    *Note – we can’t use external links – or foul language – due to rules and regulations. But I had to get the first line on the blog. Hilarious.


    The Co-Host

  22. Where are the small, cheap, awesome missions like Deep Impact (which is still flying and returning data to this day)? The only good part about JWST so far is they managed to make it to PDR without providing a budget. That could be the best project management EVER. There are Air Force programs on this list too. I thought this was NASA!

  23. Why is there only 1 Gemini mission on the bracket? I would put Gemini VI-A and Gemini VII as one of the most important missions of all time. Gemini was the first spacecraft designed for more than one person, so why is Gemini III not on the list? I love this! I have been compiling my own top 10 mission list for years.

    My final 4
    Apollo 11 vs Apollo 8 and MER vs Gemini IV
    My winner is Apollo 8 – Biggest leap of faith in NASA history!

  24. I think this is silly since you don’t have all of the Great Observatories. Chandra, Spitzer, and Compton certainly deserve to be in here.

  25. Wade wrote:
    “My winner is Apollo 8 – Biggest leap of faith in NASA history!”

    I’m curious, you put the moon ’round-and-back over the moon landing?

  26. To all those that are expressing frustration over your mission not being included, please make sure you watch the Vodcast. There is explicit mentioning of some of your missions.

    I know it is frustrating to not have your mission competing in this particular tournament, but this is the best forum to make your case as many of you have done. Keep up the good work. Our intern is keeping tabs on missions mentioned. Perhaps we will have an informal people choice mission. You just never know.

    The Co-Host

    P.S. Chandra gets a partial nod with STS-93.

  27. Considering the reputations of all the missions, would you say it’s a safe bet to say that the winner will be a manned mission? I mean, it’s one thing to get something up there and do science, but to get up there, do science, and carry people too? I say that’s some real bonus points for Mercury, Gemini, Apollo,the Shuttle, and Ares/Orion.

  28. Sten the Intern wrote:
    Wade wrote:
    “My winner is Apollo 8 – Biggest leap of faith in NASA history!”

    I’m curious, you put the moon ’round-and-back over the moon landing?

    In a lot of ways we are splitting hairs – anytime man is put on top of a rocket the flight is significant. I chose Apollo 8 for all of the firsts. First time man sat on top of a Saturn V. First time for man to leave Earth orbit. First time man orbitted the Moon. I think there were more unknowns on Apollo 8 even though it could be considered a “joy ride”. I could not argue against Apollo 11 – I would argue for Apollo 8. I love the debate. It’s like which of your children do you love the most.

  29. Over the past two days we have received a good number of comments on 2009 Mission Madness both on the blog and our social networking sites. We also have been receiving emails from a number of missions that didn’t make the field of 64. If your mission didn’t make the field, then please tell us your thoughts on the blog. Hopefully next year another field of 64 will be announced. Lobby to your mission directorate at NASA HQ to get you in the big show for next year, but in the meantime please participate and vote for the best mission out of the group this year.

    Back to the trash talking. I can’t believe the Co-host thinks ER-2 will take it this year. How many of you actually think ER-2 has a chance against Apollo?


  30. I’d like to gently remind Ben and Cariann that it was the Ranger and Surveyor missions that paved the way for a manned lunar landing. The spacecraft/bots play an important role in exploring the unknown, providing information for future mission planning and contributing towards minimizing risk to human explorers.

    I think a Ranger mission needs to be included in the bracket next time.

  31. This has got to be the greatest event of all time. The underlying debate (humans v. robots, earth v. space, aero v. space, etc.) are part of the current debates raging within NASA as far as where future priorities should lie. Given that the public is voting, this might give NASA some ideas as to what is important to the public.

    With that in mind, I hope that this is circulated far and wide so that a true cross section of the public, not just us “space-junkies,” are involved.

    As for my picks, as many have said, there are so many tough choices that it just depends on what criteria you use.

    NEBULA: Hard to choose between Apollo 11, Freedom 7, Friendship 7 and Hubble. Because I think Apollo 8 takes it over Apollo 11 (more significant step forward), I am going to go with Freedom 7 — sitting on top of a rocket that you have watched explode is impressive to me.

    GALAXY: Humans leaving the comfort of our planet’s gravitational influence is a HUGE step, Apollo 8.

    STELLAR: MER is easy for me, “solved” one of the biggest questions related to human’s place in the universe (water on mars). Scientifically successful and spunky, they have almost become human in the public conscious. I am guessing there will be actual mourning when they finally cease communicating.

    HORIZON: I think my toughest pick was Cassini v. STS-1 in the third round. Such different missions but both extremely high on my list (I could have had them in the final and been satisfied). I’ll go with Cassini based on versatility and longevity. (Though its hard to believe I would not be going with STS-1 even as I type this.)

    Strangely, having gone through the process and thinking that I am a humans over robots mentality, I think I will go with MER as the winner.

  32. Great Observatories make great teams too! Go Chandra for people’s choice!!!! Also, push STS-93 all the way!!

  33. @Quarkspin: I just meant that humans made the bots… tis all.

    @Host: I agree with you on ER-2… but I have to side with Co Host. (I’m a very dedicated admirer)

    @PaulF: I would agree with you that this is the coolest thing ever… but your choices are as crazy as the rest of them! 😉

  34. Where’s the love with the Aero missions? Bell X-1, Hyper X, X-15, SR-71?

    Cariann – Don’t let the Co-host play jedi mind tricks on you.


  35. I’m surprised that some of Nature’s top 10 accomplishments are not on the list! Take Chandra and Spitzer for example. Or on you see Chandra and Spitzer are there as well.

    Last but not least, there’s NASA’s recent survey of what missions are producing good science and *again* Chandra and Spitzer were there. What does it take for a mission to be on the Mission Madness list?

  36. Is it SMD’s fault that Chandra and Spitzer aren’t in there?

    And maybe we should arrange a viewer’s choice vote to vote on the missions that they really really like but aren’t in the tournament.

    That way that guy could vote for his precious Galileo mission and all of you Great Observatory people could vote for the Greatest non-Hubble observatory.

  37. Chandra and Spitzer? That’s a good question. Franklin brought it up in the Mission Madness selection show. Hopefully next year they’ll both make the field.

    NE Host

  38. WOW! The field is packed with so many out-standing accomplishments. Each a stepping stone to the next level of exploration and technology.Without the early missions we would not be where we are today.But all said and done I feel that it’s the Ares-1 that will take our future in exploration to the next level. Thank You NASA Edge for all the learning and laughs that you provide. You’r the best show on T.V. Elizabeth

  39. Hey guy’s, Does the winner get a trip to the ISS? It sure would be great Puplic Relations. Signed, Elizabeth

  40. Folks, remember.

    The NASA Mission directorates picked the missions, not us. If you have a problem with the mission list, you can do one of three things:

    1. Contact the directorate and ask them why the mission is not up there. Ask SMD why BARREL got picked over Chandra.


    2. Continue pushing the mission on the blog. We are keeping track and may try to do a viewers choice vote in which you can vote for your
    favorite mission if it is not on the list. Explain to everyone why your mission is the best and get people to vote for it.


    3. Run around in circles and panic.

    Sten the Intern

  41. I am a 64 year old man who has been interested in space since 1950. I got interested by reading everything written by Heinlein, Asimov, Doctorow, and many others. I think I’ve seen most of the U.S. launches into space on television, beginning with the very first televised unmanned satilite. Your “tournament” is an interesting idea. Here are a few “picks.”
    Aeronautics: The Wright brothers first flight. It pretty much started it all.
    Exploration: The first moon landing in 1969.
    Science: The Hubble telescope. It opened vistas into space never imagined in the 50s when all we had were earthbound telescopes. Galileo would faint at the prospect of the images we see today.
    As I wrote, I have seen virtually all the televised launches. Except, of course, for the one year I was an abductee on a planet in a far distant galaxy…………Just kidding. I thought Blair would believe that one, but I couldn’t keep a straight face.
    Although it seems to me that your show is pretty much designed to appeal to a younger crowd than me, I will keep watching. It is helping me get through my second childhood.
    Garey L. Bearden

  42. Host – Just wait and see what happens after first round voting. If ER-2 doesn’t advance, we may see a #3 in the making for the Co-Host.

  43. Garey – Thats okay about the abduction part. We think Blair is from another world. Thanks for watching NASA EDGE.

    NE Host

  44. “Dark Horse” Pics:


    Hubble – Hubble? Yep. Hubble however may have a very difficult time making it past Apollo 11.

    Freedom 7/Friendship 7 – voting may split between these two and eliminate them early. If they survive, it could make for an interesting showdown.


    Ares I – Unflown hardware versus Viking I & II could cause problems. Of course, GALEX may prove to be a spoiler early on.

    Skylab – I love Skylab. A showdown between Skylab and Apollo 8 is a given.


    MRO – MRO may spell trouble for MER.

    Orion – again, unflown hardware versus sentimental favorite Apollo 13.


    Voyager 1 & 2 – an early win by this duo could spell doom for Cassini and clear the way for STS-1. Of course, X-15 (a SPACEPLANE!!) may end up taking care of Cassini all by itself.

    JWST – yet another unflown hardware spoiler. Can JWST survive the early rounds and be in position to knock off STS-95?

    Those are the missions to pay close attention to early, as I see it. I’ll post my final four (and winner) pics next week.

  45. I have to go with chandra x-ray for people’s choice – I’m addicted to their adobe media channel

  46. Having already made my Final Four and championship picks, I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I think there will be significantly different results depending on the level of “Joe Public” participation as compared to “insiders” and “outsiders with an interest”. The higher the “Joe Public” participation, the more the public relations type missions that will advance. With less such participation, I think the more “scientifically relevant” type missions will advance.

    I tried to make my picks without regard to hype, but being an outsider with an interest, maybe I am subtly affected by the hype like Joe Public. Anyway, I can’t wait to see the results.

  47. I’m new to NASA Edge and just discovered March Madness. Cool. The only thing that I don’t like about it, is the ability to “stuff the ballot box.” That places the voting power in the hands of those who don’t have a life, and the mental capacity that derives. But alas, such is the demands of our universe, and Blogspheres such as this. My personal highlight of a 35 year career in the aerospace biz: shaking the hand and getting the autograph of BGen Michael Collins. I met many astronauts over my years, but a more refined gentleman with “The Right Stuff” there never was. That’s why Apollo 11 is my personal favorite.

  48. I used the following criteria to my my bracket:

    – It’s influence to science & mankind.
    – It’s success & contribution in terms of science & future missions.
    – How or if it met & or exeeded it’s goals.

    Best early round matchups per bracket are:
    – Apollo 11 vs Hubble – Apollo 11 gets this one due to Hubbles initial failure.
    – SOHO vs Apollo 8 – Apollo 8 was a huge 1st.
    – Apollo 13 vs ORION – Past failure recovery vs unproven.
    – STS-95 vs Expedition 16 – John Glen finally gets his due.

    Final 4 – Apollo 11, MER, Vikings 1 & 2, and Voyager 1 & 2.
    Dark Horses – NB52, SR71, and STS95.

    This officially proves I’m a total geek! I love this!

  49. After looking closely at the brackets, I totally agree with the posters about “Where are the Earth Science Mission?” These brackets are nothing but a poor representation of what NASA does. No wonder the majority of the Earth’s population still doesn’t know that NASA does Earth Science. This bracket is so space science biased that it really does not do NASA justice.

    I noticed that the blog moderator mentioned that the missions were chosen by each mission directorate. I am sure that not all of the players in each of the mission directorate’s saw the final list. I cannot believe that the mission directorate where ICESat, GRACE, SeaWifs, etc are a part of would have intentionally left out these missions due to the fact that these missions are vital to understanding global climate change.

    I am very disappointed in this poor attempt of Mission Madness.

  50. Andy – I don’t blame you sir. I was a little surprised myself when the Science list came out. The Science Mission Directorate did provide us with the 16 science missions. Hopefully next year more Earth Science missions will be represented. You guys have an extremely important role in understanding our Earth’s climate. Kudos to all the work that you do.

    NE Host

  51. @ Andy

    I just want to point out to you that there is a wide variety of NASA missions. Not every mission that NASA does deals with Earth science.

    I think Mission Madness does a pretty good job of representing missions from all different fields, and if you had looked at the bracket close enough, you would have noticed that there are indeed several missions on the list that deal directly as well as indirectly with Earth science. If you’d like me to explain to you which ones, just let me know.

  52. Ouch! Sten, Take it easy. Clearly the hundreds of hours doing research on these missions have taken their toll on your sensibilities.

    I’m certain that Andy knows exactly how the missions relate. He’s just understandably chapped that several Earth Science Missions didn’t get featured to his liking.

    Of course, as we get closer to voting emotions may run a little high. After round 1, however, things will be so much clearer.

    Hang in there, Andy! 2009 is a baseline for future competition. And Sten, not everyone has dedicated the last eight weeks to every mission NASA has launched.

    The Co-Host

  53. I guess it’d be wrong of me to spam the post with “APOLLO 11!!!1!1!!11” repeatedly, so…

    But seriously, guys. I came down to Apollo 11 vs. Ares. Remember the part in Spider-man 2, where Doc Ock makes Spidey choose between Mary-Jane and the bus full of kids? That’s kind of what I feel like now.


  54. We’re counting down to 2009 Mission Madness. Don’t forget round 1 voting begins at 9 am ET on March 19 and ends at midnight on March 20.

    So far I know SOHO, Phoenix, Aura, and New Horizons are getting the word out to their fan base to support their respective missions. The flight director for Expedition 16 is opening up her rolodex to make sure they make it to the finals. Apparently they are a very competitive group. We’ll see how far they make into the tournament.

    Blair and I viewed the first round selections from a staff member who works for the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). KL – what are you thinking? Superpressure Balloons over MER? What? Can anyone out there make a case for me to pick SPB over MER?

    NE Host

  55. Congradulations NASA Edge, for 2 years of great shows that bring the best inside look at the technology,science and achievements of all thats going on at NASA. Mission Madness is just one more way to bring us all up to speed and to educate those of us who don’t know about the early missions. It’s a great learning tool. And a great battle. HAPPY ANIVERSARY! We look forward to many more years of the education you give to us. Thank You NASA Edge and NASA for this show. Elizabeth

  56. Well Host, the SPB have…they can…they did…science…

    Nope, I’ve got nothing. MER all the way.

  57. When I vote, and answer the question, sometimes it says “Correct, Vote submitted”, sometimes nothing comes up.(and its not because ive given wrong answer!!!!!) Does this mean not all my votes are going through?
    Ive voted a few times, and only 2 votes have gone through…..or is this some sneaky way of making sure only Nasa Edges favourite missions go through to next round???!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. Mr. Mundell,

    Don’t worry. All votes are being counted. Even partial chads. Seriously, there may be some lag between voting and the results, but you should know when you get the security question wrong. I think a Franklin blows a whistle, and you get a message.

    Voting “Officially” doesn’t start till 9:00am, but we are already getting lots of activity on the site. Hang in there, we will be monitoring the site for traffic, lag, etc.

    NASA EDGE isn’t pulling for any particular winner. Until there is a mission that includes me, NASA EDGE remains neutral.

    The Co-Host

  59. Here it is, March 19th and I’m ready with my pics for mission madness but when I press the VOTE button nothing happens. Please say it is’nt so. What could be wrong? It’s 11:16 ET. The arrow does not change to a hand when placed on VOTE. PANIC! PANIC! Please help before 5:00PM ET. No computer at home.

  60. Mr Mundell is actually Mrs Mundell!!!! But you can call me Sam !!!!!!!

    Remaining neutral must be tough…!!!!!

  61. Final Four:

    Apollo 11
    Apollo 8

    So that pits humans against bots. MER was my choice to take it all, but Spirit and Oppy are taking a beating in the first round. Help!

  62. @ Sten the Intern,

    Wow, that was a rude reply. Being a scientist, I do believe that I know a few things about whether a mission is about earth science or space science. If you would have taken the time to absorb what my message meant was that I was questioning as to why currently vital earth-observing missions such as ICESat, GRACE, CALIPSO, etc. were left out of the mix.

    These missions are at the forefront of NASA Earth Science research and to have such a limited number of important earth-observing satellites included does not do NASA justice. I understand that there are other Earth Science aircraft missions listed, but the importance of including the missions with synoptic data is vital.

    Too often we hear about all the great space science NASA does and barely nothing about Earth Science. Ask 10 people on the street if they know that NASA does Earth Science, and 8 will say they had no idea. So, by not including these mission whose results are currently or most likely will be front news information, leads me to believe that this Mission Madness is having a negative impact on having people understand exactly what NASA does.

  63. My picks:

    Nebula: Apollo 11
    Galaxy: Vikings I & II
    Stellar: Apollo 13
    Horizon: Voyager 1 & 2

    Champion: Apollo 11

    P.S. I think you should include launch vehicles and engines too. Saturn V, F-1, SSME, Delta, Atlas, etc. Great pieces of engineering.

  64. My posting here from earlier today didn’t show up. Let’s try again.

    Final four:

    Apollo 11
    Apollo 8

    Sets up as a classic Humans vs. Bots showdown!

    Winner: MER

  65. Dear Andy,

    Welcome to the trash talking blog!

    Please don’t be upset over Sten the Intern’s post. He is an ardent fan of NASA Earth Science missions and all of the missions submitted by the Science Mission Directorate. I actually asked him to “talk trash” on the blog, so the fault is all mine. I have asked him to be more measured in his responses… and he will be.

    I think you are exactly right about NASA Earth Science missions. A ton of people don’t know about them or how important they are. That is why we believe this competition is a really good idea. Sure, the missions you mentioned aren’t competing, but they are being talked about here on our blog, on twitter, facebook, myspace, the NASA EDGE vodcasts and around water coolers. We announced the field of 64 missions in advance of the competition to generate this kind of discussion. Everyone needs to hear from folks like you that feel strongly about these missions because they sell it better than goofy co-hosts like me.

    SPB may not win against MER. But after this morning’s voting, a lot more people know about SPB than before the competition. Would ICESat, GRACE, CALIPSO (btw, CALIPSO was a bubble mission) have done better or worse against MER? We may not know until next year (2010 NASA Mission Madness,) but make your case. You have a good one.

    Keep up the good work,

    The Co-Host

  66. @ Andy,

    Hey, I apologize if you took offense to my previouse “rude” post. It is the trash talking blog, and I only meant it in good fun 🙂

    Earth science is indeed great!

    However, I have to admit, your quote of “I am very disappointed in this poor attempt of Mission Madness”, may have set me off a little bit :p

    But my apologies,
    Sten the Intern

  67. Hi again,

    What time does voting finish today?? And if you could tell me in GMT that would be even better!!!!!!!

    Sam (Mrs Mundell!!)

  68. I think that NASA EDGE should do an episode on the A-Train and all of the Earth science missions involved.

  69. Sam – voting ends midnight tonight or I believe 5 am your time (Saturday morning).

    Quarkspin – Good call on the A-Train. I produced a NASA CONNECT show years ago on the A-Train. I see the three A-Train missions are having a tough time.

    NE Host

  70. Why in Zeus’s name is MER even breaking a sweat? The balloon must DIE. The #16 seed can’t win here. RISE UP ROVERS! What bracket sabatogery is going on here?

  71. Ok, its 0803 GMT, and Im ready to vote….except I cant!!! I have to wait another 4 long hours so you guys can catch up with us who have been awake for hours!!!!!!! It will be 1300 GMT before I can vote…and thats just not right!! I want to vote now!!

    Loving the trash talking…..infact just loving this whole mission madness!! May the best mission..(Voyager)win!!!

    Sam….sat at computer…in England..watching the clock!!

  72. “This would be the greatest event. As the general public has been asked to vote, NASA will come to know what the people think.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.


    The Co-Host

  73. “Thanks for the information. A very informative one I was looking for it. Keep up the good work and would like to hear more from you?”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.


    The Co-Host

  74. “Where is ICESat, GRACE, SEAWiFS?

    ICESat has been at the forefront of studying the polar regions since 2003. Through ICESat data, we are learning just how changes in the polar ice sheets/sea ice levels and concentrations are being affected by global climate change and how these changes will affect the entire planet, from sea level rise to changes in ocean salinity.

    These missions are at the forefront of Earth Science Missions that are elevating our knowledge of Global Climate Change and pushing the public towards global climate literacy. It is a shame such ground-breaking missions have been omitted and yet there are some dinosaur missions that have been included that the majority of the voting public will have never heard of nor knew about. “

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.


    The Co-Host

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