Unofficial Results for Round 1

Round 1 Delivers a shocking upset and plenty of drama!

As one of our guests said on the vodcast… “Rovers can’t throw touchdowns.”

No tournament would be complete without an upset or two, but the stunner between MER and SPB will be talked about for years to come.  48 hours ago MER fans were talking about who they might face in the championship.  Now they are talking about what went wrong.  Meanwhile SPB is flying higher than ever, aloft and heading into round 2 with a lot of momentum.  Unbelievable.

Round 2 should be interesting.  You can visit the results page for your own analysis:

Here are the likely match ups for round 2:

Apollo 11  vs  Mars Phoenix
LRO  vs  Hubble
Freedom 7  vs  WMAP
SR-71  vs  Mars Pathfinder

Viking 1 & 2  vs  Ares I
Pioneer 10  vs  Bell X-1
Apollo 8  vs  SOHO
Surveyor 1  vs  Skylab

SPB  vs  Mars Odyssey
MRO  vs  Expedition 1
X-29  vs  STS-8
Orion  vs  Apollo 13


X-43  vs  Expedition 16
JWST  vs  NB-52
Cassini  vs  Voyager 1 & 2
STS-1  vs  New Horizons

There you have it.  Baring some bizarre database anomoly, These are the round two match ups.
Let the trash talking continue…

The Co-Host

72 thoughts on “Unofficial Results for Round 1”

  1. I am looking forward to the following match-ups in the second round.

    Apollo 11 vs. Phoenix
    Pioneer 10 vs. Bell X-1
    Orion vs. Apollo 13
    Cassini vs. Voyager 1 & 2

    I have Apollo 11, Bell X-1, Apollo 13, and Cassini in my bracket. What say you?

    NE Host

  2. I’d be willing to bet that the 16,000 votes for the superpressure balloon came from a very small number of unique IP addresses. Considering the spectacular success and immense scientific gain of the MER program, a result like this pretty much makes the whole “mission madness” a meaningless exercise.

  3. Guest – I wouldn’t call this a meaningless exercise. Out of the 64 missions in the field, how many did you have to learn about? Did you ever hear of SPB before this tournament? I didn’t, in fact, I had MER going all the way and winning this tournament. Am I a little upset? Sure. But, have you had a chance to study the science gained by superpressure balloons? It’s actually pretty cool what they can accomplish. I encourage you to stick it out to the end. This tournament allows the public to learn about 64 of the hundreds and hundreds of missions NASA has developed. Are they the best 64? Absolutely not, but where have you seen a NASA outreach program focus on so many missions at once? Just a thought.

  4. I could not believe it, I had the Rovers going all the way to the Semi finals! And who’d have thought the Mercurys would have gone in round 1? I had them both down to the Sweet 16. John or Alan? Well, sadly we’ll never know. The real battle for me is between Voyager or Cassini. Arh!! Can’t we have them BOTH??

  5. Okay, so I’ve cooled off and I think I might play a little more- but those balloons are going to fall and fall hard! Eat Mars Odyssey!

    Cassini vs. Voyager?
    Apollo 13 vs. Orion?

    Ugh, how am I supposed to decide these?

    I’m surprised STS-114 advanced when STS-26 didn’t. Could this be a generational thing?

  6. Personally I am a tad skeptical of how SPB got up to 16,791 votes. That is more votes for the SPB than for all of the following missions put together: Apollo 11, Apollo 13, Mars Pheonix, Hubble, Vikings 1/2, and Voyager 1/2. In my opinion the most likely explanation was a script and I can’t help thinking that if there were some better voting regulations (such as IP address checking and more than 3 possible answers for the verification question) that a large weather balloon would not have been the most voted for mission.

    Now I can see the usefulness of large weather balloons like the SPB but at the end of the day it was a comparison between a large weather balloon that flew for over 50 days and two rovers that have been exploring Mars for over 5 years. Of course everything may have been on the level but to me the SPB incident comes off smelling fishy.

  7. Sorry folks but I have lost total faith in this contest. Most likely because there a number of voters out there that don’t understand NASA acronyms and are not willing to read about the missions.

    I seriously doubt there is a single voter out there who thinks a floating aluminum balloon should victor over two robots on a extraterrestrial body operating years past there anticipated life span. I fault the organizers for using MER and not ‘Mars Rovers’.

  8. Drake – Keep in mind that you don’t have to vote for every mission. You can vote for one match-up and click the “Submit Vote” button. Obviously that’s what happened between SPB and MER. Both missions were voting multiple times to try and get ahead. I wouldn’t put the total blame on SPB.

    For round 2 we’ve increased the number of verification questions and tighten security.

    NE Host

  9. The SPB lunatics are already up to their mischief. Boting, er, I mean voting just opened and the pumpkin already has 50 votes. Odyssey has no prayer. It is a shame, this bracket had the potential to be fun.

  10. First of all, just to refute the claims by several, the 16k votes for SPB in the previous rounds were in NO WAY fixed, or automated!!! Yes, the majority of votes probably did come from only a handful of IP addresses, but this is because of a group of VERY dedicated (and fast fingered) people wanting to see there program succeed. The effort was in NO WAY malicious, and no disrespect was intended toward MER. The Mars rovers are indeed one of the most successful programs in NASA history (and most publicized), but whose to say which program is actually better. Most probably had never heard of the Balloon Program before this contest, so those who are quick to judge should probably take a look at just a few of the programs accomplishments.

    Finally, I’m not sure why some are saying they have “lost faith” in this contest? This contest should be about promoting ALL of NASA’s programs. The majority of the general public have heard of the Mars rovers. Why is it such a bad thing that they hear about one of the lesser known project? Also, the balloon program is a relatively inexpensive part of NASA, and in these times, most of the public would be happy to see that important science is occurring at relatively little cost. This could be a positive for ALL of NASA, not just the balloon program!

  11. Well,

    How about it admins? Can you give us a count of unique ip’s where those 16K votes came from? I know I almost got carpal tunnel syndrome from click/vote/click/back. Plus knowing something about networking, I KNOW that alot of the votes came from 1 ip, since behind that ip is a firewalled /24 address with lots of dedicated voters!

    I also know that the world is behind us – for instance!

    Good luck competitors!

  12. They are not weather balloons! Did those of you that are dogging SPB actually read anything about the balloon program? I believe this contest was created to increase awareness about NASA missions and to educate. How is it that one can be so sure that MER is far superior to SPB and not actually know what the balloon program is all about, or for that matter, know what a scientific balloon is? Calling scientific balloons weather balloons, is like calling the Mars rovers remote control cars!

  13. I have been a NASA junkie for around 50 years, and am enough of a generalist that I actually knew something about “most” of the probrams. The Mission Madness contest is very interesting exercise, that requires you to measure concrete achievements of past programs — Apollo 11 for example, versus potential accomplishments of future programs such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

    If you are serious about it, you have to ask yourself how important was a concrete achievement — “escape velocity for a human vehicle” or “escape from the solar system” versus programs with enormous potential for science. It’s very hard to be realistic or fair–who knows whether some of these future programs will fizzle or fail, and which ones will achieve unforeseen leaps in human understanding of significant problems. Do you consider bang for the buck? — a balloon flight is a lot cheaper (and less risky) than a satellite launch if you can achieve the same science?

    If you’re not serious about it, it’s just a popularity contest. Vote for the program you work for, vote for the programs you like and heard of. I would like to see some serious argument on this blog for what programs you think are “worthy”.

    For example, you would be right if you said Apollo 11 achieved only limited scientific goals, BUT you would also be correct if you said it was one of the watershed events of the entire history of human civilization, and virtually every one of us who was alive and watching at the time remembers that magic moment.

    So, tell me what’s so special about your program that makes it worthy or worthier.

  14. My goodness, the rover whinery is in full production. Of course most of the 16k votes for SPB came from very few IP addresses! Many of them came from mine at work and at home. And I have the sore fingers to prove it. I voted and I voted a LOT for the project that I work on, and I’m proud of it. Just like the rover rats think that MER is the best, I think my project is the best. Hence, the close results in the SPB/MER contest. And now it looks like another close race between SPB and Odyssey. As far as how many times we vote – I believe that we are allowed to vote as many times as we like. So if you really think a particular mission is worthy, vote a lot!

    Hey! Ho! Let’s go! – The Ramones

  15. Well I can say that my enthousiasm for this bracket (expressed on previous blogs) is entirely shot. I had thought it had potential to reveal what the public thought about the direction of the space program. It has apparently been hijacked by single minded loyalists to a particular program. The “results” are meaningless whether or not the votes were “legal” or not. With 10 times as many votes for the one contest it is clear that the result in the contest was more a matter of which program could afford to have its employees spend time voting rather than working.

    I think there was a reason that MER was a 1-seed (assumed, but I don’t think it is far off). I have still not heard a justification for SPB to have defeated MER; only reasons why MER shouldn’t automatically advance.

    While I agree that it may have raised awareness of many NASA programs, that wasn’t what got me interested. As I said, very deflating.

  16. I’m waiting for the howling from the manned mission boys when SPB beats Apollo 13 in the Elite Eight. If you think the Rovers can complain, they have nothing on the noise coming out the bottom of a Saturn V.

  17. The “space junkie” here again, just observing it can be misleading for someone to assume the Mars Rovers have done more and better science than the NASA Balloon Program. For example, the first mapping of the variations in the Cosmic Background Radiation was done by a balloon-born payload.

    Kudos to the Rover Team for creativity in keeping them functioning and retuning data so long, but after the initial three months of planned data retrieval, how much unique data was returned. Certainly, from the standard of measuring many more data points, the quality of the data has improved tremendously.

    What I’m doing here is not to diminish the value of anyone’s science — just saying there are several equally valid ways to measure the impact or worth of a program.

    That said, if the winner is anything but Apollo 11, the “fix is in” — I think it should have been placed in a special category outside the competition.

    When mankind sets foot on Mars and successfully returns, that too, will a special category, signifying a change from “looking at the other planets” to beginning to “own them”.

  18. Very interesting results this round. Obviously, a huge upset by SPB, but how far will they go? I still have my eyes set on Hubble winning the tournament.

    What I think will be interesting is if people will begin to vote repeatedly against SPB because of all the controversy that they have created with a win over the rovers. The second or third round may turn into an “everyone against SPB” round.

    However, what’s important to note is that both those missions (MER and SPB) had way more votes than any other missions. Therefore, both sides had people voting repeatedly. I know this upsets some people, but hey, it makes the competition interesting.

    And remember, the important thing to do is to learn about the 64 NASA missions that have been chosen. When you are going through the bracket, choosing which mission you want over another, you are thinking about what each mission has brought to the table, and choosing the mission that you think is better. Each mission can be argued to be better than the other, so just have fun with it and learn!

    Keep voting and Hubble all the way!
    Sten the Intern

  19. I’ve been voting for my favourites again in this round. Since a couple of my picks from Round 1 didn’t make it, I thought I’d better get serious and vote more than once.
    But when I tried to do this, my votes were not registered. I’m all for having a bit of fun in the name of education. I’m all for chatting about this to my friends and colleagues. And I’m all for learning about missions I was not familiar with and volting for them. BUT if the votes are not being counted, what’s the point?

  20. In response to Paul F’s comment, I think if you looked at votes by hour, you would see that voting rates for SPB actually increased after the “work day” was over, meaning employees and friends of the program actually found it important enough vote from home after hours. I honestly do not know why people are so offended by SPB’s success in this contest. Maybe some people cannot comprehend the dedication that people associated with the balloon program are showing, or maybe they are just sore losers – I don’t know?

    In response to the post “I had thought it had potential to reveal what the public thought about the direction of the space program”, I think this is ridiculous. If Apollo 13 beats Orion (as they should)in their head-to-head match up, does that mean that the public thinks that NASA should regress back to the Apollo days? I think not! Also, who’s to say that the balloon program is not part of the future of NASA? Obviously we are not going to take people to the moon and make headlines as other programs will, but there is some very beneficial astro-physics and earth science experiments being done on balloons for a fraction of the cost of other programs. It seems to me (and I realize I am biased), that that might indeed be what the public thinks the direction of space program should be! Just a thought.

    By the way, how many of you out there actually knew that the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was first observed by a scientific balloon? Now there is some beneficial science that has had direct ramifications on every person in the world.

  21. As Butch and Sundance once said, “Who are those guys?. I think I’d want SPB on my side if I had to deliver something. Wow.

  22. I cannot believe how NASA Edge is FAILING to educate the public. The public probably did not know that they voted out the two outstanding Mars Rovers for a balloon?

    Blair…It is all your fault…OUTSIDER!!! I mean what are you doing wandering about in the desert while your cohosts have to cover for you on the site in N.E Arizona?

    These outsiders are ruining it for us all!!! If you did your job, Blair, such a travesty would have been avoided. The public probably did not know that MER stood for those stalwart and outstanding Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

    A balloon?!? That project needs to be cancelled by our cash strapped Congress!!! We need to pump more money into Mars Exploration and rediscover the awe that NASA used to bring!!!

    You need to be ashamed of yourself, Blair. Strolling about in the desert does not educate the masses of the young whom are going to take the next giant leaps.

    I cannot believe that…Man, what is this World coming to?!? Blair???

  23. In response to Tom who wrote, “A balloon?!? That project needs to be canceled by our cash strapped Congress!!! We need to pump more money into Mars Exploration and rediscover the awe that NASA used to bring!!!”

    You could fund the Balloon Program for YEARS on the cost of one Mars Exploration project, such as the Mars Polar Lander. By the way, how did that project work out for you? Ohhh yeah, crash and burn, sorry (salt in wound)!!!

  24. just a question…in round 2 nebula, the choices are between sts-114 and wmap….however when viewing the results, Freedom 7 is displayed (which it appears freedom 7 beat sts-114 in round 1)….is this an error or did I miss something?

  25. just a question…in round 2 nebula, the choices are between sts-114 and wmap….however when viewing the results, Freedom 7 is displayed (which it appears freedom 7 beat sts-114 in round 1)….is this an error or did I miss something?

  26. Tom, I agree. I wasn’t all that interested in this concept, then I found the trash talking thread, and that got me interested enough to promote Mission Madness on my blog. But this whole non-sense…if SPB beat MRO or MER legitimately, that’s one thing. But I certainly won’t be promoting Mission Madness from here on out.

  27. I am writing to my Congressman, my two U.S. Senators, the Speaker of the House, the Vice President and the President about this “result” of the weather balloons beating out the MER in this March Madness matchup.

    It is obvious that this vote was rigged by a webbot. I am wondering if any of this programming was done on Government time, by both the MER teams and the Balloonists? I am going to request that a formal inquiry be initiated. Do you believe that this trivial game meant for the public’s education was important enough to risk funding for your program? Do you have too much time on your hands?

    The President said the other day that NASA is failing to inspire our young by not having a direction. The Rovers are amongst the most inspirational and successful tasks that NASA has ever accomplished. The weather balloon people call it Go-carting? I could not care less. Neither will the public.

    MER was exciting and still remains exciting. The people whom administrate over the Weather Balloon project probably have too much time on their hands if they developed webbots to vote.

    Is this what this contest was meant to do? Do you want to anger the public? Well that is the effect that your actions have had upon me.

    Am I a sore loser? In a word, YES. I do not like playing a losing game. I play to win and only to win.

    You may have heard it said that it does not matter if you win or lose it is how you play the game. Let’s break that down:

    It doesn’t matter if you win its how you play the game


    It doesn’t matter if you lose its how you play the game.

    With those two options stated then I only play to win.

    So I am angered. And when I am angered I am motivated to take the appropriate actions so that I do not have to feel cheated once again. The appropriate action is to notify my Government of the possible waste in spending and to have them investigate. Is that the effect that you were seeking?

    That is called backlash. Was it worth it?

  28. OKAY OKAY! I get it that those dedicated to the MER project are upset about their unexpected loss to SPB, but enough with the complaining. Maybe YOU should have cast a few more votes for MER yourself instead of worrying about what we were doing to “fix the vote”. WE DIDN’T FIX ANYTHING! We simply voted for the mission that we wanted to see advance in the tournament. The rules state that you could vote as many times as you like, so we did(as did fans of MER-they got plenty of votes as well). If the creators of this contest wanted to see specific projects/programs “automatically advance” then there is really no point in voting at all. They wouldn’t have needed a bracket or voting or security questions…..they could have just typed up a list. As for the comment that employees of the Balloon Program were being paid for “voting rather than working”,it is simply ridiculous. Other people were voting for SPB besides employees. I am personally offended that you would think otherwise. I do not work for the Balloon Program and yet I voted for SPB as many times as my fingers would allow (in Round 1 as well as Round 2). Scientific Ballooning has made great discoveries and accomplishments over the years and the program deserves some recognition. Just because another program or mission is BETTER KNOWN does not make it inherently BETTER! Finally, maybe you should blog less and read more. THEY ARE NOT WEATHER BALLOONS!


  29. In round 1, Freedom 7 was pitched against SR-71. I voted for Freedom 7, but that’s not my point. In the bracket for the second round of voting, the SR-71 is listed as being the winner. But according to the results table, Freedom 7 made it through.
    What’s going on there?

  30. In repsonse to guest (23)

    I don’t know when the votes actually occurred, that was probably the one part of my post that let my ire show through.
    Whenever they were cast, however, I did acknowledge that it did not matter as I beleived they were “legal” votes. I firmly believe the MER program and the SPB programs ran a head to head, “who can click the most times” contest completely outside of the rest of the bracket.

    Notwithstanding guest’s comments, I DO believe that one could draw conclusions from the results if they didn’t turn into personal battles between the two programs. One can see whether manned v. robotics was favored (Apollo 13 being a manned mission v. other robotic missions), science v. exploration, earth v. space, deep space v. planets. I agree that Apollo 13 v. Orion would be of little determinative value as I foresee using the result. But if it got to that point, I think we would see that there is a preference for manned missions (and perhaps mroe specifically manned missions to the moon for now).

    By the way, I don’t think I said anything negative about the baloon program and I appreciate the additional facts in support, which is a stronger way to make the argument.

    I admit that I personally am more excited by the rovers on a different planet. If I had my way, we would do more of it all. I love science and investigations whether its in space, in orbit, in the sky, or under the water.

    In the end, I had a (false) hope that the results might mean something more than just a fun little game to see who wins. (And by the way, I have submitted my 2nd round vote)

  31. Obviously, I meant to say that Freedom 7 was pitched against STS-114 and my fingers hit the wrong keys and I said SR-71.
    Sorry about the misunderstanding, but I was still in shock over the whole SPB business.
    By the way, my votes are still not being counted. Are the totals only updated every 24 hours or so?
    Apollo 11 all the way! Vote vote vote…

  32. It is not a “losing game” if you VOTE!!!!!!!Hello!!!! We did NOT cheat! It was NOT a bot!!!!!!! Look at the number of votes MER received. It is not like we won by millions or even thousands of votes. This proves without a doubt that SPB did what they needed to do to WIN! (NOT create some voting bot) We voted until we really couldn’t vote anymore. It was close! So whatever you think we did, we didn’t. we merely gave MER a run for their money, and did we beat them….YES! If you feel the need to write to people in our government over a competition that is supposed to be FUN, then YOU have too much time on your hands and are way too bitter. So vote for who you want to win and stop complaining when you don’t. Stop being a sore loser!!!!!!! Really, have a little fun.
    GO SPB!!!!!!!! ALL THE WAY!

  33. STS-114 vs Freedom 7 Clarification

    There is a mistake on the bracket. We are actively working to fix the problem.

    Freedom 7 defeated STS-114 in round 1, however the STS-114 was advanced on the bracket incorrectly. It is corrected on the results page, but it is incorrect on the voting page. This will be fixed on the next auto deployment around 7:00pm Eastern.

    I hope this helps.

    BTW, I love all of the spirited feedback on the blog… even the shots taken directly at the Co-Host. Keep it up.

    And as for SPB’s success… To everyone that says it is rigged, remember that no one in our office picked SPB to make it out of the first round.

    Plus, we love Mars and would love to feature the Mars projects on our vodcasts in the future. Do you think anyone in the Mars arena will ever speak to NASA EDGE after this competition? Probably not.

    Got to go home now and make my children vote for Mars Odyssey.

    The Co-Host

  34. This is guest who wrote #23. Tom F., thanks for the constructive feedback and comments. Can it just be said that this is the type of dialog that is productive. This competition can be about the pride one has in his or her own program, or about public opinion about the direction of NASA, or whatever you want it to be. However, what it SHOULD NOT BE, is a forum for inter-NASA agencies to bash each other – absolutely nothing is gained by that. Saying that a program should be canceled or reported to congress is COMPLETELY inappropriate, and is something that the general public should not be subjected to – it will help no one!

  35. Comment # 38 is for Paul F., not Tom F., sorry! And everyone remember, in the end, we are all NASA! In the words of the great philosopher Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along!” 🙂

  36. Guest 38- My exact sentiments.. we are all in this together and the pride should be in our programs and our parent NASA..

  37. I agree with guest who wrote #38. Debates can be HEATED but threats are uncalled for! There should be a shared sense of pride among those who work for NASA, regardless of the program/mission on which you work[ed]. You should want to write to government officials about why it it is important to fund NASA (as an organization) not cut specific programs from its lineup because your feelings were hurt! Pulling together in economic times like these will solve more than throwing punches at each other. Trash-talking and threats (made without basis or knowledge) will bring negative attention to NASA as a whole. This will make everyone wonder if the space program is worth the money that is spent on it. Maybe it would help the public to know about lesser-known missions (even if they seem not as extravagant as going to Mars or walking on the Moon). This will help educate the public and broaden their knowledge of NASA’s accomplishments….all of them. The more things that are learn and discovered by NASA (regardless of specific program), the better NASA will fair when it comes time to make decisions about budget. I am all for healthy debate and friendly competition, but I think we all need to take a look at the big picture. NASA would be the only loser in the mess of mudslinging and threats. Keep in mind that regardless of who wins this Mission Madness, we all want to see more discoveries from NASA as a whole!

    Onward and Upward!

    In all my years of school, I learned plenty about NASA (including Apollo Missions, Mars Explorations, and the Hubble Telescope), but I did not get the opportunity to learn about the Scientific Balloon Program until much much later. I think it would be beneficial for the public and our next generation of explorers to learn about ALL of NASA’s accomplishments.

  38. It’s almost 6 pm on Monday evening and some of the match-ups are tight.

    LRO (50%) Hubble (50%)

    Freedom 7 (50%) WMAP (50%)

    Pioneer 10 (51%) Bell X-1 (49%)

    STS-1 (51%) New Horizons (49%)

    X-29 (50%) STS-8 (50%)

    Who’s is going to pull away?

  39. I’m not part of NASA. Pre round 1 I read up on the missions, great. Now post baloon hijacking, I can tell the whole bracket thing is pointless for all of the rest of us regular citizens. I probably will not be back to this site. This went from thinking about important missions, to brain dead clicking.

    As long as the baloon votes count, then NASA needs to keep with the (let the internet run us over theme) and name the ISS module “Colbert”

  40. Here it is, point and blank. SPB and SOHO will be in the final. And SOHO will be the one stopping two Apollo missions (8 & 11). Why do I make this prediction? It is obvious that SPB not only has a great following, but they actually did achieve a lot. Now compare the cost to their achievement, and you get the answer. Why SOHO? It is the most underrated mission in the field. 13 strong years of science, over 1500 comets discovered (in SOHO’s free time), in 1998 SOHO was almost lost but thanks to great team work between NASA and ESA, it was recovered. And today SOHO is still strong. SOHO was designed to operate with gyros on-board and now operates gyrolessly because all three have failed, but again, strong team work prevailed.

    So, SPB – get your ballon-on. SOHO is waiting…

  41. I hear one of the online gambling sites received a lot of late bets naming SPB as the winner. So, how much money do the ballooniacs stand to win if SPB takes the title?

  42. NASA, can we please have a real tournament? I have never seen any half-serious endeavour on the Internet that would simply allow unlimited voting from everyone. The results are not showing anything other than which mission’s fans have the most time to waste.

  43. This IS a “real tournament”! Personally I don’t see how having/showing pride in your work, and sharing that pride with others (Balloon Program Employees are NOT the only ones voting) has anything to do with having “time to waste”. I think it has more to do with dedication. Fans of SPB are merely showing their dedication by taking the time to vote! If you look at our competitors in rounds 1 and 2, you will see that they both voted multiple times. We just want to win, and NOT to win money as suggested by guest 47. We want to win so we can get Scientific Ballooning out there, and maybe just maybe get it the recognition that it deserves!

  44. I assumed this was just a game. I thought that it gave the general public (and others) the opportunity to vote for their favourite missions. If by doing so, they should learn about other missions too, so much the better.

    What a fool I was! It turns out that this is a chance for people who work on certain missions the opportunity to show just how annoyed they are. The people who support the SPB obviously feel they have a point to make. The expression “chip on the shoulder” springs to mind.

    No, there’s nothing in the rules about repeat voting: I have done so myself. The difference is I have voted for missions I like about half a dozen times. The SPB team have left it so that no other mission stands a chance. And by doing so, the whole Mission Madness game becomes pointless.

    If the SPB team feel so strongly, there are other ways to make your feelings known. Meanwhile, leave this game to those people who see it as such. If you continue this way you will win the competition. But what victory would it be? What have you proved?

    I had not heard about SPB before round 1. And now? Yes, I have heard, I have read, I have seen how the SPB team behave and I am disappointed.

    My biggest complaint is with NASA EDGE. Multiple voting should not have been allowed. If this exercise is repeated in the future, this should be taken into account. There might be a little-known NASA mission to explore a fish tank, called EFT. There are 2 people who work there and they are seriously annoyed. They are going to win by voting one million times each. Sounds crazy? Of course it is… but no crazier than this year’s competition.

    Mission Madness? You said it.

  45. Look, even if somebody works on a mission, unless they’re a HUGE egotist, they really can’t pretend it was better than Apollo 11 or Voyager or any of the other real milestones.

  46. I agree with the comments about SPB and that multiple voting should not have been allowed. If you can change that voting method now, I highly encourage you to do so. I am embarrassed by the behavior of the SPB voters.

  47. I think the NASA Edge folks are trying to have this both ways. If it’s just a fun exercise to see which mission’s fans are the most energetic, then SPB deserves to win hands down. If, on the other hand, you have some serious intent to determine which missions in NASA’s history have been the most significant/beneficial/scientifically important, then you can’t claim that “stuffing the ballot box” is a valid component of the evaluation process. If NASA wants to maintain that this is a meaningful poll, then you’d better be planning on naming ISS Node 3 “Colbert”. At least in that case the winning name also had the largest number of people voting for it…

  48. It seems that there are people out there who are absolutely determined to have SPB win though the reason they are doing that seems a tad optimistic. I can understand their desire for recognition but will winning the Mission Madness tournament really do that? Will the average person hear that a large balloon won a NASA game and suddenly decide that the SPB is interesting? As long as actual people are voting no rules are being broken but as others have noted this game is obviously not about public perception.

  49. SPB coach needs to put their starters on the bench, give the rest of the team some game time!!!

  50. If anyone is reading this, please vote for Apollo 13! Currently they are losing to Orion, and there is only 2.5 hours left to vote. How can a program that hasn’t even launched its first flight yet beat out Apollo 13?

  51. #51 you are correct in your assumption. IT IS A GAME!

    It is not suppose to have anything to do with the direction NASA “should” go or what programs “should” be funded or even how significant any of the programs might be or to even help someone “feel” better about “their” program. It is only intended to be a game and nothing more. In fact, the “pointlessness” of Mission-Madness is the POINT!!!

    The NASA EDGE Co-Host had several suggestions for playing Mission-Madness. Suggestion #5 for playing “the game” not only encouraged you to vote multiple times it went a little further and suggested that you “Vote like mad……”

    So instead of whining and complaining about how this game does not fit your ideals, you should either relax and enjoy the friendly competition or develop your own game with your own rules so you can promote your own ideals. Then, finding people to play your game will be the only thing you have to complain about.

  52. Most are forgetting that SPB only beat MER by 1200 votes. MER and their supporters submitted nearly 15,600 votes. So for those of you who are “embarassed”, “deflated”, “disappointed”, “angered” etc. by SPB’s voting methods, just remind yourself that the SPB team were not the only fans “guilty” of this behavior. Several missions have been using multiple votes because they want to win! SPB should not be accused of “rigging” or “fixing” or having “chips on their shoulders” just because some people expected certain missions to advance through without a fight. If you want the contest to be fair……be fair in your comments as well, and hold all missions and their supporters to the same standard.

  53. Its a game,and the SPB folks are excited about it. Should the other basketball teams let Duke win because they’ve won a few championships? No! If you want to compete, then vote.

    “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else”
    – Albert Einstein

  54. Re: #58

    As the poster who was deflated, I did not limit my ire to just SPB. I agree that MER did the same thing. I am not mad at them for doing it. I was just hoping for something different. When I first heard about it and before voting started, I was excited about the prospect of seeing whether people favored manned missions over science, or earth v. sun v. outer planets, etc. I even posted about my excitement.

    When I saw what it turned into, I was exactly what I said, deflated. I didn’t have a vested interest in seeing one program win, I was very curious to see what the result was (and to include my opinion as one of many).

    I agree that I may have had a different concept of this “game,” but that doesn’t change my disappointment.

  55. Guest 57…..
    I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for lightening the mood 🙂
    This contest is supposed to be FUN!
    So have FUN and VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In the words of the Wu-Tang Clan “everybody have fun tonight”. ROCK ON! And yes it is OK to smile a little 🙂 🙂 🙂


  56. Frankly I am appalled that President Obama himself did not address the travesty of the SPB voting “sham” in his Primetime address tonight. We really need a leader who is going to acknowledge the “important issues” of our time.


  57. I just talked to my “big bro” MDI on SOHO and asked him about his feelings in regards to SPB. You know what he said and I am quoting right now: “It will be a honor facing SPB in the Final and loose to THE mission with the best voting following!”

    Look, it is a fun game and we instruments, we spacecrafts, we rockets, space stations, satellites, all the engineers, scientists, students, and best of all, every day people, just need something fun to do and to support.

    But I can tell you one thing, Apollo 8 didn’t see SOHO coming. And even though they say thanks to Skylab the Sun’s coronal holes were discovered – I say that there was a rocket flight before that that first saw them. And now they are routinely observed in He10830 from NSO from the ground. But yes, Skylab was when they were broadly known to be discovered. (I think it was an NRL rocket that had evidence and a poorly read paper a few years before – like so many discoveries that were already in the literature but not appreciated until the better data hits you in the face so that there is no longer any doubt about some phenomenon). Maybe somebody has more knowledge since at the time, I was only a screw and a bolt and that’s it!

    But back to the topic – SOHO vs. Skylab – fun match-up again. Don’t you think? (and don’t be embarrassed to vote a few times for SPB or SOHO or even Skylab).

  58. First of all, excuse my bad english. I’m not english-speaker.

    Now my point: as strong supporter of the SPB cause I’m really surprised about several people here very upset by the results as it would be “a real life” politics exercise where is decided the destiny of each program according to a win/loss scheme. Come on! IT’S – A – GAME !!!

    Nothing more. Nothing less.

    And as occurred when we were kids a game have the ability to show us in front the others naked… it can put out what we really are.

    I’m a some sort of balloon-freak which had put online a website entirelly devoted to them. But I know why. You people blaming SPB by the blame itself …do you know how much effort, pain, patience, dissapointment, happiness, and hundreds of feelings lies behind every single balloon launch and science related? People spending weeks and even months in the New Mexico desert, the Antarctic plateau or the Canadian plains to obtain more and better science.

    Do you have idea of the numerous discoveries in astrophysics or earth sciences on which balloons had pioneered, not only in the pre-satellite era but even today?

    Do you know that if we are aware of the risk of cosmic radiation that will face astronauts on future longer space voyages, that is thanks a guy who discovered that radiation in a balloon and several others whom studied it using animals and humans flying under stratospheric balloons?

    Do you know all these things ?…very well! You don’t ? very well too !! probably now after this “pointless contest” as someone defined it…and after reading some of these post you will have a curious feeling to know more about the “flying pumpkin” and all the other programs which produce space age science using the humble first mankind’s aerial vehicle.

    Almost forgot that’s a game ….

    Go SPB Go !!!!! Another one will beat the “red” dust 🙂

  59. A guest wrote:

    “Well, the SPB scandal might take a back seat for the next 24 hours as we try to process how in the name of ZEUS’S *CO-HOST* did Hubble lose in the 2nd round. Hubble. The telescope that brought us the visible universe, losing to the LRO which hasn’t taken a single image. Fail.
    Apollo 8 going down to SOHO is a head scratcher. I love SOHO, but Apollo 8 was an absolute milestone in human achievement. New Horizons over STS-1 is a bit of a stretch to me personally. Oh, well.
    My early condolences to Expedition 1, which is currently being led like a lamb to the slaughter. May your execution to the SPB zombies be swift and painless. Then on to face…Orion?
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see an LRO / SPB final at this rate.”

    Sorry, had to edit for some questionable language.

    The Co-Host

    *I actually substituted the offending language with *Co-Host*

  60. Yes, I fully agree with several posters, it is only a game. I’ll just repeat that… IT IS ONLY A GAME!

    It should not been an opportunity by the SPB people to show everyone at NASA management just how important they feel their own mission is. If they feel so strongly that everyone needs to learn about their pet project, they should use other methods. They’ve made their point now. They should shut up and leave this contest to those people who do see it as JUST A GAME.

    But I’m just being overly optimistic again. They’ll just mass-vote and push SPB through to the final.

    I don’t disagree that SPB is a worthwhile cause, this is not my argument. I’ve read about the mission and I am suitably impressed.

    But there’s always NEBULA, GALAXY and HORIZON to vote on. I’m not going to stop playing. Oh, by the way, did I mention… IT IS ONLY A GAME!! (I just hoped it would be played with a sense of fun!)

  61. For those of you who think that SPB fans do not support any other missions besides their own, and just mindlessly click as “zombies”, you will be happy to know that several of us voted for other missions in the second round. I personally spent a lot of time voting for Hubble and am upset they lost :(. Sorry Hubble, I tried but the deficit was just too large……..but as I have said again and again, this is a game and I am having fun 🙂

    Oh and #67 David Hartley
    I don’t want to “shut up and leave this contest” to anybody. I am going to continue playing this “game” and vote for the mission I support. Everyone, HAVE FUN & KEEP VOTING!

    GO SPB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. please advise:

    exactly where do I go to vote on future missions and destinations??

    This is important to me and to us all;

    is it true that you are contemplating putting a hole in my Moon??

    The Force will rule.

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