Mars v. Thor

Two different myths are set to collide in space as NASA's THOR project targets the surface of Mars with a huge copper sphere.


"The idea behind THOR (Tracing Habitability, Organics, and Resources) is to fly an observer spacecraft to Mars and, hours before it reaches the planet, release an 'impactor' ball. It could be up to 230 kilograms in mass and would be aimed at a region about 40° north or south of the equator."
While thus testing the Martian landscape for signs of water, THOR is nothing less than "a brute force way to gain access to the subsurface of Mars."
So BLDGBLOG is now taking bets: Mars triumphant or Thor planet-slayer, destroyer of worlds...? Which myth will win?

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Blogger Timo Tolonen said...

Just as long as they call the "impactor ball" Mjolnir, I'll be happy...

January 30, 2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

"That which crushes." I'll have to rename my fists.

January 30, 2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mars vs aries would be better

January 30, 2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger deepstructure said...

i just found this blog while searching google for a los angeles magazine article called "HARD DRIVE: freeway system and traffic control in Los Angeles," which brought me to your geometry of traffic control post.

just wanted to note that on that page under 'previous posts,' the link for mars v thor is this:

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/mars-v-thor.html which 404s.

like the blog!

January 30, 2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks! Updated the link -

And Mars v. Aries? The self-annihilating planet? The Janus destroyer, self-hating, that rains down copper spheres upon its own surface, heavy artillery of the sky unleashed. That which crushes its own planetary form. In fact I wonder if there's a technical term for a planet that has annihilated itself...? Debris clouds floating through space. Bobbing about in weak gravitational fields..

Conversely, you could launch the KRISHNA Project, in which large platinum spheres are hurled at the THOR Project.

January 30, 2006 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Museum of Ephemerata said...

Martian scientists will long debate what, exactly, the THOR projectile is: most will conclude that it was there all along, though some will propose it was sucked up into the Martian atmosphere and came back down, but that one outcast thinker - the corollary to our own illustrious Charles Fort, expert in red rains, thunder-stones, and the like - will argue that it came from some extramartian source.

But doesn't this echo Prof. Challenger's earth-stabbing machine in Arther Conan Doyle's "When the world screamed"?

January 31, 2006 10:46 AM  

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