Friday, August 3, 2007

Up, Up, And Away

A little piece of the Mohawk Valley is bound for the Red Planet.

The CTM Corporation of Frankfort is going to Mars - not the whole company, but at least one of the items the company built is.

It is referred to as “the scoop” and it is primarily made out of aluminum and titanium and has an 8-foot-long arm attached to it. It also has a very small motor inside of it that is used to make it move. The scoop is used to dig trenches and dig up soil for analysis...

NASA refers to the whole item as the Phoenix Mars Lander. It will blast off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard a Delta II rocket on a 423-million-mile trip. The three-week launch window opens today.

The lander is expected to arrive at Mars 10 months after it launches and is planned for a three-month mission.

Congratulations to CTM.

As an aside, I always thought it would be awesome if someone started an orbital cremation service. There are companies that will launch your ashes into orbit today, but I'd like to have my ashes dropped back to earth in a canister that would burn up as it re-entered the atmosphere. Could there be anything more romantic than having your friends and family watch you streak across the sky as a falling star?