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Among many other appealing qualities, Mars is 100 percent wingnut-free, and it won't go easy on those who prefer fantasy over reality. But landing on Mars is damn tricky. The video above gives an idea of just how tricky. A lot can go wrong:

Scientists on Earth have a hard enough time predicting Earth weather, and it's all the more difficult to predict weather on a planet millions of miles away. Mars is notorious for long, cold winters and dust storms that can blanket the entire planet. While the mission is scheduled to land during a good weather period, anything can happen.
Come August, I'll be right here, live blogging the Rube Goldberg Mars reentry and landing technique.
  • If this new technique for analysing the exotic atmospheres of planets light-years away pans out, it could be huge for science. It could even yield benefits in our search for life in the cosmos.
  • We all know dinosaurs are way cool. New evidence suggests they were also hot.
  • I don't know what all they might do or not do, but I want a pair of Google Glasses anyway!
  • And last but certainly not least, Aron-Ra's wife does battle with a silly presuppositonalist, and PZ joins in on the ass kicking:
    Presuppositionalism is basically a false equivalency. They argue that there is merely a difference in the foundation of the creationist and scientific views: the creationist builds on their presupposition that the Bible is true, while the scientist builds on the presupposition that the Bible is false and that atheism is true.
     

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Astro Kos and SciTech.

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