January 10, 2005

Racing Rovers on the Moon? Yes!

The golf ball on the moon. See link for details

My old friend, Tom Parker, is what you might call an "idea hamster." Good ones keep popping out all the time and, every so often, one escapes the wheel and goes all the way to the big world.

Case in point this recent letter from Parker to Professor Steve Squyres, head of the Mars Rover team.

Dear Dr. Squyres,

Given the astonishing success of the Mars Rovers and the craving for daily updates this has caused in some of us poor cubicle-bound slobs, how about lobbing a handful of rovers at the moon?

Oh come on. Please?

As the remarkable Rovers struggle onward, beyond all expectations, I'm starting to fret over the lag-time between Mars missions, and, staring at the beautiful nearby moon last night, it occurred to me that, hey, doing the same thing on the moon would be like racing slot cars for you guys.

Throw us a bone Doc. Let's go check up on Tranquility Base. We can start a pool, using PayPal, and your fine team can hone their RC-vehicle skills playing Capture the Flag with, say, two sets of three machines chasing Alan Shepard Jr's Lunar Golfball in Plato Crater.

Many thanks to you and your incredible team for the trip of a lifetime!

Tom Parker

You know, if they can't do it, maybe some kind of pay-per-view or live lunar cable channel. This could be a job for the private sector.

Posted by Vanderleun at January 10, 2005 1:41 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

If you build it, they will come...

Posted by: Final Historian at January 10, 2005 2:10 PM

This should be a job for the private sector. Think Spaceship One excitement, twofold.

Posted by: P.A. Breault at January 10, 2005 3:36 PM

Could we trick 'em out with bumpers and play some interplanetary Chicken, too?

Posted by: slimedog at January 10, 2005 6:06 PM

Mr Parker is 100% right here. The comparative closeness of the moon should make it an irresistable target, yet NASA sets their sights far further afield. There is a huge range of exploration to be done on the Moon, and using rovers would seem to be the best way to do it.
I hope that this letter is listened to.

Posted by: scott at January 11, 2005 9:28 AM

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