04 March 2008

[space] All Sections Alpha: We Have a Long-Range Video Picture From The Mars Satellite ...

1403. We still don't have flying cars or space stations or jet packs or moonbases, but we do have the most stunning outer space photography in history.

Of course, that rather stands to reason; it's actually rather a trite observation. However. Today, via the regular update I get from Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, we get this graphic: 


This is a picture of the Earth and the Moon ... taken from near Mars by the HiRISE instrument (go here for a complete description and explanation (everything is not quite as it seems, but it's very nearly so)). Very beautiful, no?

But me, the first thing that jumped to mind was a scene from the pilot episode of Space:1999, "Breakaway". The wordy title of this discourse comes from a line the Paul character had in the last act of the episode, as the command crew on Moonbase Alpha was beginning to come to terms with the sitation in which they found themselves. While everyone collects their wits, Paul, who had obviously been scrambling to get on top of the sitch information-wise, calls out "We're getting a long range picture from the Mars satellite", and throws this up on Main Mission's viewscreen:


It's amazing how close it's come. The clarity between the two shots is ironic. Looks almost like it could have been taken by the same camera, near enough. Now all we have to do is blast the Moon out of orbit ... regrettably, Barbara Bain and Martin Landau are just too old to go now. But we could put Brad and Angelina up there maybe.

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