The next Mars space craft Maven stretches about 37.5 feet — about the length of a school bus, weighs 5,410 pounds – the same weight as an SUV set to launch on Monday, November 18th. The payload consists of eight scientific instruments and communications relay equipment for use with Mars landers.
Maven is 21st of NASA’s mission to Mars. Curiosity which was launched in 2011 is still circling around Mars capturing incredible photographs and relaying back to earth. Curiosity in addition to Mars Odessey (launched in 2011) and Mars Express (launched in 2003 by European Space Agency) are the three spacecrafts still in operation. The two landers/rovers on the surface include Mars Opportunity and Curiosity.
It must be noted India just recently launched its own Mars spacecraft Mangalayam which is on its way to Mars and targeted to be inserted into Mars atmosphere in Sep 2014.
The below graphic shows all the launched Mars mission to date from 4 major space agencies – NASA, Russia, European Space agency (ESA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Mars Past Missions
Why Mars? Mars is the most similar planet to Earth in our solar system, with the greatest prospects of habitability for future astronauts. Mars is about half the size of Earth but has about the same land area. A Martian year lasts 687 Earth days. Mars rotation is about the same as Earth – close to 24 hours.
How long does it take to get there? With our current technology it takes about 10 months to get to Mars.
One of the many reasons why I absolutely deny getting the cable service is the way the service is packaged by cable companies. Europe has a a-la carte menu service that allows subscribers to sign up only for channels that you are interested in. I feel this is a much better strategy for Cable operators given their slow death at the hands of the rising alternative mediums like on-demand programming, Netflix and Youtube and other content sources. But the cable companies are vehemently opposed to this for obvious reasons.
In this chart you see ESPN charges $5.54 per month per subscriber even if you are never watching it. That’s $70 per year. Great for cable companies, but not for your wallet. So what’s the point?
The capital city Lima felt like a typical developing Global city. Lima was founded by the Spanish conquistador by Francisco Pizzaro. I really enjoyed the city especially the Miraflores area.
1. View of Plaza de armas, main square in Downtown Lima
2. The guy at the City hall gave us a free private tour of the City hall where we saw Lima’s first woman mayor Susana Villaran. Here is where the Mayor conducts her daily political business.
Francisco Pizzaro’s picture hanging above the Mayor chair where I am sitting.
Miraflores is a suburb or barrio of Lima the capital city of Peru. There are many parks, gardens, high rise apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants and shops. Situated on the coast, Miraflores is considered to be one of the finest districts of Lima and is very popular with tourists.
Atlantic Panoramic coastline
Larcomer, modern shopping mall in Miraflores at night time
4. Everywhere you go you are guaranteed to come across a cathedral. Most of them have amazing architectures.
5. Adobe Pyramid Huallamarca
The history of the “Huaca Huallamarca” goes back to the early Christian era when the “Hualla” from the Lima Culture occupied the complex.
The best Ceviche is found in Lima. Make sure to go to Granizada. It is located near the big market in MiraFlores district. I plan to make Ceviche when I got back to the States.
Ahh Peru! The Land of the Incas, largest state in Pre-Colombian South America and the power base of the Spanish empire. Peru was my 4th adventure in the Latin American continent. Previously I have traveled to Brazil (2004), Chile (2005) and Argentina (2007). As some of my readers know South America is my favorite continent in the world. The culture, food, weather, music, people make it an amazing place to visit.
I planned a two week trip to Peru. Although I wished I spent another week there exploring Arequipa and Manaus, the Amazonian province. Like most travelers Cusco and Machu Picchu were the focal point of my trip. Lake Titicaca was a nice perk.
Lima Aug 29 – Sep 3
Ica/Haucachina Sep 1
Cusco Sep 4 – Sep 12
Machu Picchu Sep 5 – Sep 6
Puno Sep 9 – Sep 10
As some of you know I am heading to Peru soon. I will be posting some of my experiences (and photos) from my trip. Hopefully I will come back in one piece.
Lima – August 29 – Sep 3
Huacachina/Ica – Sep 1
Cusco – Sep 4 – Sep 12
Machu Picchu – Sep 5 – Sep 6
Puno, Floating Island – Sep 9 – 10