View Full Version : Mars on BBC World Service

2004-Jan-12, 08:23 PM
Ok guys, this was pretty darn exciting when I heard it last night! (1/12/04 at 4 UTC on East Coast, USA) I was listening to the news on my shortwave through the BBC World Service and after the news Talking Point came up (a call in show and the views are worldwide so it can get interesting). And the topic was a manned mission to Mars, complete with the current British Astronomer Royale running a commentary. It was kinda interesting to get a non-US perspective and it was the coolest thing to hear the guy from Afghanistan explain just what he thought of it all...
I poked around the BBC website and found the website for this particular program for those interested- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3378837.stm.

2004-Jan-12, 09:16 PM
Interesting site. The perspectives are varied, yet educated, which is a plus for most people's comments. My only nit-pick is this quote:

However, two out of every three previous attempts to land a craft on the Red Planet have failed.

I think this is misleading (I think this has come up in another thread too...). Russia attempted many such landings, but a good deal (17/20) failed completely, and even those 3 that did succeed only came as close as Mars orbit. While the statistics aren't incorrect, they are misleading nonetheless. They are presented alongside Bush's plans, or the Spirit lander, to make it seem as though NASA has only had a one in three success rate, when in fact I think NASA is 4/5 (not sure about that one). I'm not sure if this is intentional, but when people start quoting statistics they should know exactly what they are saying, not just a ball park.

Russian Mars attempts source (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/spacecraft_planetary_mars.html)