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NASA To Send Poems To Mars 106

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Time Magazine reports that in and effort to involve non-rocket scientists in the next mission to the Red Planet, NASA invited the public in May to submit haiku, three line poems where 'the first and last lines must have exactly five syllables each and the middle line must have exactly seven syllables.' NASA promised to select five winners that will be adhered to the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) before it is launched towards Martian airspace. 'The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection to space, space exploration, and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN mission,' said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at CU/LASP. More than 15,000 entries were submitted by space geeks and poets the world over. A couple thousand were disqualified as too long, too short, or totally inappropriate, leaving about 12,500. The public voted online, and the five top vote-getters have been announced." The winner:

It's funny, they named
Mars after the God of War
Have a look at Earth
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NASA To Send Poems To Mars

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  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:02PM (#44523889) Homepage

    Well, zero, because of course you wouldn't send the DVD to Mars; you'd copy the poems onto memory. Five poems, at seventeen syllables per poem, what do you figure, a few hundred bytes? It's unlikely that the every byte of the computer's RAM is completely used, so just put the poems in the unused space. Weight: zero.

    This reminds me of an old story. There was an aircraft in which the design was coming in overweight, so an accountant was assigned to be the "weight czar," to account for the mass of every subsystem and see how it could be made lighter. This weight czar was very annoyed when one subsystem, software, listed their weight contribution as "zero." He went over to the computer department, asked for the prototype software that went into the aircraft, and walked out with a huge stack of computer cards (this was some years back. Don't interrupt.) . He summoned the software team to a meeting, and shouted "You list zero for the weight of your software, but" (plunks down the stack of cards) "here is is, and this DOES NOT WEIGHT NOTHING! Don't try to fool me!" The lead software engineer went up to the stack of cards. He said "You don't understand. The software isn't the cards." He picked up one card and showed it to the accountant. "The software is the HOLES."

This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered french toast in the renaissance. - Steven Wright, comedian