Spirit Lands on Mars

A couple early images. Great job JPL!

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Update:I'm not fond of NASA or how this was funded, but excellent engineering should always be recognized as such. This is excellent work. I have a feeling that a few private individuals and groups will be making extensive use of this data somewhere down the road. More and better pics here.

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it really is a work of art.

it really is a work of art. THATS genius!! congratulations to the individuals who designed, built, and flew it to its exact destination.

It is great work. There's

It is great work. There's no denying that even the sectors of the economy controlled by the state sometimes produce use-value. After all, even in the USSR, people ate the food, lived in the apartments, and used the shoddy appliances produced by state industry. The only caveat is that, because the entire process was removed from the realm of voluntary transaction, there was no meaningful gauge of exchange-value. There was no way of knowing whether, or how much, people would have spent of their own money for those goods and services if their range of alternatives had not been artificially controlled.

I'd guess that for the vast majority of government-produced goods and services, in any society, the price that can be fetched by selling them to the highest bidder in a free market will not be enough to recompense the cost of producing them. I doubt that any willing private consumer (or association of consumers), spending their own money, would be willing to pay enough to compensate what the Mars probe cost to produce. I got started on this track of thinking by the story about the U.S. selling off old warships on Ebay, and the idea of it as a sunken cost.

Kevin, you are right. I

Kevin, you are right.

I spent most of my weekend watching NASA TV. I am still in disbelief at how many people were working in mission control. And this was a low-budget mision.

More importantly, the fact that *I* want missions like this does not make it right for me to ask another party to force my neighbor to pay for it.

Still, it is incredibly cool.

Good point, Kevin. Among

Good point, Kevin. Among the long list of things destroyed by the State--lives, jobs, wealth--I think what the State destroys the largest quantity of is information.

Every dollar plucked from your pocket by taxes destroys the information that dollar encapsulated, i.e. how you would have spent it. Likewise, any foray by the State into industry destroys information about the true costs and benefits of that activity.