Pardon my French, but that's what I shouted (three times) when I saw this computer simulation of the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover), planned for 6th August, 2012:

Sometimes, we should try the impossible.

Eat that, Transformers! We are a totally awesome species for even thinking this might work.

Postscript: See also Curiosity Rover update.

Go, Atlantis!

My mate Karen from the Beagle Project attended the last ever space shuttle launch last week. I am not at all jealous. Oh no. Not in the slightest.

Karen James and Atlantis

Karen and 'Atlantis' last week.

She even managed to wangle herself a press pass (for which, read a ringside seat), courtesy of the Guardian, and has posted her account of Atlantis's final lift-off on the Guardian science blog.

It's stirring stuff. You should go and read it.

Go, Atlantis! (cc photo: Flickr user 'wicho'

Here is a Karen's hand-shot video, raw and unprocessed:

Aren't we a bloody amazing species?


International Space Station passing over Hebden Bridge

We did that!

Taken very hurriedly outside my house this evening. The black line is a telegraph wire. The white line is the International Space Station.

True story: Last year, my mate Karen received a phone call from the International Space Station. She was out. So the astronaut left a message that he'd call back later. Which he did.

For a bunch of apes

…we really are a sodding awesome species at times:

[Update, 10-Dec-2011: The video I originally posted here was ridiculously complicated to embed in a post once I migrated Gruts to WordPress, so I have removed it. Follow the link below to see the video in question.]

(Best watched whilst humming the Thunderbirds theme.)

[Hat-tip to GrrlScientist]