Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mission Madness

Okay, I've been telling myself that I wouldn't post about this, then I found the trash talking thread, and finally I got my blood up. The NASA EDGE podcast team have been hosting a spaceflight version of March Madness called Mission Madness. Similar to the college basketball March Madness, you can fill out a bracket consisting initially of 64 human and robotic missions with 32 match-ups. You can select which mission you think is better in those 32, first-round matchups. Every few days, the next round begins with match-ups being filled by the winners of previous round, until you reach the final four missions in early April. The voting has begun for the first round of matchups, so don't forget to vote.

There has been quite a bit of ranting about missions that were excluded from the bracket in the thread I linked to above. The only two missions I would have liked to see included but weren't would be Galileo and STS-61 (the first Hubble servicing mission). There is also a relative lack of Earth science missions. This could have been resolved, IMHO, by replacing the unflown missions like Ares-1, ORION, and JWST with some of these "missing missions".

Not to influence you too much, but my final four is Apollo 11, Vikings I & II, MER, and Voyager 1 & 2, with Apollo 11 beating Voyager 1 & 2 in the championship.

So far in the first round of voting, the votes are following the bracket I filled out with a few exceptions I want to make known (so you can vote for my picks, thus making me look like a genius). First off, SPB (a balloon mission) is currently leading over the Mars Rovers? WTF?!? I call shenanigans! A few closer matchups that aren't going my way at the moment: LCROSS is leading over MRO, NB-52 is leading over L.P. 1, Bell X-1 is leading over THEMIS, and SR-71 is leading over Friendship 7.

For the record, my college basketball final four is Kansas, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Gonzaga, with Memphis beating Pittsburgh in the championship game. Of course, as I write this, my winner, Memphis, is currently losing in their first round game to Cal State-Northridge... I used to be good at picking these. I was in the top 20 in the Facebook bracket tournament going into last year's championship game, but I ended up picking the loser of that game. And to people in North Carolina, I'm sorry I picked Gonzaga over you guys. I actually met and talked with Roy Williams, UNC's coach, back when he was the head coach at KU. He was a frequent visitor to my high school when he was recruiting one of the players on my school's team.

1 comment:

  1. Something is seriously weird with the MER/SPB match up. It looks like that one has more votes than every other match up combined.