I have a soft spot in my heart for JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories). There was a time when out best and brightest went there to develop rockets. Now, JPL is responsible many of our unmanned missions. Unfortunately, they are on tight budgets but they do remarkable work.

Wow, who knew? DailyKos has more.

From MSNBC:

A NASA spacecraft plunged into the atmosphere of Mars and landed in the Red Planet’s northern polar region on Sunday to begin 90 days of digging in the permafrost to look for evidence of the building blocks of life.

Cheers swept through Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the touchdown signal from the Phoenix Mars Lander was detected after a nail-biting descent. (more…)