Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 3 April 2020

Friday 3 April - So what's been going on?

Well, nothing as far as hills are concerned what with the lockdown and trying to keep ourselves and others safe. We abandoned the idea of walking in the quiet Ochils which would have involved a three mile drive to the nearest parking spot so have enjoyed daily walks from the house instead, meeting only the odd cyclist or dog walker. Kinross-shire is very rural so options for walking are varied but so far we've stuck to the same circuit, a route past farms and open fields with newly born lambs beginning to find their feet.

 Click to enlarge all photos.

The road to Powmill, reached from the house by a pleasant track with sheep and cattle grazing either side. Views to the Ochils all the way

Social Distancing

It seems a long, long time ago since we were out to Skythorn Hill and before that, a favourite walk through Corb Glen and onto the gentle hills nearby - next three photos.

View from the Cadger's Path (and below)

Green Law
Setting out for Skythorn Hill and other tops

and a day on Wether Hill.

So what else is going on?

Yesterday my usual news update from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) included the latest on the Mars 2020 Rover, now named Perseverance following a US wide student competition when 28000 essays were submitted by students explaining their chosen name for the rover. Eventually this number was reduced to 155 then to nine, the eventual winner being from Virginia.

Perseverance at Kennedy Space Centre. The red arrow at the rear shows the plate which carries 10,932,295 names submitted from around the world. Mine included! It also carries the essays of the 155 finalists in the 'Name the Rover' competition. (Photo courtesy NASA, JPL)

The plate - the laser-etched graphic depicts the Earth and Mars joined by the Sun. (Photo courtesy NASA, JPL)

The three chips with the names stencilled by electron beam can be seen top left on the plate which will be visible to cameras on Perseverance's mast. Launch of the Atlas V carrying Perseverance is scheduled for July this year, landing on Mars at Jezero Crater on 18 February 2021. As I said in a previous post, I have my NASA Boarding Pass so am raring to go! By the time it launches I might be wishing I was on the pad in person rather than in name only.

Also on the space exploration front (well, sort of) I have a second, half-built, Saturn V model to complete and a new Apollo 11 Lunar Module to build which will compliment the Apollo Command and Service Module completed in February.

Like everyone else, our summer trips to the hills are off and we have only the faintest of hopes that our usual September holiday at Braemar will take place.

Stay safe and keep well.

Please note: because of one idiot spammer I am now moderating all comments.


Sir Hugh said...

I reckon your byways will be even less populated than those in my locale.

Virginia looks big - do you know its dimensions and weight?

afootinthehills said...

Sir Hugh - The rover’s name is Perseverance - the winner of the naming competition was from Virginia. Perseverance weighs approximately 1025 Kg and is 3mL x x 2.7mW x 2.2mH so not too large.

The route we walk is part of the Fossoway Cycle Network but I think we’ve only met three people on bikes so far. There’s a feeling of stillness at the moment, if that makes sense.

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson,
Good to read a blog post at this time of staying in. Fascinating NASA story. I would love to go into space and view the earth. Like many golf I guess.

afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan

Good to hear from you and I hope you and Sheila are well. I love all things NASA and space exploration and if I were going into space I’d want to be going further than low Earth orbit! I’ve been meaning to update my post of last August for ages, but I have to confess I find it difficult to motivate myself to write a post these days