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Peanuts: The Traditional Space Launch Snack

4 May 2018, 20:25 UTC
Peanuts: The Traditional Space Launch Snack
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Holding the current bottle of peanuts in the MSA. Teitel.
Next to the Deep Space Network’s main control room at JPL is the aptly named Mission Supply Area. It’s an area used for major mission events like launches, landings, and orbit insertion burns, and if you go there on a tour someone will offer you peanuts. It’s tradition, a tradition that gained a lot of popularity when the world watched engineers eating peanuts during Curiosity’s 2012 landing on Mars. There’s even a cardboard cutout of NASA’s very own mohawk guy, Bobak Ferdowsi, behind the glass-encased bottle of peanuts that was in the room that night! But the tradition is far older. It dates back to 1964 when America was desperate for a successful lunar mission.
Here’s the short answer. If you’re keen to know more about each failed Ranger mission, read on after the video!

Before sending men to the Moon, NASA had to figure out what exactly it would be dealing with when it got there. Thus was born the Ranger program, the first program to study the Moon up close and in detail. Management of the program fell to JPL since this was the centre with robotic ...

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