Re: Mars Polar Lander
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 08:23:26 -0800

I was trying to follow the progress of the mission on the two "official" web sites I knew about,
(operated by UCLA which will be in charge of the lander mission) and, from JPL.

How frustrating! These sites were hours and hours out of date. The JPL site at 6 PM Friday had only an update from 1 PM saying that the first window had been silent, no mention of the second one even though it was three hours old. And the UCLA site had no mention whatsoever of mission status.

Similar lapses occured with the Leonid meteor "storm" last month, the Leonid sites were typically 2 to 5 hours out of date in reporting activity levels. They would go many hours between updates.

It's great that these groups run web sites, but I wish they would devote more resources to keeping them updated. Sure, the scientists are busy, but there should be media people whose job it is to put out timely information. I don't want to have to turn on the TV or radio to get the latest news about the Mars lander, I want to be ahead of the TV people by getting it straight from the web.