I recently found out that bentonite from a certain well-known company helped NASA perfect the rover's drill for the latest scientific trip to the Red Planet.
We've all been rooting for the Mars Curiosity rover. Well, to be honest, I've been rooting for the Michigan State University Spartans in the NCAA tournament. After they unceremoniously lost to Duke, I went back to rooting for other things, and Curiosity is just cool, so why not root for science?
Curiosity recently got busy drilling its first holes in Martian rock to look for signs the planet once had water. Signs point to yes, but that's beside the point. Before Curiosity even rocketed to the red planet, NASA brought in help from the drilling industry to make sure they got it right.
The Billings Gazette in Montana reports that Wyo-Ben provided NASA with chunks bentonite so the space agency could put Curiosity's drill through the paces. It seems that tests by people smarter than you and I (well, at least me) indicate that Martian soil has some of the same characteristics as bentonite, making it a good stand-in for trials here on Earth.
This isn't the first time Wyo-Ben's helped out, either. The Billings Gazette says that the company helped in testing Curiosity's forebears, the Opportunity and Spirit rovers, before their trip a decade ago. So, kudos to Wyo-Ben for helping further the cause of science. Even if Curiosity's efforts don't directly affect life for us on Earth, they have a cool factor of 11.
In other news, I recently posted my interview with attorneys Tim Williams and Adrienne Knack. They have years of experience helping drillers hammer out contracts, and have a few tips for getting it right.
“Probably the common mistake is when they do business the way my parents did, by handshake,” Williams said.
Does that sound like your business? Well, an iron-clad contract beats a handshake any day. Click through and find out what Williams and Knack have to say about making sure you get paid for the work you do.
That's all for now. Stay safe out there, drillers.