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Your SituationImage of space shuttle flying through space and a caption that reads: Low Bid and Mars or Bust!
This is it! You are Captain aboard the good ship Low Bid, the first manned spacecraft to orbit Mars. The trip has been a long one--18 months in a minimum energy orbit (naturally). It has also been tedious, with only the pilot, and your know-it-all computer, the SAL 9,000,000,000 (Sarcastic, Arrogant, and Loquacious: "I'm 32 billion times smarter than you humans") to talk to. Now that you are actually in orbit around Mars, it is time to choose a landing site and get off this flying tin can. This has been a really cost-effective flight, so you have no big windows or high-powered telescopes aboard, only an internal guidance system controlled by SAL and some old Viking Orbiter images taken way back in the 70s to help you to find a good spot to settle down. You and the pilot are a bit concerned about using the old images, but SAL is very nonchalant: "Don't worry about it. You pick a spot, and I'll land you there within an accuracy of a few millimeters."

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HTML code by Chris Kreger
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Last updated November 10, 2004

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