Dude, where's my Mars Polar Lander?
Remember the Mars Polar Lander? It was a mission sent to Mars and land at its South Pole but was lost during the landing. The engineers don’t quite know why it failed and would like to know to avoid similar crashes in the future. To do that, they’d love to see the wreck left behind (if any).
The folks from the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have put high resolution images of the area on Mars taken by HiRISE where they think MPL crashed on their blog hoping that people will spot the wreck. It seems that human brains once more might beat modern computers when it comes to pattern recognition tasks. Want to give them a hand? Go here to download the images. If you do find it, remember to classify it “Star/Don’t know”.
There’s a nice news story about it in Nature here which also mentions Galaxy Zoo and has some comments from me.