Local space buffs gather for disappointing Mars party Houston Chronicle

More than a thousand miles from the stone-faced scientists waiting for the Mars Polar Lander to return a signal Friday afternoon, a similarly quiet gathering of about 150 space aficionados and curious onlookers at Rice University expressed hope that the spacecraft was not destroyed. Chris Barnes, president of the Mars Society of Houston, tried to describe the rapt audience that waited in silence for 10 minutes as the probe failed to send out a signal.