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NE@Mission Madness Wrap-up
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NASA EDGE: NASA 2009 Mission Madness Winner Announcement

NASA EDGE is proud to announce the winner for the NASA 2009 Mission Madness tournament. The Superpressure Balloon (SPB) was arguable an underdog mission at the beginning of the tournament. They weren’t deterred by the competition. They enlisted the support of their entire program across the country, and their fans answered the call. Mars Rovers challenged them. Orion challenged them. But after the smoke cleared, SPB emerged confidently on the mouse clicks of their fans. They truly earned the right to be called the NASA 2009 Mission Madness Championship Mission, SPB. Claim it proudly, and see you next year.

CHRIS: Hey, Welcome to NASA’s 2009 Mission Madness.

BLAIR: Brought to you by NASA EDGE.

CHRIS: We’re here to officially announce the winner of the first annual competition.

BLAIR: Which is the Superpressure Balloons.

CHRIS: Absolutely, SPB.

BLAIR: Now, many people know that because they have been to the site. But this is where we take a little bit of time to celebrate this great mission and the effort of the voters.

CHRIS: Is that why have all of the balloons, to kind of represent SPB?

BLAIR: Actually, that was serendipitous. Balloons are celebratory, and that’s great. But it just so happens that the winning mission is based around balloons. So, lucky them.

CHRIS: They did a phenomenal job during the tournament. They had the highest vote count. They really rallied their troops and their fans all across the country to vote for their mission.

BLAIR: And it was true every round. They beat everyone, total-wise. They got more votes than any other mission in each of the rounds.

CHRIS: I have to tell you, the way the brackets laid out for the tournament, I did not expect this to happen.

BLAIR: No, in fact I printed out 64 brackets. I did have one that had SPB winning, obviously. Still, I did so poorly in so many areas. In fact, as you know, I endorsed SOHO. And my support may have actually contributed to their loss. So I apologize to SOHO while at the same time celebrate SPB.

CHRIS: I was just shocked in the tournament that some of the heavy hitters lost in the early rounds. The Mars Rovers, Apollo 11, Hubble, Apollo 8. I was shocked.

BLAIR: It’s crazy.

CHRIS: Well, we will see what happens next year when we have the tournament again.

BLAIR: That’s right. And we’re going to go over some options for next year. We’re going to evaluate the whole voting structure and everything just to make it a better competition. People brought up some really good ideas.

CHRIS: Absolutely.

BLAIR: None of that should take away from the fact that SPB is now the 2009 reigning champ. In fact they are in studio.

CHRIS: In studio?

BLAIR: Yeah, I have an in studio guest, SPB himself! Right here!

CHRIS: Is this a sample of one of their Super Pressue Balloons.

BLAIR: Yeah, this is one of the Superpressure Balloons. Obviously, they are going up to gather some data. Fresh from voting.

CHRIS: It’s going to be gathering data and looking for a new Co-Host for NASA EDGE? Is that what it is?

BLAIR: No, I have their complete support… I think. Even though I didn’t vote for them.

CHRIS: Okay. And as a prize for this year for winning the Mission Madness Tournament, we actually will be coming to their neighborhood to do an NE@ segment. So stay tuned. At some point this year we’ll be knocking on their door.

BLAIR: Now, SOHO and the other guys also respect SPB’s efforts, and they send along a representative balloon… [reading] “I demand a recount.” Maybe they’re not good sports after all. There was some controversy about the voting, but rest assured. Everything was above board and there were no voting discrepancies.

CHRIS: Hey, I just want to congratulate all the missions in the field. Every mission is awesome. You can’t really go out there and say which mission is greater than another. They’re all great. NASA has done a great job over the last hundred years or so… not a hundred years. Eventually, it will be a hundred years.

BLAIR: If you had a time machine.

CHRIS: All the missions out there are wonderful, and we look forward to maybe a whole new field for next year.

BLAIR: Maybe. Maybe the final four will return. We’ll have to see about that.

CHRIS: Well, congratulations. Thanks to all the fans out there who voted. We had over 700,000 plus votes for the tournament which is wonderful. Hopefully, next year we can double that.

BLAIR: Thanks a lot guys. We appreciate your participation and celebrate these missions.

CHRIS: Hey, you’re watching NASA EDGE.

BLAIR: An inside and outside look at all things NASA. Now, I have some Magnetospherence I’m going to shoot…

[shooting silly string]

BLAIR: Failure, failure. I’ve got some bogus string. Hang on. Epic fail.

CHRIS: Did you shake the can?

BLAIR: Yeah, I shook the can. Now it’s all gummed up. It’s terrible. Well, SPB lives still.

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