Feeds

back to article NASA promises balloon ride and über precise 'scope pointer for planet-gazing boffins

NASA has come up with a new pointing system named WASP (Wallops Arc Second Pointer) which gets planetary scientists closer to their target worlds. The Wallops Arc Second Pointer (WASP) payload suspended from a crane during a test deployment The Wallops Arc Second Pointer (WASP) payload suspended from a crane during a test …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Accurate, stablised pointing thingy...

Perhaps Lester should investigate giving LOHAN (and the flying truss) a good Walloping.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

"the ability to find and track an object that is the diameter of a dime from two miles away"

Well that insertion of metallic RFID strips into our Dollar Bills was so 1990's.

Nice of the NSA to declassify something for the advancement of humankind.

;), but still AC. Just in case.

0
0
Devil

So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

Or in Lon don double decker buses, for that matter?

And certainly, we need a far-fetched, pseudo-figurative measure for "above 95% of the atmosphere". Suggestions welcome.

Oh, and OK, I know fishing rods come in all sorts of sizes.

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

18.18, 'cos as any fule kno a rod, pole or perch is 35.92 linguine, or if you need common or garden measures 1/4 of a surveyor's chain. (The Reg online standards converter + 10' for one storey).

4
0
Thumb Up

Re: So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

Brilliant, you're right! A well deserved upvote.

And there was me thinking NASA's balloons were all of a quarter furlong high.

0
0

Re: So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

> And certainly, we need a far-fetched, pseudo-figurative measure for "above 95% of the atmosphere".

Well, if you imagine that the Earth is a ping-pong ball, then "above 95% of the atmosphere" would be from the thickness of a tissue paper from the ping-pong ball, to the end of the observable universe.

If we interprete "above 95% of the atmosphere" as an altitude instead of an interval, then it's approximately where Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio would be if you balanced 446 000 Titanic on top of each other, bow to stern.

I love wolframalpha.

1
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Bah!

Must be some balloon to lift that hucking fuge crane.

2
0
Silver badge

How long will it stay up?

And what happens when it comes down? Will do a complete earth orbit so it can come down near the launch site? Failsafe parachute? Enquiring minds and all that.

1
0
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Staggering.

Look at a protractor.

Look at the separation of degree marks.

Now imagine dividing that by 3600 and keeping a several 100Kg mass pointing in exactly that direction.

0
0

Re: Staggering.

Look at my glass.

Look into filling it with beer.

Now, imagine refilling it each time it becomes empty between now and pub close.

Also staggering...

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Staggering.

Meh, sounds like my dayjob...

But it's still no less impressive. The most difficult bit is getting that sort of accuracy without being attached to anything. Newton's third law is a bit of a pain in the neck in these sort of situations.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.