3563 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
Better article than
Those elsewhere which compared the rover to an iPhone. Forgetting the important point you get a better signal from a rover on Mars than an iPhone on O2.
Either that or a Zanussi washing machine with great games.
Re: $7m for a satellite?
Probably not up there for very long - the transfer orbit they're stuck in is 165 * 3,118 miles.
It'll be interesting to see why the engine failed, its a hydrazine-fueled number which has almost no moving parts and doesn't need an igniter, so it should be very reliable. Apparently it had to make five firings, it failed on the third.
Jodrell Bank had an up and down relationship with the Soviet space programme. It was used to track the Luna 1 and 2 Moon missions to provide independent corroboration that the Soviets had produced a rocket that could throw things to escape velocity.
But later they got into real trouble when Luna 9 became the first probe to land safely and return images from the surface of the Moon. Jodrell Bank was listening in to the messages and realised the data was coming back in standard teletype format. Inexplicably the Soviet Union had not published any of the images, so after waiting a reasonable time, JB called the Daily Express (when it used to be a newspaper) and were able to reconstruct the images and publish them in the West before they appeared in the Soviet press. Needless to say the politburo was not impressed.
Re: A true boffin...
That thing's a deathtrap - Tom Baker fell off it and woke up as Peter Davison.
Their ads freak me out
Not just the ones with the creepy Chinese kids planning world domination, but that they put the same adverts on all the world's jetways. So the last thing you see before getting on a plane is an HSBC ad, then ten hours later you emerge, shattered, apparently in the same place.
AOL's into television
Surely they'd better spend their time making programmes about how to recycle unwanted CDs?
Re: Where's that frying pan...
'*It involves two forks, some jump leads and a 14 kW generator set.'
I remember a stag night along similar lines.
That makes my personal record of 4 hours 7 minutes on hold (in a single call) with BT Total Broadband look positively speedy.
I didn't waste the time, I built four bookcases and a cupboard whilst waiting, then used the hour or so left over to find another ISP.
Re: "Why build one..."
NASA's 2013 budget cut its support for the 2016 ESA ExoMars mission to divert money towards the James Webb Telescope which has gone horribly overbudget.
Re: "Why build one..."
ESA's ExoMars is due to put a rover down on the Red Planet in 2016 with a Russian rover following in 2018. NASA cancelled all involvement in the project earlier this year so there are no further American landers planned at the moment.
Christopher Lee versions
About 10 years ago the BBC televised readings of some of these stories by Christopher Lee and despite being nothing more than an old man narrating a story in a cosy room they are some of the scariest things I've ever heard. I wish the Beeb would either show them again or issue them on DVD.
More recently, Susan Hill and Michelle Paver have written ghost stories worthy of MR James himself.
A better explanation for the modern Pentathlon
It's every skill you need to escape from a castle after being caught in bed with the evil general's gorgeous daughter.
It'd be even better if they had to complete each discipline with a box of chocolates in one hand and fight off an army of disposable henchmen.
Re: A small question
Whilst there's a huge amount of geothermal power available, individual sites have limited lifetimes of about 20-50 years before their heat reservoir is depleted - rocks hold a lot of heat, but are lousy conductors. A good geothermal prospect not only needs hot rocks, but it needs expansion room to drill new boreholes when the older ones become less productive.
Australia's geothermal potential is mostly deep (4km) wells sunk into dry, ancient granites that are hot because of radioactive decay of high concentrations of uranium. If they can get it to work they will be exploiting the same sort of rocks as found in West Cornwall.
The Rosemanowes Quarry experiments in the 1980s produced large amounts of hot water but couldn't overcome huge losses of water between the injection and extraction wells. Modern fracking and horizontal drilling technologies might make this possible again. A 10MWe/50MWh pilot has been planned at Union Downs for Redruth for some time now and drilling should begin later this year. A second plant has also been approved at Eden.
Re: Gas? @JetSetJim
Magnox opted for a long decommissioning period so as to allow radiation levels to fall sufficiently that people will enter the reactor containment and perform the dismantling. The alternative was a 25 year process but that would have required them to design and build robots to perform the dismantling.
There are also big issues with the Magnox stations (and the AGRs when they reach EOL) about how to safely store the huge amounts of highly flammable and radioactive graphite from the cores/
Re: DAT OST
The soundtrack to 'Innocence' is incredible - as are the visuals such as the shoot-out in the convenience store and that amazing parade.
Not sure I entirely understand it, but sometimes you just have to go with the pretty.
'both males and females changing colour during the copulation (from yellow to dark purple “with green and orange highlights).'
I assume this is some sort of progress meter?
Re: Good for O2
'we did get three copies of an apology printed on nice heavy paper with our statements this month, though. Not sure why 3 copies in one envelope...'
Three copies means they're *really* sorry. If you were one of their premium banking customers you'd have got five.
Re: MMmmhh I'm Luvin
'A Playmobil reconstruction of this.......'
One with HappyMeal toys surely?
Re: The UK can be proud of what aid to India has achieved.
'and i admire that but at the same time shouldnt they actually spend their money on their people? why should we foot the bill? basically we are paying for their space program, when we cant even afford our own.'
Yes they should and its shameful that so many people in India have almost nothing and rely on our aid. But we shouldn't ignore some of the poorest people in the world just because their own government doesn't do enough for them.
And we could afford a space programme if we chose, our leaders have decided that its not terribly important so we're not only the only country to ever give up a space programme, but we're only fringe players in ESA. Doubling or tripling our expenditure on space would hardly be a huge imposition and it would be repaid manyfold because Britain is actually bloody good at this with both Astrium and SurreySat as big players in the satellite business.
Re: Public Recognition
After the war, Britain gave vast numbers of Enigma machines away to the various colonies and dependencies for them to encrypt all their traffic using an 'unbreakable' cipher. We also knew the Russians had got their hands on Enigma and hoped they would begin to encipher their communications with it.
Does El Reg have a top secret programme to kidnap any surviving Nazi rocket scientists and put them to work tinkering with LOHAN's strap-on thruster?
Because that would make an epic movie.
Re: DO YOU
We have a lovely big abandoned American airbase only three hours from the Eastern seaboard. Some Chinese and Russian investors have just arrived with a lot of money and are having trouble spending it. We've decided to have drinks together later.
PS. Don't make us deploy the rotten shark.
At the first sight of trouble, the Home Secretary has ordered O2 to send a text message composed by G4S that will allow all RBS customers to withdraw emergency beer money.
Literally nothing can go wrong.
Re: "The SD1 is a camera that will work magic in studio or landscape photography"
I had an SD-14 which could produce astounding images at low ISOs and in bright light, but the noise issue and general mechanical unreliability with an overheating sensor and poor sealing made it an immensely frustrating camera to use. When it was good, it was better than any APS-C camera of the period, but it couldn't rival a full frame camera.
The biggest issue for anyone who thinks about switching to Sigma is that you are pretty much stuck with using Sigma hardware and software. Many stores won't carry lenses with the Sigma mount and the range is not huge, and as for the software - if you ever thought Adobe produced the worst software on Earth you haven't been unlucky enough to Sigma Photo Pro. Slow, buggy and incompatible with just about everything.
Keep the motor warm?
Is there any way of using something like a hand warmer to keep the fuel block at a higher temperature?
If it's any consolation the American rockoon attempts of the 1950s had similar problems when their clockwork mechanisms kept freezing. The Navy's solution was to pack the machinery with cans of hot orange juice.
Find out what warranty Google offers
If you do buy a US Nexus, check what warranty comes with it - it might be as little as 90 days (1 year standard in the UK) and it might be limited to the US only. A very few companies - mostly camera companies - offer worldwide warranties on their products, but most do not. If you're out of the warranty zone and if your product fails within the warranty period you will have to pay the full cost of a replacement or repair through the company's local tentacle.
If you tell the Post Office that you're happy for a neighbour to take in a parcel and it goes missing or is damaged are you liable? If a courier delivers a parcel to another address than that on the label *without permission* then they are entirely liable if anything goes wrong.
Re: Meh regulation
'Best of all - since there is virtually no space industry in the uk apart from Surrey Satelites'
The moneyspinning folks at Astrium would probably disagree with you on that point. The UK builds a sizeable proportion of the world's commsats.
Does the red trend line stop around 1900 just as recorded temperatures take a sharp upturn?
Echo and SCORE
'Telstar wasn't the first satellite to bounce radio signals, that was "Courier 1B" from whose name one can identify as a military project'
Courier 1B is pre-dated by Echo 1 which was a passive communication satellite - nothing more than big reflective mylar balloon which reflected signals. Echo 2 followed in 1964 by which time it had been superceded by active satellites.
SCORE was the first satellite to broadcast from space, it could play pre-recorded messages and receive new ones for later broadcast.
Courier was the first active satellite which received, amplified and rebroadcast radio signals in real time.
One problem with this scenario
Is that a good part of the savannah is being turned into agricultural land rather than being allowed to afforest. Farm land is a poor carbon sink and also brings other environmental problems such as the need for synthetic nitrogen and large amounts of phosphorus.
Re: those aren't her ideas
Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' featured a painting of (and I have to use the word) blobominations in Jupiter's atmosphere, based on work by Sagan and a colleague from Cornell, Ernest Salpeter. They knew the planet's interior was rich in organic molecules and warm, so life wasn't out of the question.
These are all warm-up acts
I can't wait for Lester's hákarl versus surströmming death-match.
'assuming one can demonstrate to the bank's satisfaction that fraud has been committed'
Sorry, just have to laugh at the thought of post-Libor RBS being fit to arbitrate on whether fraud has taken place.
Re: War of the Worlds deserves a place in history
Doctor Who has had an alien invasion of Earth pretty much every week - Daleks trundling across Westminster Bridge, Yetis in the Underground, Krynoids lurking round Mick Jagger's mansion, mummies lurching around the same mansion, Julian Glover pulling his face off in Paris, and Cybermen (yes they are aliens) stomping around St. Pauls just being some of the better ones.
Harman's just upset that Google is opposed to Labour's official policy of censoring web searches in the UK.
Re: Bring back LORAN
'Oh, and is it El Reg or BAE who can't spell opportunity?'
If only BAE's problems were simply limited to spelling.
I'm going to bet this system will have all of BAE's usual technical brilliance and sophistication - 'You are now flying over Iran - probably.'
Re: How long...
After a good run of missions, the Americans lost Mars Observer in 1992, Climate Orbiter in 1998 and Polar Lander / Deep Space 2 in 1999. The UK then lost Beagle 2 in 2003. Since then its been nothing but successes apart from - oh dear - the Russians again with Fobos-Grunt.
Re: Computers are good for this:
"We've got literally seven minutes to get from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars, going from 13,000 miles an hour to zero in perfect sequence, perfect choreography, perfect timing,"
Actually sounds that like the judging on 'Strictly Come Dancing'
Where the BOFH is working these days?
Up and down - oh its up / down again
Louise Mensch recommended that Facebook and Twitter should be turned off when there may be a riot. Perhaps her site is just practicing?
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