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* Posts by Rustident Spaceniak

115 posts • joined 31 Jan 2012

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Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

ESA has been a bit more forthcoming today

Here are a couple of images - one in 3D - from OSIRIS. Still panchromatic, but this might be due to the low bit rate from Rosie.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/08/Comet_on_7_August_a

In any case, the closer it gets, the nicer it looks.

EDIT: Looking at the jagged cliffs all around the duck's neck, in stark contrast to the cratered surfaces on top and bottom and the smooth surface below, I wouldn't say it's unimaginable that a number of large pieces of the original comet might have broken off there, and debris collected in the "valley" that is now the neck.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: This is driving me crazy

I think you have a slight misunderstanding there.

The daily images released by ESA are those made with the NAVCAM navigation instrument. It has a single CCD and, so far as I could ascertain, no colour filter. That wouldn't be needed for navigation anyway. The OSIRIS camera, on the other hand, has IR, multispectral and colour modes - but we've only been treated to a very few images from it so far (and haven't even been told whether they're panchromatic or what, as far as I could make out).

Re the colour of heavenly bodies, yes, comets are very nearly perfectly black (which is kind of a pity 'cause it makes them so hard to see) but the Moon is not. Its overall reflectivity is about 12%. Moon rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts are darkish grey, with a very slight yellowish hue. So is the dust you can see at various museums, only darker. Nonetheless, there's an interesting anecdote related by Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon (on Apollo 17), about an endless discussion relating to the Moon's colour which he had on the way back with Harrison Schmitt, the mission's geologist. And indeed, if you increase the colour saturation of some Moon photos by a factor of ginormous, you see yellow, orange, and blue hues coming out in various places; but they can't be discerned by looking at the Moon with the bare eye (even up close), because they're so weak, and the sunlight is so bright up there that the human eye can only distinguish dazzling light and total darkness in the shadow. It'll be different for Rosetta which is now over 3 times as far from the Sun as we are, so gets less stark illumination. With luck and good camera settings, we may actually be allowed to discern colours.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

What did you expect a comet to look like in b&w?

What's surprising and beautiful is there actually seem to be patches of lighter gray that look like ET has been skiing down them - not that you could in cometary gravity, but I've seen less attractive slopes in the Alps. Speaking of the Alps, the thing looks a bit like the lower end of the Hochfeiler glacier, wrapped around some fancy thing out of Mathematica. To me, that's all par for the course.

What will be interesting is to see whether, unlike the Moon, it actually has a distinguishable colour. And just how soft the surface is. And what it's really made of. And when the Grebulons come out looking and pointing at Rosetta.

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Bill Gates asks telcoms standards boffins to define future of money

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Sarcasm

Hm, OK - maybe try a different flavour next.

Incidentally, I think it's rather a good idea to enable mobile banking for the poor - although you need to be careful with it. The many Grameen-bank-like microcredit projects of recent years had a rather mixed record apparently. It's probably best to limit your target group first (I think people who can actually afford a mobile phone might qualify) and try payment first in regions where the rest of a transaction - the actual delivery of goods as ordered - can reasonably be relied upon.

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Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Re: Quite simple really!

err... what?

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Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: Quite simple really!

It's the fur one with the deep pockets.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

Quite simple really!

Every time you make a mobile online transaction, it'll pass through a clearing house; let's call that a gate. Then all goods and services paid through mobile transactions are billed by these institutions. So that all future mobile transactions will pass throug bill gates!

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Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

Rustident Spaceniak
Go

Re: WD40

Ever seen one of the French cars near the launch site? It was specified to survive that.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

With all this transpiration -

Does anyone know how much of the volatile material will recondense on the comet nucleus after it has passed the sun and vanishes into the black yonder, only to return after many years? You'd think that with so much sweating and possible later dirty rain on the comet, its surface composition will change over the eons.

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NASA beams vid from space via laser

Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

That's soooo 2007!

Not wanting to spoil their enthusiasm, but considering that the German space research center managed a laser comms linke between two orbiting satellites back in 2008, and achieved a data rate of some 5.6 Gigabits/s, I'd say what NASA did just now is a bit old hat.

http://www.dlr.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-78/7420_read-14120/

Of course, ESA has taken this a step further and they're now using laser comms terminals via a relay saetellite, so you don't even need to be overhead California anymore to laze someone there:

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Telecommunications_Integrated_Applications/Sentinel-1_soon_to_make_first_laser_link

Of course, if the astronauts in the ISS had hand-pointe that beam, it'd be something completely different...

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: SquanderTwo @ Rustident Spaceniak

Actually, a lot can be done to increase social mobility - and at the same time to promote it and show people it works. Education is an important point, possibly the most important one - on all levels, from childhood to universities; but so are public-service careers, diversity, even public employment schemes in some cases (probably not in Britain right now).

Mind, I don't exactly agree with Mr Piketty's ideas and proposals, but I still maintain that his book raises a few rightful concerns. Where I live, the idea of solidarity is quite popular; the rich (mostly) accept relatively high taxes, though far below 80%, as a necessary evil; and those taxes still don't stop most of them from becoming richer, even if maybe at a lesser rate than those in London. I think Mr Piketty has a right to provoke discussion; and if he can do so in such a sedentary and purely academic forum as El Reg, he might have achieved something.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Rustident Spaceniak Theoretically speaking, the article makes a perfectly....

Matt, you raise two very valid points: The rich can get poor and the poor can get rich. Agreed. Absolutely.

Now let's take a look at the averages. Social mobility is certainly higher in Europe now than it was in 1849, and thank your deity of choice for that. Nonetheless, average income and wealth of the top 10% and 1% of the income scale have risen in the last 30 years, despite the various financial crises - and risen more than average incomes have - and the top 1% more than the top 10%. At the same time, the bottom 20% have seen their income remain nearly flat. In some cases, moreover, the part of their income depending on welfare has actually risen, which means they're getting less self-sufficient. That may be due to their lack of skills, as often reported, or of ethic, which you suggest; I tend to agree. But what the reasons are, is not necessarily a factor driving the acts of those trying to capitalize politically on inequality.

My point is, some agitators have managed to turn this insistance on victimhood into bloody revenge (as some agitators are trying against immigrants now). The most prominent example that comes to mind was a Russian medicine student in 1917; result, tens of millions of deaths. It's not something I would like to read in the history of the UK, or any other European country, written in 2114.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Theoretically speaking, the article makes a perfectly valid argument -

however, while we may not be going back to 1849 style of abject poverty of the masses, the inequality curve has certainly changed shape in the last 50 or so years; in fact, it appears to be getting steeper at the very top end, and more so for wealth than for income. That's a natural consequence of high returns on capital; which, in turn, is a predictable consequence of the absence of competition from other economic models. At the same time, we appear to be seeing the formation of a new type of "lower class" - people who are born near the bottom end of the wealth scale and have proportionally little hope of ever making it higher. Never mind they all probably have a nicer TV set than I do, they will still remain essentially dependent on welfare.

What it all boils down to, is that there is a *perceived* level of inequality, not just of wealth but also of development chances, that might very well lead to social unrest and all its wealth-reducing consequences. Or it might not; but any government would certainly be well advised to consider the possibility. If the price to avoid that is to raise taxes for the very rich, I could understand those willing to pay it.

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Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

It's the first time in twenty years I've been tempted to write software again!

Really, I never could get used to coding in C, and somehow never had time to learn any of the newfangled ones. But this thing sounds like a nice, clean new approach that migh be easy to learn for someone who still remembers Turbo Pascal. I'll sure give it a try tonight, and see how far I get.

Not that I could lay claim to being anywhere like a developer, just a poor amateur. But if it's something usable for us amateurs, I'll write a personal email of thanks to that Mr Federighi.

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Amazon workers in Germany celebrate strike anniversary with ... ANOTHER STRIKE

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: Mystic Meg

In general, German unions never expect to get all they ask for. They will typically negotiate with the employers for weeks and then settle for between half and two-thirds. Nonetheless, it's their business to first ask for a lot.

Of course, as some others have pointed out, the point in case here is really "retail wages vs warehouse wages". I don't expect Amazon to give way there, and I don't expect they'll have to. Re seeking employment elsewhere: It's not the 90's anymore either. Amazon is in pretty much the same situation: They need someone to run their warehouses after all. So there's a kind of balance of power, or of risk. Which makes it likely the unions will get at least some of what they ask for.

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Tesla's TOP SECRET gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

Rustident Spaceniak
Alien

The batteries of the future -

...might very well not be Li-Ion batteries we know today. They might involve lithium, say as Li-polymer or Li-S batteries; which might be recharged or exchanged at what used to be gas stations. On the other hand, they might just as well be fuel cells or indeed flow cells. In that case we'd probably not be looking for lithium so much bur for vanadium - which conveniently is often found in iron ore. Or indeed, the batteries for the electric car of the future might be based on dilithium crystals. We just can't tell at the moment.

In any case, I shouldn't put my money in lithium mining anytime soon. Much rather into rare earth mining.

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Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

I hope they will do another moonshot project -

but they probably won't before other companies like Embraer or Airbus take more of their business away from them.

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Fanbois Apple-gasm as iPhone giant finally reveals WWDC lineup

Rustident Spaceniak
Gimp

Dontcha know, there's an app for that!

Or against, whatever...

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Europe's shock Google privacy ruling: The end of history? Don't be daft

Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

That's the difference between censorship and privacy

Asking the Spanish website to delete the info would be censorship. Asking Google to remove the link is not necessarily.

In fact, you might create a website about all sorts of people and post a link - say a direkt permanent link - to the Gonzalez story: No problem But it is a problem for Mr Gonzalez if this matter is the first that comes up whenever anyone searches his name.

The case is just a reminder that there's a difference between raw information and search results.

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Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

So if a tree falls over in Brooklyn and Google doesn't link it, has it really fallen?

The fact is, the original information about Mr Gonzalez will stay just where it always was, and anyone taking a serious interest in him - such as who might wish to sell him a house - will hopefully not rely on just a quick web search to find out what they know. Doubtless, the local paper or whoever published his little matter back in 1995 has their own searchable archive. If someone is just too lazy for decent research, it's not the end of history!

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Look behind you, 'declining' sub-$5bn iPod. The iWatch has come... to EAT YOU

Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Trouble with the ipod is, most everyone who wants one, has got one apparently.

The only exception to that rule seem to be kids who're just old enough to write "ipod" on their wish lists; sure a steady market, but also a declining one; and then, people in hitherto-poor countries just coming into the sort of money that affords iThings. Seems to me neither of these populations would mind having an iWatch instead of a Pod; but then I'm not a market analyst.

In any case, I can't see people buying a watch that needs recharging every few days, like the Samsung one that was recently discussed here. That would be too much like rewinding your watch every night and morning!

Then again, I've long dreamed of that laser projector built into my wristwatch... (sigh)

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Sun-seeking NASA boffins steer FLEETS of satellites... BY HAND

Rustident Spaceniak
Headmaster

Calculations...

Just to be pedantic: two weeks over 20 minutes calculates as 14*24*3=1008, which is roughly a hundred thousand per cent improvement, or roughly a thousandfold.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Just what are they droning on about?

They photographed the SK president's blue house? A quick google search reveals hundreds of decent-resolution pictures! Or are they really looking for another blue place that's not altogether a residence as such?

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Can you tell a man's intelligence simply by looking at him? Yes

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Beat me to it! (1.4.)

What the two studies together infer would go a long way towards explaining the sorry state of society. If indeed the very traits that make men attractive to women and influential correlate with their being less than average intelligent, why, we're all doomed!

Glad to see it's April 1st.

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

Re: Moving at 800 m/s

Relative to the comic, err, comet, parbleu!

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Rustident Spaceniak

Rosie must be getting there a bit faster

If you just do the math, 800m/s isn't quite enough to travel 5 million km between now and the end of May. The ESA press release says the differential speed will be 800m/s then, but it's probably more like 1000m/s or a bit more just now. It'll apparently get less as the two trajectories of the comet and Rosie come closer to intersection. Orbital mechanics does that to you at times.

Still, there's quite a bit of braking required to slow from about 150 times the average speed of a London double decker bus to more like the walking pace of a Welsh sheep.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Probe at right angles-

It'd take about a Gigagram of fuel for a probe of maybe a hundred jubs or so. Then it'd travel outwards from the ecliptic for a generation, to be a bulk of AU's above the ecliptic. Now the whole solar system would be in its field of view - and it would only need a resolution of about 50 million lines (or, with a single exposure, 2.5 petapixels) to see Biden in exactly one pixel - which you'd have to find among all the other junk first. Yes, come to think of that, it would be a bad idea.

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Earth's night-side gets different kinds of neutrinos from day-side

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: One moment.

That's perfectly correct. Nonetheless, at least for muon neutrinos, the detection rate should be measureable with the OPERA and Icecube detectors. Not sure if those have detected enough neutrinos yet to evaluate a decent daily rate.

Concerning electron neutrinos, as I hinted at above, the results from Supermario should now be correlated with those of other detectors looking specifically at solar neutrinos, then we'll be able to judge whether it's the Earth or Jam Tarts that cause the more energetic ones to deteriorate into electron neutrinos. Failing that, a different theory would have to be established that accounts for a 24h variation cycle in the number of neutrinos detected.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

Let's see- Smirnoff, Wolfenstein?

So Mikhey had a few Smirnoffs and after playing Wolfenstein for years, came up with this great theory about Neutrinos? I could have done as much in a day! With all the discarded coffee pads around on dumps, it's clear anything passing through Earth will change flavour.

OK now: The super kamio thing is, as far as one recalls, just one of several neutrino detectors out there. Surely the others, which all suffer the same fate of being alternatively in day- and nighttime, will be able to offer corroborating data?

On second thoughts, there's a faint memory someone wanted to build a detector in the Antarctic. Obviously, with there being less of Earth down there to pass through, the change of flavour should be correspondingly less pronounced?

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China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Re: They advantage of an autocratic country

Sorry for you, Ken. And that illustrates a salient point: What can and should the other developed countries do about this? I'd say, at least quietly offer advice on how we implemented environmental policies, for the Chinese to copy or not. No-one profits if they suffer, after all.

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Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

Rustident Spaceniak

Wasn't there once some lord or other...

who gave the parking space occupied by his Rolls-Royce as his residential address in London? (This was obviously in a time of abundant parking lots)

This Volvo scheme has a bit of the same ring to it.

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Robot army to police football World Cup

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

18kg? No match for a hooligan!

Given their technical spec, those bots might be of some use against really serious evildoers but certainly not against groups of drunk, feisty Brits intent on a bit of fun.

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European Space Agency: PLATO will seek out 'ADVANCED LIFE forms'... 'SLIME'

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: Relative distance?

It should have read "1.5 million km beyond Earth...", that would've been correct in an orbital-mechanics sense.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Joke

Does it mean, across the gulf of space -

that minds that are to their minds as theirs are to those of the slime, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, will regard their planets with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against them?

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

Rustident Spaceniak
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.

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Rustident Spaceniak
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.

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UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

Rustident Spaceniak
Trollface

Not to put too fine a point on it, but

a) Colossus was only used to automate the code breaking of the Lorenz machine after the manual deciphering was considered too slow;

b) The whole deciphering job only became possible after two very similar long messages were sent with almost identical settings on the Lorenz encoder, making it possible to deduce the cipher principle;

c) Depending on whether you consider relais as electronics, the Zuse Z3 which came before Colossus, could claim the title of "the world's first electronic programmable digital computer".

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Big tech firms holding wages down? Marx was right all along, I tell ya!

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

Re: [Psyx Re: ]Excellent article - b u t -

A very valid point, and well put.

Incidentally, this can already be observed to a degree. In western Europe, you see a small but growing flow of jobs back from low-wage countries where they were outsourced, to new Eruopean contractors with lower pay and less good conditions than they used to be over here; but at least they're local jobs. It's happening in industries from textile to electronics. At the same time, the very low end of low-wage jobs is moving out of places like China, to places like e.g. Bangladesh where the mean income is even lower. Hopefully, over time the wages there will also rise.

The upside for the business owners is, of course, as more people in hitherto low-income economies gain buying power, the market for goods expands.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Excellent article - b u t -

From where I sit, the article makes a perfectly good and valid point about the wage dynamics in the Valley. Very likely, the scope could also be extended far beyond IT engineers; the same principles and the same interests are prevalent all over the labour market.

But

The one thing that Marx did not take into account (as have far too few of his fellow economists in the 100-odd years since the last volume of Das Kapital was published), is the effect that international competition has on the economy, and particularly on wages. It's two-fold: On the one hand, the "reserve army" is extended all over the planet, as long as a free labour market exists. On the other hand, there also exists a more-or-less free market for goods, so competition from low-wage countries also has to be taken into account by the capitalists, or their market share would fall; that creates cost pressure, which of course translates into further downward pressure on wages.

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ESA's Sentinel-1 earth-gazing satellite will be flung aloft later this year

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Err, about Sentinels 2, 3, and so on -

Sentinel-2 has left the drawing board (which of course was never used anyway, more of a CATIA workstation, or several) long behind and is already in manufacturing (at least the first two satellites of it). So is Sentinel-3.

For Sentinel-4 and -5, the plan is that they'll just be instruments hitching a ride on upcoming weather satellites.

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Rosetta comet chaser due to wake up for final rendezvous on Monday

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Forever.

Rosetta will continue to loop around the Sun for the rest of time (or until it crashes into some other space object, or the Sun blows up). Voyager, on the other hand, is continuing to sail out furhter and further, and will put a growing distance between itself and Rosetta.

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Boffins find ALIEN WORLD orbiting the Sun's LONG LOST TWIN

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: So so far away

Because the stars that're closer aren't part of clusters.

A number of closer stars have known exoplanets, but if you want to find out about exos in clusters, well it makes sense you have to look at one of the nearer clusters, dunnit?

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Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

Rustident Spaceniak
Paris Hilton

What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

It's not mentioned in the article and Wikipedia doesn't seem to know the answer either, for a change. Nor does it seem to make any sense. What's it, other funding priorities? Asteroid hunters' union calling a strike? Cosmic flux peak?

Paris 'cos, sleepy beauty, no idea, still searching...

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Euro satellite to count a BEELLLION stars, find origin of Milky Way

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: Long term planning

For one thing, people would have been glad to do this ten years ago. But it's done with public money, lots of it, and that tends to slow things down; plus the public wants its fair share...

For another, knowing your place in the galaxy doesn't really mean you get anything like the total perspective on the universe! It's typical galactic hubris to assume our little milky way is more than one among very many.

And finally, a man should always know his place, no matter where he is in the galaxy.

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Meet NASA's Valkyrie: A SILKY BUSTY ROBO-MINX that'll save your life

Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: lube points

As per standard for space hardware, that'll be dry lube.

Mine's the one with the MoS2 flask in the pocket.

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Martians yet to retaliate after Curiosity's 100,000th laser strike

Rustident Spaceniak
Alien

Those Martians are just peaceful, that's why we can't understand them!

The organized life, ten feet deep in the soil, is very much aware of Curiosity rolling overhead. They have engaged reception,are listening eagerly, letting its alien thought saturate them. But alas - Curiosity's thoughts are as mechanical, as simple, that there's really no satisfying communication possible with it.

Maybe it's time to send out a probe to find Curiosity's creator...

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Speaking in Tech: Get an Amazon drone delivered by Amazon drone

Rustident Spaceniak
Devil

I'd prefer a post rocket

Like this: http://www.astronautix.com/astros/zucker.htm

Delivers letters hot! :-)

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SpaceX Falcon 9 reaches MONEY RING with successful launch

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: 80k km apogee?

Actually it means less delta-V for reducing the inclination of the orbit to zero - i.e. make the sat fly over the equator, rather than wobble between 28° North and South latitude (their launch site being at about 28°N).

You still have to trade that for a bit *more* delta-V needed for the circularisation, as unfortunately there's no practicable way to trading some of that apogee altitude for perigee rising *). Still, it works out in the end.

*) Bootnote: That's because while the energy of an elliptical orbit with a certain semimajor axis may be the same as that of a circular one with the same radius, it's the instantaneous velocity vectors that don't match.

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LOHAN embraces handsome young autopilot

Rustident Spaceniak
Paris Hilton

So it's the SYLVIE experiment?

Like Servo-controlled, Year-Long Validated, Interesting Experiment or something?

Paris 'cos Sylvie isn't available as an icon.

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Wolfram's new equation: Mathematica+RPi=child geniuses everywhere

Rustident Spaceniak
Gimp

Re: A programming nightmare

Actually, once you accept what it's for, it makes a great programming language for math subjects. You don't have to fiddle with memory allocation, define what type of data a variable holds, or whatever - you just concentrate on your problem, write that into mathematica, and hey presto.

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