back to article NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

A Guidance and Navigation Control (GNC) issue scuppered last night's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9. Conversely, the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated a successful restart of the Mars Express orbiter following a software update. TESS is less Scheduled for launch yesterday, the …

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"Makers of certain consumer electronics should take note that it is possible to create an update that both extends the life of a device and improves its performance."

Oh Apple are fully aware of this.

They just CHOOSE to fuck over the consumer.

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Indeed

Although it may be possible, it does not generate revenue, and is therefor not a priority.

Because customer satisfaction is no longer a priority. Reeling a prospect in and getting him to fork over the dough is the only priority these days.

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This echoes the earlier article today about the projected drop in smartphone sales in Europe.

The basic business model of the high-tech suppliers is screwed. In the reverse of the approach that worked for King Gillette and many others, they sell an expensive bit of kit and then walk away, hoping that when you get pissed off with it you'll buy another one (from them - how likely is that?). This doesn't guarantee a stable cashflow. Microsoft belatedly realised this with Windows and Office - sell it once, and people then expect support and updates free for the next decade. Now they're switching to (expensive) subscriptions, but they have a point.

If hardware manufacturers could work out a product structure which allowing incremental improvement and upgrade they could make a killing - sell the thingy for a reasonable price, but them sell some modular upgrades every year or two, until the customer finally goes for a new base unit after ten years. Steady income!

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Gimp

That has to score some sort of record...

... for fastest, most OTT, fanbhoi knee jerk. First world problems or what?

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Re: That has to score some sort of record...

I have to ask.. to which comment are you referring, as I see no fan boi comments anywhere...

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Childcatcher

Re: That has to score some sort of record...

@Lotaresco First world polution poisons everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft belatedly realised this with Windows and Office - sell it once, and people then expect support and updates free for the next decade. Now they're switching to (expensive) subscriptions, "

I wouldn't mind paying for Windows annual updates to fix functional/security problems. As long as they were left working as they were - if I decided to stop having updates.

I've stayed with W7 and Office 2010 because of the mess that has been made of W8/10 GUI - and the "phone home" nature of their malware. No forward plan for me on Windows.

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they sell an expensive bit of kit and then walk away, hoping that when you get pissed off with it you'll buy another one (from them - how likely is that?). This doesn't guarantee a stable cashflow.

It does if you are Apple. You start with them loving the device, as it is so much better than their N-1 model. Gradually, the performance degrades until they hate the device, and wish they had something better, something N+1. They get it, they are ecstatic about the new shiny, and the process starts over.

They can't jump to a different ecosystem, because everyone else in their circle is using the services provided to interact with each other, and they fear missing out.

PS: Modular phones truly would be dreadful. It has been tried before, clunky and with useless upgrades.

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Re: That has to score some sort of record...

First World technology has save untold millions and given them a better life, as well...

It's funny how people shoult about the dowside of, say, plastics, without acknowledging the myriad benefits the technology provides...

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Facepalm

Give 'em the razor

But sell them the inkjet cartridges, is that what you meant?

At least the blades cost less than the razor - that's what THEY missed.

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"Microsoft belatedly realised this with Windows and Office [...] Now they're switching to (expensive) subscriptions"

So far they've skipped the subscription and gone straight for the loss leader. Just continual updates, presumably in the hope that we'll give them money for something else?

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Anonymous Coward

"[...] resumably in the hope that we'll give them money for something else?"

It's called a Faustian pact. They hope to get their money from elsewhere when they sell you.

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Re: Give 'em the razor

No, they didn't miss it, the Gilette Techmatic system used a cartridge containing a continuous, flexible blade that cost more than the razor (which was basically just a plastic holder for the cartridge).

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"Microsoft belatedly realised this with Windows and Office [...] Now they're switching to (expensive) subscriptions"

So far they've skipped the subscription and gone straight for the loss leader. Just continual updates, presumably in the hope that we'll give them money for something else?

I would argue that presumably at some point they will produce a stable and usable OS that doesn't cause grief from an update. Stability is good. Updates the improve the system are good. Updates that break things or BSOD the computer are bad. MS hasn't figured out with Win10 at this point.

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Trollface

@ Mark 85

"I would argue that presumably at some point they will produce a stable and usable OS ... "

Mark, do you expect to outlive the heat death of the universe?

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Or....

Being a hardware company, they preferred to continue to stay in business.

I mean, is anyone holding a frying pan next to your head and threatening to clobber you if you don't buy their newest bling?

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Re: @ Mark 85

Guys.....Windows 10 and Office 365 have been on autopilot for a long time now. Updates without issue, new features occasionally. BSOD's? A distant memory for my from a decade ago. I hate to say it but Microsoft has never been performing better as a company and for the most part "it just works!"

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You're being a bit negative about the TESS launch.

spaceX spot a problem, three hours before launch. And they stop the process long before any loading of fuel or liquid oxygen. It's about the time the humans leave the area of the launch pad. How is this a bad thing? Why should the satellite be "nervous"?

Anyone can check the countdown sequence, find out these things. You don't have to watch launches for half a century to have a clue.

Meanwhile the engineers check the details, and decide whether or not you will go to space today. This is thing going right.

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We live in a world...

where it's become ingrained to measure things only by profit.

So when you see that mistake, correct for it, and make things much better, people complain "it only made 100 million sales and 1 billion dollars, it's a failure" at the box office/store/music chart. ;)

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Re: negativity

Agree with that. When I read the title, I thought the Falcon X had experienced Rapid Unplanned Disassembly, or the satellite had failed to reach orbit. A launch delay is not my conception of distress.

El Reg, please do not trade factual accuracy for a nice rhyming headline.

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Facepalm

Meanwhile the engineers check the details, and decide whether or not you will go to space today.

Erm. My mouse pointer/cursor happened to hover over the word details when I read this, causing my brain to read it as toenails.

Now I have this mental image of the checks on the Falcon 9 landing feet, requiring a pedicurist in a white coat.

I think I need another lunchtime gin...

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Re: We live in a world...

<quote> We live in a world... where it's become ingrained to measure things only by profit.</quote>

You mean that you do not grasp the basics of business??

Customers exist only to be "milked" for revenue.

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Re: negativity

El Reg, please do not trade factual accuracy for a nice rhyming headline.

Erm, this is The Register, you know?

Rhyming headlines and quotes from 1960s musicals are far more important than a few facts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: negativity

"Rhyming headlines and quotes from 1960s musicals are far more important than a few facts."

- TESS tickles - the ballsed up launch that had to be scratched

- A TESSting time for NASA

- Reboot for the win - TESS-tify!

I can haz job as El Reg Hack?

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Facepalm

Re: Fatman

I understand business perfectly. I don't see a problem with my statement.

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Anonymous Coward

All the Elonbot trolls are coming out, just surprised they haven’t accused El Reg of pushing fake news for failing to praise Elon.

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Ah, the Anti-Elon trolls are out, having a go at the pro-Elon trolls.

Bored now.

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Re: We live in a world...

We live in a society

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Brave

I get nervous hitting the reboot button on kit a few hundred km away, never mind in freaking space.

Hats off I say.

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Alert

Re: Brave

With Windows updates, I get nervous hitting the reboot button on kit infront of me!

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Windows

@Simon Harris Re: "With Windows updates...."

If there were any chance that updating my SP3 would shoot me into space I would not be nervous, I'd be terrified! :)

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Anonymous Coward

MARSIS

Did the MARSIS experiment ever get going on Mars Express? All I can find is news about it being postponed years ago.

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Re: MARSIS

Yes, MARSIS has been working away collecting data. You can get the data from ESA at https://archives.esac.esa.int/psa/#!Table%20View/MARSIS=instrument

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Makers of certain consumer electronics should take note that it is possible to create an update that both extends the life of a device and improves its performance

That as maybe but consumer electronics manufacturers have no incentive to support their old devices.

There's simply no money in it for them.

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Anonymous Coward

consumer electronics manufacturers have no incentive to support their old devices.

Maybe we should fire them into space?

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Re: "it's possible"

Yeah, if the hardware only supports one piece of software. ONE. It is easy to improve on a simple architecture. But most consumer devices are now multi-function, loaded with a bunch of bloated third-party apps that each user picks for themselves that get more bloated with each update for "bug fixes, stability, performance improvements, yadda yadda yadda..." Quite impossible to improve performance under such heavy variables, unless the update deletes all third-party apps and restores simplicity. But the users won't bother to find things run better when all their precious apps (and associated data) are gone.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe we should fire them into space?

Well, we tried that with the Telephone Sanitizers, and we all now how that turned out.

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tfb
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There is, in fact, money in it for them. If I bought an x only to discover, a year later that, despite my x being perfectly physically serviceable, I now needed a shiny new y because the company couldn't be bothered supporting x any more I'd be mildly pissed off and would probably buy a z from some other manufacturer.

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Re: consumer electronics manufacturers have no incentive to support their old devices.

Maybe we should fire them into space?

The manufacturers or the devices?

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X, Y and Z are all made in the same filthy dirty factory in the far east. So you lose!

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Hmm spacex.com/webcast said that the launch would happen on Wednesday when I checked at 23:30 last night. Is that not official ?

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Thumb Up

after an hour, the spacecraft restarted, re-orientated itself and sent a message back to Earth

Isn't it great when stuff just works!

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Boffin

TESS GNC issue

Guidance and navigation issue? Just point it up!

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Trollface

Re: TESS GNC issue

Well maybe the plumb line broke and they need hang a new one from the top of the rocket. I mean, that's why rockets are so bloody tall, isn't it - so they can house a super-long plumb line inside for extra-precise detection of which way "up" is...?

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Joke

Re: TESS GNC issue

No, the rockets are so tall for the extra long pendulum they use for the clock in the timing system - they can't reset it once it's off the ground, don't'cha know.

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Joke

Re: TESS GNC issue

Good BOFH excuse:

"Sorry, we've run right out of long plumb lines. Waiting for the manufacturer to deliver more string."

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Re: TESS GNC issue

That doesn't even work in Kerbal Space Program.

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Coat

Re: Turn it off and on again

So the 15 minute delay isn't due to lightspeed limitations, it's just Roy answering the phone.

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Re: Turn it off and on again

it's just Roy answering the phone.

I thought he'd got a reel-to-reel answerphone now?

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Anonymous Coward

re-orientated itself

Why not just reoriented?

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