"Everything is going extremely well"
...we have no complaints!
(But will the iceballs align on the photoshoot?)
NASA's New Horizons space probe has fired its thrusters for the last time to get it into position before it buzzes Pluto on July 14. The little science lab has also detected evidence of methane on the halfling planet. "We are really on the final path," said New Horizons Project Manager Glen Fountain, of APL. "It just gets …
Come one, people. The probe is 2.95 billion miles away. Try it yourself with a twisted pair phone cable and see what bit rate you get.
Once again astronomy baffles me:
" Without the course correction, New Horizons would have been 20 seconds late, and 114 miles (184 kilometres) off the planned route"
20 seconds late?
114 miles off?
After travelling 2.95 beeellion miles?
And they know that and fix it by speeding up a bit?
Here's to the boffins that do the math.
You gotta love compounded rounding errors.
You've got to love the combination of units - "... centimetres per second, a small fraction of ... miles per hour" Did we have European and US scientists working on this probe?
Anyway, I reckon the course correction was about 0.5mile per hour - the speed of an average hedgehog. There would have been far less confusion if they used a standard unit - current probe speed is 65000 Hedgehogs ...
I presume they're pulling Hew Horizons like a team of Huskies?
cm per second, miles per hour
I think it's a rather British thing, we tend to measure precise things in metric and then guestimates and things that don't need to be precise in imperial. I guess it also depends on how old you are. For me I only know things about feet, inches, miles, ounces, pounds and stones. I'd guestimate my desk in feet and inches but measure it in metres and centimetres. I was taught metric and inherited imperial.
Probably has something to do with your height was measured in feet and inches when you were a kid and you were weighed in pounds and stones. And things were miles away.
Nice article, I for one, had no idea that the data would be coming at the amazing speed of...
Well, it that's what it is, then that's what it is but damn, if I was a space scientist, I'd be clamouring, clamouring for the chance to work on a high-bandwidth laser comms system because 1Kb/Sec?
Never mind proving this law or that hypothesis, New Horizons has just proved The Stross Accelerando Principle (Hmm, that actually came out cooler than I thought it would) where the inner system is a high-bandwidth, low-latency region and the outer system is nothing but empty space, very small amounts of dumb matter and, worst of all, there's no signal out there.
Time to get the Lobsters (read the book) out there...
> Late for what?
Cocktail hour? Lecture on the implausability of trusting politicians? Its own funeral?
 I suppose you could term "slamming into a planetary surface at x thousand kph" a sort of funeral
 Don't worry Pluto - I'll still call you a planet. After all, we still call Belgium a country..
Remember that Pluto is in it's own orbit, and moving quite fast (4.67 Km/s), so late as in crossing Pluto's orbit after it has passed by. 20 seconds would have increased the closest distance, but probably not by much compared to the 7,750 miles distance.
But the answer is in the quoted article from NASA. "...[JHAPL] says without the adjustment, New Horizons would have arrived 20 seconds late and 114 miles (184 kilometers) off-target from the spot where it will measure the properties of Pluto’s atmosphere. Those measurements depend on radio signals being sent from Earth to New Horizons at precise times as the spacecraft flies through the shadows of Pluto and Pluto’s largest moon, Charon."
So yes, late.
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