back to article Spacecraft that told us 'you're screwed' finally gives up the ghost after doubling its shelf life

How's your World Space Week shaping up? Baked a rocket cake or two? No? Nevermind. Take some time out to catch up with this week's roundup of space stuff. Italian Air Force going to space* with Virgin The Italian Air Force has signed up with the Bearded One's Virgin Galactic to take a jaunt into space aboard the company's …

  1. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Trollface

    Another outing for this oldie but goldie from @VizComic .... https://www.flickr.com/photos/norbet/40381299060

  2. stiine Silver badge

    If SpaceX want an unpaid, litigation-free passenger for their abort test flight, just have them contact me.

    1. dnicholas Bronze badge

      >> If SpaceX want an unpaid, litigation-free passenger for their abort test flight, just have them contact me.

      In the Dragon capsule with the abort system that might abort the whole craft? I'd wait for more testing before claiming my free seat!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
  3. Ben Bonsall

    Fill the new spacesuits with gel, then they don't need to be pressurized, which makes them much easier to move in :)

    But much more messy to get out of. Showers being a bit of a luxury, if you make the gel from that powder that turns into a gel when wet, then turns back into a powder when dried, you should be able to get clean with a hair dryer and a vacuum cleaner.

    Apparently it keeps quite cool too. And the volume of water involved might make a pretty useful radiation shield too, but would probably be quite heavy.

    There's probably a million reasons why this won't work in reality, but it's fun to speculate :)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >There's probably a million reasons why this won't work in reality,

      Because there is no way you are going to get USA Space Command (tm) to smear KY jelly all over the bodies (*) of their intrepid USA Space Command (tm) Space Heroes before they boldly go doing whatever it is that USA Space Command (tm) Space Heroes do

      * the USAF on the other hand .....

    3. sbt Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I can think of one.

      ...aaaand, she drowned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can think of one.

        Scuba gear. Stops people from inhaling liquid every day. Keeps them breathing too.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: I can think of one.

          >Scuba gear. Stops people from inhaling liquid every day. Keeps them breathing too.

          Although it does work by ensuring that the pressure inside your lungs is equal to the pressure outside your body.

          At the point where the pressure outside your body is zero, as in the proposed unpressurised space suit - it is apt to get rather untidy.

          1. Ben Bonsall

            Re: I can think of one.

            Ususally scuba gear has to be quite high pressure to balance the much higher water pressure outside your body, so you'd need much lower pressure scuba gear, enough to balance whatever inward pressure could be generated by the elastic suit mentioned below but not enough to inflate the astronaut?

            1. Lusty

              Re: I can think of one.

              No, as mentioned SCUBA gear delivers air at ambient pressure, not high pressure. As also mentioned, in this instance ambient is around zero. As such there are only two outcomes:

              1. Astronaut suffocates when no air is delivered.

              2. Astronaut explodes because someone who doesn't understand pressure modifies the system to deliver air at above ambient pressure.

              3. Astronaut burns in a fiery accident sequel because someone else who doesn't understand fire used pure O2 to reduce required pressure. Again.

              1. Ben Bonsall

                Re: I can think of one.

                10 meters depth is double atmospheric pressure, 20 meters treble, etc. 40 meters for a deep dive is 5 bar, which is pretty high pressure. (for me anyway, it's enough to drive some pretty serious air tools. it's not high pressure like in the tank though) So, as mentioned, the breathing gear would be scuba gear that delivered lower than atmospheric pressure. The pressure in a pressurized space suit is about 1/3 atmospheric pressure, and they do breath pure oxygen at this pressure.

                I'm wondering if you could have an elastic suit that compressed your chest cavity to 1/3 atmospheric pressure to provide the ambient pressure, probably that can be tightened and loosened in the airlock so it's possible to breath once the air pressure raises again.

                1. Lusty

                  Re: I can think of one.

                  You've still misunderstood. When you're at 10m depth the pressure is 2 bar and the SCUBA gear delivers air at 2 bar. At 20m air is delivered at 3 bar. The gear literally delivers at the same pressure you're at, so it's not high pressure it's zero pressure compared to what you experience. As such, ANY pressure at zero ambient (aka space) will explode the human.

                  I think you need to stop wondering and start reading some science ;)

                  1. Ben Bonsall

                    Re: I can think of one.

                    I did :) I read the documentation from NASA and MIT about mechanical counterpressure suits, which work pretty much as described, the pressure on the body is provided by foam that wants to expand but can't due to a non-stretchy layer over it, this provides enough inward pressure on the body to allow humans to breath air at a much lower pressure than normal atmospheric pressure, and also not explode. It also contains a bladder inside the suit to provide back pressure on the breathing gear to stop all the gas escaping in one go.

                    I suggest you provide a recommendation for a useful alternative to the breathing apparatus to enable such an unpressurized suit to work instead of saying 'that won't work', because that's how science works.

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Boiling point / pressure

      Boiling point depends on pressure. Drop the pressure to about 0 and the boiling point is about 0K (-273°C). In vacuum body heat will boil any liquid: blood, urine and this magic gel. The good news is that boiling things requires energy. As liquids boil away they take heat away from where they were. The temperature of your gel covered astronut would drop until the liquids froze solid. That would not stop some of them from subliming (going directly from solid to gas). Sublimation would continue but slow down as the temperature dropped. Freeze drying is an effective method of preservation. If you returned your freeze dried astronut to a warm pressurised environment much of the appearance, texture and taste would be restored.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Boiling point / pressure

        upvoted for, "and taste".

      2. Ben Bonsall

        Re: Boiling point / pressure

        Sublimation of the gel would only occur if the material is directly exposed to a vacuum though, so some kind of insulated sealed elastic outer suit will be required then, to prevent heat loss to space, evaporation and maintain some pressure on the gel inside by squeezing against the astronaut? Something like a cross between a wet suit and a dry suit. Maybe an air tight inner elastic layer like neoprene, then the gel, then an air tight outer layer squeezing the gel. Quilted in such a way to prevent the gel from moving about to much, no point squeezing it all into the gloves every time you move.

        Basically, if you put one of those air free foil pouches of cat food into a vacuum chamber, how long would it take for the cat food inside to freeze dry?

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Boiling point / pressure

          Sublimation of the gel would only occur if the material is directly exposed to a vacuum ... like a cross between a wet suit and a dry suit.

          My, that would chafe!

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Geordie Astronauts

    No need for spacesuits - just a T-shirt

    It's not that cold in space

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Geordie Astronauts

      Wey ay man, an dinna forget the life support, crate of Newcy Broon & some Greggs pasties.

      Has any astronaut ever mooned at the entire planet?

      1. tel130y

        Re: Geordie Astronauts

        A word and the order of order wrong....Wey aye man an divint forget the crate a dog an a couples greggs pasties..Life support anall...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geordie Astronauts

      Reminds me of this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxXbpHeIrUc

  5. Simon Harris Silver badge

    You won't see the bunny hopping and falls like those seen in the Apollo videos.

    Spoilsports!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: You won't see the bunny hopping and falls like those seen in the Apollo videos.

      Not even in the blooper reel on the special edition DVD ?

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: You won't see the bunny hopping and falls like those seen in the Apollo videos.

      I doubt they are correct there. The bunny hopping wasn't because of the suits, it was simply the most effective way for us bipedals to move in the low gravity environment (Compared to what we are used to).

      And the falling will happen too. Because humans are clumsy and not used to a low gravity environment.

  6. Alister Silver badge

    Is that the whole of the Italian Air Force, or just a few selected individuals?

    1. squigbobble

      Not even their first

      Sam Cristoforetti was a bomber pilot in the Italian air force before becoming an ISS astronaut.

  7. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Sea level rising

    The article quotes a rise in sea level of 5cm in 11 years. This is roughly 20 inches per century.

    Since the peak (trough?) of the Ice Age 20,000 year ago, sea level has risen about 300 feet, or 18 inches per century, with almost all of that long before men were burning coal and oil. It is good to see these changes continuing at about their pre-industrial level.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sea level rising

      Not sure where you've been getting your information mate, but sea level rise has accelerated over the past century or so.

      Of course, I suppose that depends on whether you think the sea is on a globe or a flat earth. You sound like you favour the latter 'hypothesis'.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: Sea level rising

        Of course, I suppose that depends on whether you think the sea is on a globe or a flat earth

        How many times do we need to talk about this? The world is a disc on the back of 4 giant elephants (previously 5) standing on the back of a giant star turtle! Everyone knows that!

        1. spold Bronze badge

          Re: Sea level rising

          OK I have to make the usual comment - if anyone wonders what the giant star turtle is standing on then obviously it is turtles all the way down.

          1. Chris 239

            Re: Sea level rising

            Wel duh!! Turtles can swim so obviously it doesn't need to stand on anything.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: Sea level rising

        This is silly! If we stop building these stupid Jason satellites, the sea will stop rising. It's obvious. Basic quantum thingamijigs innit. The act of observing a thing, changes it.

        We ought to be more like the ravenous bugblatter beast of Trall. i.e. if a problem can't see us, then we can't see it.

        Similarly we should cut all research into stopping big scary meteorites and all astronomers from looking for dangerous near Earth objects. It only encourages them. The fact that the more we look for them, the more we find proves this! They just want the attention...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Sea level rising

          Sea level is rising

          South of England is sinking

          South of England is mostly low lying land

          I dinnae see any problem !

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Sea level rising

            We just need some glaciers to cover Scotland and tip the see-saw back up again - problem solved...

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Sea level rising

      Shh! Not allowed open eyes and thought here you evil denier! One must buy into the bullpuckey without even the least bit of critical thought!

      Just this last week I was out at parts of the southern coast of the North Island with some mates, and showing them how much higher the sea was not too long back. It may have risen 5cm in the last 11 years but it has dropped several metres vs a few hundred years back. Some of this is due to local tectonic activity (as is some of the changes to sea level), but lots to do with other factors as well.

      A road I often travel is bugger-all above the high-tide mark, and a gentle northerly at high tide causes water to lap over the road - has been thus for the near 30 years I've known this road.

      (see https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-41.1052649,174.9044947,3a,75y,27.36h,60.48t)

      Places like this - a 5cm sea level rise would be easily noticeable. This road has been in place since the 1870s (according to WP), and it is clear to see even from the google maps imagery that there's not exactly been a great deal of work done since then. The wetlands - quite susceptible to even small sea-level changes - are also doing fairly well and, well, still there.

      I spend a lot of time near the coast, have done all my life. There's other markers pre-dating even my grandparents that laugh at the idea of even 1cm sea level rise in the last 120 years let alone 5 in the last 11, and I see from people in many other places around the world that such markers are widely known and widely ignored. If we point at the marker and say "This shows the high tide level as at 1 June 1827, and the high tide level today is the same" we get called "deniers" etc despite the physical evidence available to us clearly refuting the other side's stuff.

      IIRC around 14 years back Gore said that sea levels would rise 5 metres within a decade. My city should largely be under water by now. There's also all the absolute rubbish about carbon/CO2. If the warmists are wrong about those things - which are measurable and understandable quite easily if you have the means to actually think, why should I believe the rest of their stuff?. Given his house purchasing decisions, Gore clearly doesn't believe it yet he's still largely the hero of the warmist cult.

      1. joeW Silver badge

        Re: Sea level rising

        "IIRC around 14 years back Gore said that sea levels would rise 5 metres within a decade."

        You don't RC.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Sea level rising

          "IIRC around 14 years back Gore said that sea levels would rise 5 metres within a decade."

          You don't RC.

          So what did he say then?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sea level rising

            "So what did he say then?"

            You brought Al Gore into this, so why don't *you* give us a quote from him that backs your stance rather than telling the rest of us to do your research for you?

            IIRC my hairy arse...

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Sea level rising

              "So what did he say then?"

              You brought Al Gore into this, so why don't *you* give us a quote from him that backs your stance rather than telling the rest of us to do your research for you?

              IIRC my hairy arse...

              IOW, I'm quite correct and the coasal-property owning massive-carbonfootprint-house-dwelling swindler did actually say that or something very nearly that.

              As I've said before. Al Gore clearly does not believe what he claims about the climate, one glance at how he lives would show that. If he doesn't believe it, why should I?

              (And no, I'm not going to watch his foul propaganda-piece that he seems to have been using to sink land values in certain areas so he could get some cheap additions to his mansions [and an edit to remove stuff that probably never would've made it past the moderators anyway])

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Sea level rising

              So what did he say then?"

              You brought Al Gore into this, so why don't *you* give us a quote from him that backs your stance rather than telling the rest of us to do your research for you?

              There were two potentially seperate but very closely juxtaposed quotes. I did give you time to find them yourself but clearly you're aware I'm right.

              I'll slightly paraphrase. One was "We will be in a climate crisis within the next 10 years". The other was "Sea levels will rise 20ft in the near future" (20ft=6m, ie~5m), Even if the two phrases weren't intended to be linked (but the phrasing and tone of matters would indicate that's exactly what he wanted people to take away), he's still a long way out on the "near future" and "20ft rises".

              Do some research before your lifestyle does more damage to the planet and the people on it.

    3. Dusty

      Re: Sea level rising

      In all seriousness, since I would love a simple explanation. how do you measure sea level anyway, What is it measured relative too? The Sea is moving around all over the place, all the time, as indeed is the land. The rates of change in sea level claimed are on a similar scale as tectonic plate movements and only a fraction of that in geologically active areas where a single earthquake can move the land many metres within a few minutes. How does the satellite measure where the surface of the sea is? mm Radar? Lasers? How do we know where the satellite is to within the mm needed to make these measurements? Radar? Lasers? based on land that is also moving? Much the same applies to GPS of course which also makes claims of incredible precision as to location when fully utilised. I could google it of course, but it is much more fun to have a proper and concise explanation from somebody who actually knows.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Boffin

        Re: Sea level rising

        More fun to have a short answer from somebody who knows f all about the subject, surely?

        I'm going to say "string", although I wouldn't rule out theodolites.

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Holmes

          Altitude

          Since nobody else has answered, I'll have a guess. We know the speed of light pretty accurately and have a century or so of experience of propagation of radio waves through various bits of the atmosphere. (A new record, five "of"s in one sentence!)

          They probably just ping it repeatedly with radio waves from various ground stations. After a few orbits you'd have the orbital parameters tied down. Once you know the position of one satellite I guess you can use inter-satellite comms to pin things down further. (Assuming you have more than one satellite.)

          Millimetre accuracy is a bit of a puzzler, though.

    4. iGNgnorr

      Re: Sea level rising

      Ignoring any other flaws in this argument, coastlines are not vertical walls. As the sea level rises, it takes a greater volume of water to produce each mm rise.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sea level rising

        Ignoring any other flaws in this argument, coastlines are not vertical walls. As the sea level rises, it takes a greater volume of water to produce each mm rise.

        You haven't seen some of the coastlines around these areas! :)

        But even so.. We were supposed to see rises of several metres by now. I should need scuba gear to stand on the Petone foreshore as it was in 1995, but I can stand at the low-tide mark of the 1980's with no visible sign of sea level rise since then. Petone itself should be under water based on the alarmist warmist 'predictions' of the 90's, but this hasn't happened.

        Their predictions are way off, especially when you take into account the land being eroded and washed into sea which would make their predictions less than the actual effect (since they only took into account glacial/polar ice not the somewhat steady rates of erosion).

        NZ's coastline s actually quite interesting from a historical sea level stance. We can see in many places the remains of rivers that have long since disappeared beneath the waves, and in other areas (around the Wainuiomata coastline for example) you can see where the sea was at least 5m higher than it is today and not that long ago (most likely related to the quake that brought the land that is now Wellington Airport out of the sea). Look at the South/Central Taranaki coastline (especially a few hundred metres back from the coastline) and you can see where the beach was a few thousand years back (much upheaval in the land there thanks to the oversized zit).

        The science is terrible in most warmist/greeny fields, and that is disturbing as what they seek to use to 'mitigate the effects' will actually do a hell of a lot more damage to the planet. So many things done or tried that are terrible for the environment and cause far more, not less, pollution or direct damage. Hopefully some day soon we can treat them like attorney-drones and start getting a bounty for each one we despatch. My dislike for them stems from simply loving the land and wanting to protect it, and seeing the stupid things these people are demanding which will wreak havoc on the land and the natural life that inhabits it.

  8. fishman

    It's turtles all the way down...........

  9. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

    Orbit vs. frequency

    "Engineers dropped the spacecraft into a slightly lower orbit away from other satellites, which meant that [...] there was a reduction in frequency of observations of the same location"

    Can someone explain that to me? If the orbit is lower, then the orbital period should decrease too (Kepler's 3rd law), so the frequency should actually increase.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Orbit vs. frequency

      The problem is geographic overlap - you get gaps between the (now narrower) swath mapped out be the scanner so you have a longer repeat time until everywhere is mapped a 2nd time, etc.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Vomit comet?

    "measure the effect of the transition from gravity to microgravity on the human body."

    Surely you could that cheaper and better repeatability in a Vomit Comet?

    What might happen ------------------------>

    1. squigbobble

      Re: Vomit comet?

      I think you only get about 30s of zero gravity before being slammed into the floor on the Vomit Comet, they're probably looking for changes that take longer to appear.

    2. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: Vomit comet?

      “Just one cometa give it to me, full of vomito, of Italy”

      And then gargle ———>

    3. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

      Re: Vomit comet?

      Beardy Ballistic will give you about 6 minutes of continuous "weightlessness" whereas the Vomit Comet version only lasts 25 seconds (although to be fair you can have many 25 second experiences in one flight).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vomit comet?

        although to be fair you can have many 25 second experiences in one flight

        I thought that was the mile high club, not the Vomit Comet...

  11. Milton Silver badge

    Where do you think the Kármán line lies?

    "Depending on where you think the Kármán line lies"

    And because it is entirely arbitrary, a matter of opinion, without any particular scientific relevance, it simply doesn't matter.

    Indeed, the only people it matters to are those determined to get a 'I r a Astronaut' badge, which is where Branson's daft trips to nowhere come in. He's moved the Kármán line down by 20km so that he can still claim he's reaching "space", because his equipment cannot reliably and safely reach 100km (and personally I'm still a tad sceptical about the safety of the system at all—not sure that Beardie should have said he'll be taking his kids on the first flight). It's all just marketing rubbish designed to separate rich idiots from their money in exchange for a few minutes of vomiting and a tin badge. If you want a momentary freefall experience, go on a rollercoaster.

    As any true astronaut will point out, "Orbit is what counts". The differences between sub-orbital vomit-comets and true orbital spaceflight are orders of magnitude. It's a real pity the money spent on the Branson silliness didn't go towards proper spaceflight.

    1. Dusty

      Re: Where do you think the Kármán line lies?

      As I said years ago when all this Bransons thing was just kicking off. As a technology, it is clever enough. But it is simply repeating the work of the X-15 project of the 1960's. It isn't the 100,000 Meters that is where it really counts. It is the 11Km/S. The difference between Bransons roller-coaster and true space flight is the difference between holding your breath and having a quick look around underwater and diving with scuba gear.

    2. STOP_FORTH
      Trollface

      Re: Where do you think the Kármán line lies?

      The first two Mercury "astronauts" were sub-orbital. Just sayin'

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where do you think the Kármán line lies?

      And because it is entirely arbitrary, a matter of opinion, without any particular scientific relevance, it simply doesn't matter

      I challenge you to repeat that statement when travelling at orbital velocity in the upper atmosphere without glowing ostentatiously...

    4. SundogUK

      Re: Where do you think the Kármán line lies?

      In real terms, what Branson is spending would be a rounding error on NASA's budget, so who cares?

  12. tygrus.au

    5cm could be an over-estimate

    MSL from reliable and geographically stable locations is closer to 1.5cm for 11years (+/-0.2) to start of 2019 (trend of 1.36mm/yr). Fort Denison (Sydney, Australia) is barely moving compared to places built on sinking mud/sand (like Jakarta which has huge buildings on soft ground which they pumped the water from under their feet so it sinks more). Did they tell you they calibrated the satellite results by adjusting sensor output by upto 75cm (early in orbit) and data is readjusted for drifting times&locations. How can they say these Jason satellites are more accurate than other sources to measure mm changes. Some physical data from Pacific Islands are garbage because sensors have lost backup battery capacity and only work during hours of sufficient sunlight. A NZ study found Pacific Islands were on average, not shrinking https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02954-1.

    Antarctic sea ice coverage returned to 1979 level in the last few weeks.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

      Careful now.

      Presentation of any hard contradictory data will see you branded a rabid denier.

      Down with this sort of thing.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

        Presentation of any hard contradictory data will see you branded a rabid denier.

        Beat me to it :)

    2. Dusty

      Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

      While we are on the subject of pacific atolls. We are currently being told that a couple of inches sea level rise and a couple of degrees warmer water over the next century will destroy them. What happened 10,000 years ago (Or so) when, in a comparatively short timescale, sea levels rose by hundreds of meters and the water got a lot hotter?

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

        What happened 10,000 years ago (Or so) when, in a comparatively short timescale, sea levels rose by hundreds of meters and the water got a lot hotter?

        Well it's quite simple. They were completely and utterly destroyed as was all life on earth, only to magically come back into existence when the sea levels fell again.

        (Although some of these islands may be the result of much more recent volcanic/tectonic events and thus far more likely to appear and disappear due to that or the effects of sea motion on unstable rapidly-cooled volcanic rock)

        1. Dusty

          Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

          The thing about coral atolls (Tuvalu etc) that everybody seems to miss is that they are not made of rock. They are living structures. The "Land" is composed of washed up dead coral. The land surface on an atoll is only ever going to be no more than a couple of metres above sea level. As sea levels rise, the reefs will rise with them and so will the land level. As sea levels fall, the reefs will sink with it and exposed "Land" will be rapidly eroded away. How well coral growth can keep up with rapid changes in sea level and changing sea temperatures I do not know. 10,000 years ago, many of todays atolls may well have still had their central sea mounts above sea level But I cant help feeling that these living islands are a lot more than 10,000 years old so that suggests that coral can actually adapt to really very rapid and indeed drastic changes. Changes that make the wildest doomongering of the warmist lobby seem utterly trivial IE Metres/Year, even 10's of metres/year on occasion (Say when a large glacial dam breaks releasing its pent up water) as opposed to the, perhaps, couple of inches/year we may now be experiencing, or not...!

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: 5cm could be an over-estimate

            As sea levels rise, the reefs will rise with them and so will the land level. As sea levels fall, the reefs will sink with it and exposed "Land" will be rapidly eroded away.

            Great post, and a concept even I'd not considered. Thanks very much for teaching me something worthwhile before my day is even really started!

            How well coral growth can keep up with rapid changes in sea level and changing sea temperatures I do not know.

            I honestly don't believe it's temperature we have to worry about.

            The plastics and other pollutants we dump into our oceans however - that's a whole different matter.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doubling its shelf life?

    "It was only supposed to last three years but spent 11 sending measurements back to Earth after its June 2008 launch." Someone needs a lesson in basic arithmetic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doubling its shelf life?

      "It was only supposed to last three years but spent 11 sending measurements back to Earth after its June 2008 launch." Someone needs a lesson in basic arithmetic."

      What really happened was they lost the data backup just as the 3 years was up and had to start again ....... this happened twice more (Win 10 Update at the wrong time & Ransomware) and now the 'Batteries' have run out before the last attempt finished.

      :) <JK>

  14. spold Bronze badge

    Strictly speaking it was over-engineered

    It was only supposed to last three years but spent 11 sending measurements back to Earth.

    Perhaps a review can establish where components exceeded requirements and a cheaper version can be developed next time based on identified savings using lower quality materials.

    ;-)

    p.s. as in my washing machine fell apart on the day the guarantee ran out - worked as designed

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