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Status Updates posted by efaardvark

  1. Quote

    As a PR campaign, JAXA allowed people to submit names and messages to be printed on plates to be placed on the Akatsuki probe. The submissions consisted of hundreds of thousands of names and messages, all encouraging the craft on its mission. Printing these names and messages on about 90 aluminum plates, they loaded them onboard and launched the probe into space. Of these 90 plates, three of them consisted of images of the Japanese AI musician Vocaloid Hatsune Miku (as well as her weird, squished persona Hachune Miku) — sending the pop-culture figure on a long voyage into space.

    Gotta love the Japanese pop culture.  :) 


    Obscure and nerdy. I like it. :D
  3. Meanwhile, closer to home, はやぶさ2 prepares for a landing on another small body....
    There's also Osiris-REX that just went into orbit around Bennu..
    .. and the Chinese just landed a rover on the far side of the Moon...
    Just in case anyone was thinking space news was getting boring.  :) 
    1. efaardvark


      Nice summary of the above from Scott Manley...


  4. Earthquake out in the California desert at China Lake, which is also (kinda) near Goldstone @ Ft. Irwin. Pretty good shaker at 6.4, and a few 4+ aftershocks too.

  5. A Joule is a measure of work energy. It is about equal to the kinetic energy of an apple dropped from a height of 1 meter as it hits the ground. A human being radiates about 60 joules per second of heat energy.

    A Joule is equivalent to 1 watt for 1 second, or a watt-second. A watt-second uses the same units as the kilowatt-hours on your electricity bill, and the power company could just as easily bill you in Joules as in kWh. If you use 1 kWh then you've used enough energy to light a 100W lightbulb for about 10 hours, or about 3.6 million Joules, or enough to get my car about 3.3 miles down the road.

    Yes, it has been a slow shift, now that you mention it.  :D 

    1. Wedgy


      Oh gee, don't give them ideas. Some mad scientist is going to learn how to use this heat generation and next thing you know we're being put in human harvest power plants. 

    2. efaardvark


      I saw that movie..

      (Not a very likely scenario I have to say.)

    3. Wedgy


      Science fiction has spoken! 

  6. 'The instantaneous launch window opens at 2:49 a.m. EST, or 7:49 UTC, and a backup instantaneous launch opportunity is available on Tuesday, March 5 at 1:38 a.m. EST, or 6:38 UTC. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.'


  7. "New Horizons performed as planned today, conducting the farthest exploration of any world in history — 4 billion miles from the Sun," said Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "The data we have look fantastic and we're already learning about Ultima from up close. From here out the data will just get better and better!"

    It is going to take a while to play all the data collected during the flyby down to Earth however.  Ultima Thule is as far from Pluto as Saturn is from Earth, and the data rates possible from that far away are in the low kilobits per second.  The many gigabits of data that were recorded on the spacecraft during it's flyby are going to take 20 months - nearly 2 years! - to all be pulled down.  The first low-res pictures are already coming down, with more (and higher-res) scheduled to finish downloading on January 2nd and over the next few weeks and months.


    1. Beocat


      I watched the flyby countdown last night and was on my phone this morning watching for the signal acquisition. Healthy spacecraft ^_^ The New Horizons team is truly an amazing group :)

  8. "Starman" cam...   :D


    1. Wodahs


      Sucks to be NASA with the Mars range :P Rover xD

    2. efaardvark
  9. "Your Ubuntu 17.10 is up to date, but there's a newer version 18.04.  Would you like to upgrade?"

    It seemed so innocuous, so easy.  6.5 hours and a clean install later I'm basically back to where I started, though with working HDMI sound (and a LVM layer underneath it all so I can make a snapshot before clicking that "ok" button.)  GPU stuff seems a little snappier too, though I haven't actually done any benchmarks.

    1. Myouya


      Sounds confusing, right.

  10. IMG_4249.thumb.JPG.5941e38112e89cdc9f9f04b6e21bd364.JPG

    1. Beocat


      You need a squirrel huntin' cat. Ours got 3 of them after the hurricane. I was like "we're keeping that cat...forever..."  He gets the good food when he comes around. Lol...not really incentivising the hunt I suppose 😅

  11. IMG_4222.thumb.JPG.7384026079b0c63d2d76e3e34af8e021.JPG

    1. Nono



      Chevy Express?

    2. efaardvark


      Largish van.. big enough for 8 of us.  Could be.

  12. 60 satellites on one launch??  Holy crap.  Are we talking rockets or buckshot here?  :) 

  13. Looks like that's it for the Opportunity Mars rover.  Not a bad way to go though... taken out by a global dust storm - the biggest ever recorded - 15 years into a 90-day mission.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. CypherCode


      Would had been super interesting if somehow it managed to take records of the storm from the inside, I bet the pics would be all blurry though!

    3. efaardvark


      "Opportunity" did manage to collect some data and transmit some pictures (like this and this) before it had to shut down to conserve battery power..

      The "Curiosity" rover also collected a bunch of pictures and other data.  It is nuke-powered so it didn't have any trouble surviving the storm.  There are also several spacecraft orbiting Mars that were collecting data during the storm.  This was the first (known) global dust storm since the 70s so the scientists were really interested in bringing all their instruments to bear and getting as much data as possible on this storm.

    4. CypherCode


      Makes you think how crazy thick the storm must be to be able to cloud the sun like that

  14. zombie-apocalypse.jpg.823601981262dff0a240b826954af25b.jpg

    1. Ohiotaku



      <cue Working for the Weekend by Loverboy>

    2. efaardvark

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