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Status Updates posted by efaardvark

  1. Been sick since last Wednesday.  Not covid according to tests but not fun either.  Recovering now but still pretty tired and last night's / this morning's level 1 event at work - supported remotely - didn't help.  Feel like I need to sleep for a week.

    Ack thtbbft!


    1. viruxx


      I came down with my obligatory annual sinus infection over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I'm kinda right there with you. Just now getting out of the woods with it. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. So you thought photoshoping was messing with people's heads?  Take a look at what NeRFs can do...


    1. Animedragon


      That is amazing, and it's really going to mess with people's heads.

  3. Looks like of the two cubes that I liked, OMOTENASHI and NEAS, neither one is looking too good.  :( 

    OMOT was a JAXA-sponsored lunar lander that was supposed to have landed on the moon this morning via (intentional) “lithobraking”.  :D  It may or may not have done so.  Unfortunately it hasn’t been heard from since it was deployed last week so nobody knows for sure.  The other JAXA mission, EQUULEUS, seems to be functioning as expected however.

    The other one I liked was the Near Earth Asteroid Scout.  Or as I liked to call it the rainbow sail mission due to its propulsion & maneuvering system.  It was supposed to use a new type of solar sail to visit a couple near-earth asteroids but it too has not been heard from since deployment.

    So far 4 of the 8 cubesats have had problems post-deployment.  (Artemis itself seems to be doing well.)

    1. Animedragon


      4 out of 8 isn't bad, but it's not good either.  Good to know that Artemis seems to be doing well.  I remember the excitement at Christmas 1968 when Apollo 8 went round the moon.

    2. efaardvark


      @Animedragon  The cubes' were always "stretch goals", and most of them were done on a shoestring budget and supported on a best-effort basis.  A few of them were just in the right place at the right time when the Artemis folks said, "hey, we're headed for the moon.. anyone need a ride?"  There were originally (I think) 13 that said "yes" to that offer but couldn't make various integration or test dates.  The rest have been tucked away incommunicado in their interstage bays while Artemis went through the last year and a half of launch slips.  I think at least two of them hadn't even had so much as their batteries recharged in all that time.  Not surprising that a few aren't behaving as planned.

    3. Animedragon


      Thank you, it was interesting to find out a bit more about those cubes.

  4. Artemis's "Outbound flyby" happens tonight (pacific time)!



  5. So far 3 of the 8 cubes are having trouble.  Not only that but some of the recovery efforts have created problems in the ground data system for other projects.  (Like James Webb.)   At least Artemis itself seems ok for the moment.  These next couple months until Orion comes back down are going to be a lot of work.

  6. All I can say is it'd better get off the pad this time!


    1. Animedragon


      And they did. it looked very impressive.

  7. Found out a coworker tested + for C19 so I’m getting myself tested as well.  No symptoms <knock knock> but I’ve got a big week ahead at work and an 82yo mother in memory care that I have to visit regularly & I need to know.

    1. Animedragon


      Oh, not good news.  I hope your test comes back negative.

    2. efaardvark


      Me too.  🤞 

  8. Now this is cosplay!  :D


    1. Animedragon


      That's one awesome piece of cosplay. 😎

  9. Trick or treat!

  10. Some days it just isn't a good idea to leave your house.  


  11. Went to visit my mom last night for Saturday evening dinner.  She's in a memory care / assisted living situation and when I got there they were doing a karaoke(?) activity.  I'm not a great singer myself but this was ... something else.  🙉   At least everyone seemed to be having a good time.  :D

    1. Dimitrios


      Sorry to hear about your mother, Mr. Vark - but I'm glad there was a good time in the mix! Positivity always brings out the light at the end of a dark tunnel. :angel:

  12. Talking with a co-worker who doesn't like the ocean.  He won't go near it.  He won't travel by ship.  He won't go to the beach.  He doesn't even like flying over it.  The weird thing is he has no problems with a swimming pool or river.  He's a really good swimmer in fact.  Even used to be a lifeguard for the pool at a nearby YMCA.  So I asked him why he's afraid of the ocean.  He said, "I'm not afraid of the ocean.  I afraid of big things in the ocean."  :)

    1. viruxx


      This is what blows my mind about the ocean. That, and the critters that lurk within the depths are the things of nightmares. 😱


    2. efaardvark



      If you think that's unnerving..

      Imagine extraterrestrial oceans like on Enceladus or Europa.  Even though it is a moon, Europa alone has more than twice as much water on it as Earth does.  It is permanently covered by ice so you would have to dig down maybe a couple dozen kilometers to even get to it, and from there it might be another 150km (90+ miles) or more before you'd reach the bottom of Europa's ocean.  That's over 10x as deep as any ocean here on Earth.  Of course being so far from the sun and covered by kilometers-thick ice besides those oceans will be completely dark from top to bottom.  However, at the bottom are probably hydrothermal vents like there are here on Earth.  It is quite possible that there is life - of some sort - lurking in those oceans as well.


  13. Just read that there may be enough uranium in coal that it might actually be marketable.  Of course uranium isn't flammable so when you burn the coal the uranium just winds up in the ash pile with the rest of the unburnables, like cadmium, arsenic, and lead.  But that's ok because the regs say it is.  😱

    BTW, I never understood why radioactive material is EVIL while stuff like arsenic is ok.  I mean, just the fact that it is radioactive means that at least it'll all go away.  Eventually.  That's what "half life" means.  Something that has a half life of 10 years will be half gone in 10 years.  As opposed to the arsenic which will be around literally forever causing trouble.

    Not that I'd want to eat either one of course.  :D

    1. Dimitrios


      Your argument is valid, Vark - and thanks for the info too! 
      And "Half-Life" I haven't heard anyone say that in awhile---- ^^' a lot of people don't really believe in that stuff, the way that chemicals can affect things...

  14. A hallway at work with robotic vehicles pained on the walls.  I think that one at the end looks distinctly tachikoma-ish...


  15. Got up, got dressed/showered/ready for work, drove in, parked, walked the few blocks to the SFOF, grabbed a cuppa, then sat down in my assigned seat at the console, only to have the director call a launch scrub.  Hadn’t even finished my coffee.

    Well, it isn’t like I don’t have other things I need to do as well.  I just hope we don’t have another power failure at home like we’ve had for the last 2 days.

  16. Over 60 webex hours in 4 days.  Isn't that a violation of OSHA rules or something?

    1. Wodahs


      Hmm not sure tho thats 15hrs a day , but in my field im allowed to drive up to 17hrs a day long distance max 128hrs in 14 days i think it is

  17. So Artemis-1 is (hopefully) launching on the 29th.  On it will be 8 smaller cubesats, which will be deployed by Artemis at 2 "bus stops" on its way to the moon.  The cubesats will then find their own ways to fulfill their various missions, with NASA's Deep Space Network of tracking stations providing the data link for them all.

    Or at least that was the plan.  Someone recently realized that with 9 new spacecraft all vying for time on the DSN's already overbooked downlink stations it might be a good idea to see what additional options for tracking time might be available in the world in case something doesn't go as planned and one or more of the cubesats wind up needing additional tracking time due to problems post-deployment.  Yeah.  So now, only a couple weeks before launch, we're doing cross-support testing with the European Space Agency to make sure that's at least an option.

    Let's see, 8 cubesats x 5 ESA tracking stations, uplink and downlink, call it 5 data rates and 2 or 3 different encoding schemes per sat.  Maybe 10-12 hours of testing per cubesat if we're quick about it.  Then there's equipment and manpower availability to allocate and schedule, factoring in the time zones of the various mission operations centers (JAXA, Italy, Goddard, etc.), the stations (Goonhilly, New Norcia, Cebrerus, etc.), and of course JPL in California.

    Um.. how long did you say we had to finish this?

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Wodahs


      and i know my way around the erea

    3. Wodahs


      hope alls going good with your section with whats been going on 👍

    4. efaardvark


      @Wodahs we’re in something of a holding pattern right now until engineers decide what’s necessary to fix or bypass the problem on the vehicle.  We’re in the launch configuration and a configuration hold (no changing anything) so really we’re just waiting.  Latest word is we’ll probably try again Saturday.

  18. 806F41BD-B077-4BF8-A564-7EEC0858D22E.jpeg.e71d7667d4fe42ad8c0272c06f236846.jpeg

    1. Ohayotaku


      For those who don’t get the joke image.gif.a3782cc83506977507e5abffa58b727c.gifnot a single day goes by when I’m not reminded of a Simpsons reference 🤣 

      … or Loony Tunes (don’t remember how old I was when I learned Ride of the Valkyries wan’t subtitled “Kill the Wabbit” :P )


  19. Sony *really* needs to vet their funimation transfers better.  Half of them have subtitles that don't match the video!  They also need to add descriptions in the appropriate places, though that was something the old crunchy had issues with as well so I've learned to do my browsing and planning on places like MAL and only hit the streaming sites once I have already decided what to watch.

  20. "But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Ilúvatar; for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself." The Silmarillion, JRR TOLKIEN

    1. Kōyamaki


      I always thought the name Melkor sounded eerily similar to the Tyrian deity Melqart, though there seems to be no relation to their respective stories.

  21. Blade Runner, The Wrath of Khan, E.T., Conan the Barbarian, Poltergeist, and TRON.  Some decent music too.   I also graduated high school.  '82 was a good year but... damn, now I feel old.

  22. Really annoyed at Canonical and Ubuntu.  Again.  (Still?)  Among other stupid things the latest LTS version of ubuntu linux installs Firefox as a snap!  As if FF wasn't stupidly huge already.  Also, the "new" default desktop also breaks all sorts of things and introduced numerous weird "features".  For instance, if I right-click on the firefox icon (any application really) in the dock I get a popup menu that used to allow me to "open a new window" for that app, which appeared on the display containing that dock/icon.  Only now instead of opening a new window it teleports the popup menu itself to my second display.  If I then (again) select "open a new window" in the popup, it opens the window on the second display, not the one where I wanted it.  I can then drag the new window to the display where I originally wanted it but, WTF Canonical????

    Also, selecting text for cut-and-paste only highlights the first word in the selection.  The rest of the selected text doesn't highlight until you release the mouse button!  This means you can't see what you're selecting until you stop selecting it!  AGAIN, WTF????

  23. I know this isn't the forum for this type of thing but for us out here in the southwestern US the region's water situation is getting critical.  That's me so I'm thinking about this a lot.  Full disclosure, I'm in a suburb of Los Angeles here in So. California.  If you're also in the region, or know someone who is, get informed.  Basically, several of  the region's critical civil engineering systems related to water use and distribution are either having or going to have multi-mode failures over the next decade or so.  At this point even a radical change in the weather severe enough to solve the water supply problem would itself create major issues of its own.  We need to get ahead of the problems and come up with a plan to deal with all of them that can be implemented in the time available.

    I'm actually glad to see this video.  The cover/thumbnail image might be a bit click-baity but I think they kept the listed title and the content itself reasonable.  Right now things are still status-quo in most people's minds.  Showers work.  There's water to drink.  You flip the switch and the power still flows to light the lamp or brew the coffee.  For anyone not paying attention nothing would seem to be wrong.  The scariest scenario for me however would be if nobody paid attention until the faucets run dry, then everyone panics without knowing the situation or having a plan.  The people who made this video seem to be normal folks throwing up a flag saying, "hey, something serious is happening here". 

    I especially like that they're making the food connection.  Las Vegas golf courses are not really the problem here, though the mindset that says that's a good idea in the middle of the desert (and the politics that allows it) might be part of the reason we got to this point.  Farming is by far the biggest issue.  California farms supply a large fraction of the country's food.  Of the world's in fact.  Those farms also use about 80% of the water in the region.  If you can't grow food because there's no water or can't transport it to the customers because fuel is too expensive then that's a serious problem all by itself, even for people outside of California, Nevada, etc..  The water is also used to generate electricity, and energy is a major input to and driver of any economy.  Expensive energy and low revenues from exports is an economic disaster in the making for the region.  And of course water is also used for drinking and sanitation.  The amount of water used for this last is (relatively) tiny but obviously extremely critical.  I doubt we'll ever run out of drinking water, but it might get extremely expensive, and/or take a while to build out an alternative supply system.  Did I mention you'll be dealing with high energy prices, power problems, and an economy already staggering from the costs of a pandemic, bankster abuse, and political mismanagement while trying to implement your solution?



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