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Space
By ana (Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 08:05:15 PM EST) Space the final frontier (all tags)
New Years' Day...
 
It's a day of waiting for a signal to cross the solar system. At lightspeed from Ultima Thule (slightly beyond, actually), incoming to the earth at 6 hours and a bit travel time.


And... it's there! The New Horizons space probe survived the encounter (there's a chance it could have hit a rock or a grain of dust or something)! And the data pointers are right where they were expected to be, so there's probably a full load of data, including pictures with 40-ish meter per pixel resolution.
 
The little spacecraft that could, did. Again. It'll be downlinking the data for the next two years or so. It's a 25 watt transmitter; it's kind of amazing we can get the signal at all at this distance.
 
It's always fun listening in to the control room of somebody else's spacecraft, trying to figure out the acronyms as the Mission Operations Manager polls each subsystem for status. At least in this case the MOM is a woman (and yes, her call sign on the voice loops is Mom.) That's not so very uncommon nowadays.
 
Also up today, between events Out There, is making chicken broth out of the bones and carcass of last weekend's dinner, thawing out a slice of Christmas stollen. Oh, and, if I can spare some attention, re-reading, yet again, my latest attempt at a novel, right through, so as to arrive at answers to questions like, Would anybody else ever want to read something like this? How exactly can I introduce more conflict that's not just between the ears of the narrator? And how to communicate the setting and the characters' reactions and feelings (as viewed from inside the head of the narrator, who's maybe not the most sensitive person ever).

As you know, Bob, there are some major changes coming up. I've seen paperwork for most of them, and should have firm commitments from nearly everybody involved within the month. Eeple. I'm actually doing this. Doing these things. Changing essentially everything about my life in one swell foop. I'm excited, but also a little terrified.
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Waiting... | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
New Horizons by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jan 10, 2019 at 07:33:10 PM EST
I was pretty excited to see the first photos.  Deep space exploration will always be exciting.  Any real space exploration actually.  The Chinese rover on the Moon is pretty cool too. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
It's true. by ana (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Jan 10, 2019 at 07:43:14 PM EST
 Also (on the same day, I think), a probe called Osiris Rex settled into orbit around the asteroid Bennu. It'll be obtaining a sample to return to the earth sometime. There's a similar Japanese mission visiting a different asteroid.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

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Yes by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Jan 10, 2019 at 08:11:39 PM EST
 I forgot about Osiris Rex.  It's a very exciting time and I hope that we see things start to speed up.  Robots zipping through the solar system.  Not quite what science fiction sold us on, but I'll take it. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
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