Time travel!!! It'll be able to go back and save itself....
The attempt by a team of crowdfunded space hackers to recover one of NASA's most historic satellites has run into problems: the spacecraft's engines are stubbornly refusing to fire, leaving it on a possible collision course with the Moon. The ISEE-3 reboot Team Space hacking team has the right stuff Last week the team …
In the case of probes that are very distant I have often wondered what these boffins are monitoring on their screens. Bearing in mind a communication delay of many minutes, is it where the probe actually is now or where it was x minutes ago or perhaps where it should be in x minutes? Confused? I am!
Hopefully someone will know the answer.
In the last few weeks the comms delay has gone from about one minute of round trip time down to about 30s.
The position indicator on a screen wouldn't be affected much, even at the speed it's going (2km/s currently), if you're looking at a picture showing the entire orbit of the Moon, it's not going to move an entire pixel in one minute.
Here, in fact, is the latest position update:
Mostly what they're watching is their outgoing commands, and incoming telemetry, which you can see here: http://isee3.p3s.nl/ when they have a downlink.
They've done incredibly well to get anywhere like this far and so cheaply, even if they never do manage to persuade it fully back into life again. It can be nerve wracking enough at times doing remote work on well documented ordinary server a few hundred miles away, this is a completely different proposition altogether.
Man, these Old McDonalds do certainly get up to all kinds of larks. One of them used to have a farm, with various animals, always one of each. That business plan clearly didn't scale much, since many, many years later, he was still known to be running the farm with the same number of animals, give or take the odd new one. Perhaps he should have tried running the place with 2 instead of just one animal of each species, preferably one male and one female...Who knows whether that would have worked. And yet, despite this lack of success, everybody has heard of him, he must be the most famous farmer in the English-speaking world. How do you explain that? Now, though, just as we had written off the entire clan of Old McDonalds, along comes another one and branches out unexpectedly into hosting spacecraft hackers. This has come as a bit of a surprise, but it looks like you cannot predict what an Old McDonald might do next. So...watch this space!
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