back to article LightSail mission stalled by .CSV log file embiggenment SNAFU

After an unexpected and nervous wait, the Planetary Society is cock-a-whoop to be in contact with its LightSail cubesat. In what is intended to be a test flight ahead of a more complex mission in 2016, the group launched its to-be-photon-powered LightSail on May 20. All went well in the launch, and the group blogged “all …

  1. Robert Helpmann??

    Making Lemonade from Lemons

    At the very least, the Planetary Society will have lots of launch data...

    They will also have to add another item on their checklist for future attempts. Here's hoping the ride won't be too wild, though.

  2. Martin Budden Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Pardon my ignorance, but what could cause the extra spin? Wouldn't it need an external force acting on it?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      At it's orbit? Atmospheric drag, most like. With a little bit of solar wind. Even with the sails down, the cubesat still presents a surface to catch photons/protons emitted from the sun.

      There's a whole lot of very small stuff up there, but if it hit, say, a piece of debris or a micro-meteorite, chances are the little cubesat would be toast. That basically leaves "interactions with photons" (radiation, solar wind, etc) and "Earth's atmosphere". Which, BTW, goes rather a long way up.

  3. paulc

    And so...

    we can expect some more reboots in the future? Or are they uploading a patch to regularly cull the .csv file?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: And so...


      They'll be diverting the csv to /dev/null, but the cause of this reboot was probably a cosmic ray flipping a bit on the electronics and therefore triggering a reboot.

      That will happen again, but the csv file shouldn't be an issue in the future...

      1. Killing Time

        Re: And so...

        Strange….the unit has only just got up there, given the environment you would think they would have considered using error correcting memory, it’s been around long enough.

        If it reboots due to cosmic rays with this potential frequency it would be pretty useless.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: And so...

        Or just add some code to the logging code: if ptr(logfile)>someamount then ptr(logfile)=0 and make it a circular logfile.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Another good story to tell my developers to explain why blindly writing to an ever growing log file is usually a bad idea...

  5. Ralph B


    It could be a very niche movie for sysadmins: "logrotate IN SPAAAACE!!!"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > roughly the size of ten compressed music files

    This is space. Give that to me in Arcturan megadonkies per second....

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Proper Boffinry

    With perhaps a touch of Heath Robinson (Rube Goldberg on other side of pond)

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      That was in the original blog post that El Reg quoted.

  9. launcap

    "roughly the size of ten compressed music files"

    Depends on the genre :-)

    For some of the songs on my phone it would be a subset of the song..

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