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Topic: "V’Ger...WE are the creator!" Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Patrick Mallon
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Posted: 05 August 2017 at 7:15pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Nice article on the NASA Voyager engineering team...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/magazine/the-loyal-engine ers-steering-nasas-voyager-probes-across-the-universe.html?r ref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience
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Ron Goad
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Posted: 05 August 2017 at 8:17pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Some serious dedication there!

Many of them have been at it since before the first launch.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 August 2017 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I watched a documentary about Voyager the other night. It's hard not to anthropomorphize the little guy, still chugging along after all these decades.
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Ron Goad
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Posted: 26 August 2017 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

What still amazes me is how so many of the 1970's era space probes were so insanely successful.

V'Ger 1 and 2 are still going (V'Ger's 3-6, no one talks about).
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What still amazes me is how so many of the 1970's era space probes were so insanely successful.

V'Ger 1 and 2 are still going (V'Ger's 3-6, no one talks about).

V'Ger 3-6 were top, top secret.  Launched during the Eugenics Wars. :-)

What's even more amazing is the that the 1970's era probes were designed and built with **1960's technology**.  In fact, that's their saving grace and why some of them are still communicating with us today. 

The biggest barrier for space travel, both manned and unmanned is interstellar and cosmic radiation.  Radiation energizes molecules and atoms which transfer this energy to electrons and these electrons can get very jumpy and go to places they don't normally go.  1960's electronic design used mostly discrete analog electronics -- I'm talking big honking resistors, capacitors, diodes and transistors.  

ICs and chips where you condensed components onto one die to save space and power were rarely used in the early space program because the smaller you get the more radiation can affect the electronics.  Remember those jumpy electrons?  They are now jumping between the smaller spaces between components and traces in your electronics and you have malfunctioning electronics.  Today's microelectronics like your phone and laptop are almost completely useless in space, which is quite unlike the environment here on Earth because 99% of that radiation is deflected away by the Van Allen belts.

Remember too, size and weight are huge concerns in space travel both in terms of energy and money.  You need to get things smaller and lighter but you quickly reach the limit where the components can't function properly in the environment of space, not to mention that you can't easily repair them without specialized equipment.  You then have to build redundant backups for every system which adds weight and takes up space.   $$$.   

Ever tried to instruct a relative across town to do something on a computer over the phone?   Now imagine trying to instruct an astronaut millions of miles away (with a time delay) how to find and solder a small component on a huge circuit board.   On a robotic mission you don't even have that luxury.   If your system is busted it stays busted forever.   You might not even know it's busted until your probe gets where it's going, which is why so many of the Mars probes of the last decade or two have been washouts.

The simple fact they can send a signal to a robot millions of miles away and it wakes up, sends a signal back and gets to work out there is nothing short of amazing magic to me.

Sending humans into space is usually more about politics and PR than it is about science -- the entire lunar program was in essence an ideological cock size contest.  Sure, we brought back some moon rocks and did some simple experiments but for me the real science is/was happening with the robotic probes.   It's also a hell of a lot cheaper.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I was going to ask some question, but Rob has rather eerily answered them before I asked. Thanks!

Science is awesome. :)
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I was going to ask some question, but Rob has rather eerily answered them before I asked. Thanks!

Science is awesome. :)

Telepathy is awesome too.  :-)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

But telepathy is not science!
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Rob - AWESOME post! You nailed that beautifully.

I have worked as a customer service rep in several jobs, pre-remote hookup, and I have had to instruct non-technical customers in literally every word and picture on their screen... sometimes when their manager is screaming at them over their shoulder. THAT'S a damn nightmare and a half!!! It is far easier and efficient to make sure stuff doesn't break in the first place.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

But telepathy is not science!

Yet! 

Telekinesis on the other hand is complete and utter hogwash. :-)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 12:54pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

But telepathy is not science!

Yet!

Frequently I tell the story of the ancient culture -- the Sumarians? -- that had a system of visual astronomy nearly as accurate as ours, without ever having developed the telescope. What they had instead was a stable society that lasted for thousands of years. They made observations, jotted them down, and over those thousands of years errors were corrected out.

Other cultures did similar things with other disciplines. And most all of these cultures had ideas about the supernatural that resembled our own. Yet those thousands of years did not let them collect any proof of those beliefs. Gods, ghosts, gremlins, all remained fantasy.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

This showed up on my social media feed:

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:07pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Other cultures did similar things with other disciplines. And most all of these cultures had ideas about the supernatural that resembled our own. Yet those thousands of years did not let them collect any proof of those beliefs. Gods, ghosts, gremlins, all remained fantasy.

You would have thought some empirical evidence would have revealed itself by now, but... nope, and I don't think any will reveal itself in our lifetimes either.

To bring this back to Voyager territory, what humankind has accomplished with space probes is what would have been called "remote viewing" in ages past.  

I'm reminded of Clarke's third law:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

but I'll also add:

Given sufficient time technology will eventually catch up to and emulate magic.



Edited by Rob Ocelot on 27 August 2017 at 10:50pm
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