Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rosettamania


The European Comet Landing Space Ship looks something like this maybe

On the way back from Holbrook around 4 a.m. I found a live feed of the Europeans' comet landing mission on my cell phone and suddenly got very interested in it. The BBC World Service, which I  can pick up about an hour either side of Gallup on public radio station KGLP, had announced a successful separation of the landing module from the mother ship but the landing was still five hours away. I'm home now and have two different live feeds going on my laptop, which are coming through good on Century Link. ABC has a page where you an click back and forth between these two feeds. (Note: ABC has signed off and returned to the European feed.)

One feed is from Europe and they're talking to European space scientists and on the other it's Americans and they're all very, very excited. One thing that makes me feel good is that when they talk to people who have been involved on the different experiments and aspects of the flight, they're from different universities in different European countries, not from private companies, which is unlike what US space exploration is becoming. This thrilling event is about cooperation, discovery, not profits or competition. I don't mean to sermonize at a time like this, just saying it made me feel good. They're doing what we used to do. America, what that word means, has been sold off little by little.

They're saying it's an hour and twenty away. I also have to get some sleep.


They just put up a picture of the lander as it left the mother ship. It takes 28 minutes for the data to get to Earth. It's 300 million miles away and it took ten years for the mother ship to get there.The landing legs extended OK. The comet is going 36,000 miles per hour.





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