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What's Up With Ulysses?, alive? dead? cancelled soon?
Mongo
post Mar 15 2008, 02:15 AM
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There are some fine lines in Tennyson's poem Ulysses that would fit:

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Bill
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elakdawalla
post Mar 15 2008, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for the tip, Mike. Haven't gotten to book 11 yet.

Mongo, everyone else in the blogosphere was quoting Tennyson and Joyce -- I wanted to do something different, and anyway I'd had that Fagles translation on my "to be read" bookshelf for a decade and hadn't read it yet. This made a good excuse!

--Emily


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Paolo
post Mar 15 2008, 09:31 PM
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From Dante's Commedia (Inferno XXVI):

'O brothers,' said I, 'who through a hundred thousand perils have reached the West, to this so little vigil of your senses that remains be ye unwilling to deny, the experience, following the sun, of the world that hath no people. Consider ye your origin; ye were not made to live as brutes, but for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge.'
http://pd.sparknotes.com/poetry/inferno/section27.html

or if you prefer it in the original Italian:

"O frati", dissi, "che per cento milia
perigli siete giunti a l'occidente,
a questa tanto picciola vigilia

d'i nostri sensi ch'č del rimanente
non vogliate negar l'esperďenza,
di retro al sol, del mondo sanza gente.

Considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza".

By the way, Ulysses received its name from Dante's sentence about "following the Sun"


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dilo
post Mar 16 2008, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE (Paolo @ Mar 15 2008, 10:31 PM) *
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza".


Thanks for the info, Paolo! smile.gif


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jamescanvin
post Apr 16 2008, 09:52 AM
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Looks like news regarding the death of Ulysses may have been a little premature. smile.gif

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0804/15ulysses/

QUOTE
Scientists continue to extract bits of data trickling to Earth from the Ulysses solar probe as ground controllers employ new strategies to extend the life of the 17-year-old spacecraft, including a "long shot" plan to put the observatory in hibernation until the sun's activity reaches its next peak in 2013.




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GravityWaves
post Jun 5 2008, 04:16 PM
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After more than 17 years relentlessly exploring the effects of solar activity on the space that surrounds us, the Ulysses mission is now approaching its end.
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Paolo
post Jun 8 2008, 09:34 AM
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From the "programmes in progress" section of the latest ESA bulletin

The third northern solar polar pass was completed on 15 March. In spite of the reduced data rates following the X-band anomaly in mid-January and the transition to an S-band mission, key arameters
characterising the solar wind, magnetic field and energetic particles continued to be measured. The picture that emerges shows great similarity to that observed in 1995, during the first northern polar pass, with the spacecraft immersed in the fast solar wind flowing from the Sun’s northern polar coronal hole.
Efforts to delay hydrazine freezing will continue in the coming months. It is very difficult to estimate exactly when the hydrazine will freeze since predictions are based on thermal modelling rather than actual temperature measurements in telemetry. However, a projected mission operations end date of 1 July 2008 has been agreed. It is possible that operations could continue beyond that date but it is also possible that the mission will end earlier. Once freezing occurs, it may be possible to thaw the fuel again for a while by switching off instruments but the science mission will essentially be over. When thawing is no longer possible, the loss of manoeuvrability will result in an increasing Earth off-pointing angle and the loss of telemetry after about a week.


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James Van Allen
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Paolo
post Jun 12 2008, 07:09 PM
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Today at ESA Headquarters, the Ulysses Legacy press conference
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMPEQUG3HF_index_0_ov.html


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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robspace54
post Jun 30 2008, 08:40 PM
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Today is June 30th, so folks, say goodbye to old Ulysses, he's heading home at last... End-of-Mission July 1st, 2008.

Rob
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tedstryk
post Jul 1 2008, 02:23 PM
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QUOTE (robspace54 @ Jun 30 2008, 09:40 PM) *
Today is June 30th, so folks, say goodbye to old Ulysses, he's heading home at last... End-of-Mission July 1st, 2008.

Rob


A sad nominal date, although tracking is still scheduled through the middle of the month (basically, this is as long as they figured fuel-bleeding might keep the hydrazine lines from freezing). A major science blow occurred at the end of May, when it reached a point at which it could only send data to the 70 meter antennae at 512bps. This is significant because the tape recorder plays at 1024bps at its slowest, meaning that Ulysses can only send data in real time now. Back during the 2003-2004 Jupiter Distant Encounter, the tape recorder was turned off for about three months so that it could operate all instruments at the same time (as opposed to power sharing, which it needed to do when far from the sun, since during the recent perihelion it could shut its heaters off and get the same effect). However, this required 24/7 DSN coverage, which, given the Jovian Science (a highlight was the additional data about dust streams from Io) that was being done, was worth it. However, at 512 bps (and soon to drop below that), it would be hard to justify constant coverage.


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nprev
post Jul 1 2008, 03:34 PM
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A sad day to be sure, but also a happy one. Could you ask for a more successful and long-lived mission? What a wonderful tribute Ulysses' longevity is to the scientists and engineers who designed and built it.

"A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery."

-Joyce


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ynyralmaen
post Jul 1 2008, 07:39 PM
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Yes, a hugely successful mission... many congrats to all involved. There's still a huge amount of science hidden in all those squiggly plots that it's produced - I'm sure it'll be a few decades until we fully appreciate its legacy.

<---- image at left shows Ulysses's 1996 comet Hyakutake encounter, in case it isn't obvious!
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Rakhir
post Jul 3 2008, 09:49 PM
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Ulysses hanging on valiantly
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMKWKSHKHF_index_0.html
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ustrax
post Sep 22 2008, 10:02 AM
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Humm...changes in the solar system?...any idea of what kind of changes we might be talking about here?... unsure.gif
Guess we'll have more details tomorrow...


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tanjent
post Sep 22 2008, 12:59 PM
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That should indeed be interesting. I assume the phrase "50-year low" means that prior to the IGY and the orbiting of the first satellites, there were no good measurements of the solar wind, so it could easily be much longer than 50 years since the present levels were reached. I guess if that trend continues for a couple decades it will be a good time for people to go to Mars, as long as no solar sails are involved.
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