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ESA Press Efforts, Moved posts
ljk4-1
post Feb 15 2006, 02:12 PM
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Wednesday, 15-Feb-2006

COSMIC VISION 2015 - 2025: THE UNIVERSE

Theme 4 - How did the Universe originate and what is it made of?

Since antiquity, the Earth's inhabitants have observed the sky with curiosity
and perspicacity, taking advantage of technological progress to help understand
what the Universe is made of. Our present knowledge is the result of centuries
of continuous cross-fertilisation between astronomical observations and
theoretical constructions.

http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38658

====================================================
FUTURE MISSION - UPDATES

PLANCK
The Radio Frequency Qualification Model (RFQM) of Planck is being prepared in
the Compact Antenna Test Range of Alcatel Alenia Space in Cannes, France.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38780

HERSCHEL
Video footage of Herschel undergoing mechanical vibration and shock tests at the
ESTEC test facilities in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38802

====================================================
STATUS REPORTS

VENUS EXPRESS
Period 3 to 9 February 2006

Operations during the reporting period have been moved again over the
New Norcia station and spacecraft activities has focused on further TTC tests,
characterisation of STRs acquisition performance, and Radio Science activities.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38746

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====================================================

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--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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ljk4-1
post Mar 30 2006, 03:43 PM
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Thursday, 30-Mar-2006

===================================================
MISSION RESULTS

+ CLUSTER AND DOUBLE STAR REVEAL THE EXTENT OF NEUTRAL SHEET OSCILLATIONS
For the first time, neutral sheet oscillations observed simultaneously at tens
of thousands kilometres distance are reported, thanks to observations by 5
satellites of the Cluster and the Double Star Program missions. Published 8
November 2005 in Annales Geophysicae, this new observational first provides
further constraint to model this large-scale phenomenon in the magnetotail.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38993

+ SMART-1 TRACKING OBSERVATION OF REINER GAMMA
SMART-1 has performed a tracking observation of Reiner Gamma, a bright albedo
feature located in the Oceanus Procellarum on the near side of the Moon. The
feature, originally thought to be a crater, was identified as a flat region with
a very high albedo when spacecraft imaged the region from lunar orbit.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39022

===================================================
MISSION STATUS REPORTS

+ VENUS EXPRESS - Perihelion Passage onto Venus Approach
After passing through perihelion, the Venus Express spacecraft is now heading
away from the Sun and the Venus approach phase is proceeding according to
schedule with the planned arrival at Venus on 11 April.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38992

===================================================
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2006

On Wednesday, 29 March, the Moon's shadow swept over the Earth during the 4th
total solar eclipse of this century. Expeditions to two locations on the path of
totality have resulted in images of the solar corona during totality, as seen
from Benin in Africa and Kastellorizo in Greece.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38963

===================================================
VENUS EXPRESS GROUND OBSERVING PROJECT

The Venus Express Ground Observing Project (VEXGOP) is an opportunity to
contribute scientifically useful images and data to compliment the Venus Express
(VEX) spacecraft observations of Venus. The project will focus on utilising the
capabilities of advanced amateurs to obtain images of the atmosphere of Venus;
specifically filtered monochrome images obtained with CCD based cameras in the
350nm to 1000nm (near ultraviolet, visible and near infrared range).
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=38833

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--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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GravityWaves
post Mar 31 2006, 03:27 AM
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QUOTE (edstrick @ Dec 6 2005, 06:34 AM) *
It's not that we're anti-ESA and anti-European.... It's more that we're frustrated at what we see are obvious continuing problems that they seemingly can't recognize in themselves and can't fix. Certainly, in the US, we've got our on different but equivalent problems, and difficulties in seeing then and fixing them, but we bash ourselves plenty, too.


It's a disaster ! They've got this new Ion-drive spacecraft, its up since 2003 and is now going around the Moon ( that's 3 years I heard some news about Moon Calcium and Lunar-Poles back in 2005 but that's about it
and I can count all the newsitems I've seen on this Smart-one on 'One-Hand', you guys are right the ESA is PR disaster !
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The Messenger
post Apr 11 2006, 02:32 PM
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For those of us silly enough to ride out the night of the Venus Expess insertion, the 'press' effort was very predictable: We had a silent webcam of the control room set at an angle that revealed nothing. Once again a great story, great success, and no technical detail sad.gif

For news we had Emily running in and out of the briefing center, downloading her typing elsewhere, and finally we had a press conference where the only relevant question was artfully dogged:

"Did you achieve the desired orbit?"

"Ask me again in an hour, after we have ranging data."

It was a good answer, but a better on would have been "We have the Doppler, but not the ranging data, yet, and a report on whether or not the Doppler is nominal.

Finally, it has been many hours now, and of coarse, no ranging data has been publicly posted - (I would love to be wrong about this).

But not to worry, we were assured that there will be another press conference...at the end of the Venus Express mission rolleyes.gif

Edited to add:
At ~12:30 UTC the ESA announced the results of the orbital insertion are "nominal".
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ljk4-1
post Apr 25 2006, 01:47 PM
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Monday, 24-Apr-2006

===================================================
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

+ 16TH ANNIVERSARY OF HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE [HEIC0604]
To celebrate the NASA-ESA Hubble Space Telescope's 16 years of success, the two
space agencies are releasing this mosaic image of the magnificent starburst
galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). It is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of
M82, a galaxy remarkable for its webs of shredded clouds and flame-like plumes
of glowing hydrogen blasting out from its central regions.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39139

+ MAGELLANIC GEMSTONES IN THE SOUTHERN SKY [HEIC0603]
Hubble has captured the most detailed images to date of the open star clusters
NGC 265 and NGC 290 in the Small Magellanic Cloud - two sparkling sets of
gemstones in the southern sky.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39107

===================================================
MISSION STATUS REPORTS

+ VENUS EXPRESS - ORBITAL CONTROL MANOEUVRES
Report for period 14 April - 20 April 2006. Venus Express has successfully
completed its 9-days capture orbit with the first of five Apocentre Lowering
Manoeuvres on Thursday, 20 April at about 08:00 UTC (200 m/s). This manoeuvre
has set the spacecraft onto an orbit with a period of about 40 hours and an
apocenter altitude of 99 000 km.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39138

+ ROSETTA - FIRST SOLAR CONJUNCTION
Report for period 10 March - 7 April 2006. The reporting period covers four
weeks of cruise, in which the spacecraft was gradually entering the first solar
conjunction of the mission. At the end of the reporting period the angular
separation from the Sun was down to 1.04°.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39113

+ SMART-1 - SMALL DROP IN SOLAR ARRAY POWER
Report for period 20 February to 19 March 2006. SMART-1 operations have been
nominal during this period. It has been found that after an eclipse occurred on
28 October, there was a drop in the solar array +Y current of about 1.1 Amps
(~52 Watts). The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), SMART-1's industrial prime
contractor, has suggested that the most probable cause is the loss of one
subsection of the solar array at the +Y panel. The small reduction in power is
not causing any problem for the spacecraft's day-to-day operation.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=39073

===================================================
KEEP IN TOUCH

+ SCITECH RSS
Subscribe to SciTech's RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to get the latest
updates delivered directly to your desktop.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=37599

+ SCITECH SCREENSAVER
Don't forget to download the SciTech Screensaver a multi-facetted application
that allows you to keep abreast of status reports, news and announcements of
events taking place at ESA Science.
http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=34651


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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remcook
post May 3 2006, 01:43 PM
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Interesting bit regarding this in Emily's excellent notes on the VEXAG meeting:

"I hear a lot of complaining from people about how ESA does not do as well as NASA as making its data available, either by way of press releases or through archiving of data in a way that other scientists can use. This strange lack of funding for data analysis is one of the reasons that ESA data tends to be less available than NASA data. It's not that the scientists don't want to share, it's that they simply don't get funded to do the work necessary to share. " [says Håkan Svedhem]

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000559/
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helvick
post May 3 2006, 04:51 PM
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QUOTE (remcook @ May 3 2006, 02:43 PM) *
It's not that the scientists don't want to share, it's that they simply don't get funded to do the work necessary to share. " [says Håkan Svedhem]
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000559/

Time for us Europeans to get off our backsides and start asking for some funding to be allocated for this.
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The Messenger
post May 3 2006, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (remcook @ May 3 2006, 07:43 AM) *
Interesting bit regarding this in Emily's excellent notes on the VEXAG meeting:

"I hear a lot of complaining from people about how ESA does not do as well as NASA as making its data available, either by way of press releases or through archiving of data in a way that other scientists can use. This strange lack of funding for data analysis is one of the reasons that ESA data tends to be less available than NASA data. It's not that the scientists don't want to share, it's that they simply don't get funded to do the work necessary to share. " [says Håkan Svedhem]

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000559/

This is somewhat of a red herring. Was there or was there not, an investigation into the Channel A failure on Huygens, and when will the (promised) report be released? Why wasn't the problem with the mirror on Venus Express made public until five months after the fact? The only mention I can find about safe mode problems of the Mars Express is in the articles touting that these problems have not surfaced on the Venus Express.

And in any event, saying that they lack the resources to properly study scientific data is all the more reason that it should be released to the public as soon as possible - if the data is not athenticated and calibrated, let the users know and beware. There are hundreds of hungry graduate students who would give their left eye for a crack at virgin data. This is very similar to what happened with the Dead Sea Scrolls - they were cloistured away for years waiting for the experts to have time to pick through them, but as soon as the pages where made publicly available, a fountain of papers emerged.
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ugordan
post May 4 2006, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (The Messenger @ May 3 2006, 06:34 PM) *
saying that they lack the resources to properly study scientific data

I don't think that's what they're saying. They're saying they aren't funded for preparation of data for public release NOT that they are unable to work through the data themselves.


--------------------
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The Messenger
post May 4 2006, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ May 4 2006, 09:37 AM) *
I don't think that's what they're saying. They're saying they aren't funded for preparation of data for public release NOT that they are unable to work through the data themselves.

...which is a better excuse than ITAR.
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The Messenger
post May 9 2006, 02:22 PM
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I have been very impressed with the Cassini mission reporting, both with the quick release of raw data, new observations, and the event log:

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/sig-events.cfm

It is great to have a front row seat to a great mission!

I bring attention to this here, because of this entry in the Cassini event log:

QUOTE
It turns out that the SSPS for the USO was tripped, causing no one-way
downlink carrier or data. This tripped switch condition is consistent with
ones seen in the past. This is the sixteenth trip seen to date, the third
trip of a switch that was ON at the time, and the second trip this year. The
previous trip occurred very recently on March 2, 2006. They are predicted
to occur at a rate of about two per year, and are most likely caused by
Galactic Cosmic Rays.


I have to ask the question: Could the Huygens channel 'A' failure have been caused by the accidental tripping of the SSPS for the Huygens USO by a cosmic ray, rather than a programming error? The announcement that it was a programming error was made on the same day as the landing, at a time when everyone was exhaustively tired and not necessarily in best form for analysing code.

Has a follow-up report been issued confirming the programming error? Was it related to ITAR access restrictions as has been intimated elsewhere? As a sometimes analyst of critical event programing, it is difficult for me to imaging that the command to "Turn on the Power Supply" was omitted from a programing sequence that developed through years of careful planning. This is one time that a gremlin makes more sense.
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Bob Shaw
post May 9 2006, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (The Messenger @ May 9 2006, 03:22 PM) *
The announcement that it was a programming error was made on the same day as the landing, at a time when everyone was exhaustively tired and not necessarily in best form for analysing code.


I had the impression that the error was not in the computer programme content so much as in the workflow, and that the error was managerial rather than anything else - it simply wasn't picked up during whatever preparatory work was done.

I may be wrong...

Bob shaw


--------------------
Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
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remcook
post May 13 2006, 03:41 PM
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Why does ESA have an american presenter called Tammy? huh.gif

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESApod/SEMKFX8ATME_0.html
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post May 13 2006, 10:55 PM
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Guests






QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 9 2006, 05:37 PM) *
I had the impression that the error was not in the computer programme content so much as in the workflow, and that the error was managerial rather than anything else - it simply wasn't picked up during whatever preparatory work was done.

I may be wrong...


There was quite a detailed article on the error in Aviation Week, in which the ESA not only said flatly that it was a software error, but blamed ITAR for not allowing them to do enough software rechecks to catch it. More details later, when I'm not too tired to look them up.
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Bob Shaw
post May 14 2006, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ May 13 2006, 11:55 PM) *
There was quite a detailed article on the error in Aviation Week, in which the ESA not only said flatly that it was a software error, but blamed ITAR for not allowing them to do enough software rechecks to catch it. More details later, when I'm not yoo tired to look them up.


Bruce:

I think we might not be in disagreement, except in the details of interpretation!

Bob Shaw


--------------------
Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
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