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Venus Express: One Year in Orbit, Symposium at the 2007 EGU General Assembly
Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jan 3 2007, 07:37 PM
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Forwarding an email that was sent out today by Dmitri Titov, Venus Express PI. Cross reference with this UMSF thread.

QUOTE
Dear Colleagues,

the General Assembly of the European Geophysical Union (EGU) will be held on April 15-20, 2007 in Vienna, Austria. The Symposium PS 2.1 "Venus Express: one year in orbit", included in the science Programme, will be focused on presentation and discussion of the results obtained during the first year of the orbital mission. Please find the description of the Symposium at the end of the e-mail and visit the EGU Web site: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2007/ for more details about the Assembly.

We would like to encourage you to take part in the Symposium and to submit contributed abstracts. Please note that the deadline for abstracts submission is January 15, 2007.

Best regards

Dima Titov and Hakan Svedhem,
The Conveners
_________________________________________________
On April 11, 2006 Venus Express-the first European satellite at Venus- was inserted in orbit around the planet and began collecting data. The results of the first year of observations will be presented at the Symposium. The Programme will consist of solicited talks focused on the Venus Express observations and contributed presentations of the preliminary data analysis. The contributions related to the physics of Venus atmosphere, its plasma environment and the surface and based on the analysis of the data from Venus Express and earlier missions, theoretical studies and numerical modelling are highly welcome. Perspectives of the future Venus exploration will be discussed.

Convener : D. Titov (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany) Co-convener : H. Svedhem (ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands)
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JRehling
post Jan 4 2007, 06:17 PM
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Littlebit
post Jan 4 2007, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 4 2007, 11:17 AM) *
To continue grinding a particular axe, I'd like to see a bar graph of how many images were released to the public in the first year following the attainment of science orbit for the following missions:

MGS, MO, MRO, MEx, VEx, Cassini.

Then send that bar graph to someone in ESA who gives a damn, if there is any such person.

The volume of data being returned by MRO casts a dark shadow on Venus Express: Mission scientists cannot possibly process all the data in a reasonable time frame, in contrast, for MRO, it is inevitable that third parties will make first discoveries.

By the time Venus Express data is finally released, who will give a damn, period? What will be missed, what opportunities, such as the plumes of Enceladus will be overlooked? VE is a failed mission.
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Phil Stooke
post Jan 4 2007, 07:40 PM
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"VE is a failed mission."

On the contrary, it's just a nuisance to us space fans.

I'm personally not interested in atmospheric dynamics or composition, but I know it's important, and waiting won't hurt it. The surface temperature mapping will be interesting for filling a few blanks in topo maps at low resolution, and might hit the jackpot with dtection of volcanism. It doesn't matter if we wait a year or more for the data, it matters that it's being collected.

I hope the people who are involved with Venus Express (and ESA in general) will release more images more quickly in future, but to call Venus Express a failed mission is unworthy of UMSF.

Phil


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djellison
post Jan 4 2007, 08:09 PM
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A PR failure - but not a failed mission by any stretch of the imagination and I'm dissapointed to see people HERE who can't see beyond poor PR.

Doug
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jan 4 2007, 08:16 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jan 4 2007, 09:40 AM) *
I'm personally not interested in atmospheric dynamics or composition, but I know it's important, and waiting won't hurt it.

True, and, of course, we've been drowning under the torrent of releases from MRO MARCI and MRO MCS.
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helvick
post Jan 4 2007, 08:31 PM
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True it is only a PR failure and apart from the PFS deployment problem it is very much a success for which I am very glad.

However I do not think that some persistent nagging about the paucity of their publich outreach is out of place and it is surely very much appropriate to point out here that ESA continues to miss significant marketing opportunities by failing to engage the public in its missions.
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djellison
post Jan 4 2007, 08:47 PM
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Oh - we all know that ESA is just utterly utterly crap out outreach. Just look at the efforts of people like Alan Stern, Steve Squyres, Marc Rayman, the HiBlog guys. Taking the time to fill us in - giving the tax payer a true sense of what these missions are about, what they're doing, why they're doing it etc etc. Now show me a single European PI or Co-I or infact just about anyone doing an ounce of that.

Yes - the Cassini team, outside of Ciclops and perhaps Radar is lacking, MSSS are dragging their feet with MARCI and CTX - does MCS even work, - but those are blots on an otherwise very good and indeed improving record. ESA's record is just a big blot from top to bottom.

Difficulty is that because ESA is the managerial equiv. of distributed computing - there being no answerable central outreach or educational body involved, no obligation (and absolutely NO money) for each instrument team to do any of this...and worse still there isn't actually anywhere to go to complain about it. There isn't a PAO to moan at, or even a Politician to go to. I have emailed every single email address relating to HRSC that I can find regarding the release of DEM's ( I know as a fact that they are generated in near real time on the ground after data reception ) or even just map projected versions of all HRSC channels, which again, I know are sat on servers within the HRSC team's infrastructure. Not a single damn reply from anyone (and these are email addresses I know to be valid). When was the last time you heard anything from SPICAM or MARSIS or, indeed, anything on Venus Express apart from what, a small handfull of images. Where's the 'image of the week' or 'PI Perspective' - Where's Smart 1's images - it's just mind blowing that this stuff is not getting shown to the public. I have to stress to people when showing them HRSC pictures in the UK that they were taken by a European spacecraft...."really - I thought only the Americans did that". That...is unforgiveable.


Doug
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Littlebit
post Jan 4 2007, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 4 2007, 01:09 PM) *
A PR failure - but not a failed mission by any stretch of the imagination and I'm dissapointed to see people HERE who can't see beyond poor PR.
Doug

If an apple fell in the forest, and no one is there to observe the event, there would be no law of gravity.

Failure to publicly release data in a timely manner is more than a myoptic PR failure. By the time the ESA's Huygens data was/is finally put into the data base, almost no one is taking the time to pull it out and dissect it - there is too much going on, too much data from other sources that is easier to find and study.

Both Stardust and Ligo have enlisted the general public to help process data, and the process has clearly accelerated both the quanty and quality scientific work on both sets of data, as well as the interest in the product. (Lay programmers rewrote Einstein-at-home programs, cutting the processing time in half. This lead to an early discovery of correctable interferences that improve the quality of the data.) This is the age of the internet, and no one cares about yesterday's news.
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djellison
post Jan 4 2007, 08:59 PM
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Yes - but there IS someone to observe the event - the scientists on the instrument teams ARE seing this stuff going on - they're just not telling anyone about it.

The apple falls, it's measured by scientists, written in their notebooks -but they don't think to publicise the fact.

Doug
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JTN
post Jan 4 2007, 10:30 PM
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Since this old chestnut has come up again: I thought the following snippet from a Cassini Significant Events report last year was interesting in this connection (my emphasis):
QUOTE
Outreach presented an overview of Cassini-Huygens Education and Public Outreach (EPO) to scientists and outreach specialists from throughout Europe at "Europlanet" in Berlin, Germany last week. While the major focus of the conference was scientific, an entire session day was devoted to outreach and the vital role scientists play in boosting the public's awareness and support for space science. Over 50 people attended the session, which included talks from the European journalism community, university researchers, and EPO specialists from the European Space Agency.

(which suggests that there are some wink.gif )
I wonder how that exchange went?

(This discussion should probably go in the ESA Press Efforts thread...)
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Bob Shaw
post Jan 4 2007, 10:33 PM
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I think that in the US the space community long ago woke up to the idea that with no bucks, there will be no Buck Rogers - whether manned or unmanned - and that to get the bucks the taxpayers have to see some return (questions of pork etc notwithstanding). In the European context, things are still very cosy, and there's less need to strive for survival - when it's Buggin's turn for funding, out it rolls (oh, and if you're a heretic with a Beagle-ish project you'll never be welcome, and whatever slight funding you're pleased to have will always be just sufficient to cause a convenient failure!).

Don't start me on ELDO. That'd be a rant, and us UMSFers don't do rants, oh no!


Bob Shaw


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JRehling
post Jan 5 2007, 12:07 AM
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dvandorn
post Jan 5 2007, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 4 2007, 07:07 PM) *
I remember the great missions of the 1970s plus the Voyager encounters in the 1980s (especially at Saturn) putting some impressive articles in my small-town hometown newspaper with dazzling images accompanying. The cost of those to NASA must have been tiny. ESA can't muster the equivalent.

The problem isn't that ESA can't muster the equivalent -- it's that they somehow don't seem to see a need to do so.

I think there is more to it than a lack of money -- the incremental increase in funding which would make outreach possible is a tiny percentage of what ESA spends on its other projects. I think that ESA actually believes that they have only one audience -- the scientists and engineers employed by the projects -- and that there is absolutely no reason to serve any other audience. They almost seem arrogantly aggressive about it.

If I were a member of the EU, I would try and get political action going. Contact my MP or whatever and insist that, if ESA can't serve the needs of the people of the EU and is unable to see themselves as anything but a service to a handful of scientists, then perhaps ESA needs to just go away. Eventually, spending large sums on things for which the people aren't given any pay-off will become a political liability, and if ESA can't manage the process, then someone else needs to step in and do it. Or else Europe will end up withdrawing from space activities... and we all know that's a bad idea.

-the other Doug


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djellison
post Jan 5 2007, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jan 5 2007, 12:20 AM) *
Contact my MP or whatever


I tried that...it killed him

Seriously.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicest...ire/3754905.stm

I contacted him at the beginning of May '04 - he wrote back to me asking for more details, sounded genuinely interested...and promptly died before I could get back to him.

Since then we've had two more MP's - one of whom wasn't around long enough to matter, the second just fobbed me off with copy-and-paste UK space policy nonsense. Basically a dead end. I'm thinking of approaching the science minister.

Doug
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