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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Outer Solar System > Pluto / KBO > New Horizons
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ljk4-1
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Sep 29 2005, 07:18 PM)
"... I distinctly remember seeing and hearing a women in a news report leading upto the launch saying they 'had embarked on a campaign on misinformation' to get NASA's attention. How can you expect people to make a decision on an issue when they're being lied to? As much as I support environmental concerns and issues, enviromental groups are notoriously loose with scientific facts - thanks in part to the public's disinterest and ignorance of science."

Unfortunately, they are hardly alone in that regard.  It was Dean Acheson -- remembered as being one of the more enlightened Secretaries of State -- who said that the government frequently has the obligation to make things "clearer than the truth" to the voters in order to get their support for its Enlightened Policies.
*


In the same vein - Jeff Foust once relayed to me that he attended an anti-Cassini rally in Cambridge, MA in 1997, just before it was launched. He was the only pro-space person in attendance. One woman actually told him that she did not want to know the facts, as she had already made up her mind about Cassini and because it was nuclear-powered, it was therefore bad and had to be stopped.

And we wonder why truly intelligent beings from other worlds will not contact us.

dry.gif
Mark6
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Sep 27 2005, 09:20 PM)
Actually, the blood-chilling thing about "nucular" is how many non-Bushians pronounce it the same way -- including Tony Blair, Walter Mondale, and (as the supreme insult) Clinton's first Defense Secretary, Les Aspin.  A DEFENSE SECRETARY who can't say "nuclear" is a bit much.  And what the hell was Tony learning in those pricey private schools, besides a plummy accent?
*

Carter pronounced it the same way, and he is an actual nuclear engineer!
spfrss
If you go to

http://www.pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/deis/intro.html

you can read the Draft Environmental Impact Statement about NH

Live long and prosper

Mauro
Richard Trigaux
QUOTE (helvick @ Sep 29 2005, 05:15 PM)
Its a long time since I did any nuclear physics but I don't recall that there are any Neutrons emitted as part of the Pu-238 decay cycle. (Pu238->U235+Alpha and all subsequent decays are "Nasty Radioactive Isotope"+Alpha|Beta|Gamma ... Lead). It's still a stressful environment for the thermocouple but the dominant component of the loss of power should be the fuel's half life.
*


There is not only Pu238 in the RTGs. Pu238 is not produced from isotopic separation from other Pu isotopes. This process would be very difficult and anyway not complete, lefting an amount of Pu239 and even Pu240. It fact it seems that they start from Neptunium. There are only two "stable" isotopes of Np: 236 and 237, and they are much easier to extract from ordinary nuclear wastes of electricity reactors. Then they irradiate this neptunium into a special nuclear reactor, where it absorbs neutrons until it forms Np238 which quickly beta decays into Pu 238. But the time this pu238 remains in the reactor, it can in turn transmute into Pu239 and even Pu240. So whatever the method, there is a percentage of Pu239 in the Pu238. They certainly try to minimize it, as it does not produce heat, but it cannot be completelly avoided. It is like that, in nuclear physics even a theoretically "clean" reaction often has parasitic minority paths which can be very harmful.

So the presence of Pu239 is enough to explain that the RTGs emit neutrons. The other rays (alpha or beta) are damped by the casing before reaching the thermocouples.

Another consequence of this is that the RTGs are not just recycled nuclear wastes, they require the production of other nuclear wastes to be manufactured, so they arise the same issues than the nuclear reactors. The only white point is that the RTGs fuel cannot be used to make bombs, in case it falls into bad hands.
ljk4-1
QUOTE (Mark6 @ Sep 29 2005, 09:32 PM)
Carter pronounced it the same way, and he is an actual nuclear engineer!
*


When Blair was interviewed about the Huygens landing on Titan, he readily confessed he wasn't into science in school and learned very little on the subject as a whole as a result.

It's sad how when it comes to science, people almost brag about their ignorance on the subject. May explain the current state of the world.

sad.gif
Richard Trigaux
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Sep 30 2005, 02:33 PM)
When Blair was interviewed about the Huygens landing on Titan, he readily confessed he wasn't into science in school and learned very little on the subject as a whole as a result.

It's sad how when it comes to science, people almost brag about their ignorance on the subject. May explain the current state of the world.

sad.gif
*


It is still worse than that: Huygens is not just about science, it is our first landing on a completelly unknown world, ant it has many enthraling philosophical implications and is a mater of strong poetical/existential emotion. And these concerns are for everybody, not just for scientists or amateur astronomers like on this forum. I wonder if people who feel nothing about space exploration are really incarnated on our planet, or if they are hovering somewhere above (or under). "Ooooh, Huygens, it is about Saturn, so it is about science, very complicated, headache and all, oooh" (This post is not specially aimed at Mr Blair and other politicians, there are many street populists who are much worse)
mchan
In the latest PI update, Alan Stern describes NH's journey to KSC including a close encounter with a reckless driver.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective_current.html

Mike
Richard Trigaux
QUOTE (mchan @ Oct 4 2005, 03:35 AM)
In the latest PI update, Alan Stern describes NH's journey to KSC including a close encounter with a reckless driver.

*


Frightening to think that the Pluto mission could have finished in a traffic crash. A meteorite in space w<ould be more romantic.


The classification of reckless drivers encounters:
First kind close encounter: just fear
Second type close encouter: bolts and nuts smashed.
Third type close encounter: humanoids injuried.
Rob Pinnegar
QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Oct 4 2005, 02:58 AM)
Frightening to think that the Pluto mission could have finished in a traffic crash. A meteorite in space would be more romantic.
*

Heh, heh. Funny how this dovetails nicely with the sub-thread Mike started a while back. Buddy was probably rushing home to avoid missing this week's WWE Smackdown. He'll probably never know how close he came to actually doing something significant (although in a negative way).

It's a pity that the cops weren't able to pull him over. It can't be often that they get the opportunity to ticket someone for endangering a United States spacecraft.

Switching topics: Does anyone happen to know how reliable the launch vehicle for New Horizons (Atlas-Centaur-STAR) is thought to be? How many previous missions have used this configuration?
mchan
QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Oct 4 2005, 10:12 AM)
Switching topics: Does anyone happen to know how reliable the launch vehicle for New Horizons (Atlas-Centaur-STAR) is thought to be? How many previous missions have used this configuration?
*


No previous mission has used the exact configuration that NH is using (Atlas-V with 5 SRB's, Centaur, Star-48). The NH FEIS gives a estimate of 93.8% of a "successful launch leading to Pluto trajectory". That number was calculated before the successful launch of MRO, so a revised calculation with the other factors unchanged will yield a higher estimate of success.

There have been 6 launches of Atlas-V to date, but the first time for a new configuration always has the potential for something that was not thought of beforehand. This launch will likely have more than the usual reviews to reduce the potential of missing something.

-Mike
Richard Trigaux
QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Oct 4 2005, 05:12 PM)
It's a pity that the cops weren't able to pull him over. It can't be often that they get the opportunity to ticket someone for endangering a United States spacecraft.
*



biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif
djellison
Lots of posts deleted - it had all got far too political and personal.....consider lots of wrists slapped!!


Doug
hal_9000
Exploring NASA Links, I found a link for New Horizons' clean room....
Feed is here:




Good Watching...
ljk4-1
MISSION: New Horizons
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Lockheed Martin Atlas V 551 (AV-010)
LAUNCH PAD: Complex 41
LAUNCH SITE: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
LAUNCH DATE: Jan. 11, 2006
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2:07 to 4:07 p.m. EST

The Centaur stage was hoisted onto the Atlas booster on Tuesday, and
mating should be completed by this weekend. New Horizons spacecraft
testing and processing activities in the clean room are on schedule.
The instrument to measure the solar wind around Pluto was installed
in the spacecraft and tested Oct. 6. Spacecraft communications
testing with Deep Space Network tracking stations is scheduled for
tomorrow and Saturday.

Previous status reports are available on the Web at:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launch...ets/status/2005

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov
RNeuhaus
New update about NH. Good detail about 7 science instruments.

# Alice - an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer that will probe the atmospheric composition and structure of Pluto.

# Ralph a visible and infrared camera that will obtain high-resolution color maps and surface composition maps of the surfaces of Pluto and Charon.

# LORRI, or Long Range Reconnaissance Imager will image Pluto's surface at football-field sized resolution, resolving features as small approximately 50 yards
across.

# SWAP, or Solar Wind Around Pluto will measure charged particles from the solar wind near Pluto to determine whether it has a magnetosphere and how fast its atmosphere is escaping.

# PEPSSI, or Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation will search for neutral atoms that escape the planet's atmosphere and subsequently become charged by their interaction with the solar wind.

# SDC, or Student Dust Counter will count and measure the masses of dust particles along the spacecraft's entire trajectory, covering regions of interplanetary space never before sampled.

# REX, or Radio Science Experiment a circuit board containing sophisticated electronics that has been integrated with the spacecraft's radio telecommunications system, will study Pluto's atmospheric structure, surface thermal peperties, and make measurements of the mass of Pluto and Charon and KBOs.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/outerplanets-05o.html

Rodolfo
Richard Trigaux
What will New Horizons do near Pluto?

Just a fly-by or satellize?

And, eventually, after, will it try to reach other objects, or will it just escape on an interstellar trajectory?

I know that satellizing around Pluto is more difficult than around Saturn, but if we accept the price it can be done.
mchan
QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Oct 19 2005, 10:28 PM)
What will New Horizons do near Pluto?

Just a fly-by or satellize?

And, eventually, after, will it try to reach other objects, or will it just escape on an interstellar trajectory?

I know that satellizing around Pluto is more difficult than around Saturn, but if we accept the price it can be done.
*


The New Horizons website has a good summary and more --

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/mission_timeline.html

Getting into orbit around Pluto is _much_ more difficult than it is for Saturn. For a short time of flight, the flyby speed will be high. And Pluto has very little gravity to help compared to Saturn. You would need an incredible amount of fuel or exotic propulsion.
Richard Trigaux
OK, a fast fly-by, and perhaps an attempt to rendez-vous another small Kuyper belt object in the following years.
RNeuhaus
QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Oct 20 2005, 12:28 AM)
What will New Horizons do near Pluto?

Just a fly-by or satellize?

And, eventually, after, will it try to reach other objects, or will it just escape on an interstellar trajectory?

I know that satellizing around Pluto is more difficult than around Saturn, but if we accept the price it can be done.
*

The mission of NH is not only focused on the binary Pluton and Charion but also of the remants of Kiups Belt. Up to now, it is still unknown which them the NH will visit. Hence, now, 15 years away, it is still to early to identify them. Hence, its fly-by trip will last up to 2-3 hours to cover all 6 of 7 (Alice, Raplh, LORRI, PEPSSI, SWAP, and REX) science instruments on them.

Rodolfo
BruceMoomaw
Alan Stern says its RTG fuel -- although less than originally planned -- can keep it working for about 10 years after the 2015 Pluto flyby. Hopefully that's enough to get at least one flyby of a small additional KBO (as yet unidentified) -- or two of them, if we're really lucky.

(That's still almost a decade less than the two Voyagers have already worked! I wonder how long NH could be kept working and sending back data from just its three instruments that are relevant to deep-space observations.)
Comga
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Oct 20 2005, 03:03 PM)
Alan Stern says its RTG fuel -- although less than originally planned -- can keep it working for about 10 years after the 2015 Pluto flyby.  Hopefully that's enough to get at least one flyby of a small additional KBO (as yet unidentified) -- or two of them, if we're really lucky. 
*


They (and all of us) would have to be extremely lucky to get two KBO targets. The limitation is not RTG power, but fuel. The odds on being able to divert to one KBO target are supposed to be good, but not so the odds on discovering two KBOs pretty much in line. The spacecraft can only turn its path something like a degree or two. That's a pretty narrow cone in which to discover targets.
punkboi
QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Oct 4 2005, 10:12 AM)
It's a pity that the cops weren't able to pull him over. It can't be often that they get the opportunity to ticket someone for endangering a United States spacecraft.
*


HAHAHA! So true laugh.gif
imran
Pluto rocket in Florida damaged by Hurricane Wilma

QUOTE
A Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket being prepared to launch NASA's first probe to Pluto was slightly damaged when Hurricane Wilma cut a swath through Florida but should still be able to launch as planned, officials said on Friday.
BPCooper
QUOTE (imran @ Oct 28 2005, 08:42 PM)



The rocket itself was not damaged, don't trust Klotz. Just some ground equipment.
Redstone
As we get closer to launch, I thought post this chart of New Horizon's Launch window. It's taken from the NH presentation to the October meeting of OPAG.



The prime window is only 17 days long. After that, NH's arrival at Pluto gets later fast. Amazingly, the later part of the window sents NH on a Pluto-direct trajectory. No gravity assists. Even considering the longer flight time, and the fact that the mission involves a lot of rocket for a little spacecraft, a direct throw out of the solar system is pretty impressive. Hopefully, it won't be needed! smile.gif

If the window is missed completely, then NH will launch in 2007, and we'll have to wait to 2019-2021 to see Pluto. sad.gif

Fingers crossed!
BPCooper
Thank's for posting that. I assume that the day-by-day vs arrival year is based on how close to Jupiter it winds up coming; and then later, Pluto's distance? The impression given on the NH website is that immediately after Feb 2nd it jumps to 2019 (and that before and after there are no variances).
Alan Stern
The plot shown is an old version of the launch window depiction. It should
not have been shown at OPAG, but little things like this happen.

Back in 2004, I realized that 28 Jan was very close to being able to make
2015, energetically. Our mission design team was thus able to make
28 Jan an Aug 2015 arrival. Just one month later than all the other 2015
arrivals, which are in July. We could even have moved some of the other 2016
days to 2015, but at the expense of our radio science, which requires a near
opposition geometry to minimize IPM scintillation; to preserve the
radio science, we stuck with 2016 July.

The bottom line is that about a year ago we moved the arrival for a 28 Jan '06
launch from July 2016 to Aug 2015, giving us 18 days total for 2015 arrivals.

-Alan
BruceMoomaw
You got any word on how serious the possible storm damage to the booster was, Alan?
Alan Stern
Bruce- It's only superficial. The threat to launch is the possible Boeing strike.

-Alan
BPCooper
The Boeing strike should have no effect on NH processing (and certainly not Atlas processing). Like I said, there was no damage to the booster itself, only some ground equipment.
Alan Stern
QUOTE (BPCooper @ Oct 30 2005, 04:55 PM)
The Boeing strike should have no effect on NH processing (and certainly not Atlas processing). Like I said, there was no damage to the booster itself, only some ground equipment.
*



To the contrary, the Boeing strike could effect processing of our Boeing third stage.
We are actively working with KSC, Atlas, and Boeing, to mitigate possible effects,
but there is no guarantee.

-Alan
BPCooper
QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Oct 30 2005, 01:10 PM)
To the contrary, the Boeing strike could effect processing of our Boeing third stage.
We are actively working with KSC, Atlas, and Beoing, to mitigate possible effects,
but there is no guarantee.

-Alan
*


That's right, I forgot about that. Thanks. I shouldn't doubt you of course :-)

The stage itself is Thiokol, by the way, but I know it has a Boeing spin table and adapter attached.
ljk4-1
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Sep 27 2005, 04:20 PM)
Actually, the blood-chilling thing about "nucular" is how many non-Bushians pronounce it the same way -- including Tony Blair, Walter Mondale, and (as the supreme insult) Clinton's first Defense Secretary, Les Aspin.  A DEFENSE SECRETARY who can't say "nuclear" is a bit much.  And what the hell was Tony learning in those pricey private schools, besides a plummy accent?
*


At an interview regarding the Huygens landing on Titan, Blair admitted he learned very little science in school and did not care for the subject.

Par for the course for most political leaders. Which goes a long way towards explaining the state of things in the world, along with a certain US leader who thinks kids having to learn ID along with evolution is a "fair and balanced" idear.
BPCooper
QUOTE (BPCooper @ Oct 30 2005, 12:55 PM)
The Boeing strike should have no effect on NH processing (and certainly not Atlas processing). Like I said, there was no damage to the booster itself, only some ground equipment.
*


http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av010/051102srbreplace.html

Article noting the SRB replacement. This differs from what I was told, in fact it differs from what KSC PAO said (that there was no noticible anything, even a scuff, on the rocket and that the SRB replacement was purely for precaution). Apparently there was a tiny ding.

Regardless, they said today there will be no impact to the launch date.
BPCooper
I had the privelege to go inside the clean room at the PHSF today to photograph New Horizons, and I thought I would share my photos:

http://www.launchphotography.com/NewHorizonsProcessing.html

It was a pleasure meeting Alan and the other members of the NH/APL team.
mike
It's amazing to me that such humble-looking machines are the first man-made objects to travel so far. The king of Spain couldn't send out a little probe to determine whether there was a quick route to India. smile.gif And yet, these humble-looking machines will show us things we could never have imagined (until we see them, and then it will all be perfectly obvious, but I digress), and New Horizons will likely outlive me (and you, and that other guy).

Thanks for the pictures.
ljk4-1
QUOTE (mike @ Nov 4 2005, 09:39 PM)
It's amazing to me that such humble-looking machines are the first man-made objects to travel so far.  The king of Spain couldn't send out a little probe to determine whether there was a quick route to India.  smile.gif  And yet, these humble-looking machines will show us things we could never have imagined (until we see them, and then it will all be perfectly obvious, but I digress), and New Horizons will likely outlive me (and you, and that other guy).

Thanks for the pictures.
*


Will anything of note other than a microchip full of names be placed on NH before it is launched?
dvandorn
I'm impressed by NH's relatively small physical size. As someone who remembers the early Mariners and such, it's an interesting comparison. There's a huge amount of sensing capability packed into that thing, which is no larger than the Voyagers.

In fact, it looks to me to be perhaps smaller than the Voyagers, overall.

NH looks like a 21st-century space probe, all right!

-the other Doug
mchan
QUOTE (BPCooper @ Nov 4 2005, 07:24 PM)
I had the privelege to go inside the clean room at the PHSF today to photograph New Horizons, and I thought I would share my photos:

http://www.launchphotography.com/NewHorizonsProcessing.html

It was a pleasure meeting Alan and the other members of the NH/APL team.
*


Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

For seeing the launch in person, is the view better from Jetty Park or from along the Indian River due west of complex 41?

What is the launch azimuth for the NH launch?

Thanks,
Mike
mchan
QUOTE (dvandorn @ Nov 5 2005, 02:21 AM)
I'm impressed by NH's relatively small physical size.  As someone who remembers the early Mariners and such, it's an interesting comparison.  There's a huge amount of sensing capability packed into that thing, which is no larger than the Voyagers.

In fact, it looks to me to be perhaps smaller than the Voyagers, overall.

NH looks like a 21st-century space probe, all right!

-the other Doug
*


Voyager's HGA dish appeared to be larger than the main spacecraft bus structure, while NH's main structure appears slightly larger than the HGA. Voyager also had the boom mounted scan platform and RTGs vs all body mounted for NH. Oh, and Voyager had a mag boom which was cut from NH.

It would be interesting to see a side by side to scale graphic showing all the spacecraft that are or will be on solar system escape trajectories.

Mike
mcaplinger
QUOTE (mchan @ Nov 5 2005, 08:30 PM)
For seeing the launch in person, is the view better from Jetty Park or from along the Indian River due west of complex 41?


*


I don't know for sure, but I think the view from Jetty Park of LC41 would be pretty bad. LC41 is way north, very close to LC39. I would think any good site for a Shuttle launch would be better for LC41. It's not like a Delta launch, where the view from Jetty Park is probably as good as from the VIP site.

We watched the MRO launch from the causeway site and it was OK.
BPCooper
QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Nov 6 2005, 12:39 AM)
I don't know for sure, but I think the view from Jetty Park of LC41 would be pretty bad. LC41 is way north, very close to LC39. I would think any good site for a Shuttle launch would be better for LC41. It's not like a Delta launch, where the view from Jetty Park is probably as good as from the VIP site.

We watched the MRO launch from the causeway site and it was OK.
*


No, not Jetty Park, you cannot see the pad from there.

Your best bet is Port Canaveral/cruise ship terminals, outside of CCAFS Gate 1. That is the closest spot at about 12 miles away.

Alternatively you could watch from Titusville along the river, but that is nearly 14 miles away. Unfortunately 41 is the furthest pad for watching a launch from if you are viewing outside the gates.

Playalinda Beach/MINWR had been open for every Atlas 5 launch through Inmarsat earlier this year...it's just 4.5 miles from the pad out there (almost as close as the press site is). But at MRO, NASA had it closed. So presumably, if it's a NASA payload NASA will order all of KSC property closed including Playalinda.
ljk4-1
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Nov 4 2005, 11:27 PM)
Will anything of note other than a microchip full of names be placed on NH before it is launched?
*


It is sad that there are so few poets on this site.

Only the fifth probe ever being sent out of our solar system - 28 years after the Voyagers - and nothing more than a US flag and a microchip full of names on it to serve as any kind of "greeting" to either our distant descendants or starfaring ETI who may find it one day.

Anyone going to do something about this? The Voyager Records were "rush" jobs, but they made it. And they did it without the Web or even cell phones to facilitate things.

Why hasn't The Planetary Society said word one about doing something?

And speaking of lack of poets and poetry, what is with the lame names given to US space probes these days? New Horizons? Deep Impact? Mars Observer? My, how obvious and uninspired. Why don't we just name them Big Metal Shiny Things Sent Into Space on a Rocket. There are plenty of relevant explorers and astronomers who deserve some kind honor by having their names on our robot adventurers.
djellison
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Nov 7 2005, 03:06 PM)
Anyone going to do something about this?


We disagree on the pros and cons of bolting messages onto spacecraft - but that's an opinion issue.

However it is outside the realm of opinion and simply a matter of what is or is not possible. It is TOO LATE to put something on NH.

Doug
ljk4-1
QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 7 2005, 10:09 AM)
We disagree on the pros and cons of bolting messages onto spacecraft - but that's an opinion issue.

However it is outside the realm of opinion and simply a matter of what is or is not possible. It is TOO LATE to put something on NH.

Doug
*


I guess that's my question then - why didn't SOMEBODY think of doing it when there was time? Does anyone honestly think that a US flag or a bunch of microscopic names are going to mean anything to anyone way out there in space and time?

There should be some kind of committee/organization that has definite plans for important information to be placed on all missions beyond our Sol system. I will be glad to help with such a concept when and where needed.

What a waste of an opportunity.
ugordan
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Nov 7 2005, 05:06 PM)
There are plenty of relevant explorers and astronomers who deserve some kind honor by having their names on our robot adventurers.
*


And what happens when such a probe blows up on the launch pad? No honor there, but you waste a good name.
I suppose I can totally understand the Japanese and their habit of renaming their spacecraft once they're up and about.
ljk4-1
QUOTE (ugordan @ Nov 7 2005, 10:26 AM)
And what happens when such a probe blows up on the launch pad? No honor there, but you waste a good name.
I suppose I can totally understand the Japanese and their habit of renaming their spacecraft once they're up and about.
*


So let us adopt the Japanese tactic and change it on the way. That is fine with me.

Or you can add a 2 to the next probe. Works for me too. Shows we don't give up from a few setbacks. And the person gets to be on TWO spacecraft.
mike
Who's to say what some alien species will think of our microchip when they find it? Maybe they'll think it's the Magical Word of God, or maybe they'll think it's recipes, or lists of star names, or the people who built the probe, or a table of some obscure scientific data that they'll someday be able to decipher, if they just keep trying, and trying, and trying some more..

A microchip with names on it could very arguably be more interesting than a simple gold phonograph and line etchings of naked people.

Poetic enough?
ljk4-1
QUOTE (mike @ Nov 7 2005, 01:19 PM)
Who's to say what some alien species will think of our microchip when they find it?  Maybe they'll think it's the Magical Word of God, or maybe they'll think it's recipes, or lists of star names, or the people who built the probe, or a table of some obscure scientific data that they'll someday be able to decipher, if they just keep trying, and trying, and trying some more..

A microchip with names on it could very arguably be more interesting than a simple gold phonograph and line etchings of naked people.

Poetic enough?
*


No, it isn't.
mike
Ah. It's easy to complain and never actually do anything yourself.
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