A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

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A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:42 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0214.shtml

Sometimes stuff breaks almost before you get it home.

Other times, stuff keeps on working, seemingly forever.

Well NASA's Mars Opportunity rover certainly falls into the latter category, having exceeded its planned operational lifetime by a factor of almost 40 -- before succumbing to the harshness of the Martian environment last year.

Geez, I wish NASA made washing machines and vacuum cleaners!
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby Weasel » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:19 am

Ah, no mention of the country that put it on Mars? Seems you're all very quick to throw barbs at the US, and very slow to give it any credit ? With out the deep pockets of one of largest economies in the world, you'd all have next to no space science happening.. :-)
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby par_annoyed » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:50 am

Actually, I don't agree. Perhaps we have been lucky, but ...
Age of some of our appliances (in years). They all work just fine.
Fridge - 20
Freezer - 5 (previous one lasted 30)
Induction Hob 14
Oven 10
Dishwasher 30
Vacuum cleaners various 35, 10, 5
Washer 10
Computers several - oldest is 10, runs Linux
sound system 40 (75w rms (x2) stereo as well )
Black and decker drills (3 off) oldest is 35.

But yeah, hardly fair to compare to the Mars Rovers....but not everything is crap.
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:54 am

I guess I'm just unlucky (or hard on my gear).

Washing machine -- I've got an average of three years per machine over the past six years -- first Samsung was making a hell of a racket before it was replaced under the "towering inferno recall" policy and the replacement is starting to do the same.

Two kettles in 5 years -- but they are el-cheapo Red-shed ones.

Vacuum cleaner (Miele brand) is making an awful rattling noise after less than 3 years.

And they're not even being used on Mars! :-)

Buy budget -- get crap I guess.
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby roygbiv » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:34 am

I have a swiss army knife I bought in 1988 and works as good as the day I bought it. But, it is one of those items that is easily lost. The point is that it is the way you look after things that will give them their longevity.
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby Wetherman » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:49 am

Weasel wrote:Ah, no mention of the country that put it on Mars? Seems you're all very quick to throw barbs at the US, and very slow to give it any credit ? With out the deep pockets of one of largest economies in the world, you'd all have next to no space science happening.. :-)

+1 Weasel
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby SeeNoEvil » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:38 am

Before Spirit and Opportunity were launched NASA allowed people to register their names online, and a DVD (or similar) containing all those names was attached to each of the landers for those two rovers. My eldest son (still quite young back then!) and I took the "opportunity" to have our names on another planet. Kind of anyway, if you could find some way to read the disk!

So I've always had a soft spot for those two rovers, even if when I browsed the list of "names" at one point I also noticed that a lot of the "names" were actually vulgar comments and similar. I don't know if NASA made any attempt to cleanse it before committing to disk and affixing to the spacecraft but I suspect that would have been a bit difficult and time consuming (and maybe also pointless), so my guess is probably not.

[EDIT: It seems it was actually the The Planetary Society rather than NASA that collected names and burnt to a DVD - see http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/m ... space.html - but I can't find a searchable list now for the Spirit/Opportunity missions.]
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby SeeNoEvil » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:16 am

Something else that I enjoyed back in 2006 - so long ago now that I had to go to the "Wayback Machine" to find a copy:

https://web.archive.org/web/20061107220 ... node/54360

Found when searching for a copy of my certificate to "prove" that my name really is on Mars, somewhere, twice.

:-)
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby SeeNoEvil » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:36 pm

One more for the road...

https://xkcd.com/2111/

Image
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Re: A lost Opportunity (14 Feb, 2019)

Postby phill » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:41 pm

Weasel wrote: very slow to give it any credit ?


what credit have we so callously missed
sub prime loans, excessive warmongering, arms sales to unstable nations OUR youth will some day have to buy back with their blood ( again ) ,
electing a complete dick head ( multiple counts ) trickle down economics, best not get into monsanto and friends thats just to big , anti climate change saving policies,
corporate lobbying to the point who runs the country becomes a debatable issue,

just tell me what else to add to the list and we can organise a huge combined thank you from all of us
Last edited by phill on Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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