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The Astronomy thread

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby steveastrouk » Fri Feb 09, 2018 03:51 am

chrisboote wrote:How are NASA's costs so high?


Nasa builds NOTHING, it subcontracts EVERYthing, and they all want to make their own profits, and I think they are on a costs+ basis.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Pat » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:10 am

chrisboote wrote:How are NASA's costs so high?

Probably a lot of factors but I suspect the answer is the same as "Why is wine in a restaurant so expensive compared to an off licence?" NASA has to balance the books on the organisation as a whole and I suspect throwing things upwards very hard is the profit-making arm of the business; a business which also pays people to talk to satellites which have just woken up long after their funding has run out, or keep probes going longer than expected, or live stream video from space of publish amazing photos on an ever diminishing government budget. And we don't know what the REAL costs of SpaceX are - if Musk is bankrolling it, all comparisons are off.

Economics is a funny business. A few years back, medical researchers found a chemical called MPTP which would give experimental animals something very like Parkinsons disease in terms of symptoms and response to treatment. This opened the doors to a lot of research projects. After a few months, the company supplying the chemical put the costs up. And again. Eventually it went from (fading memory here) about $1 a gram to $100 a gram. Accusations of profiteering flew until it was shown that the cost of manufacture had gone up - becasue the thing people wanted to buy was a byproduct of the production of another drug - MPPP - a powerful painkiller. The company had no use for the MPTP, so sold it at a nominal cost rather than throw it away. But when people wanted more, the company had to scale up production of MPPP to make the by-product it to order - which was expensive as the market wasn't expanding!
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Feb 14, 2018 05:22 pm

Who says astronomy isn't romantic? Here's some Hearts on Mars :D

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby SANEAlex » Tue Mar 06, 2018 06:10 pm

Another chance to put your name in space whilst the probe does a bit of close up astronomy of our local star.

http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The- ... me-to-Sun/

And keeping up the tradition as its been done at least once before though i think possibly more.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:34 am

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Sat May 05, 2018 10:13 am

This is just brilliant - a short film by Erik Wernquist, to the backdrop of one of my childhood heroes, Carl Sagan, explaining our need to explore the final frontier . . .

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby SANEAlex » Sat May 05, 2018 10:43 am

For those who have their names on the Mars Insight probe or otherwise interested the launch is being live streamed here launch due 12:05 BST 11:05GMT about 20 mins from posting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMDvPCGeE0
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Sat May 05, 2018 11:12 am

SANEAlex wrote:For those who have their names on the Mars Insight probe or otherwise interested the launch is being live streamed here launch due 12:05 BST 11:05GMT about 20 mins from posting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMDvPCGeE0
'nk you! Just saw your post in time to catch the launch :thumbl: I never get tired of seeing space rockets lift off - brings out the 5 year old in me every time
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby chrisboote » Tue May 08, 2018 07:42 am

Grace Speaker wrote: I never get tired of seeing space rockets lift off - brings out the 5 year old in me every time


Freud would have a theory* about that ... ;)

* Well, I say a theory; the same theory he had about anything, really
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Tue May 08, 2018 09:24 am

chrisboote wrote:
Grace Speaker wrote: I never get tired of seeing space rockets lift off - brings out the 5 year old in me every time


Freud would have a theory* about that ... ;)

* Well, I say a theory; the same theory he had about anything, really
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby chrisboote » Wed Jun 27, 2018 09:13 pm

Using your old computer to shop for a new computer online is rather cruel
It's like asking your dying wife if she has any cute girlfriends
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 09:05 pm

Beautiful conjunction of the new moon and the Light of Elendil* in the western sky right now :D






* Venus to the non-Tolkein obsessives :wink:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:51 pm

Today in 1969, this was the view out of the Apollo 11 window

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Penners » Wed Jul 18, 2018 07:16 am

For those in the UK who might be interested, there is a lunar eclipse on the 27th July. It's in the early evening so we won't have to stay up until silly o'clock to see it. :D

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Jul 18, 2018 07:56 pm

Feegled from World and Science: The first ever picture of another galaxy (Andromeda), taken by Isaac Roberts in 1887!! :shock: :D

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