Long-Distance Spacecraft Engineering *** Posted From Centauri Dreams

Viv Drewa - The Owl Lady

Posted: 30 Dec 2014 09:08 AM PST

I find few things more fascinating than remote fixes to distant spacecraft. We’ve used them surprisingly often, an outstanding case in point being the Galileo mission to Jupiter, launched in 1989. The failure of the craft’s high-gain antenna demanded that controllers maximize what they had left, using the low-gain antenna along with data compression and receiver upgrades on Earth to perform outstanding science. Galileo’s four-track tape recorder, critical for storing data for later playback, also caused problems that required study and intervention from the ground.

But as we saw yesterday, Galileo was hardly the first spacecraft to run into difficulties. The K2 mission, reviving Kepler by using sophisticated computer algorithms and photon pressure from the Sun, is a story in progress, with the discovery of super-Earth HIP 116454 b its first success. Or think all the way back to Mariner 10, launched in…

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2014 in review

Writing Is Hard Work

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.  I didn’t do half bad!

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Put it in writing and kick butt in 2015

Live to Write - Write to Live

A New Year is just around the corner.

happy New Year hat 4I do for the upcoming year what I also do for my birthdays. I don’t set resolutions, instead I set life goals. I write down what I want to work on and see accomplished in the next 12 months. New Year’s isn’t a time for me to party as much as it is a time for reflection.

First, I start with general goals grouped into categories under:

  • Health/Fitness
  • Career
  • Fun/Hobbies
  • Home

Then I identify major goals in each category. For example, in the career category, I am going to focus my writing on parenting this year. (Don’t worry, I’ll still write about my chickens.) I plan on pitching articles to, and writing for, national parenting magazines.

I also have *two* manuscripts that need to get brushed off, spiffed up and sent out for review. Enough is enough. Time to kick those little…

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Character Interview Number Twenty-Three Ronan – Shifter

Library of Erana

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s) Ronan

Age: I appear to be about twenty five.

I live primarily in the Atlantic ocean, but roam extensively as a shape shifter. I make frequent visits to Ireland as I have a deep appreciation for the landscape. As a shifter and a creature of the water, I realize I can be very fickle. I don’t think this hurts the people around me, I think they just need to accept it.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I often come across to humans as having no morals at all, but that’s just not true. Just because I don’t share human morals doesn’t mean I have none.

Would you kill for those you love? I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

Would you die for those you love? Probably not, but who knows? My moods and feelings can change quite drastically.

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Winter’s Frost

Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons

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Stepping into the black of frosty night fingers lose warm mittens

Calling me hither to view magic sights more to see tomorrow will be

A yawn before dawn, God’s breath blankets all with freezing air

Below the moon of white glowing above so high and bright

There lies a patio table covered for winter with a frozen top

Patterns glisten in blinking lights below inky skies above

Where air stops to rest on camel-colored cloth

Stand back to get a better view

Snowflakes sparkle upon a frozen surface leaving

Speckled dust of diamonds shaved and carved to perfection

Diminutive sizes mirroring heads of straight pins in shining silver

Once draping fabric folds to dance within windy music stiffen to the touch

Brushing along one side, an unusual sound is heard

Kind of crunching, more of moaning, not quite frozen.

Morning light with sky of blue begins anew

Frost is sprinkled like powdered sugar everywhere

Wrought iron…

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