Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hubble vs Pole

My blog entries have been a bit sporadic lately. Most of that can be blamed on a lack of inspiration as the doldrums of winter take hold of everyone here. We’re all still doing fairly well down here although some “toastiness” is becoming apparent in many as tempers flair, little matters blow up into big deals, more division in the crew arises.

Now I have another good reason for my lack of writing…I can blame NASA.

We’ve just been informed that we will have virtually no internet connectivity for 2 days coming up on July 25-26. Seems that our TDRS satellite is being commandeered by NASA to support some space shuttle going up to fix the Hubble telescope. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad normally but last week we also lost our ability to connect to our other satellites, Marisat and GOES, when our dish broke. At first it was just the elevation motor, for which we have a replacement, but now the elevation jack screw broke (just like it did last year) and that problem is proving harder to fix.

So instead of having about 11 hours of satellite connectivity a day, through which we get our internet access, phone connections to the outside world and up/downloading of science and other data, we’re down to about 6 hours a day at the moment using just the TDRS satellite. And now later this week, we’re not even going to have TDRS.

I know this station survived for a long time before “the internets” and communication to the world used to be through short wave radio. But now we’re all accustomed to checking our Yahoo accounts, catching up on the latest news, researching vacation destinations that we’ll be heading to in a few months and calling home for a few precious hours each day. People plan their breaks and lunch times around the satellite schedule.

I guess this is yet another way in which we are supporting science. I can accept that the Hubble telescope repair is more important than my need to Facebook. It’s a good thing that we’re scheduled to get the satellite back for our own use on a Sunday because I doubt any work would get done after 2 days of internet deprivation.


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Heidi.

Just Think Heidi, being down there, in the land of nowhere, it should be like being on a manned mission to Mars. One thing for sure, at lest your crew doesn't have to worry about air-locks. Plus, the return trip wont take 18 months to get home.

As far as Nibiru/Planet X goes, last night I saw a star in the southern sky about 11 pm Eastern time from here in Paw Paw Michigan, That I don't think is normal.

The reason I say this, is because when I stand under a street light, all the norml stars wash out, But this one star (which I might add is larger in diameter then any other star, anywhere in the hole sky, Including Sirus)..Is not washed out by the light, from the street light. This is NOT normal.

Other then the Moon, ALL stars should be washed out of view when one stands under a street light.

If you have any problem locating the star I speak of, just stand under a light and look at the night sky. You will see it and see what I mean.

Ross. Paw Paw, Michigan, U.S.A.
P.S. Love that name.

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Tara said...

I think this "abnormal" star to which you refer is the planet Jupiter. Jupiter was at opposition only last week (ie directly opposite the sun as viewed from earth) and hence at its brightest apparition. It is currently bright enough to stand out even in light-polluted city skies.

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ross, stop smoking joints bro.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Neal said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're having so many internet issues. If there were no internet, I'm not so sure it would be worth repeat winters at pole.


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