Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary UPDATE THEY DID IT

La geek forumo - Y fforwm geek - Otakufōramu.

Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary UPDATE THEY DID IT

Postby DerGolgo » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:48 am

This is a story of great poetry, I feel, so I'll share it here.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... see-3.html

In the 1970s, this probe was launched, to study the earth's magnetosphere.
Then, in 1983, that probe was told to turn on it's engines and depart it's home. To go on a long, lonesome journey, far away from it's masters. To study the source of all life on this ball, the sun itself.
It would embark on a far flung orbit, only rarely coming close to earth once more.
It did it's job, it seems, so eventually nobody cared about it much anymore. It was told to shut itself down and become quiet, a silent relic that would follow the Earth around the solar system, no longer measuring, no longer speaking. It's purpose fulfilled, it was abandoned, it was told to go away, even though it could do no different but to keep following us.
Now, once more, it's coming by us, close enough for us to hear it, could it still speak.
Which it does. Against all plans and expectations, it's still transmitting it's carrier signal. It's saying "hello", it's asking for orders. Ever loyal and ready to do it's maker's bidding, it's asking for instructions. What do we want it to do, please. It's silly to anthropomorphize, but ... it feels like a little dog. One that won't "go away" when told to, but will rather wag it's tail and look up expectantly, waiting for it's master to give it an order, ready to play.
Which is great. Except, we can't. It expects instructions - but we didn't expect we could make something so good. So loyal, so enduring. We didn't expect it to come back and be anything more than a dead lump of metal. We didn't expect 12 of it's 13 instruments to be still in working order, ready to look at what we point them at. We just didn't expect it to last the better part of four decades, no sir. So the machines we need to talk to it, we don't have them anymore. We scrapped them. Not even yesterday, but fifteen years ago.
Now, all we can do is listen to it's forlorn, humble request for instructions. As it dutifully tells us where it is, that it's ready to go to work. But as much as we want to, we cannot answer.

Emily Lakdawalla, quoting the loyal little machine's facebook page on planetary.org, wrote:The transmitters of the Deep Space Network, the hardware to send signals out to the fleet of NASA spacecraft in deep space, no longer includes the equipment needed to talk to ISEE-3. These old-fashioned transmitters were removed in 1999. Could new transmitters be built? Yes, but it would be at a price no one is willing to spend. And we need to use the DSN because no other network of antennas in the US has the sensitivity to detect and transmit signals to the spacecraft at such a distance.


It's not even that we really can't. There's no great natural phenomenon, no technical difficulty that stops us. But we won't spend the money. Fair enough, it's probably quite expensive for not a lot of data that could be gathered. Not really worth it just to talk to a single space probe. But this is where the poetry ends, where it stops being a tale of the loyally serving little emissary who's language we no longer speak. Here, it becomes a tale of bean counting and bureaucracy, of an opportunity wasted because of columns in a ledger. Yeah, there probably are much more worthwhile things to make such expenditures on. But ... a story full of poetic sadness becomes one that just sounds a little mean.

I hope that, maybe, the suggestion of the linked article's author, of the heroes of ham radio tracking it, that it goes a little further than that. The deep space network does have a lot of transmitters, or so I'm lead to understand. And it has a lot of entirely unreasonably overqualified and capable engineers working on those. People who understand the soul of a machine. People who might come up with a solution to use existing equipment. My phone can let me listen to radio, even though it has no FM demodulator. It does it with software. Maybe, as unlikely as it seems, someone comes up with a clever idea of how to repurpose a transmitter to emulate the one's that have been scrapped, with a fast, modern computer and some clever code taking the place of complicated circuits to generate the right signal. Maybe the problem is entirely different and there are no longer even the right amplifiers and antennas to transmit the right kind of frequency, or just in the right direction. But one can hope. It's not important. But it would be beautiful.


Image
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:18 am

Image
Anthropomorphic in it into a dog was shitty.

In all seriousness, I am a huge lover of space exploration and while it would be interesting to re establish communications with this probe and maybe repurpose it to a new task, I wonder if it wouldn't be a vanity project more than a practical application of our resources? Would the instruments on board have been usurped technologically in the past forty years to the point that their functions could be performed more efficiently with less expenditure? Keep in mind that it is not just the hardware needed to communicate with the probe, but the engineers to maintain and monitor them. Somewhere in NASA there is a team of engineers who have been watching Voyager for forty years. Is this on that same scale to deserve that same commitment? Apparently not. As the author surmises, how cool would it be if the private enthusiast establishes contact, though?
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby DerGolgo » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:22 am

All your points are entirely valid, beyond any doubt or criticism. Which makes this ever so much sadder, still. :cry:
Sometimes, the rational, logical, sensible thing is the one that hurts the most.
We have told it to die. It wouldn't. It keeps coming back, asking what we want it to do next. At least, we can't tell it to die once more. As much endowed with soul this machine might appear, it doesn't need any sweet release. It should carry on crying out for instructions. A brilliant testament to mankind outperforming it's own expectations for a change.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby guitargeek » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:12 am

Image
Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
User avatar
guitargeek
Master Metric Necromancer
 
Posts: 11848
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: East Goatfuck, Oklahoma
BANNER!:
US Oklahoma 46

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bo_9 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:31 am

They should give all the technical papers still available on that probe to the aforementioned HAM radio nuts and hobby space engineers. They could probably rather easily crowd-source a meant to control it given the documentation. Perhaps for safety verify that they have no means to change it's course, (can't have it falling on LA) but let them gather the information it carries and likely find new ways to look at the information it gathers.
When an old man dies a library burns...

"Every accident involving machinery begins with a single defect. Never forget that defect can be between your ears." - E.J. Potter
"I feel like i'm in "my little pony" HELL!!!!" -Goose
"Well, he never ever smiled, but he always seemed pleased."
"Just one bad day..."
User avatar
Bo_9
Ayatollah of Mayhem
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:47 am
Location: Filthy little worn-out, broken down, see through soul.

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Jaeger » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:56 am

Entropy at work.

--Jaeger
Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.


<<NEUTIQUAM ERRO>>
2018 Indian Scout
2003 Triumph Speedmaster 904 (Seeking New Opportunities)
User avatar
Jaeger
Baron von Scrapple
 
Posts: 9880
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:24 am
Location: NoVA
BANNER!:
US Virginia

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:32 am

It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby beck » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:13 am

You go little buddy! You can still resume your mission!

I just hope they don't manage to communicate with the satellite only to have something go wrong to keep it from attaining it's new orbit. That could be the saddest thing ever. Trying desperately to follow it's new orders after 30 years only to slowly drift off into cold black space never to be captured again. *tear*
Everything fun causes cancer, road rash, pregnancy, addiction, skin discoloration, broken bones, carpal tunnel, sprained eyeballs, rugburns, sideburns, exploding friends, insurance claims, insanity, etc... You can either lie safely in wait to shufflel'd off this mortall coile, or jerk it off hard and fast. Live life to the fullest, and use lots of lube

Beemer Dan.
User avatar
beck
Magnum Jihad
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:34 am
BANNER!:
US Kansas

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:11 am

Right. Right.
It wasn't just sent off someplace. It was "purloined" by a bunch of renegades, without exactly asking all those concerned for permission or approval.
On a hail-mary pass at a first-achievement in space. Into what was generally considered oblivion. Never to be seen again.
But not only is it coming back. Not only is it outperforming all expectations, not only is it really a heroic little probe that could, no.
It was one guy's orbit-fu that made it all happen - and they now have found, against all expectations, a satellite dish that can still talk to it, after all.

...

If there EVER was a story of triumph over adversity, about the over-qualified yet under-appreciated dreamers getting it done against all opposition ... this is it. There have to be at least a half-dozen script-writers just pouncing on this.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:18 am

I see Bruce Willis as the renegade scientist/part-time MotoGP racer who commandeered the satellite in question while taking a break from mentoring a young Valentino Rossi. John Turturro will play the crazy Russian scientist defector who knows how to "hotwire" it from his years in the KGB. Jennifer Connelly can play the love interest, and Jim Parsons as the egghead NASA tech who gets recruited by being asked "Wanna do something crazy?" with a cameo by fellow Big Bang Theory alum Simon Helberg as an enterprising astronaut just to send the internet all abuzz.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby DerGolgo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:29 am

You need Paul Giamatti in there, somewhere. Definitely Paul Giamatti. Good guy, bad guy, incidental character, doesn't matter. This screams for Paul Giamatti.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:02 pm

Ooo shit yeah, I forgot the put-upon engineer (who has a devoted but homely wife) who designed, managed the launch of and oversaw the original mission for the satellite before it was unceremoniously taken from him. He could be a total dick through the whole thing, but still make people feel sorry for him by the end when a single tear rolls down his face when they re-establish contact with "his baby".
After seeing his portrayal of Harvey Pekar, Giamatti definitely has this role.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Beemer Dan » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:07 pm

I'm thinking we get all of those folks to do the voices and Pixar to do the visuals.

That's a pretty amazing event really, I wonder what else we've put out there will find it's way home?
They swore it was the correct one, but swearing doesn't make a sprocket fit where it doesn't want to. --WeAintFoundShit
User avatar
Beemer Dan
Dark Poohbah
 
Posts: 6529
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Oregon
BANNER!:
Cascadia

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby guitargeek » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:06 am

guitargeek wrote:Image

Nobody saw that movie.
Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
User avatar
guitargeek
Master Metric Necromancer
 
Posts: 11848
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: East Goatfuck, Oklahoma
BANNER!:
US Oklahoma 46

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:02 am

guitargeek wrote:Nobody saw that movie.


Wrong
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby DerGolgo » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:57 am

guitargeek wrote:Nobody saw that movie.


We've all seen that movie.

But the Voyager probes were never abandoned. They were never forgotten, ignored or disregarded.
Heck, it was headline news when NASA worked out Voyager 1 had crossed the heliopause. They are still tracking signals from that. When Voyager 2 gets there in the next two years or so, it's instruments will provide the first direct direct measurements of the interstellar medium.
Mankind never stopped paying attention to the Voyager twins, they're still on the payroll after all these years.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bigshankhank » Sat May 24, 2014 6:56 am

DerGolgo wrote:I hope that, maybe, the suggestion of the linked article's author, of the heroes of ham radio tracking it, that it goes a little further than that. The deep space network does have a lot of transmitters, or so I'm lead to understand. And it has a lot of entirely unreasonably overqualified and capable engineers working on those. People who understand the soul of a machine. People who might come up with a solution to use existing equipment. My phone can let me listen to radio, even though it has no FM demodulator. It does it with software. Maybe, as unlikely as it seems, someone comes up with a clever idea of how to repurpose a transmitter to emulate the one's that have been scrapped, with a fast, modern computer and some clever code taking the place of complicated circuits to generate the right signal. Maybe the problem is entirely different and there are no longer even the right amplifiers and antennas to transmit the right kind of frequency, or just in the right direction. But one can hope. It's not important. But it would be beautiful.


Image



Looks like we may get your wish after all.
http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/23/5745326/spaceship-come-home-isee-3-reboot-project
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby Bo_9 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:56 am

When an old man dies a library burns...

"Every accident involving machinery begins with a single defect. Never forget that defect can be between your ears." - E.J. Potter
"I feel like i'm in "my little pony" HELL!!!!" -Goose
"Well, he never ever smiled, but he always seemed pleased."
"Just one bad day..."
User avatar
Bo_9
Ayatollah of Mayhem
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:47 am
Location: Filthy little worn-out, broken down, see through soul.

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary

Postby DerGolgo » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:13 am

!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!

That.
Says.
It.
All.

Even if they find it's not quite working anymore, I must say.
This proves it. Humankind, you rock. Among your numbers are those who are just too whatever adjective to give up when they're told to, no. They bugger on, while others point and laugh, and against official resistance and feet dragging, technological problems and an earthquake, they get it done. And ...

Elizabeth Howell on news.yahoo.com wrote:Commands will be sent through Arecibo from "McMoon's", a command center Wingo and Cowing originally established in Mountain View, Calif. to restore old images from the NASA Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in the 1960s. McMoons got its name from its location: an abandoned McDonald's at the NASA Ames Research Center.


They get it done from an abandoned MikkyD!!!

I won't bother pleading for Hollywood to make this movie. They already are. This is just too fantastic a story for them not to.
It's such a beautiful story, one might almost suppose it was set up on purpose like that. To increase the public perception of the individuals that do the brilliant stuff that, taken together, is NASA. Or get more kids interested in science and engineering. Whatever it is, such a vast (and, honestly, sublime) conspiracy would be the only thing that could make this story any better.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary UPDATE THEY DI

Postby guitargeek » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:31 am

I'm a big fan of the work they do at McMoon's! Anybody else follow what they did with the old lunar tapes?

http://www.moonviews.com/

phpBB [media]


Image
Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
User avatar
guitargeek
Master Metric Necromancer
 
Posts: 11848
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: East Goatfuck, Oklahoma
BANNER!:
US Oklahoma 46

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary UPDATE THEY DI

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:18 pm

It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
User avatar
Bigshankhank
Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
 
Posts: 7401
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Deep In The Swamps of South Florida
BANNER!:
US Florida

Re: Earth forgot how to talk to it's emissary UPDATE THEY DI

Postby DerGolgo » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:26 am

The little probe that wouldn't die. And the space geeks who believed in it.
YES!
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.
User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
 
Posts: 12023
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:34 am
Location: It's bad enough I gotta live here, don't make me say it, too ...
BANNER!:
Jolly Roger Alternative


Return to Cyber Terror

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest