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The spacecraft DSCOVR was put on moth balls because of political concerns? Well, recently, they were looking to possible refurbishment. What will it mean to science? An interesting comment, I read about it is that some people say with this tool we can make “good science” if the sensors work like they should and collect much needed data. Does this mean we are now looking at “poor quality” data now, I wonder therefore, poor science? Is the spacecraft worth launching and will it fill a need?


It's pretty safe to say they are looking at incomplete data, not poor data. They have made advancements that allow for greater resolution, which is the amount of data in a given space on screen, which improves our visibility into the night sky, but this doesn't mean we weren't looking at the same sky in less detail before, or a "poor" sky view.

Part of NASAs biggest challenge is getting into space, let alone affording to do so every time there is a scientific breakthrough. This is why bundles of experiments go up on every flight (almost every), and why it's so tragic when we loose payloads because with trips like mars you have a good window every 2 to 2.5 years or so, and they are often highly anticipated experiments going to a number of space destinations. Just look at Hubble and Kepler Space Telescopes... HUGE following including myself.
I’m a fan of the Hubbell, too, speaking of which, I was under the impression if it wasn’t for public opinion the Hubbell telescope expenditure would have been terminated. Unless, there has been a turn around in the modifications, the view is different, but as you said with improved resolution better. I may disagree with you that we will be looking at the same sky if I understand that correctly? If we backup a tad maybe things will be clearer and so will the data? Poor science, I would define as inconclusive and there will always be lots of that.

Sorry, I do not understand the connection with Mars to this launch? Are you saying planet position is factored in?
Bluedoll wrote:
Sorry, I do not understand the connection with Mars to this launch? Are you saying planet position is factored in?

That's the only launch window that I have memorized. It's optimal to launch to mars every two and a half years or so, as we can't very well boost a rocket around the sun to land on mars... we have to wait till mars is going to come close and launch in anticipation of it's passing earth. Even then it's still really far away by earth standards, so they like to catch it when it's as close as it's going to get.

If they are considering a manned mission to mars, which they are, then position of the planets is extremely important, as we probably won't burn fuel for the entire flight home, but would use Mars gravity to sling-shot us back towards earth, so the position and timing will produce an open window which, if missed, would mean disaster for the men who wouldn't be able to get home before their oxygen runs out. NASA has no rescue vehicle.

Come to think about it... that has never happened. American heroes in space who we know are going to die, who would probably be televised saying goodbye to the world before their inevitable deaths, but it could happen when we send people to Mars. A couple people in the forums already said they would go to Mars even if it was a one way trip, but they don't realize that one way to mars is easy enough that we could have put people on mars already, but the trip back is decidedly more complicated because the earth and mars move out of position quickly, so it's likely the first manned mission to mars might span the two and a half year launch window that we already use to make it easier to get probes to mars.

Imagine going to Mars, but knowing that you have to be there for two years. I think time would travel very slowly in a place like that. You wouldn't have the normal distractions of life on earth keeping you busy. Just miles of red landscape, and billions of tests the scientist on earth would want you to run. We'll have to pipe them some TV and interwebs! Smile

I'm writing you this message from the surface of Mars! It's red and hot here. That is all. Smile
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