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Evan
06-13-2005, 03:35 PM
They did it again. The mirror on the deep impact comet exploration mission is screwed up, just like Hubble. I can't believe they didn't learn from the Hubble fiasco.

There is also some info at this site about a Bogus Mars Chain Letter.

http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1529_1.asp

CCWKen
06-13-2005, 07:03 PM
Oh come now, your talking about a US Government agency. They never learn from mistakes. They just keep throwing money at it until it's fixed or "their" Senators fail to get re-elected. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

Evan
06-13-2005, 07:20 PM
Unfortunately this one can't be fixed. NASA is trying to spin it that there won't be a significant effect on performance and that the images can be corrected by post processing. The fact remains that the resolving power of the main telescope is four times worse than planned. All the sharpening and deconvolution algorithms can't replace missing data. NASA'a track record is pretty dismal in the last couple of decades or so regardless of the few outstanding successes like Galileo and the Mars rovers. The disturbing thing is the source of the errors. They are usually a systemic failure, not a case of running into some unexpected circumstance that could not have been predicted. If we lose one more shuttle the US manned space program is history.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 06-13-2005).]

CCWKen
06-13-2005, 10:23 PM
Yep, I read where they may get 6 meters per pixel. That's a far cry from the intended 1.4 meters per pixel. They won't be able to distinguish a bolder from a car at that rate. I guess they'll assume there's no cars up there. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

The sad part is that the company that made the optics is still getting paid and more money will be spent to make the images usable. On top of that, the same company will probably be involved in another NASA project. Like anything made to order (spec), it's based on measurements. Sounds like someone didn't know measurements or equipment change with temperature.

Sad indeed.

darryl
06-13-2005, 10:57 PM
Yeah, that is sad. Egg on their faces, again. This was a preventable thing, and it should have been caught. What is that, incompetence, sloppy workmanship, cost cutting gone too deep?

Evan
06-14-2005, 01:43 AM
It is incomprehensible to me. The required tests are cheap and easy to do. They can be performed in an afternoon with materials lying about the average home workshop. The size of the mirror is not important.

A Ronchi test can qualify a mirror to 1/20 wave accuracy and costs literally a few dollars to do. You can tell at a glance if the mirror is accurate. Why didn't they do it????

http://www.nova-optical.com/ronchi.htm

Tuckerfan
06-14-2005, 03:02 AM
It get's worse, NASA's awarded the contract to build the shuttle replacement to Boeing and LM, rather than Rutan! http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2005/jun/HQ_05146_contractor.html

pete913
06-14-2005, 03:21 AM
The only thing impressive to me about NASA is that there hasn't been a popular uprising to kill the funding for it and spend it on things needed right here on earth that are a lot more pressing than space telescopes. For the amount of tax money spent on it in the last 40 yrs, they should be in full scale operation growing money on Pluto by now, instead of having some wack job go on tv and try to sell their grand plan of settling siginificant amounts of the earths population on other planets, which I witnessed on C Span once with my jaw practically on the floor. Back when Eisenhower warned against the military industrial complex, entities like NASA were exactly what he was talking about.

[This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 06-14-2005).]

Spin Doctor
06-14-2005, 09:14 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pete913:
The only thing impressive to me about NASA is that there hasn't been a popular uprising to kill the funding for it and spend it on things needed right here on earth that are a lot more pressing than space telescopes. For the amount of tax money spent on it in the last 40 yrs, they should be in full scale operation growing money on Pluto by now, instead of having some wack job go on tv and try to sell their grand plan of settling siginificant amounts of the earths population on other planets, which I witnessed on C Span once with my jaw practically on the floor. Back when Eisenhower warned against the military industrial complex, entities like NASA were exactly what he was talking about.

[This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 06-14-2005).]</font>


Let's see, last year NASA got around $15.6B in the Federal budget. And I will grant you that a significant amount was wasted, often on programs that Congress basically funds initially then decides they don't like. At the same time the domestic side of the budget, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education and all the rest of the alphabet soup in DC got $819B which if you took the NASA budget and divided up proportionally to all of those agengies and departments it would of increased their bidgets a whole 1.9%. Not chicken feed but an amount of money that would really accomplish any yhing Earth shattering either. Put it another way NASA gets amproximately .6% of the Federal Budget.

Wirecutter
06-14-2005, 12:09 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Spin Doctor:

Let's see, last year NASA got around $15.6B in the Federal budget.</font>

Well, let's see. If I could just have a couple of months of interest on that figure, I'll promise to go away and not waste any taxpayer dollars. Really.

-M

jackb
06-14-2005, 12:47 PM
The big problem is the atmosphere of invicibility. How many of us would still have our jobs or our customers if we had made a mistake of that magnitude twice? Why isn't the money going to that mirror subcontractor reduced everytime they screw up a mirror? They dropped the resolution by a third; their money gets cut by an equal amount. Let's see how fast they learn to correct their errors then.

Jack

Paul Alciatore
06-14-2005, 12:50 PM
I'm not really into trashing NASA. I believe and support the space program. But not the c*** that seems to come with it. What they need to do is put the fun back into it instead of running it like a business/political cow.

The head man MUST be chosen from the scientists or asronauts, not from the government bureaucracy. That is an absolute must. No managers allowed in management.

The attitudes there must be changed. Space should be FUN. Not work or a way to get ahead or a way to just get a government pension. Why do space telescopes fail? Because they are overmanaged and controlled. If either of those scopes had been drug out into the parking lot and been used for a star party before launching them, then the mistakes would have been found. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They are too precious to have a little FUN with. God forbid.

God save the world from managers.

Paul A.

lynnl
06-14-2005, 01:55 PM
The newly appointed Director is a scientific type. I read an article a few days ago, to the effect that he's going to do some major house cleaning.

Evan
06-14-2005, 02:35 PM
I don't think he will be able to fix the problems. They run too wide and deep. This isn't new. Ever since the beginning of the shuttle program and especially the Challanger failure no real improvement has happened.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> From Aviation Week, April 2003.

The Columbia accident investigation board is beginning to embrace assertions that the same management loopholes and flaws that resulted in the Challenger accident 17 years ago also played key roles in the Columbia tragedy...

Such findings would mean that in effect similar NASA program deficiencies are directly culpable in the death of 14 astronauts and the loss of two shuttle orbiters worth $4 billion.

Experts last week told the board that "the problems that existed at the time of the Challenger accident have not been fixed"

What that assessment indicates is that not only could the Columbia accident have been prevented, but that the Challenger management findings made years ago provided ample direction on how to avoid the Columbia tragedy.
</font>
Here (http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_awst_story.jsp?id=news/04283shuttle.xml)


We will see. The new administrator is Michael Griffin and he is an engineer. He has already sacked the administators of the shuttle/ISS team and Rear Admiral Craig E. Steidle, the head of the Moon/Mars teams. That's a start but I don't know how he is going to handle problems that are outside his direct control such as this mirror snafu at Ball Aerospace.

sauer38h
06-14-2005, 10:00 PM
NASA doesn't design anything. NASA shuffles money and contracts around. The Space Telescope mirrors were bungled by Perkin-Elmer in Connecticut. This clanger is by Ball Aerospace in Colorado. No connection between the two that I've heard of. Saying it's the same people making the same mistake is like blaming a Ford screwup on GM.

NASA's too old. A government agency only has a few years before the professional featherbedders move in, and at NASA they seem to be there to stay.

I don't believe that story about the temperature change in the test optics. That's much too simple. I've never met an optician who was too dumb to know about temperature problems. Of course, I haven't met them all.

Sometimes the problem really is simple stuff, though. I once caught a major error on a space telescope/camera being built for the Strategic Defense Initiative (DoD, no NASA involvement) - I calculated that the telescope as designed wasn't going to fit inside the nosecone of the launch vehicle (a Titan II). The dumb turkeys on the CAD systems hadn't caught it.

Is that classic, or what?

BillH
06-14-2005, 10:53 PM
Rutan has put the fun back into it, I just hope the government doesnt become a road block to his endeavors. Sounds like Boeing and the other company is going to provide another fleecing of America. Smaller companies who think out of the box is the way to go.

Evan
06-14-2005, 11:03 PM
"Saying it's the same people making the same mistake is like blaming a Ford screwup on GM."

No, it isn't the same people but they are in the same trade. Heck, I know what went wrong with the Hubble mirror so I expect the people at Ball do too. There isn't any excuse. The people responsible should be fired. Firing the upper management at NASA isn't going to fix the problem.

crossthreaded
06-14-2005, 11:46 PM
People do make mistakes, no matter how much you pay them, or how important the job is. They are supposed to be caught by the quality depts. of the organizations. It comes down to how thurough a job the Test & Integration folks do, or are allowed to do. The folks at what used to be Perkin Elmer saved a few days or weeks time on a system level test, so they could put the damn thing into storage for years. It's OK to fail a system that might have taken a decade's labor to save a man-month or so of budget. Remember LockMart already built a Space Shuttle replacement. It just didn't work. And NASA wasn't willing to comitt $$ to fix it. Folks who don't agree with the screw it up with-in schedule & budget attitude aren't working in Aero Space anymore.

Tuckerfan
06-15-2005, 04:34 AM
I'd like to point out that the current mess in Iraq has set the US back about twice as much as what the proposed mission to the Moon and Mars is projected to cost us. Given the mistakes that have been made in Iraq, and the number of people killed (both Coalition forces and innocent Iraqis from terrorist attacks), it seems to me that we'd have been much better off going to Mars.

jackb
06-15-2005, 11:56 AM
Oh, good! Then we can foist our idea of self government on the martians. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif
"E.T. says you go home!"

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Jack http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by jackb (edited 06-15-2005).]

Tuckerfan
06-15-2005, 01:03 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jackb:
Oh, good! Then we can foist our idea of self government on the martians. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif
"E.T. says you go home!"

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Jack http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by jackb (edited 06-15-2005).]</font>Fine. And we'll take our Reese's Pieces with us! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//tongue.gif

dicks42000
06-15-2005, 05:58 PM
I never did understand government contracts.
A company builds something for NASA, gets paid & it doesn't work. Then they get more work from NASA...??? Canada buys used subs from Britian & then spends yet more money to repair them ????
If I sold you a heating system that didn't work right, you would expect it fixed at MY cost, or you'd sue. Why are governments & large corporations subject to different rules of business ?
Any bright ideas? I sure don't get it.
R. Jackson

wierdscience
06-15-2005, 10:54 PM
NASA has the same management problem as any other poorly managed company.The managers cannot do the job of managing effectively from behind a desk and four walls.Put them on the shop floor,fire the rest.

I always get a kick out of the "team effort" they push.When there is a "Team Failure" it's always one or two people who get scape goated so why would any one person or even two or three stick a neck out and risk making a decision only to have the're "team" point the way to the chopping block?
That brings me to the other problem I see,too many indians and not enough chiefs.

Education has been pushed beyond sexual level cult fetish.It's stupid,I'm not knocking the need for education,but there are many people out there who are very intelligent capable people who don't have degrees that are frowned upon by Nasa simpliy for that reason,it's practicaly biggotry.I have met and worked with a few engineers from our local test faciltiy.Some were really bright people who know the're stuff,others however got thier paper out of a cracker-jacks box and have no business being allowed around anything with moving parts,let alone be allowed to design anything

I think the name should be changed,shorted to be exact,NSA is already taken,but it would serve to focus resources.National SPACE Administration would be a nice change I think.Drop the dead end projects like the SST,all the enviromental crap and focus on space.

Oh,and I do wish they would stop this ***** footing around poking things with a stick,timid unmanned crap.Granted some of it has worked,but a lot of money did go down a hole never to be seen again.The Shuttle is old,very old,there should have been a replacement in the pipeline years ago.

As to the question of is NASA worth it? The answer with all of it's fualts is yes!The future of mankind is out among the stars,not here on earth.Life here on earth is a write off,we will be able to solve some of our problems here,but not many.I believe it was intended for us to branch out from this planet,not stay here and remain stagnant teetering on the edge of extinction.

gunbuilder
07-10-2005, 09:55 PM
crossthreaded said "They are supposed to be caught by the quality depts. of the organizations."

Not when I tested Electronics for a living. Even if it wasn't part of the test, if it wasn't right I didn't pass it. I was loading software in a small voice over IP device, no red led blinking. I asked the lineleader, she said good catch hold the whole batch. Led in backwards, all units passed SMT inspection.

Quality starts with everyone in the company, top to bottom. QC never powered a single item. Just used eye or scope to look at everything.

Gee, I hope that company can get more orders, I might see if I can get my job back.

Paul

wierdscience
07-10-2005, 10:12 PM
Anybody hear if they still plan to launch the shuttle Wendsday?

tattoomike68
07-10-2005, 10:32 PM
oh yes, its a go so far.

http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight/main/index.html

Weston Bye
07-11-2005, 12:55 PM
Wierdscience wrote:
Education has been pushed beyond sexual level cult fetish.It's stupid,I'm not knocking the need for education,but there are many people out there who are very intelligent capable people who don't have degrees that are frowned upon by Nasa simpliy for that reason,it's practicaly biggotry.I have met and worked with a few engineers from our local test faciltiy.Some were really bright people who know the're stuff,others however got thier paper out of a cracker-jacks box and have no business being allowed around anything with moving parts,let alone be allowed to design anything.

Jerry Pournelle -http://www.jerrypournelle.com/ -calls it Credentialism. Seems now that credentials have more value than demonstrated skill or ability. A resume with no degree gets bypassed. Renders 'them thats doin' (myself included)unemployable if they loose the current job.

Wes