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Guess When Mir Will Splash 652

ardiri writes: "CNN is reporting that the Russian space station MIR's dumping is to be delayed until mid March, adding approximately 2 weeks to the original dumping date of March 6. Maybe the /. saga of MIR postings will stop once the leftover "chunks" (weighing up to 700kg/1500lb) hit the bottom of the ocean halfway between New Zealand and Chile. Make a mental note, stay away from that area in mid march." Okay, I'm tired of this. It's time to settle Mir's fate once and for all - with a contest.

Guess When Mir Will Come Down

I've been irritated with Mir for a while. It's up. It's down. It's up. It's down. It's saved. It's dead. It's broken. It's fixed. It's broken again. It's fixed again. Weeks ago, I started putting notes on Mir story submissions that came in, which said, "No more Mir stories until pieces start falling!". I even promised that we wouldn't post any more about Mir's troubles. But here I am, breaking that promise. Mir needs to be put down.

Guess when Mir hits the water and win a t-shirt from yours truly. Here are the rules:

1) Use ISO format in a comment submitted to this story - don't e-mail me. ISO format is 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS'. Thus, a prediction for the afternoon of March 13 would be '2001-03-13 14:23:07'. All times are Eastern Standard Time in the United States, unless Mir makes it until we go on Daylight Savings Time. Your time prediction can be anywhere in a comment submitted to this story. Note that Slashdot stops allowing new comments on a story a few days after it is posted, so if you don't make your guess now, you won't get a chance later. Use ISO format so I can find it with my browser's find function later on. Closest guess wins.

2) Mir's splash time will be judged by reading the first reports submitted by the major fast-response news networks - CNN, AP and Reuters, in that order. I'm looking for a sentence like, "The first pieces of Mir hit the water at [time]." If none of them mentions a time when the first chunks of Mir hit the water (or land, as the case may be) I'll look for a time mentioned when Mir enters the atmosphere. If we still don't have a time (unlikely, I think) I'll resort to other major news sources, NASA, etc.

3) Cunning readers will note that Mir's ephemeris is publicly available and limits the likely splashdown times to various windows. You could probably substantially improve your chances of winning by doing a lot of research and calculations, not that that would be very time-efficient for a $15 t-shirt.

4) One entry per person, please. I'll contact you through the e-mail address you used when you signed up for an account.

5) Winners will be judged as soon as possible after Mir splashes. I'm the sole judge. There is no appeal. Void where prohibited. If you know me you can't win. However, if you have influence over Mir's trajectory and can influence the thing to come down at the time you picked, you win two t-shirts. No cash value. Contest prize consists of a t-shirt from Thinkgeek or Copyleft, winner's choice, provided by me and not Slashdot, VA Linux or anyone else.

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Guess When Mir Will Splash

Comments Filter:
  • I think this will be the time:

    2001-03-15 22:20:37

  • 2001-03-30 20:55:00

    the lameness filter says I need to use fewer caps. I hate it when it tells me that. Note: lameness filter should not check the .sig...

  • 2001-03-28
  • While i realize that living in Michigan can turn the most world-savvy cosmopolitan into a drooling provincial, what the hell is michael thinking with this Eastern Standard Time crap? Hello, and welcome to the Age of the Internet, folks! Why don't we do this in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), since that's what it's there for? Or, at the very least, let's move into the Neolithic period and use Internet Be@ts.

    Would you believe, too, that the Earth isn't flat? That's how Mir is able to actually be in orbit....

  • o/~ Bye-bye little can in the sky
    We have a new one up in orbit so we don't care if you fry
    All those Russkies are sure to let out a big sigh
    On the day when old Mir say goodbye

    The REAL jabber has the /. user id: 13196

  • 2001-03-23 04:37:28

    and does anyone know if they plan on savaging it from the ocean afterwards? or will it just become a big nothing sitting in near the bottom?
  • and I guess I need a time. Silly me. But look, no lameness filter on the above. 2001-03-28 10:00:00 (but now I triggered the posting within 60 seconds lameness filter. Go ahead and laugh.)
  • Mir Pieces Splashdown: 2001-03-23 23:23:23
  • Nostradamus would be proud...
  • by JJC ( 96049 )
    Purple Monkey Dishwasher

    2001-03-27 01:33:42
  • We fill an open area with numbered squares, and let a cow walk around until it shits. It's called Cow Bingo. This with MIR would be Russian Space Bingo. >;)

    Oh BTW, my guess is 2001-03-17 7:57:13

  • 2001-03-17 00:00:30 Why not a random guess? Cheaper than playing the Lotto.
  • i know, 3:14 pm on 3/14....;-)

  • And now for something compleatly different; a man with a satellite up his bum.
  • This is just text to get around the lameness filter. 2000-03-15 14:08:17
  • 2001-03-21 05:13:07 this is my guess
  • Pi day and Pi time... my interpretation of Pi time anyway... as I'm sure there will be others.
  • It'll drag out for a bit more... 2001-04-02 17:01:01 -Scott
  • 2001-03-14 16:32

    try again, should be 3.1415926. too bad there's only 60 seconds in a second...
  • A few hours after the first story "Mir Splashes Down" (which will contain 800 comments, most of which say 'Hey, Mir didn't really crash yet, you guys are lame', and most of the rest containing 'can you immagine a beowulf cluster of the pieces?'), another story will appear - "Mir REALLY Splashes Down".
  • 2001-05-17 02:11:20 - and no science used in this guess.
  • 2001-04-09 09:15:14

    Only a guess.

    I wonder how the mechanism works if there's a little mistake and Mir starts coming down somewhere it wasn't expected. Considering how many planes are in the air over many parts of the world at any one time, how do all of the effected flights get redirected?

  • 2001-03-18 11:34:00

    That's my guess. Right there. 11:34 is a scary time. (I don't worship the devil.)

    /whois John Galt
  • Clearly going to land on

    Oh wait, whats that i see going passed my window.
    i'd change my answer, but that's entirely too many backspaces.
  • 2001-04-09 13:05:07

    Strange, the stupid lamer filter accused me of using all caps with a post that's all numbers (which is why I'm adding this line). I'd fire off a bug report to the slash guys, but god (er, linus) knows if they'd ever get around to fixing it. . .

  • And Voilà, a new statue for Easter Island.

    Well, technically that's part of Chili. Maybe it could fix Democracy in Fiji all in one blow by taking out that racist anti-Indian pseudo-nationalists with really his own interest at heart, George Speight, literally killing 2 birds with one stone! :)

    >The TimeHorse has now been permanently banned from ever setting foot on Fiji<
  • Mir Splashdown:

    2001-03-12 12:54:36 EST

    First Listing in eBay of some piece of scrap metal that somebody is claiming is "Mir Debris":

    2001-03-14 18:45:23 EST

  • 2001-04-19 09:14:06 (I'm adding a little text to avoid the lameness filter)
  • 2001/03/19 8:38:00
    My youngest brother's birthday/time :)
  • 2001-03-24 08:03:03 - just a stab in the dark, and my sisters b'day seemed close enough :)
  • Beware the true ides of March, mathematically calculated :)

    The sad part is I spent 10 minutes figuring that out instead of doing my Calculus homework.
  • I'm part Irish, so I'll predict 2001-03-17 17:45:35.
  • somebody give this guy a moderator point for being humorous.
  • Mir has always puzzled me...maybe we should use it to test if our nukes can hit any event, fall or atomize, I think that it will splash down

    2001-04-02 03-59-19

    If you want my respect, give it first...

  • Duck and cover! I wonder when/if the ISS is coming down? My guess: 2006-12-11 09:47:39 due to lack of funding. (I'm probably way off)

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • lameness filter prevents making it just a pure post:
    2001-03-16 06:43:30
  • by mach-5 ( 73873 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:08AM (#427034) Homepage
    2000-03-15 14:08:17 Beware the ides of march
  • 2001-03-28 12:34:56

    Unfortunately, "between New Zealand and Chile" is where Easter Island is. Anyone put pillows on the Heads?

  • by glebite ( 206150 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:40AM (#427096)

    Mir will be brought down on: 2001-03-16 14:00:00 to commemorate the historical significance of:

    The first man to give dreams of reaching the stars a glimpse of reality was Dr. Robert H. Goddard, who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket to an altitude of 41 feet on this day in 1926. The test occurred shortly before Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic and never received the headlines that Lindbergh did, but the historic significance was staggering.

  • ...will be 2001-03-12 14:22:12

    Well, it's a guess... The probability of winning that T-Shirt is extremely low, oh well it's the participating that counts anyway ;-)

  • 2001-03-16 13:12:01 be my guess, oh yes
  • 2001-03-19 06:20:00

    Ad the only reason I picked this date is that it's my sister's b-day.

    Since her mood has a tendency of crashing down... I thought... maybe...

    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • 2001-03-17 13:26:39

    I think a good Irish wake would be in order. Mir's already green, what with all the various fungi that's infecting it...

    Mr. Ska

    I slit a sheet
    A sheet I slit

  • What does this mean for airplanes and boats? Aren't they supposed to know when this is going to happen so they can either a)change their route that day or b) delay their departures?

    I seriously hope so! I'll be returning from Oz in mid-march and would definatly disapprove of being torn apart in mid-air by a rotten, russian space station.

    (Actually though, I'll be heading in the other direction. ;)
  • 2001-04-03 05:22:35

    (Um, why does Slashdot think a post with nothing but number is using too many caps?)
  • by bmongar ( 230600 )
    2001-03-14 01:59:26

    So I had to throw in the 0 for effect.
  • User 206150 wrote: []
    The first man to give dreams of reaching the stars a glimpse of reality was Dr. Robert H. Goddard, who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket to an altitude of 41 feet on this day in 1926. The test occurred shortly before Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic and never received the headlines that Lindbergh did but the historic significance was staggering.

    Yes, only the Germans seemed to pay much attention to his work - and Werner von Braun went on to develop the V2 and move after WW2 with a lot of collegues to the US to kick off their space development program.
  • 2001-06-17 14:14:14

    Girlfriends birthday and her favourite number. And *no*, I did not just give away my password or PIN. ;-)

  • >Use ISO format

    Surely using the format described in RFC2550 [] would be a more sensible way to represent the date? Particularly if they keep delaying it. :-)

  • The next step in the cycle is for Mir to be saved! It will only crash in an unexpected catstrophe...

    2001-11-31 - 12:00:03 :)

    The problem with capped Karma is it only goes down...

  • Dumaju, shto eto budiet' 2001-03-29 01:00:15 . Pochemu ja tak dumaju? Vot, vsio w vostochnoj Jevropie zanimajet bolshe vremieni chem na Zapadie.. Celaja eta istoria eto kak jebat' tigru: i smeshno, i strashno...
    January (nu, ja nie Russkij, ja Poliak...)
  • ...the date when Mir comes flaming down. Maybe they will give her a tiny boost in between to gain a bit of time for fruitless discussions. So I guess it will take a bit - let's assume april (with the boost).

    2001-04-16 19:47:13

    Rough guess on time - visibility estimated from parameters.
  • Oh I would not worry about it, the Russians will file a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) with the ATC folks to make sure everyone is out of the way.

    I don't think its posible to fly an airliner more than 2 hrs without a NOTAM about *SOMETHING*.

  • There is still some sort of corruption issue with the users table.

    That might explain the weirdness that's been going on with my account today. Apparently, I've got a karma of 31337, and I've also got access to several other features I haven't seen before.

    Could someone explain what happened, before I click on this 'promote Anonymous Coward posts to +5' button by accident?

    Ford Prefect, posting at +1 (instead of +10) so as to remain inconspicuous.
  • 2001-03-14 17:35:00

    Size XLT or XL t-shirt please.

    As if any /. member wears size L or smaller. (^_^)
  • Too bad Mir and Alpha are probably too far apart to dock together

    They're probably on different orbits, and I'm sure it would be a real pain in the butt to change one orbit to match another. That's why the shuttle launches for ISS have a 5-minute window. (I'm sure there are actually lots of 5-minute windows, spaced about 90 minutes apart.) Even then, the shuttle spends a whole day catching up. And ISS is probably in a higher orbit now that the shuttle has been boosting it. It would probably be easier to try to crash Mir on the moon than to have it dock with ISS.

    Besides, I'm sure that Mir stinks inside. 15 years of sweaty astronauts has got to be as bad as an athlete's sweatsocks and jockstrap combined. And there's the nice toasty smell of burnt wire insulation from the fires they've had.

  • That was what seemed to be the second significant outage in the last week. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I think the readers deserve to have such events posted as a news article to the main page.

    I appreciate your being forthcoming here, Michael, but a reply posted to an offtopic post (no offense to the parent poster) in a story completely unrelated to the outages isn't exactly keeping us informed.

    But as we've all heard before a million times, Slashdot is all Rob's, he'd continue to do it even if he and Jeff were the only ones to read it, he's not in it for the money (obviously []), etc., so who are we to ask?

  • 2001-03-16 12:34:56, for example
  • 2001-08-16-14:30:00

    'Course I've never heard whether the MIR has a penchant for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches...

    "I'm not a bitch, I just play one on /."
  • I was born on 1978-03-19 00:31:?? so I will guess: 2001-03-19 00:31:00 Dan
  • YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS My guess is: 2001:03:15 12:00:00.

    Beware the Ides of March.

    Also... I'd like to take ithis moment to meditate on the possibly deadly repurcussions of combining a) the home-video news-coverage craze, and b) A space station-cum-meteor-cum-meteorite. ;)

    -Omar@I fall to pices (da da da) each time I enter your atmosphere...

  • 2001-03-14 15:09:26
    As close to pi as I could render, ignoring the year and the inserted zero in the minutes column.
  • by Gerv ( 15179 )
    2001-04-04 04:04:04 and here's some text to avoid the "lameness filter."

  • 2001-03-18 06:07:08

    I guarantee a win on my part...
    Why? We'll, let's just say I'm going to make sure it happens at that time. You see, back in the '60's I developed a satellite shooting machine, which was in essence a sophisticated heat beam which we called a "laser". Using these "lasers", we punch a hole in the protective layer around the Mir Space Station...

  • My guess for MIR splashdown is above. Too bad Mir and Alpha are probably too far apart to dock together because that would be a cool use of the extra hardware. It seems like a waste, to me, to not figure out a use for this stuff. It can't be all bad stuff. I guess it woul dprobably be too much of a logistical nightmare to get them to re-use these modules.
  • Besides, Mir's got the Fungus From Outer Space, and who wants that crap on ISS anyhow? Yes, I know ISS will probably end up with its own fungal infection, but Mir's been up there 15 years, so it could be a decade before ISS has fungus problems.

  • Quoted from article:

    Maybe the /. saga of MIR postings will stop once the leftover "chunks" (weighing up to 700kg/1500lb) hit the bottom of the ocean halfway between New Zealand and Chile

    Okay. I'm taking orders right now.

    Send me $50, and I'll send you a 1"x1" square of scorched iron and weird exotic alloys, cut from the side of a burned 1982 Ford F-150 that has already been through the car crusher.

    For only $4000, you can have a "MIR guidance computer", made by putting a junked microwave oven timer board through a pottery kiln. Only two available.

    Check out my other online sales: Used Berlin Wall chunks, recycled from the little precast concrete curbs that are put into parking lots. (Shhh! It's recycling!)

    Limited quantity available. Act now.

  • Tactical guess: 2000-02-20 01:01:01 At least I'll know soon that I did not win ;-)
  • 2000-03-17 05:56:18 St. Patrick's Day!

    I need a new sig...

  • 2001-03-16 11:04:51

    That is EXACTLY one month from now. Go team. =)

  • My guess for atmospheric contact is the subject.

    I also guess...that it will never hit ground, and that Russia will somehow manage to bounce it off the atmosphere back into space.

    Don't ask me how; it can't be that hard to slow something down enough to crash, controlling the crash, that's a bitch.

    It would be just their luck that the Progress would go haywire, spin the station around a bit, end up pushing it forward instead of down, speed it up enough to skim off the atmosphere, and suddenly we have our first habitable craft heading off into deep space...never mind that it remains unmanned, or that you couldn't get me into that thing, or that I doubt the Progress has enough fuel or power to speed up Mir enough, but with the luck Russia's had lately...
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:16AM (#427334)
    In an attempt to keep in step with their American counterparts, the Russia Space Agency is now going to attempt to land Mir on Eros. "If American snotty-heads can put dinky satelite on asteroid, we can certainlik put Mir on it too!" head officals were reported to say.

  • by NTSwerver ( 92128 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:17AM (#427341) Journal
    You can keep up-to-date with MIR's location here. []

  • Good Idea:

    2001-03-18 07:34:21


    (and whazzup with that lameness filter? it treats numbers as caps? now *thats* lameness.)
  • "So let's recap: you've taken a perfectly helpful and pleasant response to a useless question, and posted an inflammatory and insulting reply to it."
    1) The OP wasn't a question, it was a joke.

    2) Your response was pleasant, but not especially helpful. Remember that the original joke wasn't just talking about last night's outage, but about outages in general. Your response then was too specific to be helpful.

    3) I've read and re-read tristan's response and I fail to find anything even mildly insulting. On the contrary, he praises Rob and Jeff for continuing to run the site when they clearly aren't making much money for it. Are you insulted that you weren't included?

    As for inflammatory--you may well be inflamed by the response, but that's a feature, not a bug. We (the readers) are pretty tired of unexplained (even unremarked on) outages and we are starting to ask WTF is going on. Can you blame us?
  • by gtx ( 204552 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @06:15AM (#427358) Homepage
    2001-03-17 06:23:21 i've got this one dicked. i called my psychic.

    "I hope I don't make a mistake and manage to remain a virgin." - Britney Spears
  • yeah. uh. fnord and stuff. fisfhcuerk.
  • by sharkticon ( 312992 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:19AM (#427391)

    I've got a couple of ideas for fun contests that we can all play, and they're relevent for the /. community as well!

    Firstly, we have How long will /. stay up?. Each of us can guess exactly how long (in hours) /. will be up for before it inexplicably dies with no response from the site admins. For bonus points, guess how long it'll take them to get it running again.

    Secondly, Why did it go down?. We can all have fun here guessing why /. went down again. Was it a DDoS? Corrupted database? Someone tripped and pulled the power cord out? My guess for the latest one is the fact that there's now over a billion [] user accounts here...

  • Why does the lameness filter think I entered a bunch of caps? Because all my characters are less than 'a'?

    2001-04-21 01:30:00

  • The stars are crossed against you, Mir. That's my guess (let's say noon GMT, Ides of March).
  • 2001-04-01 11:59:59 - The point being I reckon a "Mir went down" story will appear as an April Fools. Of course it will never come down. They probably don't know how to bring it down, never mind when. :-)
  • 2001-03-26 08:23:46

    Of course this is just a guess. Its not like I have a working suborbital ascent vehicle that could forcibly eject that piece of floating refuse from the heavens or something. Right?
  • 2001-03-26 13:14:00 is my guess.
  • 2001-03-14 12:52:29 - that's my guess.

  • Jealous Americans? I think so!
  • The uncertainty in the Mir splashdown date is actually posing a fair problem for me.

    I like Mir a lot, and have always been impressed with its performance and long life, and I want to properly honor its passing. How to do, how to do..

    Of course! A wake!

    But you've got to schedule parties. You've got to order the vodka (unless you want crap vodka) and other assorted things. These changing dates are making my life hell! :)

  • As for inflammatory--you may well be inflamed by the response, but that's a feature, not a bug. We (the readers) are pretty tired of unexplained (even unremarked on) outages and we are starting to ask WTF is going on. Can you blame us?

    To add to what the parent poster is saying, as I'm sure you guys know, many of your readers are experienced IT people and are asking what happened for a variety of reasons, like:

    • We care about the site.
    • We're curious about what issues large sites face in maintenance.
    • We might be able to help.
    Sure, some people might complain to complain, but that's almostly always in response to total silence and blank stares they've received from earlier queries.

    Experience IT people know that it is merely a question on when servers will fail, not if. As such, we're pretty understanding about them, in general. It is far more embarassing to say nothing or to obfuscate about an issue than it is to simply say what happened.

    When /. is down, most of us can tell right away whether the outage is really /. or something in between. If we hear nothing to explain it, we're not going to assume it was our ISP, the backbone, or what have you.

    Most importantly, consider this: Most people who complain about the outages are doing so because they value /. and the contributions of the people who run it (even Katz). They feel a loss when it's not there. You've built a community here. You should respect the people who make up the community enough to keep us in the loop when something goes wrong.

  • Hey, it gotta come down someday... Why not on my birthday...

    All browsers' default homepage should read: Don't Panic...
  • ...and do we need to guess the correct date without going over?

    If so, I guess 0000-01-01 00:00:00!

    First they ignore you.
    Then they laugh at you.

  • give it a few extra days.
  • Hey now, only my last paragraph could even be close to construed as inflammatory and/or insulting (and even then only my gratuitous link to VA Linux's stock price). When I said I appreciated your being forthcoming, I actually meant that with sincerity, I'm sorry that part didn't come through clear :(

    (Note to self, don't end posts with the sarcastic part from now on.)

    Now, in all serious Michael, your inflammatory posts have brought me close to leaving Slashdot before (and no, I'm not another 300k+ bimbo; I recently lost the password to my original uid, which was obtained with an academic e-mail account I no longer have access to). Certainly I'm not the only one guilty of making posts that can be misconstrued. Perhaps we can both agree to be more civil?
  • I'll bring the weenies to roast when it hits that Yahoo! guy in Quasi, Australia. 2001-03-09 22:51:37
  • how will you deal with duplicate entries? hopefully you have some code to pick only the first one, right?
  • 2001-04-01 7:00:00

    Would be quite an april fool's joke, eh?
  • by jellicle ( 29746 ) on Friday February 16, 2001 @04:30AM (#427549) Homepage
    The mysql database barfed last night and was down for maybe three-four hours or so. During that time only static pages were served. There is still some sort of corruption issue with the users table, and I'm not sure what the planned solution to that is. There are nightly backups, so at most we'd lose the new users created yesterday/today.

  • The reporting on all this has been that they miscalculated the date that they would deorbit it. Well the truth of the matter is, it was requested that they reschedule it due to the upcoming Shuttle launch that would take most of the tracking resources in the early March timeframe.
  • 2001-04-01 13:01:01

    How ironic that it would be called a "lameness" filter--it can't tell numbers from caps.
  • (That's my guess in UTC. EST is this minus 5 hours. I run in UTC. Sorry if it flips yer noodle.)

    Anyways.. An interesting note I read in the Chicago Sun-Times a few days ago:

    (Heavily edited)

    "Is there anywhere safe from a potential MIR drop?"

    A call was placed to the Russian Space Agency.

    "Is there any city that's safe from an accidental MIR drop?"

    "Moscow. There's no chance any MIR debris will hit Moscow."

    How thoughtful.

    The reason? The potential MIR drop point can be anywhere between 50 degrees north and 50 degrees south.

    I thought it was funny.
    Ruling The World, One Moron At A Time(tm)
    "As Kosher As A Bacon-Cheeseburger"(tmp)
  • .html

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.