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Space Science

NASA Prepares The SIRTF For Launch 14

Anonymous Coward writes "NASA is ready to button up the SIRTF (Space Infrared Telescope Facility) probe for launch. The panorama is of the clean room at Hangar AE on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as the SIRTF team makes final adjustments."
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NASA Prepares The SIRTF For Launch

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  • would have been nice. When's the launch window?
  • Anyone know why there's an overhead geographical map being used to display eyeport orientation on the panorama app?

    Seems sort of odd to me... but maybe they're re-using some codebase for which an overhead geo map was appropriate - say, for an outside panorama shot?

    I have to say, that looks like one nice piece of hardware, though its hard to get a feeling for its construction from far back. One thing I've always been impressed with is just how much junk there always appears to be on the outside of satelli
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Channel 12 of Kennedy Space Center has this same webcam on continuously


      NASA is the only government agency with their own TV station
    • Why they're ugly (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OmniGeek ( 72743 )
      I guess there's no point making it aesthetic (i.e. with smooth panels and such) given the conditions of launch (cost per pound) and the fact that once it's up, nobody is going to see it ever again...

      Aside from a total lack of aesthetic sensibility on all space instruments except ours, the outsides get all fiddly primarily for reasons of thermal control. Space environment is cold, mainly 'cause all your heat radiates away and there's nothing but the Sun to radiate back at you. Every external surface excep
      • Aside from a total lack of aesthetic sensibility on all space instruments except ours

        By 'ours', do you mean a particular company, or some nation?

        I always thought the early Russian satellites and whatnot were particularly interesting-looking. Some of them are just downright funky, but that could just be because my 'fashion' sense has been honed so far from any CCCP-era style sensibilities that I only think its cool because ... once ... it wasn't.

        Still. My sat's gonna look bitchin'. Whenever I get aro
  • by astrobabe ( 533099 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @05:09PM (#5627786) Homepage
    Our Launch date is currently April 18th at something like 4:30 EDT. It was April 15th at the same time but a military satellite took higher precedence over us and was launched last Friday.

    Our nominal launch window is April 15th through about May 9th. The next things to get launched are the Mars probes. We're supposed to be the "test" case of the Delta II Heavy for the Mars probes but it'll be a little too late to change things for them if we have rocket problems.

    Our webpage is http://sirtf.caltech.edu for the general public and http://sirtf.caltech.edu/SSC for the scientists.

    We're pretty small- 80 cm in diameter. We can essentially fit the whole space craft assembly in the telescope tube for Hubble. We have three instruments- 2 cameras and a spectrograph. IRAC is the InfraRed Array Camera and observes at 3.6,4.5, 5.8 and 8.0 microns. The other imager, MIPS, the Mid Infrared Photometer for SIRTF observes at 24, 50 and 160 microns. It can also do "rough" spectroscopy in Spectral Energy Distribution Mode but we don't anticipate making that available until about the 2nd year. The Spectrograph is named IRS (InfraRed Spectrograph) and observes from 5 to 40 microns. Our required mission life time is about 2.5 years but we anticipate that we will be operating for over 5 years (it is directly dependent on how much cryogen we have). After we run out of cryogen we can still operate IRAC but MIPS and IRS will have problems because of the warmth of the telescope. Oh and one last detail- we're in an earth trailing orbit so unlike Hubble we can't send people up to fix things or install new instruments.
    • The launch of the last of the 4 "Great Observatories," already greatly delayed, has been bumped back by a military satellite and is being used to test a rocket? Sounds like messed up priorities to me. I have been impatiently waiting for images of "the old, the cold, and the dirty."
  • EXCEPTION: java.lang.NullPointerException: name

    It looks like they're off to a great start.
    • >EXCEPTION: java.lang.NullPointerException: name

      Update your JRE [sun.com]
      • Update your JRE [sun.com]

        To what, exactly? I get the same error. My console says:

        Java(TM) Plug-in: Version 1.4.1_02
        Using JRE version 1.4.1_02 Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM
        • To what, exactly? I get the same error. My console says:

          Java(TM) Plug-in: Version 1.4.1_02
          Using JRE version 1.4.1_02 Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM

          Interesting, I have 1.4.1_01. Maybe you should downgrade then :)
  • Here's what I get in my Java console when launching the applet in Mozilla:

    APPLET tag missing CODE parameter.

    java.lang.NullPointerException: name
    at sun.applet.AppletClassLoader.getResourceAsStream( A ppletClassLoader.java:322)
    at sun.applet.AppletPanel$2.run(AppletPanel.java:575)
    at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
    at sun.applet.AppletPanel.createApplet(AppletPanel.ja va:571)
    at sun.plugin.AppletViewer.createApplet(AppletViewer. java:1778)
    at sun.applet.AppletPanel.runLoader(Appl

VMS must die!