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MAVEN Mission To Mars Will Proceed, Despite Shutdown 87

necro81 writes "Due to the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. Government, NASA is largely grounded. This is bad for all kinds of reasons, but one particularly bad outcome would have been missing the launch window for the MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch 18 November. The next launch window would not have been until 2016. MAVEN, thankfully, has been given the go-ahead, in large part because this orbiter will serve as a vital communications link for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers currently on the surface. Currently, these rovers are served by two aging orbiters: Mars Odyssey (launched 2001) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005). Maintaining communications with the rovers is considered essential, hence the preparations and launch will proceed. (NASA's official mission website is currently offline.)"
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MAVEN Mission To Mars Will Proceed, Despite Shutdown

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  • Thank goodness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Friday October 04, 2013 @08:12AM (#45034339) Journal
    To quote Scotty: "You cannot change the law of physics!". It would be a sad day we would have to explain to later generations that we missed a launch window because of a childish fight of some politicians.
  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 04, 2013 @08:46AM (#45034513)

    Explain to older generations that we missed launching MAVEN? I think they will probably be more pissed about abandoning Lunar exploration, the demise of US manned launch capabilities for almost a decade, and the failure to exploit the once in 175 year planetary alignment to explore the ice giants with more than one probe. They might also be pissed that even though NASA shut down temporarily, it had fallen less than 0.5% of the federal spending. Older generations will never know or care if a 2 or 3 year launch window was missed. They will only care about the big things.

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Friday October 04, 2013 @11:14AM (#45036057) Homepage

    so what? two-thirds of the federal govenrment serves no good purpose, they're just parasites on our dime.

    ... according to your own personal definition of "no good purpose". The problem is there are 316 million people in the USA, and every one of them has a different idea of what parts of the government are worth funding, and which are a waste of money. What you see as worthless I may see as an essential service, and vice versa.

    Fortunately, we have a mechanism for resolving these disputes, it's called representative democracy. People vote for representatives who then represent their views in the legislature, and those representatives vote on laws and policy. Through this mechanism, the people's will can be (roughly) reflected by the government's policies.

    The problem we have currently is that there is a 20% minority (the Tea Party) that is laboring under the delusion that they are a majority, and therefore they think they have the right to coerce the rest of the nation into doing things their way. Procedural shenanigans notwithstanding, that's not how a democracy works, as the Republicans are quickly finding out.

    TL;DR: If the Tea Partiers want a nation with a low-tax/low-service government, they need to convince a majority of American voters to elect Tea Party representatives, at which point they'll have control and they can govern as they see fit. Until then, they need to get out of the way; we've a country to run and their narcissistic bullshit is pointless and destructive.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer