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NASA Space Data Storage Science Technology

NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Sends Back Last Bit of Data From 2015 Pluto Flyby (go.com) 60

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Space.com: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the last bit of data from its 2015 flyby of Pluto. The picture -- one of a sequence of shots of Pluto and its big moon, Charon -- arrived earlier this week at Mission Control in Maryland. It took more than five hours for the image to reach Earth from New Horizons, some 3 billion miles away. New Horizons swooped past Pluto on July 14, 2015. It's now headed to an even smaller, frozen orb in the far reaches of the solar system. That close encounter is targeted for 2019. Mission managers opted to save all the Pluto data on New Horizons' digital recorders, in order to maximize observing time. Only the highest priority sets of information were sent back in the days before and after the flyby, providing humanity's first up-close look at Pluto. It wasn't until September 2015 when the real data transmission began. In all, more than 50 gigabits of data were relayed over the past 15 months to Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The final data arrived Tuesday, and NASA announced the safe arrival Thursday.
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NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Sends Back Last Bit of Data From 2015 Pluto Flyby

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  • by CanEHdian ( 1098955 ) on Saturday October 29, 2016 @07:49AM (#53174439)
    What'd you expect with only one seeder? It would take ages to complete.
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday October 29, 2016 @08:01AM (#53174491) Journal
    3 billion miles... NASA's receiving data from Pluto and the New Horizons spacecraft is headed for MU69.

    Meanwhile, at work, we can't get folks to stop clicking email links.

    • Or using attachments. It was around 2005 and there was a nasty worm going happening but it needed to be transmitted to a new network (one behind a firewall for example) to get started. Early one morning a higher up manager comes into my work area where there was two of us working. He starts off with some general chit-chat. Eventually he says, "Uh guys, I got a message with an attachment with the name [name of worm]. Should I have opened it?"

      My coworker quickly volunteered to help the manager out while I

  • In all, more than 50 gigabits of data were relayed over the past 15 months

    sounds like they are stuck on a data plan contract with AT&T. ;)

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Saturday October 29, 2016 @08:38AM (#53174569)

    Was it a 1 or a 0

    • That was exactly my thought when I read the headline. I figured that the download was stuck at 99% and they were just waiting on that one last bit.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Was it a 1 or a 0

      0.6382943, bad reception.

    • It was most likely a 0, I would expect they either used a Ctrl-D "End of Transmit" / "End of Tape" (00000100), or they used Ctrl-Z which used to be for "End of File" (00011010)

  • Without being able to move our meat-sacks faster than light, interstellar travel sounds pretty far fetched. Even a probe will require multiple generations to see what's *out there*... Being the eternal optimist I'm sure we'll find a way.

    • 20th century SF thought it'd be cryonegenics, but I believe biological immortality will be the answer. While stopping aging is, like the cure a cancer, still vapourware despite people promising over and over that "it's close", it's safe to assume it'll be done in no more than 50-100 years. Then, we'll discover some new health conditions that appear only at the age of 200+ and kill people, these will need to be dealt with. Then, a new generation will have similar problems at the age of 1000+. But fast fo

      • Cryogenics was only ever a temporary measure to get to the real biological stuff.

        In any case, accidents will limit life extension. 20,000 years would be quite the feat, barring phenomenal technology. As the decades fly by, the chance of a massively destructive event approaches 100%.

        • I don't think anyone would do something as suicidal as today's driving: operating a dangerous machine for hour or more every day while tired/distracted/etc, when a fraction of second of inattention often means death. Heck, even that is going to be reduced by 1-2 orders of magnitude with technology that is almost ready for use. Likewise with planes: we are able to make them a heck more safer, but no one bothers because current rate of accidents is deemed cost-acceptable as you're likely to die soon for oth

      • by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Saturday October 29, 2016 @11:36AM (#53174953)

        20th century SF thought it'd be cryonegenics, but I believe biological immortality will be the answer. While stopping aging is, like the cure a cancer, still vapourware despite people promising over and over that "it's close", it's safe to assume it'll be done in no more than 50-100 years. Then, we'll discover some new health conditions that appear only at the age of 200+ and kill people, these will need to be dealt with. Then, a new generation will have similar problems at the age of 1000+. But fast forward a few such iterations and humans will really live forever,

        According to Isaac Asimov, that will be the death knell of the human race.

        accidents,

        No one will do anything dangerous anymore. Now we have people risking their lives, willing to chance losing 40-80 years, for the thrill of the moment. When people can expect to live 1000 years, who is going to go skydiving in their first century and chance losing 900 years of life? Those few that do, or who start later, will eventually weed themselves out of the population. Not just skydiving of course, but racing, scuba diving, rock climbing, and other "thrill sports".

        Traffic accidents will eventually be all but eliminated for the same reason. No one will drive themselves, once self-driving cars get to the point of near-complete safety. And many people will stop going out anyway, because those self-driving cars can deliver groceries, clothes, toys, etc. with no need to risk death by going to the store or shopping malls.

        murder

        will happen at times, but again, as time goes on, the people who would perform this activity will be removed from society.

        and heat death of the Universe notwithstanding.

        We'll never survive to see it.

        Then there's hard AI, which can also be considered a form of earthlings...

        More likely than human immortality, but then you have to worry about Skynet.

        • You and Asimov are forgetting that diversity of humans is going to increase rather than decrease. Even in a natural ecosystem with abundant contact, speciation occurs at time frames less than 100k years. Interstellar travel implies delays of thousands years even between nearest star systems, and you can't expect a big enough fraction of population to counteract speciation to go back and forth for no reason.

          And we don't even need interstellar travel for that. While in western countries genetical engineeri

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
            There will be selection of some sort, but it won't be natural selection and it won't be speciation in the traditional sense.
    • Traveling through through space containing the typical atom of interstellar hydrogen per cm^3 at relativistic speeds(0.95C) would result in instant death.

      Even if you were frozen solid, the ice would melt and water around/inside you would boil. Not to mention nearly every chemical bond in your body would be broken. At lower sub light speeds. 0.5C one would still have to deal with many years of accumulated cosmic radiation damage once you were taken out stasis(You're dead).

      Short of some sort of wormhole/wa

      • Traveling through through space containing the typical atom of interstellar hydrogen per cm^3 at relativistic speeds(0.95C) would result in instant death.

        That's a fairly dense molecular cloud, rather than a typical interstellar medium. But the general point is still valid - at relativistic velocities, stationary material is dangerous.

        No, we don't have any technologies that can protect against this material, particularly neutral material.

  • by rickyslashdot ( 2870609 ) on Saturday October 29, 2016 @11:19AM (#53174905)

    Incredible - - - the greatest feat of NASA's efforts to observe - close-up - the last planet (ooops, planetoid / whatever) - and the highest rating the comments get is a "FUNNY".

    This ranks right up there with the first moon landing, the first Mars Rover, and the Jupiter and Saturn missions.

    Come on, people - this is SLASHDOT - where there are "PURPORTEDLY" semi-intelligent people reading and commenting - - - even the editors deserve a kick in the ass for trivializing this stupendous feat !

    • We got a bit back. It's not historic. It wasn't the first, it was the last. It wasn't from the farthest away. It hasn't been analyzed, just received. There's nothing historic about the bit. Going with your comparisons it's like a dot on the last picture Armstrong & company took of the moon on the way back home.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Take a look here for more REAL info

        http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html
        http://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-horizons-possible-clouds-on-pluto-next-target-is-reddish
        http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/new-horizons-spies-a-kuiper-belt-companion

        OK, so it isn't the fartherest - but the Voyagers couldn't get a 'peek' at Pluto due to the planetary alignment as they did their 'grand dance' of the outer planets.

        Here's a point for you - the middle ages viewed an eclipse as a portent of evil tidings

      • OOOPS - modem crashed - installed new one - forgot to log in again - - - Sh!t Happens - Murphy's Law in action

        Take a look here for more REAL info

        http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pa... [nasa.gov]
        http://www.nasa.gov/feature/ne... [nasa.gov]
        http://www.nasa.gov/image-feat... [nasa.gov]

        OK, so it isn't the fartherest - but the Voyagers couldn't get a 'peek' at Pluto due to the planetary alignment as they did their 'grand dance' of the outer planets.

        Here's a point for you - the middle ages viewed an eclipse as a portent of evil tidings / a demon eatin

        • I think that the mission is great. I didn't compare the mission to anything. I only compared the last bit of data coming back to a dot of a picture from the first moon mission. The first bit of this mission was much more important than this one.

  • In all, more than 50 gigabits of data were relayed over the past 15 months to-

    When talking about data transfer like this and assuming you are not trying to sell me something, is there really a good reason to use bits instead of bytes?

  • According to google, 50 gigabits equals 6.25 gigabytes.
  • So, was the last bit sent a 1 or a 0? ;)

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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