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A Grand Jury, the Best Jury, Extremely High Quality Jury: Today in Tweets


By David Futrelle

In today’s tweet heap, well, take a wild guess. Also: A dog, a cat, a tortoise, and the sacred right of men to take upskirt shots.

Let’s go to the tape:

This is me right now.

This is also me:

And in other news:

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Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

The worst case version of that I heard:

Launch a great big pile of nuts and bolts, or even just a massive net, up to the geostationary orbit… but going in the opposite direction. This is, of course, considerably more difficult that getting into geostationary normally because you have to actually invert the normal gains you get from launching in the direction of the Earth’s rotation.

But as a result you take down essentially every major TV and communications satellite, because all the big ones are in that particular orbit so they’re in fixed positions in the sky.

(I used to work for someone who was trying to do scans of space junk, attaching a transmitter to the great big radio telescope in Algonquin Park so it could be used as a radar dish to image things up in orbit. Among the discussions of Ministry of Transport regulations because we had to request diversions of passenger jets around the park while this was happening, and the political problems because nobody wanted us to accidentally spot their spy satellites while also obviously not wanting to tell us where not to look, there were a few discussions of the Kessler Effect and other orbital issues. It was an interesting job.)

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ jenora

Ooh, that sounds really interesting. Funnily enough just been chatting about Jodrell Bank (mainly how Bernard Lovell nearly went to prison getting it built). But I love big radars. Had occasion once to visit Fylingdales. Got told not to park in the front car park because of what it could do to engine management systems in modern cars. I said I wasn’t bothered because I had a diesel land rover with the engine the Army liked because it could withstand EMP.

“And presumably you’re not bothered about having kids either?”


Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

Heh. We actually had some equipment at Jodrell Bank for a while, though I doubt it’s still there. More from the radio astronomy side, as the ‘imaging junk in orbit’ was a sideline (and an attempt to get better grant money).

The work was mostly in data recorders for Very Long Baseline Interferometry. Being able to record a constant data stream at 128Mbps for hours on end so that the data could then be shipped from multiple telescopes to the correlators as a big box of tapes was a bit of a niche market back in the 1990s. Nowadays it’s mostly disks or even hardwired gigabit network connections to just send the data directly, so most of the old data recorders of that era are long since obsolete

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