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Spacecraft Goes Dark For Pluto Flypast

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posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:12 AM
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This frustrates me.

Today is the day when the Horizon reaches Pluto on it's monumental mission of discovery. Today is also the day when NASA suspended communications with the satellite due to it 'collecting too much data'. We always knew there was going to be a delay. There already is with the general transfer of data.


The spacecraft will be collecting so much data that NASA mission control suspended communication at 4am on Tuesday.

And they will not know whether New Horizons has made it out the other side until it makes contact just before 2am on Wednesday.


Is this window necessary? Without sounding a little nutty, and one for the conspiracy theorists, do you not think this gives NASA a chance to investigate the images captured prior to being released?

I struggle to believe that a project that cost nearly $1 billion to reach Pluto for the sole purpose of investigating the planet would struggle with processing images and taking a detailed analysis of the mass (temperature/composition/atmosphere, etc). It was built for that reason, it has to travel 7.5 billion kilometers for that reason.

There have been a few threads recently with some very interesting features on the (dwarf) planet. Maybe NASA is curious?

Sky News




posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:16 AM
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Please don't add to the thousands of other daft conspiracy theories on this site. The spacecraft is simply collecting a huge amount of data in a relatively short period of time. It does not have the bandwidth capacity to collect it and send it all back to Earth at the same time. There is nothing suspicious about this.
edit on 14-7-2015 by Mogget because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:22 AM
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That is so they can analyze the Pyramids that were built on the surface. NASA would not want the planet earth to know about those right away would they?



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:28 AM
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Yes it is frustrating but I'm sure they do it with good reason, no need for unnecessary risks!

I actually think it sort of adds to the excitement and tension that it won't be announced that it's been successful in carrying out commands until 00:50am UK time (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that time).

Tempted stay up



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:28 AM
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originally posted by: Mogget
Please don't add to the thousands of other daft conspiracy theories on this site. The spacecraft is simply collecting a huge amount of data in a relatively short period of time. It does not have the bandwidth capacity to collect it and send it all back to Earth at the same time. There is nothing suspicious about this.


Sorry for being curious, I just expect better when so much is invested into a historic project. I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:30 AM
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originally posted by: MrBergstrom
I actually think it sort of adds to the excitement and tension


I agree, absolutely. I'm just scratching my head a little.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:46 AM
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for one i cant wait!

although i completely understand the lack of bandwidth to communicate it all at once (i would presume it would be compressed to, so it would have to process that as well), you would think they would surely would set it to ping every 10min or something?



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 04:54 AM
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originally posted by: TheChrome
That is so they can analyze the Pyramids that were built on the surface. NASA would not want the planet earth to know about those right away would they?


Don't forget about the 'face on Pluto'. I'm fully expecting at least one botched photo-shop job being released tomorrow.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:04 AM
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originally posted by: angryhulk

originally posted by: Mogget
Please don't add to the thousands of other daft conspiracy theories on this site. The spacecraft is simply collecting a huge amount of data in a relatively short period of time. It does not have the bandwidth capacity to collect it and send it all back to Earth at the same time. There is nothing suspicious about this.


Sorry for being curious, I just expect better when so much is invested into a historic project. I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.

You're right, the 'line of communication' does not change, but it doesn't just magically transmit data. Doing so requires energy, and it requires processing power. By temporarily suspending communication, they eliminate the potential for an error with those systems affecting its' data gathering capabilities, and it's a smart decision.

Remember last week when it experienced an error and was in safe mode for awhile? It sure would be a shame if something similar were to happen now. Suspending communication lowers the risk of that happening.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:05 AM
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Conna wait!!!

Does anyone know if during the time of the acutal flyby it'll be on NASA TV? There's just random filler things on now.

That NASA Eyes on Pluto app is ace! Showing 54,000 miles left and going down quickly
Feel like I'm in mission control with this app on my second screen at work



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:10 AM
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a reply to: angryhulk

Here's a short clip that describes what's going on (less than 2min).



EDIT: had the wrong clip, but it's from the same person
edit on 14-7-2015 by enlightenedservant because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:15 AM
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originally posted by: angryhulk
do you not think this gives NASA a chance to investigate the images captured prior to being released?

Err... they always do that with data from their missions. That's the prerogative of being the ones who launch and operate such missions; it gives them a fair chance to make (and claim credit for) any new discoveries.

Why shouldn't the people who built, launched, and are operating the mission have the first look at the data?



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:21 AM
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originally posted by: admirethedistance

originally posted by: angryhulk

originally posted by: Mogget
Please don't add to the thousands of other daft conspiracy theories on this site. The spacecraft is simply collecting a huge amount of data in a relatively short period of time. It does not have the bandwidth capacity to collect it and send it all back to Earth at the same time. There is nothing suspicious about this.


Sorry for being curious, I just expect better when so much is invested into a historic project. I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.

You're right, the 'line of communication' does not change, but it doesn't just magically transmit data. Doing so requires energy, and it requires processing power.


Fair point. Question - Given they knew during manufacture what they were up against and would would be required, hand in hand with ongoing space exploration - why not install hardware that can meet this demand? During this time we had outstanding tech, surely? (outside of my comfort zone now).

Please consider Voyager 1, manufactured in 1977, its current location in interstellar space and the fact it is still transmitting data.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:23 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: angryhulk
do you not think this gives NASA a chance to investigate the images captured prior to being released?

Err... they always do that with data from their missions. That's the prerogative of being the ones who launch and operate such missions; it gives them a fair chance to make (and claim credit for) any new discoveries.

Why shouldn't the people who built, launched, and are operating the mission have the first look at the data?


You are right there, maybe I should have elaborated on the point I was trying to make.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 05:31 AM
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originally posted by: angryhulk
I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.


The spacecraft does not have a pointable instrument platform like the much fancier Voyager probes had. New Horizon has to turn to point its cameras at whatever it is imaging. When it does so, its high-gain antenna (which is required for communicating over such a vast distance) no longer points towards Earth, and therefore it cannot transmit its data.

During the brief encounter, the spacecraft is spinning this way and that as fast as it can to collect as much data as it can while it is at close range. It has no time to stop and send postcards home. There will be time for that later.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 07:11 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: angryhulk

Here's a short clip that describes what's going on (less than 2min).



EDIT: had the wrong clip, but it's from the same person


Appreciate the vid, I'll give it a watch after work.



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 07:46 AM
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originally posted by: angryhulk

originally posted by: admirethedistance

originally posted by: angryhulk

originally posted by: Mogget
Please don't add to the thousands of other daft conspiracy theories on this site. The spacecraft is simply collecting a huge amount of data in a relatively short period of time. It does not have the bandwidth capacity to collect it and send it all back to Earth at the same time. There is nothing suspicious about this.


Sorry for being curious, I just expect better when so much is invested into a historic project. I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.

You're right, the 'line of communication' does not change, but it doesn't just magically transmit data. Doing so requires energy, and it requires processing power.


Fair point. Question - Given they knew during manufacture what they were up against and would would be required, hand in hand with ongoing space exploration - why not install hardware that can meet this demand? During this time we had outstanding tech, surely? (outside of my comfort zone now).

Please consider Voyager 1, manufactured in 1977, its current location in interstellar space and the fact it is still transmitting data.


Dude..every module they install adds weight/risk. Everything has to be programmed perfectly to run by itself with zero error,s 10 years after a launch. There can be no errors. Why add something that will require valuable energy and might go wrong when a bit of patience will work?

You have people who are smart enough to land on comets and rendevous with Pluto....i love it when people question what they are doing. Do you question how a 747 pilot lands a plane? Or how a software engineer qrites complicated software?



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 09:21 AM
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The reason is simple:

The antenna is fixed, and cannot be pointed toward Earth at the same time that the spacecraft's instruments are pointed towards Pluto to gather data.

So while it's doing its data-gathering job, it simply is not able to talk to Earth.

It will send a short message back to Earth at 8:15 PM EST Tuesday (0015 UTC Wednesday) to tell mission control that everything went as planned with the flyby.


edit on 7/14/2015 by Box of Rain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 09:48 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: angryhulk

Here's a short clip that describes what's going on (less than 2min).



EDIT: had the wrong clip, but it's from the same person


I was just about to post that. Thanks for posting it. Star for you

edit on 14-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Saint Exupery

originally posted by: angryhulk
I don't understand how suspending communication will assist the satellite in this process. The line of communication does not change, we receive the data when we receive it. I don't think they have 'suspended communication'.


The spacecraft does not have a pointable instrument platform like the much fancier Voyager probes had. New Horizon has to turn to point its cameras at whatever it is imaging. When it does so, its high-gain antenna (which is required for communicating over such a vast distance) no longer points towards Earth, and therefore it cannot transmit its data.

During the brief encounter, the spacecraft is spinning this way and that as fast as it can to collect as much data as it can while it is at close range. It has no time to stop and send postcards home. There will be time for that later.


Also, shortly after passing Saturn, Voyager 2's instrument platform seized and they had to rotate the entire craft to take measurements of Uranus and Neptune in the following years.
They adopted a "no movable instrument platform" style for New Horizons. Less moving parts = less chance of a mechanical failure. They kept it simple.



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