What a bunch of numpties if it were going that slowly it wouldn't be able to escape the gravitational pull of the planet, it's actual speed is 35 miles per second or in other words it would take it just 50 seconds to travel from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Well it's not looking too good... The orbiter successfully entered its planned orbit but contact with the lander actually stopped while still descending before it landed.They'll be pouring over the data overnight to try and understand what happened to it...
It would be shame if the mission has failed but I wonder if they'll conduct an over zealous inquiry and massively criticise the team who built the lander as the ESA did in the wake of the loss of Beagle 2?
Hopefully, any inquiry will be led by people with experience with space craft.
Interplanetary craft are incredibly complex, and have to function flawlessly in a VERY hostile environment. They have been traveling for extended periods in extreme cold, and are then expected to perform functions that have to have their timing correct, virtually to the nano-second. IMO, having worked on many of them over the years, it is a virtual miracle when one of them does succeed, as we, here on earth, cannot possibly anticipate every contingency that the craft will face.
Quite so. I think we have somehow been spoilt over the years. New Horizon, Cassini, Messenger, Curiosity.. We've been in the middle of such a golden age in terms of inter-planetary exploration we've almost come to think of sending a probe to our relative martian neighbour as a straightfoward thing. Which is just about as far from the truth as can be.
I agree entirely. Any project which is designed to expand our knowledge is clearly a waste if money, all you have to do is look on Twitter at the tweets about the US election to see that cash spent on education is totally wasted.
Well it's not looking too great for Juno either at the moment... The probe is healthy but it put itself into safe mode a few days ago for reasons they're still busy trying to understand. This combined with the unrelated valve issue they had the previous week will amount to a few anxious months ahead at NASA too...