The future as at best a haze. We can make or break it. My rants, visions, ideas and dreams hope to make a better future. Lets learn to live a better life. Raise your glasses (no it doesnt have to be alcohol - I am using orange juice!), and toast the future!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

They're leaving alone old space probes

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Voyager probes in funding crisis
This is not quite as sad as it may seem.
Consider a few things here:

  • The technology is 30 years old - and not really as proprietory as it was.

  • The data they return may yet be useful - and processable.

  • There are a million geeks who would love to get there hands on it.

So here is my proposal for old dead probes. First - allow the geeks to get the communication protocols and methods, and document how to connect with these old sats. Encourage a particular set of geeks to kind of warden it (as a voluntary thing - they will do it) and make sure that none of the messing is detructive.
Then when new probes are sent out, allow geeks a chance to pay (as a group donation) to have an additional signal relay module added - to extend communications with the old sats. You never know - with enough of them, we might even find poor old Beagle 2.

Geeks will then take data, and probably come up with a distributed client, not unlike setiathome to process the data. Berkeley may even want to jump on and grab some of the data themselves for SetiAtHome. I would run it - make it a Boinc client, and it can integrate with all the others.

The possibilities are endless. Geeks do have the technology, and money, and interest to look after it - so my message to Nasa - dont just let this one float away, release it to the community. After all - it was American tax payers who paid for it - give it back - and they will find a use for it.


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