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Spirit lands on Mars!

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Michael A. Terrell, Jan 4, 2004.

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  1. I just heard on the news that the Spirit probe has landed on Mars!
  2. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Anyone else find the lack of a decent website annoying?
    Something simple, a bit of text describing current and past activities,
    and a place for new pictures to appear...
  3. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest
  4. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Oh, it's pretty, with a seventeen gigabyte flash animation with buttons
    that go "ping", lots of artists impressions of atmospheric interface, ...
    It's just not very informative.
    For example, it could do with a timeline showing what's due to happen,
    what has been confirmed as happening, what the pictures that have been
    taken appear to be, ...

    Just a fraction of the effort spent on developing the static website spent
    on contemporaneous notes of what's happening now would be nice.

    As an example, even now, there is on the main page stories that refer to
    the landing in the future tense.
    Going over these and updating with current events would not be hard.
  5. Perhaps it landed on the non-functioning Mars Express vehicle, Beagle-2 :)

    I actually worked on the design for the Mars Express mother satellite. Well,
    just a subsystem anyhow, the PCDU power supply. But anyway it hurts my heart
    the probe failed :-(


  6. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest

    My guess is that their emphasis was on the Mars Lander itself and not on
    their website. Now that it has landed, they will probably have more time to
    enhance the site. The majority of the coverage will probably come from T.V.
    in any event.
  7. Genome

    Genome Guest

    I feel suitably sad about that one as well. Perhaps the broken arrow was
    Astrium's definition/imposition of 'project' management. Clueless bunch of
    'working towards my pension' suits.

    Mind you, I hope the grass roots folks who had to design it whilst dealing
    with 'higher up shit' are not too fucked off about things. 'If you get it
    wrong you get it right next time', and if you don't do it next time..... at
    least you've learnt a bit more.

    I think they should back off and try landing an RD250, Air cooled 2 stroke
    Yamaha. The totally absolute brilliant thing about the concept is...... a
    hidden can of WD40.

  8. Great. Perhaps they'll be able to give the Beagle lander a jump start.
  9. Genome

    Genome Guest

    Winston Churchill

    I'm sure you used to access the World Wide Wank via

    Nuff Said?

  10. We had wisits from ESA and Astrium Aerospace at major reviews on the Rosetta
    project. Sometimes I was quite amazed with the knowledge of the project
    manager. Handling so many subcontractors and still got the insights into our
    subcircuits. Sometimes however the managers just seemed to blow of steam and
    they could talk for litteraly hours about un-relevant items - but that
    managers for you :)


  11. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    Something definitely needs to be done about the professional management
    types. There was a time when management personnel were expert in most
    facets of the operations of the organizations they managed, and that was
    because they started out as workers in these operations. Somewhere along
    the way, some pseudo-intellectuals contrived the idea that this
    background was not necessary, and that all management function can be
    distilled into a few guiding principles that can be applied to any type
    of organization. This ideology has proven to be a horrific
    F-A-I-L-U-R-E!- life is just not that simple and never will be. Like it
    or not, it is NOT possible to manufacture that kind of leadership, it
    can be groomed and tutored, but it CANNOT be made. The situation in the
    US is extremely bad, and the national treasury will have to be in the
    hole by about several Tera- billion $ before anyone wakes up.
  12. I read in that Klaus Vestergaard Kragelund
    There is a small chance that it hasn't entirely failed. Nil desperandum.
  13. I read in that Fred Bloggs <>
    wrote (in <>) about 'Spirit lands on Mars!',
    So it can. That's not the problem
    Yes, because you have to understand *what business you are in*, in order
    to understand WHEN and HOW to apply those 'universal principles of

    Here is Mr Martian, who knows Maxwell's Equations (although he calls
    them '12469's Equations') but doesn't know what toast is. Do you think
    he can design an electric toaster?

    Here is Mr Marketing, who has been hired to boost the sales of the
    company's electric razors. So he starts a TV ad campaign in March.
    Result? Nada. Because about 90% of electric razors are sold in December.

    If you make consumer goods and your engineers come up with a cost-
    saving, why do you NOT reduce list prices? Because retailers will demand
    compensation for all the stock they are holding.
  14. Yes, it seems they have located the likely landingsite in a giant crater,
    but if thats true the survival of the probe is slim


  15. Roger Gt

    Roger Gt Guest

    Such Insight! And a truism which repeats it's self over and over without

    A program I consulted on, was way behind schedule. I was to mentor less
    experienced staff, and play catch-up. I was stymied at every step by
    managements ego, and finally, when they realized I HAD figured out the
    problem, they ended my contract for fear I would tell the customer. (Not my
    job.) But also because the Manager didn't want me to succeed when she was
    failing. Get this, on the verge of cancellation she has been promoted to
    Manager of all engineering functions in the division. I think they are
    going to close it altogether and she can go down with the ship! Blew a
    154 Million dollar contract!
    She has a MBA, and is not an Engineer!
  16. I worked on the telemetry receiving equipment NASA uses to
    communicate with their satellites.
  17. MBA = Masters of Business Annihilation. ;(

    Of course, an out of date engineer can make a pretty bad manager, as
    well. They don't understand any of the newer technology, or the
    equipment required to build modern products.

    One of the founders of Microdyne was a "consultant" and in charge of
    buying test equipment. He threw a hissy fit that the test department
    ordered some four channel 350 MHz Tek scopes, because "The cal lab is
    full of scopes!" It was. about 20, 20 MHz dual trace Leader scopes left
    over from the days when they built Satellite TV receivers for CATV head
    ends and TV stations. He couldn't understand why we needed several
    network analyzers to improve the quality of our products. "You can use a
    spectrum analyzer, a TSS-2000 Telemetry test set, and ... like we did
    thirty years ago!" He couldn't wrap his mind around the concept that our
    equipment was several grades higher performance than anything he had
    designed ten years before. Luckily, corporate overruled him, and we got
    the equipment we needed. If we didn't get it, we would have been out of
    business in a couple months.
  18. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    MBA without a 'real' degree :) certainly spells trouble. It's an add-on,
    not a cure-all.

    (MBA, MIEEE)
  19. Tim Auton

    Tim Auton Guest

    Lander is a good name as that's all it appears to have done :(

    In 40 or 50 years when we have lots of people or good robots on Mars
    we might start to find out what went wrong with all the failed Mars
    surface missions (which is most of them). It must be hugely annoying
    to work on a project for years and have very little idea why it

    At least Mars Express is still going so I can cheer for Europe as a
    whole, even if my British pride has been dented.

    Kudos to NASA, that's a fine machine they've landed. Let's hope
    Opportunity gets down safely too in a couple of weeks.

  20. Active8

    Active8 Guest

    Oh, it's pretty, with a seventeen gigabyte flash animation with buttons
    that go "ping", lots of artists impressions of atmospheric interface, ...
    It's just not very informative.
    For example, it could do with a timeline showing what's due to happen,
    what has been confirmed as happening, what the pictures that have been
    taken appear to be, ...[/QUOTE]

    Whether the contractors did their english <--> metric conversions
    this time...

    I worked with a digital guy that was on the project that failed.
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