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Thread: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

  1. #1
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    Default NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    /* Pulsars were originally thought to be nav beacons for E.T. */

    NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique (ARTICLE LINK)
    Excerpt
    NASA has invented a new type of autonomous space navigation that could see human-made spacecraft heading into the far reaches of the Solar System, and even farther -by using pulsars as guide stars.

    It's called Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology, or SEXTANT (named after an 18th century nautical navigation instrument), and it uses X-ray technology to see millisecond pulsars, using them much like a GPS uses satellites.

    "This demonstration is a breakthrough for future deep space exploration," said SEXTANT project manager Jason Mitchell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    "As the first to demonstrate X-ray navigation fully autonomously and in real-time in space, we are now leading the way."

    Pulsars are highly magnetised, rapidly rotating neutron stars - the result of a massive star's core collapsing and subsequently exploding.

    As they spin, they emit electromagnetic radiation. If an observer is in the right position, they can appear as sweeping beams, like a cosmic lighthouse.

    They're also extraordinarily regular - in the case of some millisecond pulsars, which can spin hundreds of times a second, their regularity can rival that of atomic clocks.
    #include [std-disclaimer]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Great! So now they know where we are, right?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Great! So now they know where we are, right?


    Only if they've picked up & traced our EM signals or intercepted one of the Pioneer or Voyager spacecraft.

    The Golden Record Cover (ARTICLE LINK)



    Image: The Golden Record cover shown with its extraterrestrial instructions.
    Credit: NASA/JPL


    Excerpt
    The drawing in the lower left-hand corner of the cover is the pulsar map previously sent as part of the plaques on Pioneers 10and 11. It shows the location of the solar system with respect to 14 pulsars, whose precise periods are given. The drawing containing two circles in the lower right-hand corner is a drawing of the hydrogen atom in its two lowest states, with a connecting line and digit 1 to indicate that the time interval associated with the transition from one state to the other is to be used as the fundamental time scale, both for the time given on the cover and in the decoded pictures.
    #include [std-disclaimer]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    There's a pretty good song about that, and about Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. True Story

    Jim Moray, The Sounds of Earth.

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  5. #5
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Hey, they figured out the hydrogen thing.

    They're getting too smart. Knock it all down again.

    But, Dad...

    Do it.

    Peace,
    Emperor For Life

  6. #6
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Great! So now they know where we are, right?
    God help humanity if they land in America and say "Take me to your leader".
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    God help humanity if they land in America and say "Take me to your leader".
    Just so long as they aren't from Uranus or some other ****hole planet!
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Quote Originally Posted by SKIP KILPATRICK View Post
    Just so long as they aren't from Uranus or some other ****hole planet!
    .

  9. #9
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    Default Re: NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

    Trump's last words before being vaporized: "Why don't you go back to your S**thole planet?!

    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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