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Old 3rd June 2021, 08:58 PM   #81
Pixel42
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I think of pure scientific research as akin to music or art - we do these things to enrich our minds, not our material welfare. It's what makes us civilised, makes us different to the animals from which we evolved. Any practical benefits which eventually emerge are just an added bonus.
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Old 3rd June 2021, 10:18 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I think of pure scientific research as akin to music or art - we do these things to enrich our minds, not our material welfare. It's what makes us civilised, makes us different to the animals from which we evolved. Any practical benefits which eventually emerge are just an added bonus.
And, don't forget the other difference, we use cutlery.
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Old 4th June 2021, 03:50 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I think of pure scientific research as akin to music or art - we do these things to enrich our minds, not our material welfare. It's what makes us civilised, makes us different to the animals from which we evolved. Any practical benefits which eventually emerge are just an added bonus.
I think it was Feynman who said physics is like sex: it has practical results, but that’s not why we do it.
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Old 4th June 2021, 04:25 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Sure, but they don't have the budget for two of these. And with the budget they do have, any telescope they could build two of wouldn't be as good. And they'd rather have less time on a better telescope than more time on inferior ones.

ETA: I can see a use case for multiple identical space telescopes, though. With radio astronomy, building multiple telescopes to form a giant array allows you to get vastly better diffraction limits on your signal than you can with a single telescope.
Is that possible for Visible Light telescopes as well? Or it it not practical enough for that frequency band of the spectrum?
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Old 4th June 2021, 04:38 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I cant imagine any reason that moving this telescope would be unplanned for.
...what?
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Old 4th June 2021, 04:39 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by jonesdave116 View Post
Yep. Given that it will be at at the L2 point, fixing it is not going to be easy. Or cheap.
More like too hard to even attempt.

A lot of money down the drain if this fails. Maybe they should make wider rocket heads, instead.
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Old 4th June 2021, 04:40 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Again, 10 billion is now small change for Gate Musk Bezos Zukerberg Buffet Apple etc.
Er... no it isn't.

Quote:
A good that includes avoiding another Chuxilliub
What do asteroids have to do with the telescope???
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Old 4th June 2021, 05:00 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Er... no it isn't.



What do asteroids have to do with the telescope???
I bet T rex would wish even a suboptimal device like James Webb had warned him.

(Honey i shrunk the kids)
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Old 4th June 2021, 05:27 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I bet T rex would wish even a suboptimal device like James Webb had warned him.

(Honey i shrunk the kids)
Are you high right now? I can't make heads or tails of your posts.
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Old 4th June 2021, 05:32 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Is that possible for Visible Light telescopes as well? Or it it not practical enough for that frequency band of the spectrum?
I don’t think we can do it for optical band. You need to be able to accurately time the phase of the signal between your different detectors, and I don’t think we really have that capability for visible light in the same way.
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Old 4th June 2021, 06:50 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Is that possible for Visible Light telescopes as well? Or it it not practical enough for that frequency band of the spectrum?
The other thing is that using multiple telescopes as a giant interferometer only helps overcome the diffraction limit on angular resolution, it doesn't really amplify the signal strength. So if you've got a bright source that provides plenty of signal and you just need better angular resolution, using this can help a lot. If you're limited on signal intensity, this won't help much.

But it turns out I was wrong, there are actually some optical interferometer telescopes, for example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_P...Interferometer
But in general, it's not used as much for optical as radio. For one, I think it's easier with radio. Two, radio benefits more, since the diffraction limit is much worse for a single radio telescope dish than for an optical telescope. And three, optical telescopes are often signal limited anyways, so you need big dishes anyways, and that helps with the diffraction limit as a side effect.
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Old 4th June 2021, 07:15 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The other thing is that using multiple telescopes as a giant interferometer only helps overcome the diffraction limit on angular resolution, it doesn't really amplify the signal strength. So if you've got a bright source that provides plenty of signal and you just need better angular resolution, using this can help a lot. If you're limited on signal intensity, this won't help much.

But it turns out I was wrong, there are actually some optical interferometer telescopes, for example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_P...Interferometer
But in general, it's not used as much for optical as radio. For one, I think it's easier with radio. Two, radio benefits more, since the diffraction limit is much worse for a single radio telescope dish than for an optical telescope. And three, optical telescopes are often signal limited anyways, so you need big dishes anyways, and that helps with the diffraction limit as a side effect.
Thanks!
A bit as I suspected.
But I had no idea concerning present capabilities and/or benefits so I thought, I’d ask.
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Old 4th June 2021, 08:22 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Is that possible for Visible Light telescopes as well? Or it it not practical enough for that frequency band of the spectrum?
It's starting to be practical.


ETA: helps if I actually add the link, and I see Ziggurat already posted on this issue. https://www.nature.com/articles/464820a

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Old 4th June 2021, 12:46 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Er... no it isn't.

What do asteroids have to do with the telescope???
Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I bet T rex would wish even a suboptimal device like James Webb had warned him.

(Honey i shrunk the kids)
I'm not sure how the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" remark figures into Samson's post, but he's alluding to programs such as NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program, which scans the sky looking for things on a collision course with Earth. Of greatest concern something like the object that caused the Chicxulub crater and also wiped out the dinosaurs, which is what Samson was referring to when he mentioned T. Rex.

As humans we're also interested in smaller objects like the one that caused the Tunguska event back in 1908: imagine the carnage it could have caused had it occurred over a populated area instead of remote Siberia.

See also the Chelyabinsk meteor, and other modern impact events.

I'm not sure the JWST will help with near Earth observation programs, but we do have Earth based telescopes that are continually searching for potential impact objects.
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Old 4th June 2021, 01:11 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
I'm not sure how the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" remark figures into Samson's post, but he's alluding to programs such as NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program, which scans the sky looking for things on a collision course with Earth. Of greatest concern something like the object that caused the Chicxulub crater and also wiped out the dinosaurs, which is what Samson was referring to when he mentioned T. Rex.

As humans we're also interested in smaller objects like the one that caused the Tunguska event back in 1908: imagine the carnage it could have caused had it occurred over a populated area instead of remote Siberia.

See also the Chelyabinsk meteor, and other modern impact events.

I'm not sure the JWST will help with near Earth observation programs, but we do have Earth based telescopes that are continually searching for potential impact objects.
It won't. It has nothing to do with it, which is why samson's post is puzzling. That's what I would say if samson's posts usually made sense.
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Old 4th June 2021, 11:04 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It won't. It has nothing to do with it, which is why samson's post is puzzling. That's what I would say if samson's posts usually made sense.
Exactly. And I actually pointed this out to Samson earlier, so it's weird that he keeps bringing it up.

I suppose it's possible that if a potential problem asteroid or comet was noticed with some other instrument, JWST could be pointed in that direction and potentially give a more accurate measurement of its orbit. I'm not sure if JWST would be better than other telescopes for that job, or how much we could potentially gain from it in that use.

But, as you say, in general James Webb isn't involved in cataloging asteroids, so it doesn't seem to have much to do with the issues of potential impacts.
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Old 5th June 2021, 08:03 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Exactly. And I actually pointed this out to Samson earlier, so it's weird that he keeps bringing it up.

I suppose it's possible that if a potential problem asteroid or comet was noticed with some other instrument, JWST could be pointed in that direction and potentially give a more accurate measurement of its orbit. I'm not sure if JWST would be better than other telescopes for that job, or how much we could potentially gain from it in that use.

But, as you say, in general James Webb isn't involved in cataloging asteroids, so it doesn't seem to have much to do with the issues of potential impacts.
Radar is the best way to accurately track asteroids. But the world is a bit short on that now that Arecibo is gone.
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Old 17th September 2021, 04:58 AM   #98
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Einstein ring captured by Hubble

Two galaxies with a distant quasar behind them.

Linky

And, the JWST now has an "official" launch date of December 18th:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58498676

Quote:
The $10bn James Webb Space Telescope is expected to launch on 18 December.

Yes, countless targeted lift-offs have come and gone in the past, but this one has a reality to it that the others didn't: the successor observatory to Hubble is now actually built.

All that is required is to ship the finished telescope to French Guiana, put it on the top of an Ariane rocket, light the engines and stand well back.
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Old 17th September 2021, 11:14 PM   #99
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Fingers crossed.
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Old 18th September 2021, 06:27 AM   #100
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Anyone know why it is being launched from French Guiana and not from KSC? (I know that there is European involvement in the project, but since the telescope was assembled in California, transporting it overseas seems like an unnecessary risk/expense.)

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Old 18th September 2021, 06:49 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Anyone know why it is being launched from French Guiana and not from KSC? (I know that there is European involvement in the project, but since the telescope was assembled in California, transporting it overseas seems like an unnecessary risk/expense.)

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The ESA offered to launch the telescope in exchange for time using the telescope.
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Old 18th September 2021, 10:31 AM   #102
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If it was delayed much longer it could have been launching on Starship.
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Old 18th September 2021, 05:36 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Anyone know why it is being launched from French Guiana and not from KSC? (I know that there is European involvement in the project, but since the telescope was assembled in California, transporting it overseas seems like an unnecessary risk/expense.)

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One factor is that French Guiana is closer to the equator, getting more use from the Earth's rotational speed.
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Old 18th September 2021, 06:32 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
One factor is that French Guiana is closer to the equator, getting more use from the Earth's rotational speed.
That's not much of a gain even for things headed toward equatorial GEO. Won't that gain come at the cost of having to change the orbital plane later? Not sure what the exact demands are of the final orbit.
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Old 19th September 2021, 09:10 PM   #105
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There's also the issue that the contracts have been signed for ages. It could have gone up on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, but instead it's going up on an older Ariane.
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Old 19th September 2021, 09:31 PM   #106
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Again, the reason the telescope is being launched on an Ariane is that NASA negotiated a deal in exchange for observation time using the telescope.

Quote:
Why is NASA's most expensive scientific instrument ever launching on a European rocket? Because the European Space Agency is conducting the launch for NASA in return for a share of observation time using the infrared telescope.
-- https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...e-launch-date/
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:40 PM   #107
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There can't be more than one reason? When was that deal negotiated? I'll bet it was years ago.
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Old 20th September 2021, 02:58 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There can't be more than one reason? When was that deal negotiated? I'll bet it was years ago.
To expand on that a bit, I think it's because not all rockets are capable of carrying this kind of payload to the destination. It isn't going to LEO, like the Hubble, but to a Lagrange point which is much farther out in space.

The Europeans had a rocket that could do it at a time when the Americans did not.
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Old 20th September 2021, 06:59 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Again, the reason the telescope is being launched on an Ariane is that NASA negotiated a deal in exchange for observation time using the telescope.
OK. Why did you feel the need to repeat that? Are we missing something?

You seem to be implying that because they charged a price for the service that there wasn't a reason we chose their service, which doesn't really make sense.

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Old 20th September 2021, 07:02 AM   #110
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It just seems like a weird reason to me. Wouldn't everyone be getting time on the scope anyway?
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Old 20th September 2021, 07:22 AM   #111
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Quote:
Again, the reason the telescope is being launched on an Ariane is that NASA negotiated a deal in exchange for observation time using the telescope.
That makes sense from a financial perspective. (Share the cost/share the benefit). But, they could have also negotiated a deal that said "We'll pay SpaceX/NASA/etc. to launch in exchange for observation time"
Quote:
To expand on that a bit, I think it's because not all rockets are capable of carrying this kind of payload to the destination. It isn't going to LEO, like the Hubble, but to a Lagrange point which is much farther out in space.

The Europeans had a rocket that could do it at a time when the Americans did not.
This also makes sense. (I'm surprised that the Americans didn't have any sort of heavy-lift capability at the time, but I guess that sort of thing happens.)

But then, there is still the question: Why launch from French Guiana, instead of launching the European rocket from Kennedy Space Center. (Note: My concern is mostly about the risk of transporting the telescope overseas. Even if the risks may be minimal, the telescope was a huge investment in resources. If it were me I would want to eliminate anything that could jeopardize it.)
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Old 20th September 2021, 07:46 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
But then, there is still the question: Why launch from French Guiana, instead of launching the European rocket from Kennedy Space Center.
Pretty sure rockets can't be moved around that easily. KSC wouldn't be equipped to launch an Ariane.
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Old 20th September 2021, 07:50 AM   #113
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According to Wikipedia, the parameters of this agreement seem to have been agreed to all the way back in 2007.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_...pe#Partnership

Quote:
NASA, ESA and CSA have collaborated on the telescope since 1996. ESA's participation in construction and launch was approved by its members in 2003 and an agreement was signed between ESA and NASA in 2007. In exchange for full partnership, representation and access to the observatory for its astronomers, ESA is providing the NIRSpec instrument, the Optical Bench Assembly of the MIRI instrument, an Ariane 5 ECA launcher, and manpower to support operations.[78][124] The CSA will provide the Fine Guidance Sensor and the Near-Infrared Imager Slitless Spectrograph plus manpower to support operations.[125]
Quote:
But then, there is still the question: Why launch from French Guiana, instead of launching the European rocket from Kennedy Space Center. (Note: My concern is mostly about the risk of transporting the telescope overseas. Even if the risks may be minimal, the telescope was a huge investment in resources. If it were me I would want to eliminate anything that could jeopardize it.)
Wouldn't it be even more difficult and possibly risky to transport the European rocket to Kennedy Space Center? Just BTW, if the plan was set in stone back in 2007, there may have been other considerations at the time. It was probably seen as the most viable available rocket vehicle at the time which met all of the requirements.
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Old 20th September 2021, 07:58 AM   #114
jadebox
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You seem to be implying that because they charged a price for the service that there wasn't a reason we chose their service, which doesn't really make sense.
Huh?

The main reason that the ESA is launching the telescope is that they agreed to do so in exchange for observation time using the telescope. ULA could have launched it using an Atlas or Delta rocket, but they would have charged NASA for the launch. SpaceX wasn't an option when the launch was negotiated.
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:21 AM   #115
RecoveringYuppy
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Yeah, you've said some of that multiple times. Just wondering why you are repeating it. Not important.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:40 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Anyone know why it is being launched from French Guiana and not from KSC?
Since it's going up on a European Space Agency rocket, why would it launch from a NASA facility instead of from a European Space Agency facility? I imagine that an orbital rocket launch requires a fair amount of ground support specific to the kind of rocket you're launching. I doubt KSC has that stuff already for an Ariane rocket, whereas Arianes launch from the Guiana Space Center all the time. Importing that equipment to KSC for one launch likely doesn't make any sense.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:55 AM   #117
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Now I want a documentary on the transport cradle(s) for the scope and its major subassemblies. The engineering on that thing must be super intense. Especially if they're confident it can keep the scope safe during a voyage through the entire range of possible Atlantic weather.
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Old 20th September 2021, 10:09 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Now I want a documentary on the transport cradle(s) for the scope and its major subassemblies. The engineering on that thing must be super intense. Especially if they're confident it can keep the scope safe during a voyage through the entire range of possible Atlantic weather.
I doubt it's going to have more stress on it during transport to the launch facility than it will have during launch. But yes, engineering a complex satellite to withstand launch forces is a very non-trivial endeavor. It isn't just about the g-forces of launch either, there can also be quite a bit of vibration.
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Old 19th October 2021, 03:34 AM   #119
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$10bn James Webb Space Telescope unpacked in Kourou

One step closer.

Hey, at least the boat it was shipped on wasn’t attacked by pirates or Kaiju.

December 18th is the day, now 2 months away, if everything goes according to plan.
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Old 19th October 2021, 06:06 AM   #120
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Forgive my ignorance. And this is probably in the thread somewhere.

How long does it take to get on station and then start working? When can we expect pictures of little green men?
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