APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

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APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:07 am

Image The Trail of a Minotaur

Explanation: Star trails arc above a moonlit beach and jetty in this serene sea and night skyscape. Captured on November 19, the single time exposure looks south down the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. But the longest and brightest trail is a Minotaur 1 rocket, a stage separation and exhaust plume visible along the rocket's fiery path toward low Earth orbit. The multi-stage Minotaur was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at 8:15 p.m Eastern Time in Virginia, about 400 miles away. On board were a remarkable 29 satellites destined for low Earth orbit, including a small cubesat built by high school students, and Firefly.

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Nitpicker » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:47 am

Thanks. I never knew (before now) that these Minotaurs have been converted from retired ICBMs. Sounds like such an excellent reuse of technology that I am actually shocked. I do wonder, though, what causes an unused ICBM to be retired? (I would also like to know if the ICBMs are replaced and what happens to the original payload, but really, that is none of my business.)

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:37 pm

The Tail of a Monitor. Yeah, I see it, being dragged up out of the water, plain as day. I didn’t know they still had giant aquatic reptiles in Massachusetts.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by neufer » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:58 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
I never knew (before now) that these Minotaurs have been converted from retired ICBMs. Sounds like such an excellent reuse of technology that I am actually shocked. I do wonder, though, what causes an unused ICBM to be retired? (I would also like to know if the ICBMs are replaced and what happens to the original payload, but really, that is none of my business.)
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=32074&p=208241#p208241 wrote:
<<Under the START II treaty, which never entered into force, the ["Peacekeeper"] missiles were to be removed from the U.S. nuclear arsenal in 2005, leaving the LGM-30 Minuteman as the only type of land-based ICBM in the U.S. arsenal. Despite the demise of the START II treaty, the last of the LGM-118A "Peacekeeper" ICBMs (but not their warheads) were decommissioned on September 19, 2005. Current plans are to switch 500 decommissioned Peacekeepers' W87/Mk-21 warheads to the Minuteman III. Among the reasons cited for decommissioning of the Peacekeeper ICBM was its failure to achieve the program's range objectives.>>
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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:14 pm

Go, Baby, Go!

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The Tale of Miss Monitor

Post by neufer » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:16 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
The Tail of a Monitor. Yeah, I see it, being dragged up out of the water, plain as day.
I didn’t know they still had giant aquatic reptiles in Massachusetts.
http://www.monitorbeacon.net/missmonitor.html wrote: <<Here she is -- "Miss Monitor." Her real name is Tedi Thurman -- the woman who, in "Monitor's" early years, gave weather forecasts in a manner that New York Times media critic Jack Gould described as "an irresistible invitation to an unforgettable evening."

Tedi was a fashion model and actress who had appeared on several TV shows. That turned out to be her ticket to "Monitor," where she gave weather forecasts for cities in a way that they'd never been given before -- in an alluring voice with lush music playing in the background.

The first time you heard that presentation, you'd never forget it -- or "that voice." You can hear "Miss Monitor" by clicking on the Miss Monitor audio link.

(The weather forecasts were real -- except for the time when "Monitor" host Henry Morgan set Tedi's script on fire from the bottom up. Then, she had to make up some of the temperatures.)

Editor's note: Tedi Thurman died in Palm Springs in September 2012 at the age of 89. I was privileged to meet her at the Monitor reunion in Manhattan in 2004 -- several years after I first talked with her by phone for my books on Monitor. She was always, in a word, delightful. She loved having been on Monitor and was, decades later, surprised that someone (me) was interested in chronicling the program.>>
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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:18 am

neufer wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:
I never knew (before now) that these Minotaurs have been converted from retired ICBMs. Sounds like such an excellent reuse of technology that I am actually shocked. I do wonder, though, what causes an unused ICBM to be retired? (I would also like to know if the ICBMs are replaced and what happens to the original payload, but really, that is none of my business.)
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=32074&p=208241#p208241 wrote:
<<Under the START II treaty, which never entered into force, the ["Peacekeeper"] missiles were to be removed from the U.S. nuclear arsenal in 2005, leaving the LGM-30 Minuteman as the only type of land-based ICBM in the U.S. arsenal. Despite the demise of the START II treaty, the last of the LGM-118A "Peacekeeper" ICBMs (but not their warheads) were decommissioned on September 19, 2005. Current plans are to switch 500 decommissioned Peacekeepers' W87/Mk-21 warheads to the Minuteman III. Among the reasons cited for decommissioning of the Peacekeeper ICBM was its failure to achieve the program's range objectives.>>
Thanks neufer. Delving slightly deeper, I read that the Minotaur 1 gets its first and second stages from decommissioned Minuteman II missiles. And since 2010, the Minuteman III is the only land-based ICBM in US service. Yay for M.A.D.

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by neufer » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:04 am

Nitpicker wrote:
Thanks neufer. Delving slightly deeper, I read that the Minotaur 1 gets its first and second stages from decommissioned Minuteman II missiles. And since 2010, the Minuteman III is the only land-based ICBM in US service. Yay for M.A.D.
  • Yay for M.A.D. ... the first programming language that I ever learned:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAD_%28programming_language%29 wrote: <<MAD (Michigan Algorithm Decoder) is a programming language and compiler for the IBM 704 and later the IBM 709, IBM 7090, IBM 7040, UNIVAC 1107, UNIVAC 1108, Philco 210-211, and eventually the IBM S/370 mainframe computers. Developed in 1959 at the University of Michigan, MAD is a variant of the International Algebraic Language (IAL). It was widely used to teach programming at colleges and universities during the 1960s. GOM (Good Old MAD), a reimplementation of the original 7090 MAD for the IBM S/370 series of mainframe computers running the Michigan Terminal System (MTS).

MAD was quite fast compared to some of the other compilers of its day. In a pre-release version of the original MAD, as a reference to MAD's namesake, MAD magazine, when a program contained too many compile time errors the compiler would print a full-page picture of Alfred E. Neuman using ASCII art. The caption read, "See this man about your program--He might want to publish it. He never worries--but from the looks of your program, you should." This feature was not included in the final official version.

And Bernie Galler remembers: By the time we designed the language that we thought would be worth doing and for which we could do a compiler, we couldn't call it Algol any more; it really was different. That's when we adopted the name MAD, for the Michigan Algorithm Decoder. We had some funny interaction with the Mad Magazine people, when we asked for permission to use the name MAD. In a very funny letter, they told us that they would take us to court and everything else, but ended the threat with a P.S. at the bottom - "Sure, go ahead." Unfortunately, that letter is lost.>>
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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:22 am

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction
The strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction and the acronym MAD are due to John von Neumann (1903–1957), who had a taste for humorous acronyms, another example being his MANIAC computer. He was, among other things, an inventor of game theory, a cold war strategist, and chairman of the ICBM Committee until his death in 1957.

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by neufer » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:05 am

Nitpicker wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction wrote:
The strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction and the acronym MAD are due to John von Neumann (1903–1957), who had a taste for humorous acronyms, another example being his MANIAC computer. He was, among other things, an inventor of game theory, a cold war strategist, and chairman of the ICBM Committee until his death in 1957.
  • And my real dad :!:
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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:26 am

neufer wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction wrote:
The strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction and the acronym MAD are due to John von Neumann (1903–1957), who had a taste for humorous acronyms, another example being his MANIAC computer. He was, among other things, an inventor of game theory, a cold war strategist, and chairman of the ICBM Committee until his death in 1957.
  • And my real dad :!:
Though paternity issues can sometimes be as tricky as authorship issues.

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Re: APOD: The Trail of a Minotaur (2013 Nov 21)

Post by Beyond » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:20 am

ooh! Good one, Nitpicker. :yes:
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