Friday, April 20, 2012

To Your TLE On Time Or It's Free

SpaceX is, at last word, still on track for their "demonstration" (non-critical cargo) delivery to the International Space Station, launching 30 April.

If everything goes to plan, it still won't be quite fast enough to send 'em a hot pizza, even starting from the 'za jernt closest to the Cape (anybody got the number?); but it'll mark the first time since the last Shuttle flight that a cargo left the U.S. for delivery to people living in Low Earth Orbit. And on a commercial flight! I dunno if the NORAD Two-line Element Set counts as an address or not; right now, if what SpaceX ships has to be signed for, there's only one address they need to find anyway.

My best wishes for their success.

(PS: I wonder if you could use a satphone on ISS? And how the pizza delivery guy would take the joke if you called in an order?)

(PPS: If you can dial out, you can dial in! New funding stream for NASA: 1-900-###-ISS1, rings up to the space station but no promise you'll get anything but an answering machine or recorded message, $20 minimum. Wanna bet that thing would get calls 24/7/365?)


Robert McDonald said...

I am extremely excited about this launch.

Dave H said...

It's about time somebody with some business sense started making deliveries to orbit. NASA should have been leading the charge beyond, not playing Mom's Taxi.

Oh, but I want so much to be able to stick one of those UPS "sorry we missed you, you can pick up your package at...." notes on an ISS airlock.

Anonymous said...

or you could study a bit, get your ham ticket, tinker around with some really cool gear and make the call all by yourself today for "free".

Yea, that $#!T would make a metric ton of money, especially if they could tie it in with a twitter account and a facebook promotion.


David Neylon said...

Really funny you should ask that today. Or do you read this?

Roberta X said...

"-sm:" How much should I study to upgrade from Extra -- and to what? ;)

I have held a ham license since long before I could drive a car -- and a GROL for most of my working life (it was a First-Class Radiotelephone Operator's License, when I took the test).

You can fight it out on 2m (do they have 70cm now, too?) and work ISS when things line up using little more than an HT and a pointable high-gain antenna; any more, a Tech license is no-code and just about no-study. But that doesn't help when it comes to extracting nickles and dimes from J. Random Guy -- which would be the actual point of the exercise. Hell, they'll buy lottery tickets, won't they?

Roberta X said...

(Ooops! Sorry, SM, I didn't recognize you as something of a long-timer who already knew I had a ham ticket. Frikkin' english "you" and both singular and collective.... Grrr.)

TheMinuteman said...

I haven't been able to do it yet but I've listened to the ISS go by with the station making ton's of contacts.

Every time I hear it go by overhead, someone's running that radio. I need to 900 number to talk to space.

All you need is an H/T and a circular polarized yagi.

I wonder if it would be a violation of the HAM rules to do a phone patch to order a pizza. Instinct says yes, but it would be totally awesome. I'd even do a relay if they just said, "You know, pizza sounds good right about now."

TheMinuteman said...

And I just finished reading all the comments, :D.

Anonymous said...

no problem Roberta, it's google's/blogger's javascript thingy. I figgure I've been commenting long enough that everyone knows me by "SM" by now (and no, I'm not Kevin of Uberpost either)

I'm a recent extra class myself, though they dealt me a easy test without any of the really tough math on it. Memorize and regurgitate was what got me to a comfy 86% correct. Just don't ask me to calculate anything having to do with reactance and polar coordinates.

On to Morse code, I suppose. Right after Field Day for sure.

(and if the Boy Sprouts of America are a "paramilitary organization", does Field Day make Hams into "Preppers"?)


>I wonder if it would be a violation of the HAM rules to do a phone patch to order a pizza.

If you are ordering up a mess of pizzas to feed some first responders onsite of a legitimate emergency, sure, go ahead. Otherwise, you'll need to use your cell phone (source: remembered from the Technical Plus test prep booklet put out by Gordon West, WB6NOA and sold at Radio Shack back in the 90s )