Monday, February 03, 2003

after columbia

nasa has announced the inquiry into the sad loss of the columbia, but at the same time russian astronauts are heading on out to the international space station. Let's wish them luck, and hope that they don't have to wait an undue length of time before they are able to return to ground. It's possible that someone may have to make a decision to launch another shuttle even before a assessment is made, if at some future time that would be the best option for these guys to get back home. I have no idea at the present whether there is any other way - the old idea of sitting in a space capsule and coming back that way may have been superseded by the use of shuttle vehicles. Still, it looks as though they should be able to stay up for at least
140 days
without too many problems. A couple of methods for re-entry without using the shuttles have been proposed, but I don't think they'll have enough time to wait for the X38 to be developed, though. Some comfort can be obtained from the knowledge that the ard has been tested, and perhaps that could be used for re-entry purposes, though again, I'm not sure what the status of that is today.

All of this is likely to put the development of the iss back a bit, but that's very much to be expected.

Could anything else have been done? It seems unlikely, though perhaps time will tell whether nasa should have had alternative strategies, or whether it even realised the extent of the risks involved for columbia.

In the meantime, william gibson has been writing some wistful thoughts about space exploration.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

It's February 2nd today, and I'm still trying to figure out how to do the archiving of the Pitas file over at dave2002.

It's not in principle difficult to do, but it seems to be impossible to edit archived material, so slightly reluctant to do this until some problems have been fixed.
A few fairly obvious problems are that:

  1. Some of the entries became out of order recently - I'm checking up why this happened!
  2. The labels for some of the recent entries are somewhat out of alighment - these need to be checked carefully.
  3. There are still ongoing problems with the template, so as many should be fixed as possible. The main problem
    concerns the width of the page, but there may be others.
  4. I may have to do something with the calendar routines to allow for future entries - will check as I update the archive etc.
    I think my previous view was that archiving would freeze everything, and there wouldn't actually be a problem.

There are actually problems with the template which are nothing to do with me. When I chose a near "virgin" template in the
dtest3 testblog, there were over 50 reported warnings using Tidy in HTML Kit".


I hope to have the problems regarding dave2002 sorted today, or at least in another couple of days.

OK - using w.bloggar to post this - w.bloggar is succeeding with the posting, but not the publishing. Something problematic seems to be happening.
What a pain!