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A Project To Last A Lifetime

Written By: Anton Ulyanov - Jul• 23•13

Today, Vikram Dwarkadas gave us an entirely new perspective on the field of astronomy. In talking about the Chandra satellite telescope, he said the project took nearly 30 years to complete, from its conception in 1970 to the launch in July of 1999.
This really put all of the work scientists do into perspective for me. Someone devotes their entire life to one project, and most cannot be salvaged if something goes wrong after the initial launch. Those moments after lift-off must be the most stressful in the scientist’s life, watching your life’s work get truly tested for the firs time.
I struggle to imagine the emotions a scientist must feel if his or her project fails after so much time was dedicated to it.

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4 Comments

  1. Ms Barge says:

    I remember seeing pictures of the first time astronomers were going to see pictures from the Hubble telescope. They were expecting beautiful images but got blurry pictures instead. They were in shock. Their faces just showed dumbfounded expressions. It took three years, I think, before they could fix it. And that was when you could fix it because you could use the space shuttle which we no longer have. There is a video that shows the process of building, launching and landing the Mars rovers. You see the stress they are under during the different stages.

    • Anton Ulyanov says:

      Thank’s for telling me about the video – I’ll be sure to check it out. It’s really scary to think that now without the shuttle program whatever we send up there can’t be salvaged or repaired if something goes wrong.

    • Anton Ulyanov says:

      Thanks for telling me about the video – I’ll be sure to check it out. It’s really scary to think that now without the shuttle program whatever we send up there can’t be salvaged or repaired if something goes wrong.

  2. Ms Barge says:

    The video is called Mega Martian Rover. It was a National Geographic documentary. It’s on YouTube

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