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Gravity Probe B went up at 9:57 AM today

  1. Apr 21, 2004 #1

    marcus

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    A friend of mine was at Vandenburg for the launch. I just spoke with her by phone and she gave me a guest's-eye view of the proceedings.
    She says the briefings and talks earlier were a big part of it.
    Almost more than watching the actual launch.

    It was too windy in the high atmosphere for the scheduled Monday lift-off, so they delayed it till today. A lot of those invited had to leave Monday, so they missed it.

    For security or some other reason, you couldnt watch any closer than 7 miles. They were bussed to an observation point 7 miles from the pad.
    My friend says it went up at 9:57 in the morning----I dont know what the official news release says.

    Earlier there had been a lot of fog, especially over the ocean. But by 9 AM it had cleared where they were and they had blue sky overhead. What was her visual impression of the first stage as she watched it ascend? "Extremely bright". Also that it left a smoke trail.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2004
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  3. Apr 21, 2004 #2

    marcus

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  4. Apr 21, 2004 #3

    marcus

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    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2004/april21/gpbshort-421.html

    this came out today in the Stanford house organ "Stanford Report"
    nice pictures---like of a niobium-coated quartz ball
    clear easytoread story

    a picture of the big dewar flask that holds
    645 gallons of superfluid helium

    the balls apparently are supposed to spin 5,000 to 10,000 rpm

    the satellite is supposed to lock onto some star in Pegasus
    to maintain fixed direction (to have something to compare the gyro axes to)

    Leonard Schiff proposed it in 1959, how time flies
     
  5. Apr 22, 2004 #4
    I seem to remember the mission will take 16 months.
    But from what I gather, there's no reason why they can`t be taking readings from the giroscopes every few weeks. Preliminary results might be with us within a couple of months... as far as I gather. True?
     
  6. Apr 22, 2004 #5

    marcus

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    Meemoe, why dont you be our expert on this experiment (unless Phobos, Integral, Enigma et al already have all the details ready)

    for experimental tests of GR it doesnt get more authoritative than
    Clifford Wills, and here is a technical article on GPB by Wills

    http://arxiv.org/gr-qc/0212069

    you are invited to report whatever you can find out from this
    or other sources about GPB!

    I dont know when (or even whether) preliminary results might be made available. Does anyone know anything relevant to meemoe's question?
     
  7. Apr 22, 2004 #6
    I think it neat how spherical those quartz orbs measure! I would not be surprised if they exhibit previously unknown propreties of spacetime.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2004 #7
    Meemoe and expert should not be used in the same sentence without a negator! But I read up on abit more on GPB and it won`t be ready for another 38 to 58 days.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2004 #8

    marcus

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    already you are telling me news
    please say if your source is online
    and give me the link so I can read up a bit more myself

    it is very helpful to have a local expert, that is a person
    who keeps more alert and finds more information about
    something he is interested in, but I will think of another
    name for the job (head look-out? the guy in the crows nest?
    night watchman?)

    what do you mean by "ready"
    I really dont know a lot of details about this
    although idea is exciting
     
  10. Apr 23, 2004 #9

    wolram

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    MARCUS
    you can subscribe to a weekly news update here
    http://einstein.stanford.edu/

    also on this page, full information of mission
    click on.
    GP-B Launch Companion in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
    here you will find a table that gives a time line
    for all tasks to be completed befor science can
    begin
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2004
  11. Apr 26, 2004 #10

    marcus

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  12. Apr 27, 2004 #11

    wolram

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