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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
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A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Pretty much everything sent to space is a one-off job. (there are exceptions like Iridium and GPS satellites, but they are rare).
And, as all the fully functional smartphones, TVs, base stations, laptops, etc etc etc all around you will indicate, tin whiskers are simply not a big deal.
You're really struggling to dismiss these peoples' hard work. Why? What's your motive?
Questions that should be asked
Posted Feb 26, 2013 17:37 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
All those devices you mention have a tendency to break apart after a few years for no reason, with smartphones the worst offenders.
I just expect more from space exploration. This particular job looks like a high school research project, but whatever. It is cool, dude.
Posted Feb 26, 2013 17:40 UTC (Tue) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Reading the Wikipedia page, tin whiskers which short out in a vacuum causes the tin to turn to plasma which can carry quite a few amps (100s) and can short out a lot of electronics.
Posted Feb 26, 2013 18:30 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Just a set of random guesses. 8-)
Posted Feb 26, 2013 18:41 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Feb 26, 2013 19:34 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
If you wait for everything to be 'space rated', you end up running very old technology, which can end up being horribly inefficent.
I believe the AA batteries, and I do not expect that they are rechargeable
Posted Feb 27, 2013 7:21 UTC (Wed) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
Posted Feb 27, 2013 7:26 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
In many cases, your mass issue compounds, a heavier craft means it needs bigger thrusters, more fuel......
Posted Feb 27, 2013 10:03 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
It's only true if you send stuff to the Mars or Jupiter. To send 1kg to LEO you need about $4'000-$5'000 and to send 1kg to GEO you need $25'000-$30'000.
That's if you use cheap "obsolete" Atlas, Dnepr, Proton, or similar modern replacements. Futuristic Space Shuttle was, indeed, 5-10 times more expensive, but that's not a problem anymore.
At these prices easily achievable savings make sense, but if you need one fully engineer to work a year to save measly 1kg once then obviously it makes no sense at all.
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