[time-nuts] GPS interference and history...

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 9 21:42:15 UTC 2011

On 6/9/11 1:18 PM, William H. Fite wrote:
> I well recall the furor over Cassini-Huygens in 1997 but approval was
> ultimately granted and, of course, the launch was without incident.  Since
> then, New Horizons, Galileo, and Ulysses have been launched with far less
> public outcry, despite the fact that all are powered by RTGs.  Arguably,
> well-designed reactors could be even safer.

Galileo was launched before Cassini.

MSL is carrying RTGs and launches Nov-Dec this year.

The problem isn't so much political as practical. Limited fuel 
availability, and you don't get kilowatts from an RTG.

Kilowatts from solar panels are very doable, but expensive.   A typical 
GEO comsat will probably have 10 or more kW of power available, but it's 
a billion dollar plus thing.  GPS is smaller, lighter, etc.

Juno is going to Jupiter in a couple months, and is solar powered... 
quite the challenge at 5 AU.. it has monster solar arrays.

GPS orbits are tough from a radiation standpoint too.

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