Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day!

March 14 is π day, when we celebrate the dimensionless number that shows up everywhere in our 3-dimensional world! Far from just the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle, π is the archetypical irrational number. People have computed the non-repeating digits of π to at least 10 trillion places, mostly as a computational challenge! I hope they have some apple π in the cafeteria today.
SDO did a momentum management burn yesterday at 1901 UTC (3:00 pm ET). We used 51 gr of propellant to drive the reaction wheels to the desired speeds. The high-gain antennas move off White Sands during the burn and we lose about 10 minutes of data. Once the burn is complete the antennas move back into place and the downlink is resumed.