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Thread: Stupid MSNBC (and the shuttle landing!)

  1. #1
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    So last night I heard that the shuttle (Columbia?) was landing, so I stayed up until like 1:30 because, well, I needed an excuse. I was doing a bit of homework anyhow, so I figured, what the hey?

    So MSNBC (we hates you!) had this in the cockpit shot and it was pretty cool. That thing drops like a stone... And about 2 seconds before the thing touches down, they get broken into by commercials. No warning, just random commercial break in.

    At first I thought it must have blown up or something, and then I switched to CNN and everything was kosher. Did this happen to other people, or was it just stupid Cox cable that I should hate?

    Ben

  2. #2
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    Not a real answer, just some input.

    1. Their advertiser (whoever it was) paid for their ad to run a certain number of times per hour, so that was probably where the last opportunity in that hour occurred for them to run the ad.

    2. They probably figured that shuttle landings are routine for the American public by now.

    So, all other things being equal (it wasn't coming down in flames, for example), when the broadcast schedule said "run ad now", somewhere a director simply shrugged and pushed the button for the ad.

  3. #3
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    Man! A cockpit view of the landing would be a cool thing to see. I've always wondered why NASA couldn't include more cameras in their missions, now that the darn things are so small and all. I did see where they had a "helmet cam" for the repair job on the Hubble, but I'm sure that was for their own use rather than for our entertainment. If they want to keep funds flowing, they really should try a few things to peek the general public's interest, IMHO. Wally

  4. #4
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    A cockpit view of the landing would be a cool thing to see.
    Considering the angle of attack of the shuttle on landing, I would be surprized if there is anything visable from the cockpit except sky!

  5. #5
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    Well I watched the landing on CNN Europe and they also showed the images from the cockpit. Only for the last, let's say, 10-20 seconds you could actually see the runway. It was night ofcourse, so only the little lights on the side of the runway were visible.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MHS on 2002-03-13 11:19 ]</font>

  6. #6
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    I've wondered why NASA doesn't have more cameras on the shuttles, too. I'm just guessing, but I would imagine that a large part of NASA's reluctance to have entire shuttle missions go "live" 24/7 on WebCams or something would be the fear of having another Challenger-type disaster--live, on camera.

    Viewed by horrified schoolchildren all over the world.

    Even something like an Apollo 13 problem would be very problematical for kids, very stressful. "Are they gonna be okay?" Like that.


  7. #7
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    On 2002-03-13 20:43, Jigsaw wrote:
    I've wondered why NASA doesn't have more cameras on the shuttles, too. I'm just guessing, but I would imagine that a large part of NASA's reluctance to have entire shuttle missions go "live" 24/7 on WebCams or something would be the fear of having another Challenger-type disaster--live, on camera.

    Viewed by horrified schoolchildren all over the world.

    Even something like an Apollo 13 problem would be very problematical for kids, very stressful. "Are they gonna be okay?" Like that.
    They could put an "xx" second delay in case of an instance like that. (Sort of like what they do on Letterman in case Madonna says something unfortunate)
    I, for one, would probably be tuned in most of my waking hours. But I'm just one person. Even this whole board isn't a drop in the bucket, commercially.
    If enough people would watch, the networks would do it.
    Lisa

  8. #8
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    I would imagine that a large part of NASA's reluctance to have entire shuttle missions go "live" 24/7 on WebCams or something would be the fear of having another Challenger-type disaster--live, on camera.

    Viewed by horrified schoolchildren all over the world.
    I was in 4th grade (I think...) during the Challenger disaster. Because I lived in South Florida, we went out onto the playground to watch all the launches. Watching that explosion was numbing, but it also gave me a serious appreciation of technological accomplishment. Every time I watch the shuttle launch, I remember back to the Challenger and am proud of our continuing struggle to expand our world.

    I guess the point is that the Challenger disaster was an important part of my childhood, and it helped me appreciate the seriousness and power of this sort of human endeavour.

  9. #9
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    Actually here in Central Florida the DishNetwork (my satellite TV company) offers a channel dealing entirely with Nasa. It offers nothing but NASA stuff. No commercials but has histories, photo galleries, ISS mission updates (from the command center), shuttle updates. All kinds of good "boring" stuff that is really informative too. Maybe it around elsewhere?

  10. #10
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    That's probably NASA-TV. You can watch that online too @ Space.com. It offers broadband, but the quality isn't that good...

  11. #11
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    On 2002-03-14 09:22, MHS wrote:
    That's probably NASA-TV. You can watch that online too @ Space.com. It offers broadband, but the quality isn't that good...
    Urrgh! I just tried the so called broadband option for NASA TV at that link & only got a 38Kbs connection & 12fps!

    This is the one I use & its pretty reliable at 300Kbs, 28fps:
    http://www.broadcast.com/learning_an...sa_television/


  12. #12
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    Yeah, about that commercial must happen now thing, the problem I have with that is that MSNBC was showing a taped segment on (cue music) the War on Terror. And then they broke it off and a talking head came on and said "And now, this very moment, is a special landing dealie!" And they made a big deal about how they had some expert on shuttles giving a running commentary. Which was mostly just drivel, it being the middle of the night. They guy sounded old. Anyway, they made a big deal about it and then all of a sudden, in the middle of a sentence, nothing. Just commercials.

    I suppose it's probably Cox cable I should hate, but MSNBC is so much more fun. (Despite the lack of a cool name)

    Also, as far as the angle of attack goes I was really surprised... They had what looked like a HUD going, with little altitude markers and whatnot, and the picture was sufficiently grainy that it looked like a live feed. (Those NASA guys sure are getting clever about faking stuff, no? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] ) But the runway appeared at the top of the screen, and then came down, which makes it seem like the pilot came diving straight down at the ground and then pulled out early, as if he were afraid of missing the runway on the long side?

    Anyway, very interesting..

    Ben

  13. #13
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    I missed this landing but either the last one or the one before that also had live feed from the cockpit.. if my ailing memory serves me correctly [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
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    Ben – you’re probably not far off about the pilot diving what apears to be straight down then flaring out just before touchdown. I was going for my private glider pilots license in the early 80’s (had to give it up though) and the big joke about the shuttle being the worlds biggest glider was –‘it glides like big rock with short wings – and only slightly better than a big rock without wings!’ Which is also why it lands at such a high speed.

  15. #15
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    On 2002-03-14 10:42, Roy Batty wrote:
    On 2002-03-14 09:22, MHS wrote:
    That's probably NASA-TV. You can watch that online too @ Space.com. It offers broadband, but the quality isn't that good...
    Urrgh! I just tried the so called broadband option for NASA TV at that link & only got a 38Kbs connection & 12fps!

    This is the one I use & its pretty reliable at 300Kbs, 28fps:
    http://www.broadcast.com/learning_an...sa_television/

    I know that stream, it's great, thanks. The only problem with it is that it often strands when a lot of people (e.g. during shuttle launches/landings) plug in.

  16. #16
    I was watching NASA tv by dsl link and it was great. During a shuttle mission they show tons of live video during working hours (if the crew's asleep, there isn't much to see). The video comes and goes depending on the ground links. Sometimes it's poorly lighted, it is very real. Watching them work from a helmet cam is so frustrating -- you want to reach out and help because it's so s l o w and difficult for everything they do.

    They did have a camera behind the pilot during landing. The heads up display showed them diving fast with a flair at the last minute or so. During daylight it would be awesome.

    They also had a camera at the back of the flight deck during liftoff. Lots of light in the windows (no detail) and lots of shaking of the crew. Man, what a ride.
    Check out:
    http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov
    and look for NASA TV the next time a shuttle is up. Sometimes connection speed was terrible and lost sound other times it was just great.

  17. #17
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    When's the next launch? Now that I have cool links, this should be fun. The heck with network TV.
    Lisa

  18. #18
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    Schedule of upcoming launches.

    http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/s...e/schedule.htm

    You're welcome. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]


  19. #19
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    On 2002-03-14 10:58, SpacedOut wrote:
    Ben – you’re probably not far off about the pilot diving what apears to be straight down then flaring out just before touchdown. I was going for my private glider pilots license in the early 80’s (had to give it up though) and the big joke about the shuttle being the worlds biggest glider was –‘it glides like big rock with short wings – and only slightly better than a big rock without wings!’ Which is also why it lands at such a high speed.
    I'm a pilot too and the joke around the hangers is; Once they are back in the atmosphere and ballistic, they toss out janitor's keyring and follow it down. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif[/img]

  20. #20
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    On 2002-03-12 20:57, Jigsaw wrote:
    Not a real answer, just some input.

    1. Their advertiser (whoever it was) paid for their ad to run a certain number of times per hour, so that was probably where the last opportunity in that hour occurred for them to run the ad.
    If MSNBC is anything like Fox News, the commercials are computer-programmed. People in the studio have very little control over commercial breaks...they simply happen when the computer is programmed for them happen.

    You see this effect every so often with announcers/hosts getting cut off when they don't wrap up quickly enough. And, presumably, a routine shuttle landing does not warrant overiding the computer.

    Eric

  21. #21
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    For anybody who likes flight simulators, XPlanes has a pretty good shuttle sim; after flying it, I can but wonder why the entire crew doesn't suffer from severe droopy-drawers after a landing.

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