Znamya Failure

Eberst (eberst@cableinet.co.uk)
Sun, 7 Feb 1999 14:29:43 -0800 (PST)

At 07:58 99/02/07 -0500, Bruno wrote:

>This concluding remark completely spoils what has been written before.
>There has been a lot of hysteria and animosity expressed against Znamya
>in various astronomy list. But to see such opinions in a list devoted
>to satellite observing is surprising, to say the least.
>And mind you: without technological experiments there just will be no
>lunar base, there just will be no manned flight to Mars or elsewhere
>in the solar system and perhaps beyond.
>The Znamya experiment would have been quite inoffensive. The flare of
>light would have lasted hardly longer than one second for any one place.
>Moreover, the targets were mostly urban areas where no astronomical
>observations are possible anyway.
>What is highly regrettable is the oversight on the part of the flight
>controllers that an antenna would be in the way. Human error remains
>the primary cause of all accidents.
>This is my personal opinion, so please let's not engage in a battle of
>flames about it.
I heartily concur with Bruno's verdict.  It is clear to me that the
amateur astronomers who are so quick to complain had not done any calculation
of the possible intensity of the proposed beam of reflected sunlight.
It is regretable that the effort failed, even if only to show that the
required number of reflected mirrors required to provide the increase
in "daylight" would number in the thousands.  With the present state
of Russian finances and the resulting lack of funding for space hardware,
we can dismiss this problem until well into the next millennium but one.

best wishes  Russell  Eberst  @   North: 55 degrees, 56 minutes, 55 seconds
             West:  3 degrees, 8 minutes, 18 seconds: 
             43metres (150 feet) above sea-level