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Tuesday May 16, 2006
Demonstration of Autonomous Say What?
In scanning this article I was struck the the obvious irony: The "Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology" or "DART" spacecraft collided with the satellite it was supposed to be rendezvousing with.
Why? Because when it thought it was moving away from the satellite, it was actually moving towards it at five feet per second... and it "darted" right into it. Wow. If that's not a demonstration of autonomous rendezvous technology, I don't know what is. Sign me up for rides that have an actual human pilot on board, please.
The collision was a year or so ago. The "news" is that the findings of the investigation were just released. The other "news" is that it's never a good idea to name something after the very specific thing you hope that it does. Murphy is always gunning for optimists, and he's a crack shot.