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About Jbro1985

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  1. Is the JMI ascom? I use SGP to automate. At present, I have a moonlite on my refractor and I am looking to replicate that level of automation of the SCT. The issue with focusers on the visual back is a lack of back focus for me, otherwise that would be the simplest answer!
  2. I think these are pretty new and maybe not readily available in Europe yet (not sure), but does anyone got any experience of these? https://optcorp.com/products/celestron-focus-motor-for-sct-and-edgehd-telescopes I am not sure whether to give it a try or stick to my original plan with the Pegasus Focus Cube, which I imagine is probably better and the more flexible option.
  3. Maybe if I go ahead can PM.you. were you able to fit the esprit focused to the ED80?
  4. Does anyone know if you have put the Esprit 100 focuser on an SW ED80? I am thinking of getting the Esprit 100 and have an ED80, but I would want to move my moonlite focuser from the ED80 to the Esprit and sell the ED80. Thanks in advance.
  5. The Elon Musk question is interesting. If you analyse Elon Musk's successes there is a common theme whereby he takes an early stage technology, albeit proven in concept, and improves upon it or otherwise uses it in an original way. This is true of the utilisation of solar power and battery technology or the commercialisation of space, or harking further back to where his real money was made, the globalisation of payment technology (again, being something which was acquired by one of this entities rather than developed by, at early stage). Elon Musk's innovations are in themselves original but he is standing on the shoulders of others before him (I'm not sure the guys at the Jet Propulsion Lab had as significant of an advantage) and while it is clear that in many ways Elon Musk is clearly a very talented individual, he is not, in fact, Iron Man. It is interesting but not unexpected that Space X has been able to vastly reduce the cost of taking stuff up to orbit. Primarily this is because it has been able to skip a big chunk of the learning curve through hiring people who have been there and done that and learned from their mistakes. It is also interesting that Space X is moving further towards non-EVL rockets, albeit for unmanned payloads. Setting all of that to one side though, to be a fair question it needs to be expanded to what would Elon Musk have done in the 1970's with the money, technology, and information available to him at that point (and political pressure)? We will never know that but I suspect, and this is complete conjecture, that Elon Musk is a man of today more so than yesteryear. Whilst being successful now, Elon Musk is not the only innovator to have been successful. Someone commercialised land travel, someone commercialised sea travel, someone commercialised air travel and so on, just in relation to transportation. So you can distort the question to say, what would Henry Ford have done? Or you can broaden the question to say, what would a person known to the public to have been successful in a particular era have done in another era and completely different circumstances? So while it is an interesting question, I personally don't find it to be a useful one.
  6. In terms of the money, the shuttle potentially was over prioritised but that isn't a certainty and is a coulda, shoulda, woulda position. You can say the same of most things with the benefit of hindsight. Whether, at the time and with the information available, this was the case is uncertain. Now, whether the ISS could have been built in half the time is pure speculation and ignores the engineering of the station itself but one must concede that it would have been cheaper to build if the cost per kg of getting stuff up there was minimised... But that's as obvious as saying that if they had used lesser materials or only built half the ISS it would have cost less. What is important is a balance between cost and effectiveness and in my experience, cheap and fast rarely pays off in relation to anything of importance (though I'm sure those with the the new 8" RASA might disagree! ). Whether or not a different method of getting payload to space for the purpose of the ISS would have been as effective is unknown. Regarding the accident investigation, you're asserting that failings would not happen elsewhere giving cause for investigation. Every method of terrestrial transport we have is subject to accident and accident investigations... Naturally, extra terrestrial will be too. We're humans, we get stuff wrong, right? I don't want to get into this much further really as it's not in the spirit of the forum but all I will say is that criticisms are levelled at all projects, regardless of the ultimate subject matter, and they are a necessary thing in order to maintain accountability. Notwithstanding that, it's easy to stand on the sidelines and look in and much harder to be doing the stuff that invites criticism and in the (paraphrased) words of Rocky Balboa: "It's not about how hard you can hit it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!" In the case of the shuttle, I didn't see anyone else having a crack at non-ELV methods of getting payload into orbit. Nb. Setting any disagreements aside, I've been fortunate enough to have been in a shuttle and, frankly, what an incredible and beautiful thing it is.
  7. The shuttle was expensive, there's no denying that, but to purport that it was a mistake and held back progress for decades is an assertion that requires a little more explanation in my view. Care to elaborate?
  8. The main issue that NASA has in terms of undertaking large scale exploration or activity is the frequency in the change in government. Programs take many years to come to fruition and when one government starts one the next is quick to stop it, be it 4 or 8 years later, wasting huge amounts of time and resources. The same isn't the case in the private sector and, whilst good money shouldn't be thrown away after bad, the decision to complete or mothball a project is taken on the basis of economics and whether or not the project is still likely to succeed rather than to appeal to or appease a particular demographic of voters that can't see beyond their own noses.
  9. The shuttle program was indeed expensive. However, most endeavours of that size are, and learning takes place, which is also expensive. The key point is that unless there is a tangible financial opportunity for monetisation rather than a general investment in science, private capital is seldom interested. Private companies are leading the way now but that is because the capital markets now see financial benefits and exploits. Private businesses rarely engage in initial exploration prior to concepts being proved because investors typically don't want to fund such levels of uncertainty; and they're right from a financial standpoint. From the government viewpoint, thousands of skilled engineers were produced who went on to build the foundation of US engineering not to many the mention complicated but real political and foreign policy benefits. Recent regimes in the US have also been reticent to fund the space program when there are troops abroad, healthcare and welfare issues at home. Notwithstanding that, this example of Government taking the lead in primary exploration is not narrow to space exploration and is shown over and over from the pre industrial tea routes through to what we see now. That is not to say that the shuttle programme was well done (perhaps it was given our capabilities at the time? Hindsight is a beautiful thing), but rather that no one else had the appetite or the gumption and, of course, there was a need for a feel good after Vietnam and the cold war provided additional catalyst. The fundamental issue with the shuttle program in my view is that it stopped innovating. The computers and software and general technologies being used to operate the shuttles and their launches fell behind the times. The well earned patents were lost to time as computers developed beyond what the shuttle was holding and aerodynamics, engine building and processes innovated through leveraging the expanding capabilities of computers. The technology drag in the shuttle programme is really well explained by Feynmen in "what do you care what other people think?" in which there is a lot of interesting things about the challenger shuttle investigation. Regarding Challenger, it is also evident that there was much grandstanding around the shuttle program that was perhaps unwise. In summary, my view is that whilst the shuttle was expensive and not everything was done perfectly, and it probably overstayed its welcome, it also trod on ground others were not prepared to tread and paved the way for efficient and cost effective space exploration that we are now beginning to see is being exploited (rightly so) by private enterprises. As to whether it should be resurrected... Well, no, obviously. However, that is not to say that as technology develops a reuseable vehicle that transports humans as well as goods will not be returned to.
  10. Perhaps this is what Dr Frankenstein felt like...? Thank you everyone for your comments and views regarding whether the marginal performance difference is worth the money on the Taks. I've reached the conclusion that, due to the number of clear nights I have, where I live and where I am on my own personal imaging journey, I will not be going for a Tak as I don't believe I can get to a place where I can actually get the most out of it at the moment. Thanks again.
  11. Thank you every one so far. This is really useful. I also managed to find this really interesting post on Cloudy Nights https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/480805-tak-fsq106-vs-sw-esprit-100/ ^^This is an interesting point.
  12. Thanks John. It is most definitely a personal decision. One can of course arrive at that conclusion in relation to any question that is subjective in nature and involves a person making a decision. However, that conclusion can be reached whilst being none the wiser as to what other people actually consider in their knowledge and experience and sheds no light in terms of assisting in the underlying decision making. I am interested in exploring what other people feel themselves in relation to the questions raised as I think an important component in decision making is the views and experiences of others and I am presently wrestling with my own personal decision in relation to this potential purchase. My view at present is that the diminishing differential in performance may be pushing the boundaries as to whether or not the upgrade is worth it, partially because of where I am located, but really I am on the fence right now. What is your view, do you think that the differential is worth the additional cost?
  13. Agreed slightly provocative and will divert the thread. I've edited.
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