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Sunday, 29 November 2009 19:21

Astronauts want ten times more safety during launches

According to a November 2009 report in the newspaper Florida Today, NASA astronauts want the next launch vehicle, which replaces the space shuttle, to be ten times safer than what is currently possible.

The November 29, 2009 article “NASA clamors for safer launches ” states that space shuttle astronauts have a one in 129 chance of dying during the launch and ascent of the space shuttle.

The Astronaut Office, located at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake City, Texas (just south of Houston), has stated that it would like to see that ratio improve to one in 1,000, about a ten fold improvement in safety, for the next-generation crew launch system for Project Constellation.

The head of the Astronaut Office, astronaut Peggy Whitson, is quoted within the article to have said about the new manned launch system: it should “… dramatically improve crew survivability…. We believe an order-of-magnitude improvement is possible with today's technology and should be the goal."

After the loss of the space shuttle Challenger and its seven-member crew in 1986 and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew in 2003, other experts in the field also agree.

Several safety advisory boards to NASA have made that same recommendation for increased safety to U.S. astronauts.

The White House is currently considering which launch vehicle will be provided to lift astronauts into space for the next-generation program for NASA: Project Constellation.

With the Space Shuttle program retiring in 2010 or 2011, the Constellation program is scheduled to begin operations in 2014 or 2015.

For additional information on increased safety for U.S. astronauts, please read the informative Florida Today article mentioned earlier.

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Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


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