Sunday, May 25, 2014
Beagle 3 Cubesat - Response
However, the best strategy is to avoid going for the one-off. It is e.g. better to send 10 probes costing $100million each than 1 probe costing $1billion. This is not just a numbers game, that some will get through, but it is also because the reliability and efficiency vastly increases even after one or two probes. And this is really what Moores law is -- it is that the more of something you do -- the better you become.
This is a fundamental difference in working between academia and successful industry. An engineer given the money to send this probe would have been successful. It might not have done so much, but it would have got there. And the way they might have done that was by sending more than one.
Or let's be more specific. If I were planning this I would have built ten probes. The first one I would have thrown out of a tenement block and ran the "mission" using that. The next would have been dropped out a helicopter, plane, balloon, then a rockets.
Then I would have sent perhaps three devices 1/3 the size in the hope of at least one getting results. But this is not how academia thinks.
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