Mission Updates

The Parker Solar Probe launched on 12 Aug 2018, undertook its first solar encounter between 31 Oct and 11 Nov, achieved the closest-ever approach to the Sun’s surface (a mere 15 million miles out) on 06 Nov, and reported “okey-dokey so far, guys” on 16 Nov. Perhaps I paraphrase this last bit, but as a mission participant I have some rights.

You doubt that I’m on this mission? No, no — I have my ticket from NASA and everything.

Official NASA ticket for Parker Solar Probe

Well, I have my ticket from NASA and that’s pretty much it. I’ve heard nothing from them since 10 Mar 2018, when I signed up online for my ticket.

For no more than they’re spending on maintaining their website, NASA could be updating me on mission milestones — after all, they have my email address — but they are not. What strikes me about this tiny oversight is how common it is.

How rarely a worker updates their boss on a project, except on direct enquiry.

How rarely a supplier reports progress to their client, except for what the contract requires.

How rarely any level of government reports progress to its citizens/voters/taxpayers: Posturing we get an earful of. I mean, have you heard anything lately about the supposed work to get potable water for small, remote communities — most of them indigenous?

And as I wonder about these puzzling non-events, I wonder, too, who I am failing to update and on what.


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10 Responses to Mission Updates

  1. Tom Watson says:

    I tried to get a ticket, but apparently there’s an age restriction.

    They suggested if it was a lofty view from space I was after I might try the CN Tower Sky Walk.



  2. Tom Watson says:

    Runs in my mind that Jann Arden wasn’t the least impressed with Mercer for getting her out there!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – That’s right – she thought she was going to die. Well, she said she thought she was going to die. A funny woman.

  3. approx 3 PM today…. fingers crossed.

  4. Jim Taylor says:

    There has to be a middle ground between “I know you don’t really care about this so I won’t bother telling you about it” and “I’m gonna tell you all about this whether you care about it or not.” (Confession: I tend to belong to the first group.) I’m not sure what that middle ground is, though. Part of it involves taking the risk of saying,”This really matters to me,” the risk being that the other person will say, “But it doesn’t matter to me.”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Maybe the middle ground is to report but not belabour. Knowing that in theory and actually finding it in practice are two different beasts.

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