I’m Not Dead Yet!

Do you remember that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  It goes like this:

The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead.

Large Man with Dead Body: Here’s one.

The Dead Collector: That’ll be ninepence.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m not dead.

The Dead Collector: What?

Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There’s your ninepence.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m not dead.

The Dead Collector: ‘Ere, he says he’s not dead.

Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m not.

The Dead Collector: He isn’t.

Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he’s very ill.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m getting better.

Large Man with Dead Body: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.

The Dead Collector: Well, I can’t take him like that. It’s against regulations.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I don’t want to go on the cart.

Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, don’t be such a baby.

The Dead Collector: I can’t take him.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I feel fine.

Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, do me a favor.

The Dead Collector: I can’t.

Large Man with Dead Body: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won’t be long.

The Dead Collector: I promised I’d be at the Robinsons’. They’ve lost nine today.

Large Man with Dead Body: Well, when’s your next round?

The Dead Collector: Thursday.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I think I’ll go for a walk.

Large Man with Dead Body: You’re not fooling anyone, you know. Isn’t there anything you could do?

A very funny scene from a very funny movie.  However, it seems kind of ironic that it almost parallels what is going on with the Kepler mission right at the moment.

Kepler team has some succes in reaction wheel recovery attempt

 

As I reported earlier, in May of this year, the Kepler space telescope lost two of its four reaction wheels need to point the craft accurately to find exoplanets.

Well, it seems that Kepler isn’t quite dead in the water yet. Kepler  mission manager Roger Hunter says that the team has made progress unsticking one of the reaction wheels and has success in testing not one, but both of  the two failed reaction wheels. (P.S. I am glad to see that someone at NASA has a sense of humor).

“Over the next two weeks, engineers will review the data from these tests and consider what steps to take next,” Hunter said. “Although both wheels have shown motion, the friction levels will be critical in future considerations. The details of the wheel friction are under analysis.”

Kepler has found over 2,700 planetary candidates, with 130 confirmed planets, from the size of Earth’s moon to larger than Jupiter. There are two years of data that has yet to be combed through to detect other exoplanets.  Not bad considering Kepler is only looking at a small patch (about 12 degrees in diameter) of the Milky Way.

Hopefully, Kepler won’t suffer the same fate in the remaining part of our scene where:

[the Dead Collector glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the Body with his a whack of his club]

Large Man with Dead Body: Ah, thank you very much.

The Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.

Large Man with Dead Body: Right.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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