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Old 16th August 2010, 04:29 PM   #1
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Default NASA Audio - why so bad?

So what's up with the rotten audio from the NASA missions? It has bugged me for years. Ever notice how bad it is? Why?

Now the old moon mission maybe I can understand, but the ISS and shuttle stuff? They are in low earth orbit, for crying out loud. How hard would it be to get pristine audio back down to earth?

A geostationary orbit, where the communication satellites sit, is 35000 Km above the earth's surface, and they can beam 100s of SD and HD video and audio channels. The Space Station is only about 350Km up and they can't get better than 1934 radio quality.

I have a theory. The audio coming fro the astronauts is crystal clear but NASA has a processor box to mess it up and give it that sound. If it sounded too good, no one would believe it was really coming from space.
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Old 16th August 2010, 04:37 PM   #2
Gopher is offline Gopher  United Kingdom
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Good point, LoL. They're probably still using 1960's germanium transistors because no one ever changed the zillion page electronics manual.

Reminds me of the story of the NASA space pen. I don't know if this is an apocryphal story or not, but NASA are supposed to have spent years and a small a fortune developing a pen that would write in the zero gravity of space and under any temperature conditions etc. The Russians used a pencil.

If you've got a budget you'd better spend it on crap if need be or they'll take it off you next year.

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Old 16th August 2010, 06:14 PM   #3
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Maybe it is something about bandwidth?
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Old 16th August 2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Maybe it is something about bandwidth?
if you have narrow bandwith the sound is high pitch something like donald duck
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:18 PM   #5
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The space shuttle was designed in the early seventies. The board computer for example used 256k. Which should give you an indication of the level of technology used.
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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I have a theory. The audio coming fro the astronauts is crystal clear but NASA has a processor box to mess it up and give it that sound. If it sounded too good, no one would believe it was really coming from space.
Well yes. That is the real reason.
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Old 16th August 2010, 11:55 PM   #7
Irakli is offline Irakli  United States
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The space shuttle was designed in the early seventies. The board computer for example used 256k. Which should give you an indication of the level of technology used.
Bas, so was the russian shuttle, Buran. But the computers they designed for it are still amazing. Four identical computers working sincronously processing the same data, how cool is that.

My point here is that level of technology is not the sole determinant. Are not we all use 30's technology in our tube amps?

Here is the facinating reading Космический корабль Буран how it all was done.
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Old 16th August 2010, 11:59 PM   #8
T in AZ is offline T in AZ  United States
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rotten audio = Send more money!
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Old 17th August 2010, 12:11 AM   #9
T in AZ is offline T in AZ  United States
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Then again if the audio was as good as a web cast from Max PC, I would think that they were all at some bar in Florida, calling in to report on the fantastic progress of the latest attempt at breeding coccus mockis flagellis.
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Old 17th August 2010, 12:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by panomaniac View Post
a processor box
It must be. That same box adds that squelchy, ping sound every so often. Can you say "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"

We are programmed for it, so they deliver.
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