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Space News and Discussions

space exploration aerospace engineering astronomy NASA SpaceX interstellar telescopes satellites Mars space

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#81
Craven

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Hmmm... But Phobos is most likely captured moon, I don't see what can we learn (about Mars) from it. From all we know it might even be rock ejected from some other stellar system billions of years ago.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#82
truthiness

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This is driving me mad... We've got these rovers on Mars that keep finding new and interesting things that either half-answer questions about Mars or raise totally new ones... Don't we have enough reason yet to send people over there? Can we just... DO it already? Mars has been hanging up there, teasing the human race, for the last 40 years. Why can't we spend a fraction of the money that we collectively spend working out new and efficient ways to blow each other up, and send a few people up there to maybe find some answers?

And another thing - I want to see one of these new private space ventures throw a satellite into Mars orbit to make a super-detailed map of the surface so when the time comes I can "go" to Mars in a virtual environment. I want a 3D Mars "street view". Google bots, take a note of that.

The first thing I plan on doing once VR finally comes into its own is to find the nearest orgy room. The second thing is to go to Mars. I'd pay good money for that program. I'm sure I'm not the only one that would, either.
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You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one

#83
wjfox

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2014 test flight for Nasa's Orion spaceship

The first flight of Orion, Nasa's new astronaut vehicle, will take place in early 2014, the agency has announced.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-15644238


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#84
Craven

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Voyager 2 to Switch to Backup Thruster Set

NASA's Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the Voyager 2 spacecraft Nov. 4 to switch to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Confirmation was received today that the spacecraft accepted the commands. The change will allow the 34-year-old spacecraft to reduce the amount of power it requires to operate and use previously unused thrusters as it continues its journey toward interstellar space, beyond our solar system.

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are each equipped with six sets, or pairs, of thrusters to control their movement. These include three pairs of primary thrusters and three backup, or redundant, pairs. Voyager 2 is currently using the two pairs of backup thrusters that control the pitch and yaw motion of the spacecraft. Switching to the backup thruster pair that controls roll motion will allow engineers to turn off the heater that keeps the fuel line to the primary thruster warm. This will save about 12 watts of power. The spacecraft's power supply now provides about 270 watts of electricity. By reducing its power usage, the spacecraft can continue to operate for another decade even as its available power continues to decline.

The thrusters involved in this switch have fired more than 318,000 times. The backup pair has not been used in flight. Voyager 1 changed to the backup for this same component after 353,000 pulses in 2004 and is now using all three sets of its backup thrusters.

Voyager 2 will relay the results of the switch back to Earth on Nov. 13. The signal will arrive on Earth on Nov. 14. Voyager 2 is currently located about 9 billion miles (14 billion kilometers) from Earth in the "heliosheath" -- the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind, which streams out from the sun, is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas.

http://www.nasa.gov/...er20111105.html
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"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#85
Craven

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Now think how many devices in your home are 34-years old and still work fine? :)
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"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#86
Roh234

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My thoughts about the moon:

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What is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses everywhere are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic politicians must appeal to these masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice and beauty. -Hans Hermann Hoppe


#87
Logically Irrational

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To expand on what Thomas Fuchs said: If you watch NASA backwards, it's the story of a space organization that starts out with basic flight capabilities, that then achieves low-Earth orbits, develops a shuttle program, them a heavy lift vehicle, and finally makes it to the moon. (Looking forward to these next few decades. *fingers crossed*)
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#88
Logically Irrational

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Trouble for Phobos-Grunt:

http://www.nytimes.c...nch-mishap.html

Russian space engineers scrambled Wednesday to salvage an ambitious science mission to Mars after the unmanned spacecraft became stranded in Earth orbit. If they are not successful, the probe, which is loaded with toxic fuel, could re-enter the atmosphere within days or weeks.


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#89
Craven

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:( This sucks. Not long ago Japanese Venus orbiter went to hell (well they hope to try again in 2016 but I wouldn't get my hopes high), now there's problem with russian probe.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#90
Logically Irrational

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NASA spills last details of Mars space truck trip
http://www.theregist...sa_msl_details/

NASA Mars Science Laboratory is buttoned up into its fairing atop its Atlas booster, ready for liftoff on November 25 with touchdown scheduled for August of next year – a reentry and landing that will have NASA space boffins biting their nails.


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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#91
Logically Irrational

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Update to Phobos-Grunt:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-15698439
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#92
Logically Irrational

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SpaceX Dragon Capsule Could Drill for Ice on Mars
http://www.popsci.co...cheap-ride-mars

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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#93
Time_Traveller

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Russia resumes manned Soyuz flights after crash

A Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts - two Russians and one American - has launched successfully from Kazakhstan.


From http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-15715260

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#94
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Giant orbiting power plants could harvest the sun's energy to provide world's power needs

Scientists want to use enormous satellites to collect solar energy and beam it back to earth

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:25 PM on 15th November 2011

Harvesting the sun's abundant energy from space could provide a cost-effective way to meet the world's power needs, a group of international scientists have said.

Orbiting power plants capable of collecting solar energy and beaming it to Earth appear 'technically feasible' within a decade or two based on technologies now in the laboratory, it has been claimed.

Such a project may be able to achieve economic viability in 30 years or less.

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1dobpB4CR


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#95
Craven

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Hmm somehow I don't expect it to be cost-effective anytime soon. Not with our way of putting stuff into space. Then you still need to think about potential mistakes and failures, and finally - beam must go through atmosphere in the end, so part of energy will be lost just like on ground based solar panels. Finally they mention equatorial orbits - what about rest of world, transporting energy is very cost ineffective.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#96
Shimmy

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http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-15754786

I wanted to post something on the space thread. This was the best article I could find. It was relatively interesting to read but not really groundbreaking. Basically just saying there might be water a bit closer to the surface than we thought. Not really sure there's much practical use to this right now, it's quite a long way away, but it would still be cool if there was life there. Was wondering if there was intelligent life there would they be able to figure out that their world was spherical. I think it was easier for us since we can look at the sun, stars and other planets etc, that gave us really good hints. All they have is an icy upper layer and a presumably solid lower layer. So naturally with the gravity they would assume its just a giant flat ocean until they actually swim all the way round and figure out somehow they're back where they started. This in itself could be troublesome as there really are very few noticeable landmarks in a giant 100 mile deep ocean (unless you're right at the top or right at the bottom).

Also, if the weird fish beast inhabitants built cities would they be built on the bottom, or the top, or would they just stay floating at a fixed depth (This could be difficult in practice assuming the pressure gradient was constant with depth). Another thing I was concerned about was can you evolve opposable thumbs underwater or is it purely a land thing (like on our planet). I imagine there would be much less stuff to use as tools without and real land.

Finally assuming they did have opposable thumbs and a wonderful pleasant civilisation, making a space program would appear to be very hard indeed. Firstly the concept of tunnelling up through all that ice and then somehow dealing with the sudden vacuum after the ice. Would they launch spaceships from under the water and let them gain momentum here first, or would they simply create a launch system on the surface (so many confusing pressure issues). We're better off living here.

#97
Craven

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Hard to tell what their perspective would be. I don't think they would consider their world to be flat, but without stars, with 3km of ice they could probably think that there's nothing out there, that ice just goes forever, and only thing worth study is central core, for them it would be source of life and energy (primitve lifeforms near hot mineral vents, then smaller animals that feed on them, and so on). However with sophisticated technology they'd probably measure movement of the core, tidal moves caused by Jupiter could hint something outside ice. However sometimes I wonder, what are challenges of creating advanced technology underwater.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#98
Caiman

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what are challenges of creating advanced technology underwater.

The lack of fire is going to be a significant problem.

~Jon


#99
Craven

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fire, electricity, no projectiles...
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#100
Shimmy

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Assuming they are vaguely similar to octopus form and have tentacles that can substitute for hands, and have their own light sources similar to stuff in our oceans. Could they not use some sort of heat from the core as a replacement to fire? They could find bits of rock and metal on the solid bottom and there may be incredibly hot vents with steam of maybe even some magma they could use to melt some materials. Then they just need to have a giant war between the octopus people and the dolphin people, octopus people would then use this conflict to develop basic weapons and new novel ways to kill dolphins. They could use water currents to create basic mechanical devices powered by turbines which could then lead to a sort of vaguely industrial revolution thing. Cooking and storing food could be down with hot vents as well. Obviously electricity would be many times harder but not impossible, lots of their children would die whilst experimenting with it, but eventually they could figure out they just need to pump out the water and have the electronics contained in some shell. I'm pretty certain all of this has already happened and they are currently working on their first spaceship.





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