Author Topic: Astronomy/space exploration thread  (Read 100511 times)

Darmok

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Astronomy/space exploration thread
« on: November 02, 2006, 11:18:46 PM »
As must be apparent, I am an astronomy and space exploration enthusiast. From time to time, interesting astronomy news stories are published, but I don’t want to start new threads for each one. Perhaps a single thread like this would be appropriate? (That is, if there are others who share my interest.) Of course, major stories would still merit their own thread.

I’ll kick it off with this gem from The Onion, a satirical newspaper:

Quote from: [url=http://www.theonion.com
The Onion[/url]]
Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars
Unmanned Vehicle “Bored Out Of Its Mind”

October 24, 2006

PASADENA, CA—NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists overseeing the ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission said Monday that the Spirit’s latest transmissions could indicate a growing resentment of the Red Planet.

Spirit has been displaying some anomalous behavior,” said Project Manager John Callas, who noted the rover’s unsuccessful attempts to flip itself over and otherwise damage its scientific instruments. “And the thousand or so daily messages of ‘STILL NO WATER’ really point to a crisis of purpose.”

(continued)

Offline evilsmileyface12

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 11:32:51 PM »
You do know that "The Onion news" is a bull shit site eh? :D
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Offline Setekh

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2006, 11:38:10 PM »
You do know that "The Onion news" is a bull shit site eh? :D

Quote from: Darmok
I’ll kick it off with this gem from The Onion, a satirical newspaper:

Offline evilsmileyface12

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2006, 11:41:43 PM »
crap...
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Offline Razor

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 01:49:37 AM »
“The boat dipped and swayed and sometimes took on water, but it did not sink; the two brothers had waterproofed it well. I do not know where it finally fetched up, if it ever did; perhaps it reached the sea and sails there forever, like a magic boat in a fairytale. All I know is that it was still afloat and still running on the breast of the flood when it passed the incorporated town limits of Derry, Maine, and there it passes out of this tale forever.” ― Stephen King, It"
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Offline Rusty

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 01:53:59 AM »
No! Let's have some fun first ...


Beat him up!

(sorry, just watched a Jackie Chan movie - it's a classic line that always ends in Jackie beating seven shades of shit out of fifty thugs)

But Back On Topic :

The Onion cracks me up - they should have a tv show
Edmund: I remember Massingburg's most famous case, the case of the bloody knife. A man was found next to a murdured body, he had the knife in his hand, thirteen witnesses that seen him stab the victim, and when the police arrived he said, "I'm glad I killed the bastard." Massingbird not only got him off, but he got him knighted in the New Year's Honors list, and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood washed out of his jacket.
Perkins: And he's a dab hand at the prosecution, Sir.
Edmund: Yes, well, look at Oscar Wilde.
Perkins: Oh, butch Oscar.
Edmund: Big, bearded, bonking, butch Oscar - the terror of the ladies. 114 illegitamate children, world heavyweight boxing champion, and author of the best-selling phamplet, "Why I Like To Do It With Girls". Massingbird had him sent down for being a woopsie.

Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 01:57:43 AM »
Quickly lets kill him!

No! Let's have some fun first ...


Beat him up!

Wait wait wait if you kill me, who will bring you unsolicited astronomy news? Not to mention verbose, pompous judgments? Or self-important rants? Or arrogant ramblings?

Offline Razor

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2006, 02:02:14 AM »
Quickly lets kill him!

No! Let's have some fun first ...


Beat him up!

Wait wait wait if you kill me, who will bring you unsolicited astronomy news? Not to mention verbose, pompous judgments? Or self-important rants? Or arrogant ramblings?

I was refering to evilsmileyface...

Please if I killed you I'd get an earful from Kestra.
“The boat dipped and swayed and sometimes took on water, but it did not sink; the two brothers had waterproofed it well. I do not know where it finally fetched up, if it ever did; perhaps it reached the sea and sails there forever, like a magic boat in a fairytale. All I know is that it was still afloat and still running on the breast of the flood when it passed the incorporated town limits of Derry, Maine, and there it passes out of this tale forever.” ― Stephen King, It"
High priest in the Cult of J

Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2006, 02:08:11 AM »
I was refering to evilsmileyface...

Oh…right, then…carry on!


But Back On Topic :

The Onion cracks me up - they should have a tv show

Haha…technically, astronomy and space travel were supposed to be the topic, not The Onion. ;D

Offline Rusty

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2006, 02:10:52 AM »
D'oh!

Okay.. I ... Um ....

>slumps< I got nothing. Sorry everybody.
Edmund: I remember Massingburg's most famous case, the case of the bloody knife. A man was found next to a murdured body, he had the knife in his hand, thirteen witnesses that seen him stab the victim, and when the police arrived he said, "I'm glad I killed the bastard." Massingbird not only got him off, but he got him knighted in the New Year's Honors list, and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood washed out of his jacket.
Perkins: And he's a dab hand at the prosecution, Sir.
Edmund: Yes, well, look at Oscar Wilde.
Perkins: Oh, butch Oscar.
Edmund: Big, bearded, bonking, butch Oscar - the terror of the ladies. 114 illegitamate children, world heavyweight boxing champion, and author of the best-selling phamplet, "Why I Like To Do It With Girls". Massingbird had him sent down for being a woopsie.

fowlerbryan

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2006, 06:51:02 AM »
You know, Spirit and Opportunity are both thinking "stupid bipeds", and wondering when they can take a nap. Or something along Marvin lines; "Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, 'cause I don't."

I've always been a real big fan of NASA/JPL and the interesting exploration missions they have done. Spirit and Opportunity are no different, they have captured my imagination, and I am astonished at how well they have been working on Mars, and quite beyond their original mission time.

I just finished my Lego set of the rover and my second space shuttle. My first shuttle had a terrible tragedy, a quadriped lifeform decided it was a chewtoy.

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Offline nixonshead

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2006, 03:26:01 PM »
Wait wait wait if you kill me, who will bring you unsolicited astronomy news? Not to mention verbose, pompous judgments? Or self-important rants? Or arrogant ramblings?

Right here!  ;D
Bilbo Bagshot: I once punched a guy out for saying that "Hawk the Slayer" was rubbish.
Tim Bisley: Good for you.
Bilbo Bagshot: Yeah, thanks. But that's not the point, Tim. The point is I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity, when what I should have said was "Dad, you're right, but let's give Krull a try and we'll discuss it later."

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Javert

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2006, 06:46:30 PM »
Wait wait wait if you kill me, who will bring you unsolicited astronomy news? Not to mention verbose, pompous judgments? Or self-important rants? Or arrogant ramblings?

Right here!  ;D

Bond when he shows back up.

Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2006, 09:55:18 PM »
Wait wait wait if you kill me, who will bring you unsolicited astronomy news? Not to mention verbose, pompous judgments? Or self-important rants? Or arrogant ramblings?

Right here!  ;D

Bond when he shows back up.

Whoa, man…I don’t think that’s cool. It’s one thing for Nixonshead or me to engage in self-deprecating humor, but I don’t think insulting someone like this, in an unrelated thread, especially when he’s not around, is appropriate. You shouldn’t talk about people behind their back like that, in my opinion.

Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2006, 10:21:29 PM »
D'oh!

Okay.. I ... Um ....

>slumps< I got nothing. Sorry everybody.

Eh…no need to apologize—it’s fine with me if topics ramble sometimes…

You know, Spirit and Opportunity are both thinking "stupid bipeds", and wondering when they can take a nap. Or something along Marvin lines; "Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, 'cause I don't."

I've always been a real big fan of NASA/JPL and the interesting exploration missions they have done. Spirit and Opportunity are no different, they have captured my imagination, and I am astonished at how well they have been working on Mars, and quite beyond their original mission time.

I just finished my Lego set of the rover and my second space shuttle. My first shuttle had a terrible tragedy, a quadriped lifeform decided it was a chewtoy.

Really? That’s so cool! I thought I was the only here who was that into this stuff.

I’d be interested in seeing pictures of those Lego models sometime, if you’d like.

Offline nixonshead

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2006, 06:06:29 AM »
According to SpaceDaily, it looks like India is considering becoming the 4th nation to launch its own astronauts:
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/India_Mulls_First_Manned_Space_Mission_999.html

Quote
Indian scientists will meet this week to discuss sending the country's first manned mission to space and possibly to the moon, a report said Sunday. Nearly 60 scientists will attend the meeting Tuesday organized by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Indian Express daily reported.
S. Krishnamurthy, the space agency's spokesman, told the paper India wanted to avoid being left behind in the global space race.

"Whether the mission will involve orbiting of the moon will be decided only if we get a favorable opinion for a manned space mission," said Krishnamurthy.

"There is now a feeling that 20 years down the line, other countries would have explored the moon for minerals and India must not be left behind."

The agency will present a plan for a manned space mission to the scientists and ask for their feedback, including whether the enterprise should be to the moon and exclusively Indian, the report said.

Krishnamurthy said Tuesday's meeting would decide whether to go ahead with the mission, with the "how and when" decided later.

India says its three-decades-old space program is aimed at developing practical technology. It plans to send an unmanned probe to the moon in two or three years time.

They should certainly be able to get into orbit in 3-5 years if they put their minds to it.  For the stuff about the Moon, maybe a flyby mission, but a landing (unless part of an international programme) would be at least 15-20 years off I'd say.  And forget about mining minerals, that'll never be cost-effective compared to Earth-based mining, except for actual use in space (and even then its marginal because of the amount of infrastructure you'd have to haul up to mine, smelt, alloy, utilise, etc the stuff, as well as supporting all the crews to run it).

I hope if they do decide to go for it that they'll move faster than China have with Shenzhou.  I've heard of "slow and steady wins the race," 2 missions in 5 years makes for dull viewing  :)
Bilbo Bagshot: I once punched a guy out for saying that "Hawk the Slayer" was rubbish.
Tim Bisley: Good for you.
Bilbo Bagshot: Yeah, thanks. But that's not the point, Tim. The point is I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity, when what I should have said was "Dad, you're right, but let's give Krull a try and we'll discuss it later."

Spaced

Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2006, 09:36:19 AM »
According to SpaceDaily, it looks like India is considering becoming the 4th nation to launch its own astronauts:
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/India_Mulls_First_Manned_Space_Mission_999.html



They should certainly be able to get into orbit in 3-5 years if they put their minds to it.  For the stuff about the Moon, maybe a flyby mission, but a landing (unless part of an international programme) would be at least 15-20 years off I'd say.  And forget about mining minerals, that'll never be cost-effective compared to Earth-based mining, except for actual use in space (and even then its marginal because of the amount of infrastructure you'd have to haul up to mine, smelt, alloy, utilise, etc the stuff, as well as supporting all the crews to run it).

I hope if they do decide to go for it that they'll move faster than China have with Shenzhou.  I've heard of "slow and steady wins the race," 2 missions in 5 years makes for dull viewing  :)

Cool! I didn’t realize manned space missions were being proposed; that will be awesome if we’re successful. I’m surprised at the unmanned moon probe launch estimate of two to three years; last I heard, Chandrayaan 1 was to be launched in early 2008. NASA and the ESA have arranged for Chandrayaan to carry several scientific payloads for them since it will reach the moon before their own craft do.

Offline nixonshead

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2006, 05:41:34 AM »
Here's something interesting for those following the Vision for Space Exploration (the Bush White House got something right, at least...).  A consultancy firm called TeamVision have used a project development tool developed with money from a NASA grant to propose an alternative architecture for the VSE.  I've not finished going through it yet (it's a big document, be warned!), but the highlights seem to be:

1) Using existing Atlas or Delta EELV rockets for CEV missions to the Space Station (something that a number of people have been caling for that would get rid of that absurd 'stick' design NASA have cobbled together)

2) Developing a shuttle-derived heavy lift rocket (that's a rocket that's REALLY derived from the shuttle, not the all-new "Shuttle derived" Ares V that is NASA's current plan)

3) Using a Direct Ascent to the Moon instead of Earth Orbit Rendezvous (less dependancy on 2 successful launches, no worries about propellent boil-off in orbit, less critical launch windows)

4) Reducing the crew to the Moon from 4 to 2 (they go into reasons why this is 'better', though I'm not sure if I beleive them yet)

For Mars they're proposing a real monster of a rocket that's effectively 2 shuttle ET-and-SRB stacks strapped to the side of a Saturn V.  Looks impressive, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near it if the launch should fail!

Anyway, to have a browse, follow this link: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=22508

Of all the various "NASA are talking crap, this is how it should be done" proposals that've been circulating lately, this looks to me to be by far the best thought-out.  (I must admit, it wins my thumbs up largely for the big boosters - I'm a definite member of the "You can never have too much mass to LEO capability" camp  :) ).
Bilbo Bagshot: I once punched a guy out for saying that "Hawk the Slayer" was rubbish.
Tim Bisley: Good for you.
Bilbo Bagshot: Yeah, thanks. But that's not the point, Tim. The point is I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity, when what I should have said was "Dad, you're right, but let's give Krull a try and we'll discuss it later."

Spaced

Offline Stoo

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2006, 07:46:55 AM »
I'm briefly flicking through that report... I wonder tho, maybe we should leave Mars missions until a better propulsion system is available? In any manned mission, surely the less time taken to get from A to B, the better? Considering how many things can go wrong while the astronauts are sitting in their tin can.

Offline Da Vinci

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2006, 08:46:21 AM »
I like their proposals for the early missions, but that mars-booster is just .... well mindbogglingly massive really. I think it would be easier to use multiple smaller launches and do an on-orbit assembly that to launch one of those behemoths.
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Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2006, 09:50:43 PM »
Bigger = better.

Joking aside, what are the chances do you guys think that we’ll be able to get a human to Mars in our lifetime? I’ve seen estimates of around 20–30 years. Do you think that’s plausible?

Offline Da Vinci

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2006, 02:11:40 AM »
I'd say if we keep the present plans up it will be 2020-2025, but I think it will be sometime after 2030 personally. Whenever it will happen, I'll be sitting in front of the TV, or whatever we'll be watching then! (I'm still pissed I was born to late for the Moon landings)
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Darmok

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2006, 03:01:50 AM »
Whenever it will happen, I'll be sitting in front of the TV, or whatever we'll be watching then! (I'm still pissed I was born to late for the Moon landings)

Me too! Though I will never forget where I was when Huygens returned its first images of Titan.

Speaking of which, space.com ran an article yesterday about the discussion over how to terminate the Cassini mission:

Quote from: [url=http://www.space.com/
space.com[/url]]
Death of a Spacecraft: The Unknown Fate of Cassini

By David Powell
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 08 November 2006
06:04 am ET


The Cassini spacecraft is roughly halfway through its looping voyage of the Saturn system and is continuing to return a bounty of data on the ringed planet and its moons. Yet all journeys must have an end and Cassini’s eventual fate is now being discussed.

“Current planning is for a two-year mission extension that ends on July 1, 2010,” said Robert Mitchell, NASA’s Cassini mission program manager. “However, presuming that the spacecraft continues to function well, it’s reasonable to expect that one or more further extensions will be supported.”

Sometime around 2012, Cassini, like the ocean-going ships of old, will need to be decommissioned. However, the spacecraft cannot be towed to some nearby shore to be dismantled; she must either drop anchor, be scuttled, or cast off her gravitational moorings altogether.

(continued)

I suppose setting the plutonium reactors to self-destruct is out of the question, huh?

Offline Flagg

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2006, 03:04:38 AM »
Just send it out into deep space.