Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

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Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:19 pm

[b]Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel
Jesus Diaz
Gizmodo[b]

The Mars Curiosity hasn't even made it to Mars yet and it's already made a discovery that vital the future of manned space travel: The exact type of radiation astronauts would likely encounter on their way to the Red Planet. This is so freaking awesome.

Until now, scientists and engineers could only guess about this critical information. The computer calculations required to simulate the interaction between radiation and spacecraft hulls are way too complicated—with high-energy cosmic rays and solar energetic particles penetrating into the craft, interacting and colliding with the molecules in various metal and liquid layers.

It's not a mystery anymore: the Mars Curiosity mission has already collected that information and sent it home. NASA installed a Radiation Assesment Detector (RAD) inside the spacecraft, in a strategic location that simulates where a future astronaut might be positioned. It has been measuring radiation levels for nine months, as the spaceship cruised through millions of miles.

According to Don Hassler of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, "Curiosity is riding to Mars in the belly of the spacecraft, similar to where an astronaut would be. This means the rover absorbs deep-space radiation storms the same way a real astronaut would." And it hasn't been an uneventful ride, says Hassler: "Curiosity has been hit by five major flares and solar particle events in the Earth-Mars expanse. The rover is safe, and it has been beaming back invaluable data."

This vital data would allow engineers to design a manned spacecraft that could actually travel to other planets in the solar system and beyond. It will be made available to the international community soon.

The RAD isn't done working yet: When it arrives on Mars, it will start measuring the radiation that future visitors would have to deal with. According to Hassler, this will be a first too—"no one has ever before measured this kind of radiation from the surface of another planet. We're just getting started."
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Marconius on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:06 pm

Great article.

Too bad tUS space program is all but dead. I still do not understand how space exploration can be seen as something not worth spending money on.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Dennis324 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:43 pm

That may chance soon if we can oust Obama.

One thing that bothers me is that we are having to rely on the Russian to aid us in Space travel now. I dont like relying on a govt that acts agaisnt us so often and is in bed with the Iranians. I dont trust em.

I read where a new monster sized behemoth rocket has passed a major design milestone and Nasa is planning on using this to launch astronauts deeper into space than ever before. This new mega rocket is called the Space Launch System (SLS). They hope to use this to carry NASA's Orion Capsule, which they hope to use to send men to Mars.

The $10 billion booster is slated to launch on its first test flight in 2017. If...they can get the money.


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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:15 pm

Marconius wrote:Great article.

Too bad tUS space program is all but dead. I still do not understand how space exploration can be seen as something not worth spending money on.

^100%
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:16 pm

Dennis324 wrote:That may chance soon if we can oust Obama.

One thing that bothers me is that we are having to rely on the Russian to aid us in Space travel now. I dont like relying on a govt that acts agaisnt us so often and is in bed with the Iranians. I dont trust em.

I read where a new monster sized behemoth rocket has passed a major design milestone and Nasa is planning on using this to launch astronauts deeper into space than ever before. This new mega rocket is called the Space Launch System (SLS). They hope to use this to carry NASA's Orion Capsule, which they hope to use to send men to Mars.

The $10 billion booster is slated to launch on its first test flight in 2017. If...they can get the money.


What does this have to do with Obama and how would ousting him improve it? Congress sets and passes the budget.
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Marconius on Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:59 am

Bryant wrote:
Dennis324 wrote:That may chance soon if we can oust Obama.

One thing that bothers me is that we are having to rely on the Russian to aid us in Space travel now. I dont like relying on a govt that acts agaisnt us so often and is in bed with the Iranians. I dont trust em.

I read where a new monster sized behemoth rocket has passed a major design milestone and Nasa is planning on using this to launch astronauts deeper into space than ever before. This new mega rocket is called the Space Launch System (SLS). They hope to use this to carry NASA's Orion Capsule, which they hope to use to send men to Mars.

The $10 billion booster is slated to launch on its first test flight in 2017. If...they can get the money.


What does this have to do with Obama and how would ousting him improve it? Congress sets and passes the budget.

I share Bryant's sentiment on this. Our space program was in dire trouble long before President Obama got into office. Yeah, yeah he made campaign promises about keeping NASA funded, but in the end, he is just a slave to Congressional budgeting. Blame every Congress (and to an extent every President) since the late '80's for the failure of our space program.

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"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Dennis324 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:50 pm

"President Obama's plans for NASA could be "devastating" to the U.S. space program and "destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature," three legendary astronauts said in a letter... (Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.)

In statements e-mailed to the Associated Press and NBC, Armstrong and other astronauts took exception with Obama's plan to cancel NASA's return-to-the-moon program, dubbed Project Constellation.

Armstrong, in an e-mail to the AP, said he had "substantial reservations." More than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, including Lovell and Cernan, signed another letter Monday calling the plan a "misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future."

The plan would also extend the space station operations through 2020. It would cancel Project Constellation and the Ares rockets, which NASA has been developing for six years at a cost of more than $9 billion. Obama would retain the Constellation project's Orion capsule. The capsule, which was to go to the moon, will instead be sent unoccupied to the International Space Station to stand by as an emergency vehicle to return astronauts home.

The former astronauts said, "It appears that we will have wasted our current $10-plus-billion investment in Constellation. … Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downward slide to mediocrity."

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2010-04-14-armstrong-moon_N.htm

It's his plan and he threw away billions on a really good project.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:59 am

Dennis324 wrote:"President Obama's plans for NASA could be "devastating" to the U.S. space program and "destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature," three legendary astronauts said in a letter... (Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.)

In statements e-mailed to the Associated Press and NBC, Armstrong and other astronauts took exception with Obama's plan to cancel NASA's return-to-the-moon program, dubbed Project Constellation.

Armstrong, in an e-mail to the AP, said he had "substantial reservations." More than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, including Lovell and Cernan, signed another letter Monday calling the plan a "misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future."

The plan would also extend the space station operations through 2020. It would cancel Project Constellation and the Ares rockets, which NASA has been developing for six years at a cost of more than $9 billion. Obama would retain the Constellation project's Orion capsule. The capsule, which was to go to the moon, will instead be sent unoccupied to the International Space Station to stand by as an emergency vehicle to return astronauts home.

The former astronauts said, "It appears that we will have wasted our current $10-plus-billion investment in Constellation. … Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downward slide to mediocrity."

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2010-04-14-armstrong-moon_N.htm

It's his plan and he threw away billions on a really good project.

What would be gained by returning to the moon? The idea was to focus on farther reaching projects (hence the purpose of the article in the OP).
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Miles1 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:39 am

Bryant wrote:
What would be gained by returning to the moon? The idea was to focus on farther reaching projects (hence the purpose of the article in the OP).

The advantage of the moon is that you can use it as a "filling station" to get to wherever else you're going. It's a hell of a lot easier/cheaper to lift a payload off the moon than up out of earth's gravity well, plus you can mine the moon for raw materials and fuel such as helium-3 so you don't have to bring it all the way "up" from earth.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:48 am

Miles1 wrote:
Bryant wrote:
What would be gained by returning to the moon? The idea was to focus on farther reaching projects (hence the purpose of the article in the OP).

The advantage of the moon is that you can use it as a "filling station" to get to wherever else you're going. It's a hell of a lot easier/cheaper to lift a payload off the moon than up out of earth's gravity well, plus you can mine the moon for raw materials and fuel such as helium-3 so you don't have to bring it all the way "up" from earth.

Why would one need to use the moon as a base? Why not use a space station and not have to waste fuel on breaking gravity? I'm not familiar with the significance of He3 in space travel, can you please explain? Also, what do you think would be more expensive, mining the moon or transporting something as light as He (or H in terms of fuel) up from Earth?
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Miles1 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:23 am

Bryant wrote:
Why would one need to use the moon as a base? Why not use a space station and not have to waste fuel on breaking gravity? I'm not familiar with the significance of He3 in space travel, can you please explain? Also, what do you think would be more expensive, mining the moon or transporting something as light as He (or H in terms of fuel) up from Earth?

Well, because Helium-3 could be used for nuclear fusion reactors - and because there's hardly any of it on earth and there's tons of it on the moon. And the moon has other rare minerals/elements as well that can be used as an alternate supply to earth (on earth, most of these minerals only come from China so they have a potential economic stranglehold over everyone who uses them).

THIS MOON WAS MADE FOR MINING (HELIUM-3)
Is Mining Rare Minerals on the Moon Vital to National Security?

Another advantage a moon base has over a space station is it's safer, more stable and easier to expand. If you want to make a space station bigger, you have to loft all of the pieces up into orbit, for a moon base you just dig a few more tunnels and put in some airlocks. And a space station in orbit won't always stay in orbit, if there's an accident/meteor strike you could end up with it (literally) crashing down in flames - not likely to happen with the moon (and if it does, I don't think we'll be worrying too much about space travel for a while anyway). And for crew protection, a space station is more vulnerable to things like solar flares - if there's a big flare, you need a heavily shielded "storm bunker" that the crew can retreat into to avoid being fried by radiation, and heavy shielding is expensive to get into orbit. On the moon, you just dig a slightly deeper tunnel.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Marconius on Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:52 pm

Dennis324 wrote:"President Obama's plans for NASA could be "devastating" to the U.S. space program and "destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature," three legendary astronauts said in a letter... (Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.)

In statements e-mailed to the Associated Press and NBC, Armstrong and other astronauts took exception with Obama's plan to cancel NASA's return-to-the-moon program, dubbed Project Constellation.

Armstrong, in an e-mail to the AP, said he had "substantial reservations." More than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, including Lovell and Cernan, signed another letter Monday calling the plan a "misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future."

The plan would also extend the space station operations through 2020. It would cancel Project Constellation and the Ares rockets, which NASA has been developing for six years at a cost of more than $9 billion. Obama would retain the Constellation project's Orion capsule. The capsule, which was to go to the moon, will instead be sent unoccupied to the International Space Station to stand by as an emergency vehicle to return astronauts home.

The former astronauts said, "It appears that we will have wasted our current $10-plus-billion investment in Constellation. … Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downward slide to mediocrity."

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2010-04-14-armstrong-moon_N.htm

It's his plan and he threw away billions on a really good project.

Still doesn't address the fact that the Feds interest level in space exploration and the funding of it has dwindled through each administration since Reagan.

Sorry Dennis, what you say is true, but it still doesn't justify dumping 100% of our space program failures onto President Obama.

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"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Marconius on Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:54 pm

Miles1 wrote:
Bryant wrote:
Why would one need to use the moon as a base? Why not use a space station and not have to waste fuel on breaking gravity? I'm not familiar with the significance of He3 in space travel, can you please explain? Also, what do you think would be more expensive, mining the moon or transporting something as light as He (or H in terms of fuel) up from Earth?

Well, because Helium-3 could be used for nuclear fusion reactors - and because there's hardly any of it on earth and there's tons of it on the moon. And the moon has other rare minerals/elements as well that can be used as an alternate supply to earth (on earth, most of these minerals only come from China so they have a potential economic stranglehold over everyone who uses them).

THIS MOON WAS MADE FOR MINING (HELIUM-3)
Is Mining Rare Minerals on the Moon Vital to National Security?

Another advantage a moon base has over a space station is it's safer, more stable and easier to expand. If you want to make a space station bigger, you have to loft all of the pieces up into orbit, for a moon base you just dig a few more tunnels and put in some airlocks. And a space station in orbit won't always stay in orbit, if there's an accident/meteor strike you could end up with it (literally) crashing down in flames - not likely to happen with the moon (and if it does, I don't think we'll be worrying too much about space travel for a while anyway). And for crew protection, a space station is more vulnerable to things like solar flares - if there's a big flare, you need a heavily shielded "storm bunker" that the crew can retreat into to avoid being fried by radiation, and heavy shielding is expensive to get into orbit. On the moon, you just dig a slightly deeper tunnel.

Nominate for "Informative Post Of the Month Award".......that is if we gave awards. Since we don't.......well just bask in the glory that exists when I finally give someone props.

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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Bryant on Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:43 pm

Marconius wrote:
Miles1 wrote:
Bryant wrote:
Why would one need to use the moon as a base? Why not use a space station and not have to waste fuel on breaking gravity? I'm not familiar with the significance of He3 in space travel, can you please explain? Also, what do you think would be more expensive, mining the moon or transporting something as light as He (or H in terms of fuel) up from Earth?

Well, because Helium-3 could be used for nuclear fusion reactors - and because there's hardly any of it on earth and there's tons of it on the moon. And the moon has other rare minerals/elements as well that can be used as an alternate supply to earth (on earth, most of these minerals only come from China so they have a potential economic stranglehold over everyone who uses them).

THIS MOON WAS MADE FOR MINING (HELIUM-3)
Is Mining Rare Minerals on the Moon Vital to National Security?

Another advantage a moon base has over a space station is it's safer, more stable and easier to expand. If you want to make a space station bigger, you have to loft all of the pieces up into orbit, for a moon base you just dig a few more tunnels and put in some airlocks. And a space station in orbit won't always stay in orbit, if there's an accident/meteor strike you could end up with it (literally) crashing down in flames - not likely to happen with the moon (and if it does, I don't think we'll be worrying too much about space travel for a while anyway). And for crew protection, a space station is more vulnerable to things like solar flares - if there's a big flare, you need a heavily shielded "storm bunker" that the crew can retreat into to avoid being fried by radiation, and heavy shielding is expensive to get into orbit. On the moon, you just dig a slightly deeper tunnel.

Nominate for "Informative Post Of the Month Award".......that is if we gave awards. Since we don't.......well just bask in the glory that exists when I finally give someone props.

Seconded!
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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Miles1 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:17 pm

Bryant wrote:
Marconius wrote:
Nominate for "Informative Post Of the Month Award".......that is if we gave awards. Since we don't.......well just bask in the glory that exists when I finally give someone props.

Seconded!

Cool, looks like I just did better than the pretty much the entire Irish Olympic team! :-P

I am humbled by the nomination, even if I don't win, a nomination is an honour in itself....... And I promise to take it in better grace if I don't win than this chick!



:-P

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Dennis324 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:35 am

What did she do?

Also, is there any channel where we can watch the Curiosity as it explores the surface of Mars? I remember the excitement of the Viking mission and seeing the pics of the red planet.

I agree with Miles on the pros of building a base on the moon's surface. I thik it would be a neat plan. Smile

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Miles1 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:31 am

Dennis324 wrote:What did she do?

She's a US Olympic gymnast who was caught on camera scowling at the medals ceremony after she was expected to get the gold and only got the silver, and the picture went viral on the web:

McKayla is not impressed: Gymnast makes fun of herself after her scowling silver medal face sweeps the internet

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Re: Mars Curiosity Makes First Discovery—And It’s Crucial for Human Interplanetary Travel

Post by Dennis324 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:03 am

Oh yeah...I see. Well, maybe a little humble pie will do her good. Smile But heck, she oughta be thrilled at winning a gold medal at the team finals.

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