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NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-dead-jim dept.

Mars 152

coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will next week make a number of passes over the presumed dead Phoenix Mars Lander on the surface of the planet and listen for what the space agency called possible, though improbable, radio transmissions. Odyssey will pass over the Phoenix landing site about 10 times this month and two longer listening tries in February and March trying to determine if the craft survived Martian winter and try to lock onto a signal and gain information about the lander’s status."

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Love the space program (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739002)

I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space. We would be at Jupiter right now.

Re:Love the space program (5, Insightful)

snmpkid (93151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739028)

Or there would be 50% more dead space junk on jupiter now

Re:Love the space program (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739204)

Or both. No success without failures. Or are Spirit and Opportunity not worth the landers that disappeared?

Re:Love the space program (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739944)

Another way to put it, since half the spacecraft disappeared, is to ask if the missions would be worth twice as much money.

I'd say yes.

Re:Love the space program (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739644)

A heck of a lot more dead junk than that. The military budget is about 40x the budget of NASA accordign to one site. So there would be 2000% more dead junk, hopefully 2000% more live junk too :)

Re:Love the space program (2, Insightful)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739704)

The Rover's were originally 90 day missions back in 2002. That's all they were designed for. This is the 7th year of operation. Frankly, I'm impressed. If the military was as efficient as our space program, tanks from WWII would still be in service.

Re:Love the space program (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739984)

While I agree with your sentiment about the longevity of the rovers, I'm a little confused about your tank comment. The military has no problem using and maintaining old equipment when it's good for the job... the famous example of the B-52 comes to mind. Military equipment tends to go obsolete faster than robot probes, because it doesn't take years (sometimes decades) to deploy a new model.

Re:Love the space program (2, Informative)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741596)

Good point. Another example: the military still uses the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, which has changed little since it first went into service in the 1920's.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740030)

The Rover's were originally 90 day missions back in 2002. That's all they were designed for. This is the 7th year of operation. Frankly, I'm impressed. If the military was as efficient as our space program, tanks from WWII would still be in service.

*sigh* They could easily still be. Look at the B-52 bombers and you'll see a military craft that has last a long time. The tanks weren't put out of service because they wouldn't last, they were put out of service because they were obsolete. I guess you'd expect people to use a PC from 20 years ago for modern times too.

Re:Love the space program (1)

Airborne-ng (1391105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740032)

As a side note, the HMMWV's we used in Iraq were refurbs from '85. But agreed, I wish the military had half the efficiency of NASA and received half the budget.

Re:Love the space program (1)

uncqual (836337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741828)

Although I support the space program in general, comparing NASA and the military is like comparing Red Delicious Apples and Road Apples. Both are actually impressive organizations (and, also, in some ways unimpressive) - but that's about where the similarity ends.

When discussing the "efficiency" of NASA, consider the claimed benefits and costs of the shuttle when serious development funding began vs. what it, now in its dying days, actually delivered. As I can quickly recall, the greatest legacy of the shuttles was putting Hubble up and then fixing it (the need for fixing of course, comes back to NASA efficiency) and then upgrading it/repairing it. Perhaps worth it, but then one needs to allocate much of the shuttle budget to the Hubble and then ask "was the Hubble worth that much?". I think it's unlikely that the Hubble will/has provide/ed us with information that is going to make human's lives substantially more tolerable in the next 100 years and, quite likely, never (since humans will become extinct at some point) - so, it's interesting and perhaps enlightening much as opera (the performing art, not the browser) may be to some people, but it hasn't cure diseases, prevented birth defects, or gotten people to stop killing people for religious reasons etc...

The military has the option of throwing money at a problem when they are at war in order to save lives TODAY -- so they do it and, sometimes that's isn't very efficient. Also, the military has the difficulty of their timetable being set by other parties (ranging from a twitchy fingered POTUS, through a foe building a nuke, to a foe developing and using an asymmetric weapon technique such as IEDs). Once they are at war or in a battle, they can't just regularly say "The weather is a bit cloudy, let's cancel the mission to extract our guys who are under fire - hopefully it will clear up in the next couple days" or "We just discovered that this O ring fails sometimes and results in an entire tank blowing up -- let's shutdown our entire ground based attack mechanisms for a couple years and get a commission together to study why this happened". Nope - they have to take more risks and, often, throw money at expensive duct tape to achieve their goal. (Much of the "unnecessary" inefficiency of the military originates in Washington D.C. in the halls of Congress and the WH of course).

Re:Love the space program (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740314)

No, the mission was designed to last 90 days (and probably more for budgetary reasons than anything else). The rovers were designed to last as long as possible while still fulfilling the mission goals and staying below the weight and size limits. If you need a high cost, high risk, extreme environment piece of equipment to last 90 days, you design it to last for decades. I'm not saying 7 years on Mars isn't impressive, but the idea that engineers expected the rovers to drop dead after 90 days is inaccurate.

As for the military not being as efficient, the space program uses one off engineering projects to solve unique challenges. Each rover and lander is designed specifically for the exact environment they will be placed in and is engineered nearly from the ground up. It produces amazing results but it is not economically efficient. The difference is, compared to the cost of getting a rover to mars, the cost of the rover itself is almost negligible so you may as well over engineer it and make sure the money you paid for the flight out there was worth it.

I'd love to see what the space program would do with twice or three times its current budget, it's a crying shame the way it's pushed to the back burner the way it is now. When was the last time a genuinely revolutionary space concept was flown by NASA? The first shuttle launch? Lots of people have ideas that can be made to work, ideas that could make space travel as cheap and common as Arthur C Clark ever envisioned it, we just haven't put the R&D into turning ideas into technology.

Re:Love the space program (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741664)

No, the mission was designed to last 90 days (and probably more for budgetary reasons than anything else)... I'm not saying 7 years on Mars isn't impressive, but the idea that engineers expected the rovers to drop dead after 90 days is inaccurate.

Actually it kinda is, not because they engineered the rover to only last that long (obviously you're right and they engineered it to be as robust as possible to survive on Mars), but because they thought the rover's solar panels would be too covered in dust to operate after that.

I still remember NASA putting out releasing saying how pleasantly surprised they were that the Martian wind turned out to be substantial enough to blow dust off the panels, and so the mission could extend past its original 90 day scope.

The fact that they continued the mission shows it wasn't budget constraints that limited it to 90 days... at least not the operations budget. I guess it was related to budget in the sense that this constrained them to only using solar power, and 90 days was just how long they thought a solar-powered rover could run.

Re:Love the space program (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740398)

They were designed to almost certainly last 90 days, not to just last 90 days. I'm pretty sure that come day 91, they already had the budget/authorization to continue to operate the ground side, it was not a surprise that they were still going.

Re:Love the space program (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740556)

If the military was as efficient as our space program, tanks from WWII would still be in service.

We're still using a bomber from 1955, [wikipedia.org] and we're planning to keep using it until 2040. Is that good?

Re:Love the space program (1)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740608)

The Rover's were not designed for only 90 day missions... they were designed to guarantee 90 days. That's a different story. (I am not saying that what they have achieved is not a huge thing... it is. But it is incorrect to say that they have been designed to last 90 days.)

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30741494)

No. It's entirely correct to say they were designed to last 90 days. It's incorrect, however, to make the assumption that, because it was designed to last 90 days, it was designed to fall apart on day 91. You want to throw something at another planet *and* be confident that it'll still work for 90 days after bouncing it across the surface in order to land it? You over engineer the tar out of it.

Re:Love the space program (1)

llamadillo (936949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740822)

From what I can tell, NASA & the military seem to be running neck-and-neck in terms of their ability to predict the duration of engagements.

Re:Love the space program (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741458)

What are you talking about? The IraqWarII was only supposed to last 6 months and its going into year 7 too. Not to mention its sister war, AfghanistanWarI is on year 9 after being almost completely ignored. Talk about efficiency! So there!

Re:Love the space program (2, Interesting)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741474)

tanks from WWII would still be in service.

War was not won by producing state of art equipment. It was won by producing lost of it in fast and cheap way. T34 and Shermans were not the best tanks in WWII. State of art was Tiger 2 and Germans lost.

Re:Love the space program (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741674)

WWII tanks could be in service, except they would be useless now. It's not about robustness, but about usability :P

Re:Love the space program (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740662)

How can junk ever be "on" a gas giant? Isn't "in" the right preposition?

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740860)

The gas giants are theorized to have a solid core.

captcha: phoenix

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30741866)

I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space. We would be at Jupiter right now.

Or there would be 50% more dead space junk on jupiter now

Well that is still a whole hell of a lot more scientific data than one gets from a war.

While you might enjoy that money going to killing, some of us still do prefer money going to bettering ourselves as a race.

Though with the goal of death, I can see why you wouldn't like that happening either.

And speaking German, Russian, or Chinese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739058)

And speaking German, Russian, or Chinese...perhaps a better source of money for it would be the nanny state.

Re:Love the space program (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739100)

I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space. We would be at Jupiter right now.

TERRORIST!

Re:Love the space program (1)

codewarren (927270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739324)

Yikes, money in space is dangerous... especially coins.

Re:Love the space program (0, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740354)

Yikes, money in space is dangerous... especially coins.

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode4 [mythbustersresults.com]
Come on guys. Episode FOUR.

BEFORE:
The shitty, forced "acting"
The annoying junior crew took up 60% of the show
The "hurr, durr, hurr durr, derp derp derp let's blow something up" mentality
Adam's non-stop "look at me, I'm gaaaaaaay with this walrus!" antics
The "we saw this on youtube so we're gonna do it too" "myths"
The "Hey, if you like our show and want more, go watch this 20 second clip on the site! Yes, this little segment telling you to go to the site is in fact 30 seconds long!" shit

We don't even need to get into the whole "wouldn't fall to the Earth anyway, would burn in atmosphere if it did, would likely hit water, etc." stuff.

Re:Love the space program (1)

codewarren (927270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740874)

I didn't say "dangerous to Earth". Astronauts in the shuttle and the ISS don't have an atmosphere to protect them from a few grams stamped with "In God We Trust" screaming at them at 15,000 miles per hour.

Re:Love the space program (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741090)

Reading comprehension FAIL.

It's pretty obvious from the GP's post that he is referring to the concept of, for lack of a better term, "space junk [wikipedia.org] ". Or in this particular example, coins whizzing about in low orbit at a liesurely 17,000 mph. Even small things like marble-sized debris can put a world of hurt on any contemporary spacecraft; stuff the size of a grain of sand could kill somebody in a spacesuit. Look up how many times NASA has had to move the shuttle due to the threat of space debris. Tracking all these little bits is a full-time job for a bunch of people.

None of this has anything to do with coins falling off a skyscraper. And I can't believe I just fed the troll.

Re:Love the space program (0, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741508)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

Re:Love the space program (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739346)

I don't see how a rocket with a payload of nothing but dollar bills is going to get us any closer to Jupiter.

Re:Love the space program (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740072)

I don't see how a rocket with a payload of nothing but dollar bills is going to get us any closer to Jupiter.

To be fair, sending C-130s with payloads of nothing but dollar bills [guardian.co.uk] didn't do more for success in Iraq, either.

Re:Love the space program (1)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740206)

Have you seen how much aliens are charging for a ride nowadays???

Re:Love the space program (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740318)

Easy. Declare finders keepers. First person to retrieve the half trillion from Jupiter gets to keep it.

Re:Love the space program (1)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740430)

I don't see how a rocket with a payload of nothing but dollar bills is going to get us any closer to Jupiter.

It wont. The Great Noodly Appendage will be displeased with our offerings of wealth and will send our ships to their Jovian demise.

Re:Love the space program (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741008)

I don't see how a rocket with a payload of nothing but dollar bills is going to get us any closer to Jupiter.

It will still be more effective than spending it on millimeter wave scanners, banks, and U.S. car companies.

Re:Love the space program (2, Interesting)

lopgok (871111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739406)

Actually, if we would have funded Project Orion, we would have gone to Saturn in the early 1960's. See http://www.ted.com/talks/george_dyson_on_project_orion.html [ted.com] among other references.

Re:Love the space program (1)

cynvision (1032426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740736)

What strikes me is maybe how many more sick and injured (or dead) astronauts we'd have had. Science learned a lot about the effects of microgravity and radiation on human health puttering in orbit here.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739426)

...and speaking German, Japanese, Chinese or otherwise hailing our new foreign overlords.

Re:Love the space program (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739528)

No, in the US at least, Congress would have taken the majority of the money and thrown it towards welfare programs. Which is what they did that cut Apollo and limited the Manned Orbital Laboratory and limited the Shuttle, and cut all sorts of other NASA plans.

Re:Love the space program (0)

whrde (1120405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739580)

I wish we took 50% of that money and used it to feed the other half of the world which is providing us with our wealth.

Re:Love the space program (5, Insightful)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739760)

Are you serious? This is what you're bringing to the table? We already disrupt local economies and destroy the livelihoods of local farmers with the amount of food relief we drop into areas. The US spends more money on foreign aid than any other developed nation. We POUR food into the third world and their fucked up governments let the civilians starve while they feed their military and trade the food to other warlords for guns.

So take that bullshit and try to sell it elsewhere jackass.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739948)

Are you serious? This is what you're bringing to the table? We already disrupt local economies and destroy the livelihoods of local farmers with the amount of food relief we drop into areas. The US spends more money on foreign aid than any other developed nation. We POUR food into the third world and their fucked up governments let the civilians starve while they feed their military and trade the food to other warlords for guns.

So take that bullshit and try to sell it elsewhere jackass.

I applaud you sir.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740094)

You have to feed their armies, who else would then buy your guns ?

Re:Love the space program (0, Troll)

whrde (1120405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740178)

one hand "pours" food into the "third world", whilst the other destroys it through war, mining, slave labour, environmental destruction, debt and unfair trade.

you might want to be a little less ignorant and stop asking for gratitude.

It's not a problem you can just throw money at, it's a social problem.

Re:Love the space program (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741258)

The US spends more money on foreign aid than any other developed nation.

The total may be more, but as a percentage of GDP, it's at the low end of the scale.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30741750)

Sounds like you have a severe case of Enlightenment. The only thing for that is to slap you until your ears ring.

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739612)

no, we'd be in China

Re:Love the space program (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739646)

I wish everyone would get along in the world so we didn't have to put any money into the military.

Reality sucks.

Re:Love the space program (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739756)

How does that lead to the US waste on military being not far from half of planetary military budget?

Re:Love the space program (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740006)

War is an exchange of blood and money. You can substitute one for the other. Which would you prefer to lose?

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740770)

War is an exchange of blood and money. You can substitute one for the other. Which would you prefer to lose?

That may be entirely true, but the more important decision is: How much war do you have to buy?

Unlike pizza, it's the sort of thing you really don't want to buy in the first place, so you're better off paying as little as possible for it.

but we wouldn't (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739676)

and that is the problem. I always cringe when I see people toss out IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ as if that explains the current state of NASA's budget.

Face it, NASA does not generate votes. The only science that generates votes is that which well funded special interest groups support. The US could spend ZERO on its military and the space budget would be still be shit.

If anything the real science people want is how to get something for nothing, if not that how to get more from someone else

Re:Love the space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739748)

Because the Constitution Of The United States tells them to spend on a space program right...???
Learn your history and laws or we will be a nation of Men and not Laws....

Re:Love the space program (1)

flablader (1258472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739770)

We're already on our way (or will be in 2011, I hope). See http://juno.wisc.edu/ [wisc.edu]

Re:Love the space program (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739820)

Jupiter isn’t solid, and wouldn’t be very hospitable to anything we sent into it.

Re:Love the space program (2, Insightful)

172pilot (913197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741378)

I love the space program too, but if we did that, we'd be a territory of China right now, and all living a communist life with no space program..

Re:Love the space program (1, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741412)

> I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space.

You are making a very silly assumption. You assume the military budget just goes down a black hole. It doesn't. We get two benefits from that money. First is tech, probably more tech than NASA has delivered and NASA has done some good stuff. But look how much tech came out of two World Wars and the Cold War (WWIII in everything but body count) and compare it to NASA. But by far the bigger benefit is that Western Civilization didn't fall to the barbarian hordes. Hint: Barbarians don't send out space probes in a peaceful quest for pure knowledge. Can you see the Thousand Year Reich sending unmanned probes to the outer solar system? How about the Soviet Union in a world where they defeated the West and didn't need to 'waste' resources in a PR war? Remember, with some of the more productive farmland in the world their system couldn't feed their population, if the whole world fell to their level of productivity there wouldn't be much surplus wealth to blow on exploration. How 'bout the sixth century rejects wanting to re-establish the Caliphate? Think they would be interested in the Final Frontier? We are free to argue about these things and do basic science, safe under the protection of hard men walking the wall and beating back the unreasoning barbarian hordes who are always out there waiting for weakness.

Re:Love the space program (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741652)

You already got to Jupiter 30 years ago ... the point is to get there and have something to do besides gawking at the beautiful colors.

AFAIK, all the interesting (like those that produces more than pretty pictures in fake colors of distant gas bags) US space projects were done, or funded, by the US military; looking at what kind of projects they finance, my bet is the next big vehicle will come either from private companies, or from the US Air Force or Navy.

Nigger area code (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739030)

hairy balls

And so it goes (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739096)

Aside from the craft that was splattered across the Martian Landscape, is this the shortest lived mission to Mars so far?

Re:And so it goes (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739152)

You're forgetting the huge number that just plain didn't reach Mars.

Re:And so it goes (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739226)

The mission wasn't THAT short lived. The lander transmitted for 125 days before it died. Compared to Spirit and Opportunity yeah, that's a brief little period, but the mission wasn't a total failure.

The first lander that the Russians sent died within 1 minute.

Re:And so it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739846)

It wasn't a failure at all, it wasn't designed to withstand the martian polar winter.

Re:And so it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739552)

Slated for 3 months, lasted for 5, so it was substantially longer than intended. Either way, when the sun sets on a solar powered craft, the mission is over - regardless of how good the hardware is.

Re:And so it goes (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739900)

Catastrophic failures during descent didn't really reach Mars...

The shortest lived mission that touched down was the very first lander - Soviet Mars 3 probe. Stopped transmitting after around 20 seconds (but the data that were sent and external observation suggest it had the misfortune of landing in extreme dust storm)

Phoenix Mars Lander is no failure. It was known it will cease operations quickly (might even have been under CO2 icecap during winter)

Re:And so it goes (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740646)

Geez, I didn't say it was a failure, I just asked if it was the shortest mission.

should have send Balto! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739134)

godspeed, brave little robot!

Re:should have send Balto! (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739168)

Waaall-E

Re:should have send Balto! (1)

Proteus Child (535173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740478)

Moon Hamster approves of this message.

Have they tried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739270)

...poking it with a really long stick?

Once they discover the spice worms (3, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739372)

Frank Herbert's prophecies will be seen for what they truly are, and L. Ron shall be proven false, and the Fremen formerly known as Al Qaida will start broadcasting improbable messages from Mars.

Re:Once they discover the spice worms (1)

Whalou (721698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740444)

Isn't that the plot of Michael Bay's next movie?

Pun! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739392)

over the presumed dead Phoenix Mars Lander on the surface of the planet and listen for what the space agency called possible, though improbable, radio transmissions.

In other words, since its presumed dead, they're listening for the PULSE Beacon!

Haha, Aren't I clever?

Re:Pun! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739620)

No.

It has come to this. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739562)

Great. Now we're flying over alien planets looking for signs of artificial terrestrial life.

Only one thing left to do... (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739588)

Go get it.

Marvin the Martian (2, Funny)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739692)

The message NASA will receive probably won't be sent from the dead Mars lander... most likely it will be something like:

...going to blow up Earth. It obstructs my view of Venus!

That headline... (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739800)

NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft

If they knew it was dead, they wouldn’t be looking for a response from it.

Re:That headline... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739902)

I'm not dead yet....

I think I'll go for a walk!

Re:That headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30741688)

She's Dead Jim!

What is the point in studying Mars? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739814)

It's a planet that cannot provide the support for our current life forms, so why invest time and money in it? I don't see the point in it. Is a gigantic "desert" seriously that interesting?

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739858)

Is a gigantic "desert" seriously that interesting?

What’s so interesting about the top of Mt. Everest, that a couple hundred people have died trying to reach it?

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739990)

Or what is useful about a newborn child? It can't survive without special care even for a few days.

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740074)

What's useful about a newborn child is the fact that life will continue to go on. Without children, life dies out. That was a ridiculous argument.

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740164)

Precisely one of the points about Mars and other places outside of Earth. Without reaching to them, life will die out. We're in the phase of first small steps in ensuring it won't.

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740326)

Precisely one of the points about Mars and other places outside of Earth. Without reaching to them, life will die out. We're in the phase of first small steps in ensuring it won't.

Arrogant Earthist!

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740526)

I would say that's a natural property of the life that survives ;p

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740998)

Arrogant Spacer!

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740356)

What's useful about a newborn child is the fact that life will continue to go on.

So what? What use is it to me that life continues when I'm gone?

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740494)

Who's gonna walk on my lawn if life stops ?

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740410)

What’s so interesting about the top of Mt. Everest, that a couple hundred people have died trying to reach it?

I didn't pay taxes for dipshits to go off and die on a mountain.

Your argument fails.
We don't explore space for the thrill of it.
We explore space to get off this shitty rock.

Mars may not be hospitable to us, but we sure as fuck could still establish a colony there for all kinds of scientific research geared toward getting us to a new hospitable planet.

Or maybe Mars has oil.

Re:What is the point in studying Mars? (1)

Fallen Seraph (808728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741650)

Las Vegas was in an arid desert too, what's your point?

Mars is so interesting because of all the rocks out there, Mars would be shit-easy to terraform in comparison. Basically we'd pump out a whole bunch of CO2 (something we're already doing on earth, albeit as a byproduct) until the atmosphere gets a bit thicker. A thicker atmosphere traps heat better. Then we introduce vegetation to convert said CO2 into Oxygen (lots and lots and lots of algae really, that way when they die and decompose, it can be used as soil). Boom, habitable. It will take a while, but the sooner we start the sooner it'll be ready for long term colonization and exploration.

Yeah, may sound a little dumb now, but realize that the Earth's current population is estimated at around 6.8 BILLION people. Currently, many areas are already suffering from over population, in the conservative projection is that we'll reach 9 Billion people around 2040 (though this assumes no major shift in the trend for deaths, such as world changing medical breakthroughs, etc).

So one way or another, if we hope to continue to survive, we're not left much choice other than to expand to other planets/moons. And since Mars is relatively close, has similar gravity, and environmentally isn't much different from Earth (on the grand scale of things in the universe), terraforming it is a very real possibility.

di34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739840)

I know it sux0rs, since we made the 4 5ad world. At

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740718)

It's dead Jim!

travelling (1)

skeffstone (1299289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740876)

I bet it initially smashed through a porous structure and entered an underground river which spans a martian continent. Now it's popping up closer to the surface and can penetrate the thin ice it is trapped under! I could also suggest it is being carried by aliens, but that's boring if you're a scientist. Wait.. I'm not a scientist. But I'd like to be one, so there.

Send a rover to chop it's head off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30741254)

It's the only way to be sure.

Most likely Message (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741670)

Batteries cold, can't start, has anybody out there got cables, I need a boost.
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