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How Do You Land a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper On Mars?

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat dept.

Mars 218

tcd004 writes "Miles O'Brien narrates this video simulation of NASA's next Mars shot, which promises to out-gun all previous efforts. The Mini Cooper-sized Mars Science Laboratory, which is now named Curiosity, will crawl the Martian surface under steam from a nuclear powerplant — but it's a gentle giant compared to its predecessors. Recent theories have emerged that previous attempts at identifying organic compounds in Martian soil may have actually cooked away any signs of life-giving elements. Curiosity will go to great pains to avoid scorching the Earth ... erm ... Mars."

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218 comments

RTFA (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658282)

Yo dawg we herd you liked mini coopers so we put a mini cooper on yo mars planet.

Re:RTFA (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#31659588)

Yo. stupid mods. you missed the typo in the story title.

"How Do Yo Land a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper On Mars?"

Oy vey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658304)

>gentile giant
What, it's an uncircumcised, nuclear powered Mini Cooper?

+1 (5, Funny)

Kid Zero (4866) | about 4 years ago | (#31658318)

+1 for the great headline!

Otherwise, I'll state the obvious: Carefully!

Re:+1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658394)

You are at the wrong site cowboy! Go back to Fark

Re:+1 (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 4 years ago | (#31658516)

Today's article editing brought to you by Firefox Spellcheck.

Yo, Slashdot editors, cmon! :|

Re:+1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658562)

Yo, Slashdot, Imma let ya finish, but the "How do I shot web" has the best typo of all time. Of all time!

Gentile Giant? (4, Funny)

Michael_Burton (608237) | about 4 years ago | (#31658328)

Personally, I don't think the space lab's religion is any of our business.

Re:Gentile Giant? (3, Informative)

Michael_Burton (608237) | about 4 years ago | (#31658650)

Oh, drat. My witty and insightful comment has been rendered nonsensical by an edit of the post. It really did say "gentile giant," honest!

Re:Gentile Giant? (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 4 years ago | (#31659030)

Personally, I don't think the space lab's religion is any of our business.

I dunno... it could be a problem if it's a strict 6000-yr Creationist.

NASA: Okay MSL, send us the data from the last sample analysis.

MSL: I'll save some bandwidth and just give you the summary. No life, no precursors.

NASA: Okay, but if you could please just send us the raw data, that'd be great. This sample looked really promising and...

MSL: I said NO LIFE!

Car Chase (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31658336)

This is a good plan. I saw that one movie, the Italian Job, I know how sturdy Mini coopers can be. I'm sure they can handle the harsh environment of mars.

Re:Car Chase (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 4 years ago | (#31658552)

That movie also taught me Mini Coopers can handle much more powerful engines than you'd think. A nuclear-powered model is quite possible.

Re:Car Chase (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31658560)

Um, Smokey and the Bandit? Bullitt? You could fit more scientific gear in a Firebird or a Mustang. Or hell, how about a Blues Brothers cop car? From those flicks, Firebirds, Mustangs, and cop cars are invincible!

Re:Car Chase (1)

tangelogee (1486597) | about 4 years ago | (#31659322)

Personally, I'd go with the 1980's black Trans-AM. (mostly) Indestructable, and can provide some riveting conversation on the way...

Re:Car Chase (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 4 years ago | (#31658660)

True enough, but nuclear powered Mini Coopers? If anything goes wrong, that's going to take the line "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" to a whole new level of understatement...

Long live the ability to read ... (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 4 years ago | (#31658338)

It's always fun when you misread titles like this and end up with:

"How Do Yo Nuke a Land-powered Mini-Cooper On Mars?"

Not that I have any idea just how a land-powered vehicle would work, but the imagery was intriguing.

Re:Long live the ability to read ... (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about 4 years ago | (#31658376)

It's always fun when you misread titles like this and end up with:

"How Do Yo Nuke a Land-powered Mini-Cooper On Mars?"

Not that I have any idea just how a land-powered vehicle would work, but the imagery was intriguing.

Obvious, really. You nuke it from orbit...

Re:Long live the ability to read ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658418)

... only way to be sure...

Re:Long live the ability to read ... (4, Funny)

Drethon (1445051) | about 4 years ago | (#31658654)

You mean the way real people would nuke a living tree and its nine foot tall blue worshipers?

Re:Long live the ability to read ... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 4 years ago | (#31658630)

Not that I have any idea just how a land-powered vehicle would work

Well, you could roll it down a hill.

Corporate sponsorship... (2, Interesting)

drosboro (1046516) | about 4 years ago | (#31658348)

One wonders how much BMW paid to have "the Mini Cooper" used to describe this thing... :)

Re:Corporate sponsorship... (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 years ago | (#31658566)

One wonders how much BMW paid to have "the Mini Cooper" used to describe this thing... :)

Two libraries of Congress.

And a ping-pong ball.

Re:Corporate sponsorship... (1)

lwsimon (724555) | about 4 years ago | (#31658656)

Hmm.. A BMW to the right person in the NASA Communications dept. would do the trick, I imagine.

Re:Corporate sponsorship... (4, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 years ago | (#31658776)

One wonders how much BMW paid to have "the Mini Cooper" used to describe this thing... :)

Well they could have said "small car", but that is kinda subjective as what amounts to a small car in the US is gi-friggining-normous everywhere else in the world. Instead I'm guessing that the news program just went with a recognized make/model that is in use all over the place, and that no money changed hands.

Mini Cooper - the new Library of Congress for volume measurements!

Re:Corporate sponsorship... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31659342)

They could have said "X by Y by Z", where X is the length, Y is the width, and Z is the depth.

Re:Corporate sponsorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31659440)

They could have said "X by Y by Z", where X is the length, Y is the width, and Z is the depth.

They did, and in the only units understood internationally since VM Bugs stopped being familiar in too many markets.

"Its" is possessive (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658382)

"It's" is a conraction. It means "it is."

Please note that saying
"...but it is a gentile giant compared to it is predecessors."
makes no fucking sense.

Re:"Its" is possessive (5, Funny)

Xeleema (453073) | about 4 years ago | (#31658448)

"It's" is a conraction. It means "it is."

I think you mean't "contraction"

Re:"Its" is possessive (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 4 years ago | (#31658496)

The law of correcting typos: attemping to correct a previous poster's typo creates a typo from the current poster.

Re:"Its" is possessive (5, Funny)

Meumeu (848638) | about 4 years ago | (#31658710)

The law of correcting typos: attemping to correct a previous poster's typo creates a typo from the current poster.

You meant "attempting", apparently it's recursive...

Re:"Its" is possessive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31659006)

Its a misspeal-o-ramma!

Re:"Its" is possessive (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658568)

"It's" is a conraction. It means "it is."

I think you mean't "contraction"

I think you meant "meant"

Re:"Its" is possessive (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31659194)

"it's a gentle giant compared to its predecessors" is correct, did you misread it or did they correct it?

For people who think "oh, possessive, you need an apostrophe in a possessive" (the cat's feet) it's
he's she's it's
his hers its

Land? (1)

sarlos (903082) | about 4 years ago | (#31658384)

I always thought "landing" was over-rated. Give it a parachute and external airbags then just crash it into Mars and be done with it...

Re:Land? (3, Interesting)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 4 years ago | (#31658646)

Over-rated? The Mars Polar Lander [wikipedia.org] didn't fare so well during its landing.

Granted, that was a different system, but I'm not sure an airbag system will work for something over five times heavier than Spirit or Opportunity. Landing is definitely a hard thing to do.

Re:Land? (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#31658852)

If playing hero system has taught me anything, it's that just putting plate armor on it will keep it safe from impact.

Just like an egg put in a steel box and dropped for 500 feet.

Almost exactly like it, in fact.

Re:Land? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | about 4 years ago | (#31658928)

Land it? You'll be lucky to get it off the ground after the eco-weenies hear the word "nuclear". But hey, nice try!

Re:Land? (1)

sarlos (903082) | about 4 years ago | (#31659122)

I thought of that. With a little graffiti, it becomes a "Nike-Powered Mini Cooper," evoking images of the Flintstones and, hey, who can be against the Flintstones?

Re:Land? (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 4 years ago | (#31659542)

I always thought "landing" was over-rated. Give it a parachute and external airbags then just crash it into Mars and be done with it...

Agreed. Heck, they could even dispense with the parachute, airbags, and expensive science package and just crash a real mini cooper into Mars and be done with it.

English-to-metric conversion? (2, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | about 4 years ago | (#31658386)

How many Volkswagens equal one Mini-Cooper?

rj

Re:English-to-metric conversion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31659024)

Dunno about that but they could advertise a Bug with...

Farfromfusion

Re:English-to-metric conversion? (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31659044)

You just made the same mistake NASA did once; a Mini-Cooper is smaller than a VW.

Nuclear powered Mini Cooper (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 4 years ago | (#31658392)

When can I get one? This solves all the foreign oil and global warming problems with current automobiles.
Also how do I fill it up, or does it come with a full tank that lasts 10 years?

cost NASA an extra billion to develop (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 4 years ago | (#31658872)

With a delay of two and a half years. Some in the Bush and Obama administrations were ready to cancel this.

Miles O'Brien (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658420)

DAMNIT!

I was expecting an Irish Starfleet Engineer.

You should know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658440)

Use DS9's tractor beam?

Re:You should know... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31659036)

Use DS9's tractor beam?

They would have to first build all the remaining eight Deep Spaces to get to Deep Space nine in the first place, and only then would they be able to pull this one off.

Re:You should know... (1)

trapnest (1608791) | about 4 years ago | (#31659340)

Humans didn't build Deep Space 9, the Cardassians did. I don't think we're in range of their tractor beam emitters...

With Rockets (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#31658470)

and a parachute. After laning, have it drive 10 Kilometers from the landing sight to get away from the effects of rocket assisted landing.

that'd be COOOL!!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 4 years ago | (#31659418)

Actually, I'd like to see somebody do a skycrane entrance in a Mini Cooper on Earth. Maybe in the next James Bond?

Appropriate narrator (2, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 4 years ago | (#31658514)

For those who don't know, Miles O'Brien [wikipedia.org] is also the name of the transporter chief on ST:TNG and Chief of Operations for DS9. I clicked the link really hoping that they paid the actor to narrate this. Oh well. :-(

Re:Appropriate narrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658626)

I was hoping for Colm Meany as well.

He should get more work.

Re:Appropriate narrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658732)

Hear, hear!

Re:Appropriate narrator (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31659114)

If it had been Colm Meaney who narrated it it wouldn't have said "Miles O'Brien", now would it? BTW, Meany did a good job in Die Hard 2: Die Harder. It would have been better if, after he crashed hi airplane, somebody would have said "He's dead, Jim."

Re:Appropriate narrator (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | about 4 years ago | (#31659244)

If it had been Colm Meaney who narrated it it wouldn't have said "Miles O'Brien", now would it?

I dunno, this is Slashdot, you know.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658534)

Very carefully?

A better question (2, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | about 4 years ago | (#31658550)

How do we stop submitters from using questions for headlines?

Re:A better question (2, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 years ago | (#31658816)

How do we stop submitters from using questions for headlines?

Thats simple, you just employ editors who have the professional knowledge to bring headlines and summaries into the best format

... oh .. sorry.. I forgot where I was .. my bad

Nuclear Powered (3, Informative)

physburn (1095481) | about 4 years ago | (#31658588)

Its not a full reactor, just a RTG, radiothermal generator powered by radioactive decay.

---

Space Craft [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Nuclear Powered (3, Funny)

Knara (9377) | about 4 years ago | (#31659366)

Won't stop anti-Nuke whargarblers from protesting about the nuclearization of space. Apparently we're supposed to send diesels up there or something.

Gee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658598)

Isn't it terrible that they privatized the space industry? /sarcasm

I want one! (1)

mi (197448) | about 4 years ago | (#31658636)

a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper

I want one! Here, on Earth... It can even be bigger in size than a mini-Cooper — so as to be able to accommodate passengers and cargo. But, on the other hand, it does not need to be so sturdy as to survive a landing on Mars — only the reactor needs to be protected so as to not explode upon falling into Grand Canyon.

Will I ever have one? Ok, if not me, maybe, it can be produced in an 18-wheeler form-factor? No? A rail-road locomotive?

Talk about eliminating dependency on (foreign) oil!

Not so gentle, it has a Nuclear powered LASER! (4, Funny)

wisebabo (638845) | about 4 years ago | (#31658666)

I don't know why they claim it is a "Gentle Giant". It's got a nuclear powered LASER used for remotely zapping targets of interest to determine their composition!

I mean, how would you like it if a giant robot dropped out of the sky and started shooting frikking laser beams at you! ;)

Skycrane (4, Informative)

Cally (10873) | about 4 years ago | (#31658676)

Absolutely terrifying animations of the Skycrane EDL architecture : http://www.youtube.com/results?aq=f&search_query=MSL+skycrane&search_type=&hl=en-GB&gl=GB&oq= [youtube.com] Skycrane's intended as =the= standard EDL system for all future Mars landers. Frankly MSL scares the crap out of me, because there's only one shot at getting it right, and so much riding on it. Apart from anything else it's the last Mars lander planned for the next decade, apart from the vapourware joint JPL/ESA dual-rovers nonsense supposedly pencilled in for 2016. IMHO that'll never make it past the Powerpoint stage. If MSL lands perfectly it should last years, certainly longer than the astonishingly long-lived MER rovers Spirit and Opportunity. If it fails - that's it until the 2020s.

Re:Skycrane (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#31658910)

That device seems to need a lot of on board material for the thrusts. I didn't see where it could old that much material in the device that was shown.

Going Home to Mars. (1)

jimwelch (309748) | about 4 years ago | (#31658686)

We all migrated from Mars. The ecology went south, so we moved to Mars. It was a giant meteorite, not man's pollution.

This is why there are two creation stories in Genesis! It also explains why we used to have such great tech to build the pyramids.

[/sacarsm]

Show of hands... (3, Interesting)

theghost (156240) | about 4 years ago | (#31658760)

Who was disappointed not to see Colm Meaney? Yeah, me too.

Re:Show of hands... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658914)

yeah...that's the only Miles O'Brian that I knew about this before now. I guess I gotta get outta my parent's basement more. Yo!

Re:Show of hands... (0, Offtopic)

sohp (22984) | about 4 years ago | (#31659042)

I can't stand listening to Miles O'Brien, his voice grates on me. Worse, he really doesn't seem to know what he's talking about much of the time.

News reader (1)

Qlither (1614211) | about 4 years ago | (#31658762)

That has to be the most generic faced news reader of all time.

It will be a miracle if they make this work, the points at which it can fail during landing makes it almost insane.

How do I shot web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658870)

How do yo edit title but not fix obvious spelling error?
It's bad enough to see this horrible title on my RSS feed twice, but you couldn't even fix the error the second time.

I suggest... (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | about 4 years ago | (#31658876)

I would suggest the best way to land a nuclear powered Cooper Mini on Mars be done with a nuclear powered sling shot! Worked for me!

How Do Yo Land a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper On Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31658924)

Carefully.

Yes! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#31659448)

I don't know about the rest of you, but as soon as I read "...crawl the Martian surface under steam from a nuclear powerplant..." my first thought was Steampunk! We're gonna send a steampunk probe to Mars!

How Do Yo Nuke a Land-powered Mini-Cooper On Mars? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#31659560)

I'm not sure, but we'll need to make one much bigger than the regular 58 grams size.

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