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Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the head-'em-off-at-the-next-pass dept.

NASA 224

mikesd81 writes "Russia's unmanned cargo ship Progress 38 missed docking with the ISS and sailed right on by it instead of docking on autopilot. A telemetry lock between the Russian-made Progress module and the space station was lost and the module flew past at a safe distance. NASA said the crew was never in danger and that the supplies are not critical and will not affect station operations. There will be no other attempts at docking today, and the orbit of the module raises questions of any other attempts again. Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds of propellant for the station, 110 pounds of oxygen, 220 pounds of water and 2,667 pounds of dry cargo — which includes spare parts, science equipment and other supplies."

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224 comments

Whoops (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781630)

But nobody said it would be easy.

Re:Whoops (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781836)

In soviet russia, space station misses you!

Re:Whoops (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781966)

My DVD's! Noooo!!!! Come back!!!!

Re:Whoops (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782286)

Actually, it is a cover-up. I know for sure. In realty, the ship was hijacked and captured by aliens. I have very credible sources within the conspiracy theorists community ! ;-)

Since you mention you had DVDs on board, maybe that's what the aliens were after... I will share this with my contacts, thanks !

Re:Whoops (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782538)

No, the ship was stolen by niggers [google.com] .

Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (1, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781654)

The fuck?

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781718)

the supplies are not critical and will not affect station operations

Not to worry, the whole station's basically running on autopilot.
Oh, shoot!

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781960)

Our guys would have said something about converting to the metric system.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (5, Insightful)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781978)

It's called being prepared. The ISS is kept well-stocked and the loss of a single resupply run is expensive but not operationally critical.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782330)

Whatever, but no matter how you look at it they lost whatever it cost them to shoot it up, which was no doubt a huge amount of $$$.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782354)

Anyone know how long (if ever) the next pass along an appropriate vector will be? I wonder if that cargo is lost completely.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (5, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782124)

Not as much as the milk, holly is going to have to put those poor bastards on the dog's milk now.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (4, Funny)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782176)

Lasts longer than any other milk, dog's milk.

Re:Oxygen fuel and water aren't critical? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782220)

Why?

No bugger'll drink it.

Right... (4, Insightful)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781682)

the supplies are not critical

In other words, it had everything worth living for in it. You don't *need* tasty food or new videos to survive.

Re:Right... (2, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781750)

Pretty much:

Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station's six-person crew.

Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds (nearly 870 kilograms) of propellant for the station, 110 pounds (nearly 50 kilogram) of oxygen, 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of water and 2,667 pounds (1,209 kilograms) pounds of dry cargo including spare parts, science equipment and other supplies.

About 213 pounds (97 kilograms) of the delivery ship's cargo is earmarked as items for the station crew. Astronauts always look forward to fresh fruit and other foods that arrive on Progress spacecraft, NASA officials have said.

Some personal treats for the station astronauts are sometimes included, but NASA officials kept mum on anything unique riding on Progress 38. "Anything that would be of interest is probably a surprise," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries told Space.com from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Re:Right... (3, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781890)

you really don't need video's sent into space on any physical medium either.

Russia Today said after this first ever failure to dock that a second attempt will be made on Sunday.

Re:Right... (5, Funny)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781998)

No, not technically. But international data rates to the space station are a bitch. /only half-joking

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782140)

And satellite internet can have a really shaky connection . . .

Re:Right... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782206)

Idf the unmanned capsule is reusable, you put a HD on it, and have it load the digital mead while docked. While you will have additional weight in the sup-ly ship, it's a content weight, and it doesn't add mass to the space station.

Re:Right... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782456)

"digital mead" - sounds tasty.

Also, what's a "sup-ly ship?"

I wouldn't expect that they would need data traveled via RocketNet (haha, instead of sneakernet? har har) - they have plenty of communications gear and are in a good position to make and receive transmissions.

Re:Right... (2, Funny)

Klinky (636952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782230)

Maybe the space module was using AT&T to communicate. AT&T better blast Owen Wilson into orbit to try to save face.

in Other words: And nothing of Value was lost. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782042)

This is NASA's way of pulling a USS Liberty incident on Russia's Aeronautical Space Ship (hereinafter A.S.S.)

I bet those asstronaughts were up there saying:

We got their automated docking source-code, so link our ISS vectoral impulse control system upto this Perl script written on my GNU/Linux OpenPandora computer because I wrote it to spoof and avoid their docking effort.

Haha look at that shit go by us, yous Moiphies! Quick, send them an eMail that their software didn't anticipate the solar wind effecting their solar drift, that they need to hire better programmers!

Let's post this story on Slashdot directed at one of their servers, so we can get that "SEE RUSSIA STRONG" troll to STFU!

Re:in Other words: And nothing of Value was lost. (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782160)

For this to not be a +5 funny is a travesty. Holy crap.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782570)

I'm actually more worried about how much dry cargo parts cost and whether we can salvage it or not.

That and how the hell do you miscalculate this with all our supercomputers, etc. I mean come on, imagine if that had been manned, assuming it's unsalvageable!

It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (4, Insightful)

mollog (841386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781684)

Is there no vehicle for the people on the space station to use so that they can nip out and catch the errant missile? Jeepers, that would have been the first thing that I would deliver. Surely, they had anticipated this happening and considered what to do about it.

It's not clear to me why we're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner. Why not think in terms of a permanent space station, and all that entails?

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781726)

It's not clear to me why we're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner. Why not think in terms of a permanent space station, and all that entails?

Because every four years we switch between leaders who refuse to do anything that won't make their supporters rich and leaders who refuse to do anything that won't make their supporters rich.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782198)

Four years!? These kinds of decisions tend to have more to do with Congress than the White House. Congress likes bringing in pork to their districts, but doesn't like spending a lot of money that won't go right there. So science and innovation tend to take a back seat to building stuff that we may or may not need. (See also: half of the military hardware we have lying around that we don't need, generally don't want, and often can't even use.)

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781732)

Let me guess, you're a web developer who specializes in PHP and MySQL. You can't even develop a simple data-driven web site that isn't a total piece of shit, yet you'll post on /. condemning the efforts of a far more talented and better-funded team made of the world's best engineers, scientists, mathematicians and manufacturers. Absolutely pathetic.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781864)

I don't even have to specialize in a real language to do that... I'm happy with ActionScript!

But I think that the idea was *probably brought up* if not at least contemplated... but due to , it just wasn't feasible ($$$).

The first thing that comes to mind, is how are you going to power it? You would probably mostly negate the benefit of sending up supplies. A fuel source in space is like oil on earth in like 300 years - very difficult to come by!

And even if it wasn't "money" or the "cost" of getting the fuel up there to power such a shuttlett, it was probably the "safety" issues that keep it from coming into play. Though to you and me it would make perfect sense to have on hand. And really, what if some E.T.s sent us a care package and we can't retrieve it? No worse way to offend a possibly lethal race!

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781922)

What's wrong with web developers specializing in PHP and MySQL?

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782128)

The MySQL part.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782150)

Everything?

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (2, Informative)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781752)

i believe that the unmanned pod can try again to dock. they just said there not going to try again today.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (2, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781756)

Ah, but then you'd need a space-tug-tug to pull your space-tug back when it fails...

Where exactly do you get the idea that they are doing this in a half-assed manner? Contrary to what you might think, this is rocket science.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781776)

Where do you get the fuel to nip out, catch the vehicle, and bring it back in?

What to do about it? Launch another one. Either that or wait until November and have the Space Shuttle go pick it up...

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (5, Insightful)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781904)

So what happens when the space shuttles are all retired and we only have apollo-era capsules that we can send up with a breath-taking-fall-back-to-earth? Not dissing you, but the U.S. really bit the bag on this one. The shuttles are one of the best assets the U.S. has. Literally, no one else on earth has *anything* close to it. What a shame.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (3, Insightful)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782008)

Because no one else on Earth _wants_ anything close to it. They cost way too much for the marginal benefits they provide.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (2, Insightful)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782118)

I don't know about it proving "marginal benefits." It was the first vehicle to produce a viable "lab in space" that was unable to be done before. It was versatile enough to do whatever you needed it to do. It has a giant robotic arm from Canada. Yes, CANADA! The place where the South Park creators are from!

Now, the whole thing about it being safe is probably the problem. Well, was the problem. Back when the challenger had issues it really cut the program down. Unfortunately, it was a known problem (even then). I haven't kept up with the booster rocket technology at-all since then, but I assume they're much safer now! The only issue now would be re-entry. They have to develop and mature some better-stronger-lighter-cheaper materials that can take it and we'll be off of those soft-crushable panels that can be flaked off because they're hand applied!

As far as I know, there would be no ISS if it wasn't for the SS. So it's thee vehicle to have. Rockets are cool, but shuttles are better. And just like the yankees or lakers, if you wanna win, you gotta pay$

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782284)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone were both born in the USA.

Skylab was a lab in space before the space shuttle. Salyut 1 was before that, but it had two missions that both failed. Soyuz 10 that could not board due to fire and Soyuz 11 that crew died on rentry do to a lab. Shuttles are pointless ISS could have been lifted by cheaper and safer rockets.

You seem to be wrong on all accounts.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (4, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782226)

While I agree, the benefits are "marginal" until you need them.

One advantage of the Shuttle is it is designed to be a jack-of-all-trades. It has a big cargo bay that you can fill up with stuff, including a space lab. The arm can be used to grab nearby things and put them in the cargo bay for maintenance. It allows seven astronauts to work in a shirt-sleeve environment for two weeks. It's a pretty impressive vehicle.

The "problem" is ISS can do most of the science stuff that the Shuttle did better than the Shuttle could (because it stays up longer). So as a science vehicle, it's not really that useful anymore. The Satellites you might want to maintain are outside the Shuttle's reach. While satellites like the Hubble Space Telescope are within the Shuttle's range, HST was designed to be maintained by the Shuttle and, in fact, has to do some crazy stuff to target stars while whizzing around the Earth within the Shuttle's range. So at this point, the Shuttle's only mission is to carry astronauts from Earth to ISS. This is akin to using a big honkin' four-wheel-drive SUV to pick up groceries at the corner store--sure it will work but it's kind of a wasteful way to do it.

Using the Shuttle to capture the Progress Drone could probably be done. But it's kind of silly to spend $60,000,000 to launch a Shuttle to rescue a Progress drone that probably cost $10,000,000 to launch. Just launch another Progress and be done with it.

I won't bag on the Space Shuttle--it's a great machine. But we really don't need it anymore. Let NASA get on to the next big thing (whatever that may be) and let private industry take over supplying ISS with people and supplies.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (2, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782238)

The Soviets made an exact copy of the shuttle that flew and is completely automated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782336)

It was not an exact copy at all. It looked similar, it performed a similar task and was designed as a response to our shuttle. It was not an exact copy, it was not parts compatible or anything like that. The Tu-4 was about as an exact Russian copy of the B-29 as was possible for them. Even that was not parts compatible in the engines an guns/mounts.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (4, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781856)

Actually,

Everything is going completely as planned.

There were no supplies on the vessel and the pod was purposely sent off course. This was a very thoroughly planned tactical decision in order to acquire the funds for the supplies via the insurance payoff.

We would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog!

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (5, Informative)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781868)

The space tug was one of the first things that was cancelled in the space station program http://www.astronautix.com/craft/otv.htm [astronautix.com] We're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner because approximately half of the people in Congress would dearly like to see the entire thing cancelled (and this is not a vote along party lines). They try at every chance to kill the thing outright but it's always so far been saved at the last moment (with subtantial cuts) in a political compromise. And the thing about a compromise is that it's a solution that no one is happy with, ie, half-assed. That's the main reason. The other reason is that the station is in LEO, and thus is subject to significant atmospheric drag via the attenuated atmostphere. It's not a permanent orbit. Within a few years at most, without periodic reboosts (which cost fuel), the station would reenter the atmosphere and burn up. The primary reason that the station is in such a low orbit relates to the quality of the launchers we had to launch it. Without a Saturn V class, we had no real capability to project more mass than a telecom satellite to a significantly higher orbit. The Clarke orbit is filled with junk from dead comsats, so it's unsuitable for permanent habitation even if we could reach it with so much mass. And the area between LEO and GEO is mostly unreachable by the supply and personnel rockets we had with significant payload. So basically, the reason this station program is so half-assed can be laid at the feet of the people who killed the Saturn V. Skylab was launched in 1 launch. The ISS took dozens to be mostly complete.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782530)

Wow - Tincture of Idiocy.
I've never seen someone Fail Orbital Mechanics Forever so many times in such a small space.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (4, Insightful)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781918)

Although the space program had (has) it's share of fuck-ups, I would be hesitant to jump up and yell aloud: "Everyone is stupid, I just had a great idea no one else thought of before". I mean, what you say sounds reasonable, but if hundreds of scientist didn't provide for some sort of space tug, they probably had some reason, other than plain stupidity. Some possible reasons I can think of from the top of my head (at 3:00AM; disclaimer - IANAS*):
1) The frequency of such missed dockings is too low to justify the cost.
2) It is cheaper to send another probe than to have a space tug ready at all times - Remember that mass is money in space, and also you have maintenance to consider.
3) The technology for the space tug is not safe enough - it could be unpleasant if one of the astronauts gets marooned on the space tug.
Please don't try to refute the above points. I am not saying this are the reasons, those were just examples.

You may be right and nobody thought about some sort of contingency plan for such a scenario, but I would check it before marching around and talking about "half-assed manner".

* IANAS - I am not a scientist.

Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (2, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782096)

Why not think in terms of a permanent space station, and all that entails?

If you've got the money, honey, they've got the time. Remember, the ISS is anything but permanent. It's going to be deorbited in a couple of years unless the various agencies find a whole lot of money to keep it up.

It's not clear to me why we're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner.

See above. This, folks, is why we need the ISS as half assed as it is. We have to learn how to solve all of these little problems in LEO before we venture all that far from home. It takes literally months of planning for each and every space walk. We just don't have the tech and the experience to just 'run out' and grab something that wobbles off. But we need to get there before we can do really big things like get to Mars in anything other than a beefed up Apollo capsule.

Can't believe they still use pounds (0, Troll)

EreIamJH (180023) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781790)

What is this, the middle ages?

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (3, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781870)

Well to be fair, unlike other measures in the SI system, kilograms isn't all that much better than pounds. It still isn't defined in terms of any universal constant (speed of light, properties of atoms, etc), but rather defined by the International Prototype Kilogram in France.

The most common definition of the pound is exactly 0.45359237 kilograms. The pound is abitrary but so is the kilogram.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (3, Interesting)

annex1 (920373) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782004)

I wouldn't call the Kilogram "arbitrary". You are correct that it isn't defined by any "universal constant" but it is defined as being very near exactly the weight of 1 litre of water.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782232)

" very near exactly the weight of 1 litre of water."
which is arbitrary.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (4, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782316)

Not nearly so as you think it to be. 1000 kg is a mass of 1000 liters of water; that's a cube 1 meter on its side. Meter is derived from the size of the Earth (ancient Greeks could do it).

Yes, those are no longer definitions; but they give something very close from, as far as humanity is currently concerned, readily accesible (by unsophisticated means) constants around us.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782372)

And a foot is the length of a foot. Which most people have a spare of, and is readily accessible.

Each is equally as arbitrary. Anyone who says otherwise is biased.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782400)

Human feet vary far more than the mass of water in a given location.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782434)

Foot is defined using meters for some time now. And for much longer time is way bigger than average human feet.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782270)

That's not exactly true. The kilogram hasn't been defined in terms of water since 1889, when officially became defined by the IPK. From 1901 to 1964 the liter was defined in terms of kilograms (the other way around), but even that is no longer true. 1 liter of water may still be close to a kilogram, but that isn't how either of them are currently defined.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782306)

The kilogram is defined as the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram. The original definition was that of the mass of one liter of water at the melting point of ice, but there are too many variables for this. How much of the water is made up of isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen? What is the air pressure, since that affects the melting temperature and hence the density of the water, hence the number of molecules in the liter, hence the mass.

Even the IPK is a problem, since its mass varies. There are serious attempts at defining Avogadro's number exactly, which will in turn define the kilogram in terms of a number of carbon-12 atoms. Some of these attempts are through measurements, and some call for simply setting Avogadro's number to an exact value equal to the current approximation.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782546)

I cannot recall ever in my life needing to know the weight of one Liter of water. Choosing the Kilogram to equal a liter of water is as arbitrary as anything else.

Incidentally, the most common thing I need to weigh is myself. Pounds work just fine for that, and I never need to convert it to ounces or tons. For those times when Kilograms are more convenient, I use Kilograms (which is mainly when I am doing science). Otherwise, I just use pounds, which are more convenient to use around here because everyone understands them. Sorry to those Europeans who don't, though.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (3, Informative)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782028)

It's not about the story behind the unit. If the definition is arbitrary or not doesn't matter at all. What does matter is the way it works. I can tell you exactly how many grams are in a kilogram, and how many grams in a Ton. And that makes perfect sense. It's 10-base. it's metric. It's logical.

Now, try that with the ridiculous conversion ratios between ounces, pounds, stones and all that crazy mumbo-jumbo that is the imperial system.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782244)

it's no more mumbo jumbo then the metric system

I'm sorry if dealing with anything more complex then the numbers of digits on your hands is hard for you to comprehand.

 

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782310)

It's not hard for me to comprehend. But it doesn't make things more complex than necessary.

Also, the whole world uses the metric system. Only the US uses the brain-dead imperial system. So it looks like it's you that don't have what it takes to understand a new system.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782528)

Er, the US doesn't use stone. That's a British thing.

I mostly agree with your argument, just wanted to point that out.

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782384)

Hm...should we use or not use, as a basis of our unit system, a numeral system which is unavoidably most intuitive for virtually every human? What to do, what to do...

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782428)

Why should we have to deal with something as complex as the imperial system when dealing with measurements? Why should I need to use a bit of paper to work out how many 2 inch squared tiles I would need to cover a 6yard by 12 yard area? At least with the metric system the units are base10 which means that its easy to convert 10 metres to millimeters without even thinking...

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782304)

Now, try that with the ridiculous conversion ratios between ounces, pounds, stones and all that crazy mumbo-jumbo that is the imperial system.

Well I'd give it a go, but I was only taught SI in my (American) public school. :)

Re:Can't believe they still use pounds (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782044)

Actually, all of the SI units are arbitrary. Second and Meter were defined centuries ago and only later standardized according to "speed of light, properties of atoms, etc." when those became known and quantified. So a meter is no better than yard and a second is good only because, luckily, no one thought of another unit of time. They are now considered "better" because they are part of the SI system.
I agree that part of the reason that the SI system used meters and not yards is because it is a more logical system (yes, I know, and political reasons), but that does not change the basic premise: kilograms, like meters, pounds and all the rest are arbitrary measures and the fact the kg hasn't been defined yet by other universal constant* doesn't make it less useful than other SI units.
So, I say Yes to kilograms and No to pounds!

* The funny thing is that originally a gram was defined by the weight of water in a set volume (cube of 1/100 of a meter) - so it could have been standardized with universal constants. Guess they have their reasons.

Did you see that? Our space plans just floated awy (2, Funny)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781798)

So, next up on the agenda: the ISS.

arrarrarrarrrarr

So while trying to resupply it, the 'RUSSIAN' components failed to deliver its payload. It's now a possible danger to our gov't/mil satellites.

arrrarrarrarr

What do you propose we do?

arrarrarrrarr

Well, the public isn't going to like this. Can't we use our own rockets for this? Oh, so the Russians have superior rockets. How much money are we spending on this? Oh, that's not good. Didn't we already cut the Space Shuttle program out? Oh, so we can't even get our own people or supplies up to the ISS? Well WTF CAN WE DO!???????????

arrrarrrarrrarrr

get me Bruce Willis and Steve Buschemi!

Thats a lot of H2O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781862)

26 Gallons of water??? Hardly missed!

pendantry (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32781900)

Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds of propellant for the station, 110 pounds of oxygen, 220 pounds of water and 2,667 pounds of dry cargo

More like 0 pounds. Surely slugs would be a more useful measurement in a weightless environment. Or better yet: kilograms.

Even Hollywood... (1, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#32781906)

Even Hollywood had this one figured out.

Manual override.

Why didn't they have some sort of override for the Astronauts/Cosmonauts on board the station to correct trajectory in the last few moments? After all, they are the only ones that actually have a real eye on the situation and can react the fastest.

That must have been frustrating watching Mom's chocolate chip cookies and the latest issue of "High Times" go sailing past and not be able to do anything about it.

Re:Even Hollywood... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782000)

There is a manual override, but if they were having communications problems, it may not have worked either.

Re:Even Hollywood... (3, Informative)

BZWingZero (1119881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782006)

They have manual control available for once the Progress gets to the parking orbit. The issue is Progress 38 didn't go to the parking orbit, it just went straight on past.

Re:Even Hollywood... (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782132)

Manual override requires some sort of communication link between Progress and ISS. In order to fly an unmanned craft by wire, there has to be a wire in the first place. The summary says that they "lost a telemetry lock", I'm guessing that's what happened.

Re:Even Hollywood... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782268)

The is a point where there is no return. It just has to keep going. depending on the failure, you can just 'change' trajectory.it could end up going to fast, or arc to a not quite the right position and destroy the station.

OTOH, would could just send up flying transforming robots. I mean, Hollywood has that figured out to, right?

Conversion error (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782034)

Russians, "We are 15 centimeters from docking".

Nasa, "15 meters, rodger".

Russians, "No! 15 centimeters!"

Nasa, "How many feet is ...."

Crash!

Nasa, "Never mind".

Vger (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782048)

In a few thousand years, a craft from some distant advanced civilization will arrive in our solar system loaded with their interpretation of Russian porn.

Re:Vger (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782454)

In a few thousand years, a craft from some distant advanced civilization will arrive in our solar system loaded with their interpretation of Russian porn.

300lb women in fur hats?

Lesson: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782070)

Never send a robot to do a man's job.

The New Wave (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782088)

And with that, the space salvage industry was born in a rush to be the first to recover this massive payload.

Carmack - go get 'em!

nice... (-1, Troll)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782148)

Good thing Obama is getting us out of the space business its far too dangerous up there in space

Re:nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782210)

Back under your bridge, little troll.

Re:nice... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782298)

No he isn't.

How is giving NASA more money, better goals, and scrapping parts of a program that could not work 'getting out of the space business'?

Why don't you try using the brain you probably have to look at facts instead of repeating what liars tell you?

Moron.

Re:nice... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782438)

He's not a moron, he's a liar. And he knows it.

mod !up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782212)

one Here 3ut now erosion 0f user join in especially how it was supposed

rtfb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782390)

Let me guess: it happened because it all was in pounds?..

In Soviet Russia capsule misses YOU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32782518)

At least it didn't hit the station - didn't they have that sort of problem with the Mir

Re:In Soviet Russia capsule misses YOU (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#32782576)

Yes but that was the equivalent of backing a car into a post - anything more than a minor impact would have smashed the entire delicate lightweight structure into pieces.
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