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New Spacecraft Set For Dangerous Jupiter Trip

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the by-jove dept.

NASA 159

solaGratia passes along word of the equipping of Juno, the most heavily armored craft ever to be launched to another planet. The launch is scheduled for a year from now. "In a specially filtered cleanroom in Denver, where Juno is being assembled, engineers recently added a unique protective shield around its sensitive electronics. ... 'For the 15 months Juno orbits Jupiter, the spacecraft will have to withstand the equivalent of more than 100 million dental X-rays,' said... Juno's radiation control manager... [The] titanium box — about the size of an SUV's trunk — encloses Juno's command and data handling box..., power and data distribution unit..., and about 20 other electronic assemblies. The whole vault weighs about 200 kilograms (500 pounds)."

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why? (2, Interesting)

Asaf.Zamir (1053470) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178442)

what's the purpose of its mission?

Re:why? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178490)

To look for the monolith of course.

Re:why? (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178496)

to study the planet's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. Juno will also search for clues about how Jupiter formed, including whether the planet has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and how the mass is distributed within the planet. Juno will also study Jupiter's deep winds, which can reach speeds of 600 km/h.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_(spacecraft) [wikipedia.org]

those are good questions (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178742)

but from the story summary, i think the most pressing question would be why the heck does jupiter have millions of dental X-rays?

Re:those are good questions (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178780)

Fat planet eats too many sweets.

That proves NASA didn't get to the Moon in 1969. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179582)

Obviously the amount of shielding on the Juno mission proves that NASA didn't have such capability to shield the asstronaughts on their mission to the moon in 1969. So much shielding was necessary for logic circuits to perform without error, yet not enough for biological neurons of a bunch of evolution-believing Catholics to function that they would allegedly jeapordize the mission with their antics of a swing of gold and their first meal of commie-union after allegedly arriving. Just think about how much more advanced NASA is today, and how much more plausible it would be to just reenact a falsified moon landing in 1969 and then actually go to the moon in a later mission to clear-up all the lack of details with actual footage. Explains alot about the asstronaughts were all quiet and couldn't answer simple non-classified questions from the press and asstronomers about the auras of celestial bodies and the lighting conditions but later in each of those asstrongaughts' career biographies all could remember such details when each were well-over 80-years old.

It all stinks like NASSA alright.

it's a type'o (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178786)

If you read the write-up you'll see that later on they say that they are an invisible force field.
As we all know from sci-fi movies, force fields protect things.
So, they must have meant to say, millions of denial X-rays, not dental X-rays.

It's a type'o, simple as that. Either that or someone forgot to rub out the little horizontal bit on the t to turn it into an i, when they were having a little joke with themselves to lighten up the day, working for the man an all.

no, no, no (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178814)

as we know from 2001/ 2010 a space odyssey, enough black monoliths and jupiter will finally ignite and become a second sun. but the question is: what are those black monoliths? and, we finally have our answer: dental x-ray machines, alien dental x-ray machines. that is what inspired pre-homo sapiens species to begin the journey to modern man: the divine inspiration of advanced dental technology

Re:no, no, no (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178898)

Wow, that guy who done the write up must have got a beta version of the SETI at home project that lets you write your own algorithms. Written his own one, and managed to communicate with the aliens that put the invisible, black monoliths around Jupiter. They then must have told him that they were using the force of Dental X-Rays to perform a denial of service attack on Jupiter and ignite it into a second sun as it overloads with the drilling of requests.

2010 you say, dam shame that NASA's budget got cut, due to the cost of the wars no doubt, and they missed their intended launch window of 2009, otherwise they may have been able to make it their in time. Now there defiantly going to be too late, even if they take a ride on the nipon solar sail and get their at the speed of light.

At least the Zionists will be happy, the Muslim world getting over-thrown, the Jew's back in the holy land and busy fighting off and imprisoning the Muslims around them and now the coming of the second son.

Thing is, it already seems like hell on earth where I'm standing, and I'm pretty sure those few million souls that go to heaven must have already gone, cos I've not met a single on of them, and Christians aren't like they used to be.

So it look like the bible was actually correct after all, they just wrote riders of the apocalypse when they really meant to put, Juno what, 2001/2010 a space odyssey.

Re:why? (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178502)

Jupiter is blocking our view of Urasshole.

Re:why? (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178552)

Butt like Urasshole, Jupiter has a great red spot. [wikipedia.org]

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178618)

At least its not blue like Uranus.

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178562)

To boldly go where no man has gone before - 100 million visits to the dentist.......

Re:why? (5, Interesting)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178574)

what's the purpose of its mission?

Wikipedia say:

The spacecraft will be placed in a polar orbit to study the planet's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. Juno will also search for clues about how Jupiter formed, including whether the planet has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and how the mass is distributed within the planet. Juno will also study Jupiter's deep winds, which can reach speeds of 600 km/h.

As to the big "why" as in "why this instead of spending money on something else"...Jupiter is the big laboratory in our solar system. Studying it lets us lets us collect data which will help us study places where terrestrial data alone leaves things a bit fuzzy. It helps us verify the models we're already relying upon. We can make some guesses based solely on what we can observe from Earth - some extremely good guesses. But Jupiter is the big checksum in the sky. Is our understanding of the behavior of the Earth's magnetic field correct? Do our existing models hold up well for a stronger field? Do all these weird patterns we see on the surface of Jupiter and the predictions and assumptions we've made about the forces driving them hold up if we take a lot of new data from a closer vantage point? Are our assumptions about the formation of the solar system valid - and thus most of the assumptions we start with when examining more distant objects?

If you're the kind of person who can't see the value in something which doesn't directly translate into new gadgets - where do you think the technology in the cell phone (or replacement device) you'll own 20 years from now is going to come from? New technological developments are predicated upon basic scientific research. Sure, you can come up with rocks and fire and a few other nice toys without understanding why they work. Maybe god did it, or a wizard, who knows. But modern technology doesn't really work that way, it's far too complicated. Your computer is based upon a number of scientists and engineers understanding what's going on in terms of quantum mechanics, solid state physics, chemistry...not to mention loads of math. You wouldn't be online to question this without people doing basic scientific research.

Besides, the best and most human reason to go is because it's there. How could we not?

USD $700 million, that's practically free. (2, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178834)

Juno is NASA's newest planned mission to Jupiter. As part of the New Frontiers missions, it will focus on cost-effective research of the planetary giant. The project's costs will not exceed USD $700 million, however, budgetary restrictions have caused the original launch date of June 2009 to be pushed back to August 2011.

Apparently, that's about the same as the US has spent on the war in Iraq (ignoring all the other countries [including Iraq] and the none-financial costs)

http://costofwar.com/ [costofwar.com]

or to put it another way

Due to the secretive nature of Hollywood accounting it is not clear which film currently holds the record as the most expensive film ever made. Some charts have Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in the top spot which had an estimated cost of $300 million[1] while others have Spider-Man 3 which was officially acknowledged to cost $258 million.[2] Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and its sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End were produced together on a combined budget of $450 million,[3] making it the most expensive production. More recently there have been reports that Avatar is the most expensive film ever made with speculation that it cost $280 million,[4] which if true would make it the most expensive single-film production.

But then there's the 'real' costs too, how much people spend on movies, just like how much they spent on this project.

For instance:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films [wikipedia.org]
1 Avatar 20th Century Fox $2,731,058,342 2009
[# 1]
2 Titanic Paramount Pictures
20th Century Fox $1,843,201,268 1997
[# 2]
3 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King New Line Cinema $1,119,110,941 2003
[# 3]
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Walt Disney Pictures $1,066,179,725 2006
[# 4]
5 Alice in Wonderland Walt Disney Pictures $1,024,291,110 2010
[# 5]
6 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. $1,001,921,825 2008
[# 6]

opps, out by a factor on 100. (2, Informative)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178844)

Sorry, the cost of war in Iraq (financially to the US alone) is 100 times that of this mission to Jupiter.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178856)

Good thing our invasion stopped Iraq from flying any more airplanes into our skyscrapers then. I'd hate to think that money was wasted.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (-1, Troll)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178916)

Didn't you hear, their going to put a Mosque in it's place.
Get all the Muslims in one place, in your own country. Then it's only a short trip to NY with a nuke and get the lots of them in one go.
And no need to worry about killing any yanks off, it's alight the Iraqis already done that job for you and made sure the whole are is now unable to sustain American life.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (2, Informative)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179090)

Poe's law (religious fundamentalism) -- "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179244)

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism thata fundamentalist won't object to.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179250)

should add, I think everyone know it was nothing to do with Iraq, personally I thought that was blatant enough. on both my post and the one I replied to.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179264)

Actually, it may not have been the parody that was the problem. It may have been that I done it in the third person. Where I come from we call that sarcasm, legend has it that it's not understood over the pond.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (4, Informative)

stevelinton (4044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178910)

Actually it's 1000 times...

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (0, Offtopic)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178948)

I've been up all night (without any drugs) and I think it's starting to show.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (1, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179340)

A common mistake.

I suggest you take some drugs.

Re:opps, out by a factor on 100. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179722)

Perhaps more. They're still trying to put a dollar value on human life. Oh, sorry General, matériel.

Re:USD $700 million, that's practically free. (3, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178938)

Thinking about it, why the hell don't they turn the mission into a Movie (as cost effectively as possible) and then release it to generate a load more review.

I mean, I sat through penguins standing pretty much in one place for over an hour, and that was one of the best things I've seen.

Re:USD $700 million, that's practically free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179258)

you are mixing up millions vs billions

the cost of project ~700 million

the cost of the war ~800 billion +++ much more in reality. depending on who reports it and who analyzes it. some have argued that it is closer to 1.5 trillion

Re:USD $700 million, that's practically free. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179274)

no I'm mixing up 100 millions and billiards ( a thousand million).
a billion is a million million. 'Bi' or 10^(2*6) a 'tri'llion is 10^(3*6).

Go look it up.

Re:why? (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178598)

It's amazing how military expeditions often launch under the guise of scientific exploration.

Re:why? (1)

Jeprey (1596319) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178940)

As someone who's personally worked in military radiation hardening of electronics let me assure you this is 30-year-old military technology that is being re-used by NASA, not the other way around. You paranoia is admirably but misplaced in this case.

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178614)

what's the purpose of its mission?

To explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Re:why? (0, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178674)

Let's shoutout to all the females in space too, shall we? Interstellar travel would be no fun if it were a sausage party. From the Wikipedia article about the famous phrase:

Five years later after the release of The Wrath of Khan, a slightly altered version of the introduction was included in the title sequence of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The new version replaced...the word "man" with the gender- and species-neutral "one". The new introduction, narrated by Patrick Stewart (who played the Enterprise-D's captain, Jean-Luc Picard), at the beginning of every episode of that series, was:

Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Though I wish the females' TOS uniforms were still en vogue. ;)

Re:why? (0, Offtopic)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178960)

Feminine is used in the English language for a neuter form of a single entity.
America and her army,
My ship and all who sail in her.

Masculine is used in the English language for a neuter form of a unit of a group.

In chess, move you man.

Did they also change Woman to be Woone? or Woperson?

But then person is no good either, it's got son in it and that's not gender neutral.

So, from now on I'm going to call my partner a Wopeone, that is unless my partner is male in which case I'm gona call him my bitch.

Nice (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178466)

Cool story, bro.

Re:Nice (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178486)

Cool story, bro.

We talked about this a month ago. Too lazy to look it up. Lots of jokes about sending tanks to Jupiter and such.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178508)

We talked about this a month ago. Too lazy to look it up..

Pics, or it didn't happen.

Re:Nice (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178544)

happy now? [slashdot.org]

How many SUV trunks per LoC? (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178510)

And isn't an SUV _trunk_ about 1 m x 1 m x 1 m, anyway?

SUV's trunk... (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178512)

An SUV doesn't have a trunk.

Re:SUV's trunk... (4, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178584)

It does when an elephant is driving.

Re:SUV's trunk... (4, Funny)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178752)

Heh... reminds me of a joke.

How many elephants can you fit in a Volkswagen Beetle?
Four. Two in the front, two in the back.

...which is the set-up to the real joke:

How can you tell when there's an elephant in your fridge?
- There's elephant prints in the butter.
How can you tell when there's TWO elephants in your fridge?
- There's two sets of prints in the butter.
How can you tell when there's THREE elephants in your fridge?
- The door won't close.
How can you tell when there's FOUR elephants in your fridge?
- There's a Volkswagen Beetle in your driveway.

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179004)

The joke continues:

Noah called a meeting for all the animals. Which one didn't come?
- The elephant - he was in the fridge.

How do you cross a crocodile infested river?
- Wait until they are at the Noah's meeting.

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178768)

You know, I was thinking the same thing. The area commonly called "trunk" is usually under the rear deck of a passenger car, separated from the passenger compartment.

    Then I thought about my car (2000 TransAm). It has what's called a trunk area, but it's under the rear hatch, and doesn't necessarily have a separation to it. There is a removable interior cover, but I'd hardly call it a separator.

    I went looking for a more accurate definition of the "trunk". It's the main cargo, luggage, or storage area in a vehicle. It would not generally be the passenger area, as humans prefer to not be considered "cargo". :) A "trunk" area could be anything from the little space in my TransAm to the rear of a 26' cargo truck. You'd be hard pressed to call a 26' cargo truck a "SUV" though, but you could include something as big as a International XT series. A SUV trunk could be defined in several ways. We'll use a large fully enclosed SUV for an example, the Chevrolet Suburban. I was helping a friend of mine with his, and in the process, we removed everything from the interior, so I became very familiar with it. I'm using rather inaccurate numbers, as the true dimensions are a bit tricky. Somehow they made that truck without a straight edge anywhere in it. We found that out when building panels to replace the interior. They required many measurements to create properly sized templates.

    With all the seats installed, it had two front captains chairs, two mid captains chairs, and a bench in the rear. The cross section dimensions were roughly 4' wide by 5' tall. The "trunk" area (between the rear of the rearmost seat and the cargo doors) would be roughly 2'x4'x5', or 40 cubic feet.

    The rear bench seat was easily removable, which would change the "trunk" area to roughly 4'x4'x5' or 80 cubic feet.

    Removal of the interior trim in creased the cross section to approximately 5.5' wide by 5' tall. This would increase the "trunk" area of the rear to 4'x5.5'x5', or 110 cubic feet.

    Removal of the mid captains chairs and associated interior trim increased the distance from the back of the front seats to the rear of the truck to 8', so the "trunk" area would be 4'x5.5'x8', or 176 cubic feet. This would be about standard if the truck was configured from the manufacturer as a work truck, rather than a passenger truck.

    So the article's precision explanation for stupid people of "about the size of an SUV's trunk" is just plain wrong. They did also say each side is nearly 1 square meter, or nearly 9 square feet. As 1 square meter is 10.76 square feet, which is over the given sizes, we can deduct it to be not larger than 9 square feet, or 0.83 square meters. So 6 equal sides of 9 sq/ft would make it 81 cubic feet.

    Easy, huh? Well, they threw us with "each wall is 9 square feet", because that lets us assume the walls are square. Looking at the picture provided, it appears to be a cube. But, if you look at this NASA photo [nasa.gov] , you'll see there are 6 square sides, and two hexagonal sides. So, if it were a cube, it would be the size of the cargo area of a suburban with the third row. But, it's not a cube, and there are no less than two different sizes for the sides.

    You can't blame the article's author for it though. They got the details from NASA's own article. [nasa.gov] Great. Dimensions from the same organization that said "oh, we made a mistake in our unit conversion, and lost a $125 million dollar satellite." [space.com]

    Sure, if you're going to go around saying a square meter is 9 square feet, there's obviously something wrong with your conversions. :)

    I guess it's easier for folks to get things when you say "it's satellite is the size of the trunk of your car", or "that meteorite is the size of a Volkswagen" (VW bug, bus, or Type 181/Thing) or "the UFO appeared to be the size of a city". Who could possibly want accuracy in their information. Oh ya, us. I hope they made their flight path calculations more accurate than their description of the payload, or they may miss the target by 20% (more or less). :)

    [random rambling mode off]

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178800)

After I posed that, I went over to wiki and read the definition for an auto trunk, I never ever heard of anything other than the traditional "trunk" called a trunk.

Everyone with SUVs or vans I've known called it, well the "back", or the cargo area. I guess I can expand my mind around the thought of the back of an SUV/van being a "trunk", maybe.

So does a Chevy Avalanche or Honda Pilot's "trunk" expand to the entire cargo area when the divider opens up? If I put a hard or soft cover on my Silverado's bed does that become a "trunk"?

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179290)

    They didn't define the "trunk" to be enclosed, so the bed would count too. I agree, I've never heard anyone say "trunk" in relation to the back of a truck. It's always "cargo area", "back of the truck", or "bed of the truck". The rear doors are usually "cargo doors" or "rear doors". In helping my friend with his suburban, we needed to replace the "cargo door seal", as GM described it. My car has a rear hatch seal. The trunk on a sedan would be a trunk seal. :)

    The rumble seat was shown in the picture on the wiki article, which just adds to the confusion. The rumble seat is uncomfortable, but it is a seat where a passenger could ride.

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179806)

Trucks really don't have trunks, even if you have a tonneau cover. They have a "bed", which is true whether it's a pickup with a closed bed (with sides on it) or an open flatbed, with or without slat sides. I've been to school for auto body and paint and this is really what it's called. (I can probably still accurately name any part of the body, how useful if I ever want to actually do auto body for a living.) Or of course they can just have a hitch, as in the case of semi-tractors. I've seen at least one pickup with a fifth wheel hitch and no bed. And I've certainly seen rock crawlers on a shortbed frame with the bed completely removed and just nothing back there but bare frame and running gear.

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180188)

    I agree with you, and I'd suspect a lot of other people would agree with you, but what I found as definitions of a vehicle's trunk say otherwise. Unfortunately, someone at NASA referred to the trunk of a SUV in the article. {sigh}

    Auto body is one of the things I've tried to avoid doing. Maybe I should learn it someday. I've been doing auto repairs for about 25 years. If it is driven on the road, I've probably worked on at least one of it's type at some point. That's kind of funny since I don't actually do it professionally. Anyone who knows me knows I am very honest. I diagnose their problem, and have them buy the replacement parts for me. Then they pay me what they think my time was worth. Since I only do it in my spare time, if they give me anything, it's more than I would have been making. :)

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

theapeman (1068448) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178826)

So 6 equal sides of 9 sq/ft would make it 81 cubic feet.

I think you mean 27 cubic feet (assuming square sides).

Re:SUV's trunk... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179302)

Ya, you're right. I ran everything through a calculator so my mid-night math wouldn't go wrong. At least I wasn't planning a space mission with my bad math. :)

Re:SUV's trunk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178872)

If the squares are the same then you are looking at about an extra factor of 2 1/2 to your cube volume calculation (3sqrt(3)/2 if you want to be precise). So we are looking at 60-70 cubic feet or a bit under 2 cubic meters. As this is slashdot, it may be more convenient to think of it as a mere 2.4 × 10^ -7 cubic furlongs.

dangerous? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178556)

Yeah, al those other moon- mars- and other space-missions where a walk in the park ...

Re:dangerous? (4, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178730)

Compared to Jupiter, they were a cakewalk.

Do you have any idea the forces that are involved? Jupiter's tidal forces are so strong they may warp its moons enough to generate significant amounts of heat inside its moons - moons that are the size of planets (Ganymede is bigger than Mercury, and nearly as big as Mars).

We're not talking about just orbiting Jupiter either - we've done that before. We're talking going down into low-Jupiter orbit to study it up close and personal like. It's almost 320 times as massive as the Earth, so it's going to be hit with those insane tidal forces. It's also generating incredible amounts of radiation which will easily fry all the electronics on-board.

I mean, for heaven's sake, they've built it out of 500 pounds of titanium to withstand the radiation and crushing gravity. That's not exactly a heavy metal. They'll be ending the mission by diving it into the surface, and they are not even expect it to survive to the surface with all that protection.

Really, we've done nothing like it before.

Re:dangerous? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179120)

It'll be in freefall around the planet even if it is in low-Jupiter orbit, so the only problem will be getting its teeth X-rayed a hundred million times or so. Weightless and happy, it pretty much will only be as complex as any other mission to orbit another planet. That bit about diving it in to the surface though, that'll be a tad on the damaging side like you say.

Re:dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179520)

the natural satellites of jupiter are also in freefall. tidal
forces depend on the difference in gravity between two
points in an object. since juno is at most ~10m from
tip to tip, i really doubt tidal forces will make any difference.

(likewise, there are no solar tides on the earth.)

Re:dangerous? (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179658)

You are correct that there are no significant tidal forces in a 10 meter spacecraft, but there are certainly solar tides on the Earth - they are about 1/2 the amplitude of the Lunar tides, and the interaction between the two gives rise to the Spring and Neap tides.

Re:dangerous? (2, Informative)

photonic (584757) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179768)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt that tidal forces play any role at all for Juno. Tidal forces are caused by the difference of gravity over the extend of an object, which is only significant for planets and moons which have sizes on the order of thousands of kilometers, compared to satellites with a diameter of 10 meters. According to the last formula found here [wikipedia.org] , the tidal force is roughly a fraction (diameter / orbit height) of the gravitational force itself. A satellite of 10 meters orbiting at the same height above Jupiter as Io (known for its tidal induces volcanoes), will thus experience just a few millionths of the force experienced by Io.

Re:dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179940)

Jupiter's tidal forces are so strong they may warp its moons..Really, we've done nothing like it before.

I'm sure you haven't, dude. I'm now all, "Now where did I leave my silver coloured board again? The waves, the waves!"

Are we there yet? (1)

thervey (1216980) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178600)

Anyone know how long it will take the probe to get there? They didn't make any mention of the travel time in the article.

Re:Are we there yet? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178762)

It will take a few years, Jupiter is 8 times as far away from Earth as Mars, so however long it took to get to Mars, it will probably be about 8 times that (maybe less, depending on how long it can accelerate).

I didn't look up past missions to compare, but if I had to guess I'd say about 4-6 years to get there.

SUV trunks? (3, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178604)

Has the US population degraded to the point that we can't figure out what a square meter is? Do we need to measure volume in terms of SUV trunks?

I'll forgive people for not being familiar for units of radiation exposure because it's not something that 99% of the population will ever deal with, but how the hell does a dental x-ray put it in perspective? It's not like you can feel an X-ray. (If you can feel radiation then it's way more than enough to kill you, below insta-death levels you're not going to feel a damn thing).

At least with the size of the thing they gave dimensions in addition to their bullshit comparison, they didn't even bother to mention with real units how much radiation this thing will have to withstand. This serves to do nothing but perpetuate the idiocy growing more and more common in the US today.

Re:SUV trunks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178620)

No.

Re:SUV trunks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178718)

Yes.

Re:SUV trunks? (2, Funny)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178986)

I suppose they could have used 2 hours in a microwave or 40 years under a tanning lamp. But then the radiation may well be x-rays (though they say they tested using a gamer ray source).

It may have been better to put it in terms of how bright the equivalent aura would be if earth had that much radiation in it's atmosphere.

But the article was written by a dentist who drives an SUV, so I doubt he'd have know about things like that.

Re:SUV trunks? (4, Funny)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179422)

Has the US population degraded to the point that we can't figure out what a square meter is? Do we need to measure volume in terms of SUV trunks?

It seems to have degraded to the point of confusing surface and volume.
Volume is in cube meters.

Re:SUV trunks? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179664)

The US population hasn't degraded. The US population never went metric outside of science classes in school - which is a very small portion of their experience.

Luckily, I learned linear measurements before the "English System" when I was a child in the 70s and there was a movement to make the US metric. Before it was killed. You know, the metric system is sort of like health care, it spooks conservatives into thinking communism is around the corner.

I have an intuitive sense of some metric measurements. A meter is about a yard. A liter is about a quart. I don't have an emotional impression for what it feels like to walk a kilometer or what centigrade feels like. 80 degrees F to me is a nice day. On a gut level I have no idea what kind of day 26 degrees C is like.

Re:SUV trunks? (1)

Clovert Agent (87154) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179838)

Has the US population degraded to the point that we can't figure out what a square meter is? Do we need to measure volume in terms of SUV trunks?

Apparently so. Or don't you measure volume in cubic metres any more? :)

Re:SUV trunks? (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179854)

Would you describe your level of outrage as being five times stubbing your toe or is it more like 0.5 times some idiot double parking you in for half an hour?

Dangerous to whom? (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178640)

I'd say any manned mission has a higher risk of fatalities than this one.

100 million dental X-rays (3, Funny)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178700)

100 million dental X-rays? Can't we use some standard unit, like Libraries of Congress?

Re:100 million dental X-rays (4, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179048)

Well, in this case it would be Librarians of Congress with tooth decay per fortnight.

Re:100 million dental X-rays (2, Insightful)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179104)

Beat me to it :)

But on a more serious note: a dental x-ray can vary between 5 and 170 micro Sievert (source: http://hps.org/hpspublications/articles/dentaldoses.html [hps.org] ),
so this could be between 500 and 17000 Sievert. A rather large uncertainty in such a statement. Not that it wouldn't be lethal, since anything over 6 Sievert (acute dosis) is considered lethal (and even 1 Sievert acute will get you radiation poisoning - see Wikipedia).

What's with scaring people about dental X-rays, though? While I appreciate the need for an analogy, couldn't they have come up with a better analogy for this one? Like "equivalent to standing inside Chernobyl starting on the first day of the accident, for 15 months in a row"? (*)

That'd make the picture much clearer, I'd say.

(*) using 20 Sv for Chernobyl first day exposure (max value) and the average value for the potential exposure with the 100 million dental x-rays, which gives 8750 Sievert total exposure.

Re:100 million dental X-rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179206)

The conversion factor is the length of a football field divided by the distance from the earth to the moon, so only about 20 Libraries of congress.

Seriously though, 1 dental X-ray is only enough energy to move a Volkswagen the width of a human hair, but 100 million is a pretty big number number (you'd need that many iPods to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.)

Re:100 million dental X-rays (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180030)

100 million dental X-rays? Can't we use some standard unit, like Libraries of Congress?

4 - 6 megarads.

Re:100 million dental X-rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33180234)

Damn, and I came here to ask if someone could convert that into Libraries of Congress for me.

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178736)

ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

Someone had to do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179774)

I'm sorry, I cannot do that.

Now that's what I call good writing: (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178770)

'For the 15 months Juno orbits Jupiter, the spacecraft will have to withstand the equivalent of more than 100 million dental X-rays,'

Nice image. Everybody hates dentists and their evil cancer rays.

[The] titanium box — about the size of an SUV's trunk — encloses Juno's command and data handling box...

Everything is better with titanium, and a proper car analogy on top of that.

The whole vault weighs about 200 kilograms (500 pounds)."

Metric first, and imperial units as backup. Very nice.

Re:Now that's what I call good writing: (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179618)

Metric first, and imperial units as backup. Very nice.

What I like is that the author didn't say

The whole vault weighs about 200 kilograms (440.92 pounds).

The key to running "dual stack" on metric / English units is to realize that most of the time you do not have to be too precise in the conversion, as most of the time the original is not very precise either.

It's uglier than you can imagine. (5, Informative)

jrst (467762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178820)

It's uglier than you can imagine.

IIRC (sorry, it was long ago)... on the Pioneer 10//F 11/G missions Van Allen spec'd the Geiger Tube Telescope for an order-of-magnitude more than expected, and we pegged them. Pioneer suffered significantly--never regained full range on one channel of the IPP (Imaging Photopolarimeter--that thing that made the pretty pictures possible).

We nearly lost the spacecraft due to some spurious crap/commands during periapsis on Pioneer 10/F. Try dealing with an idiot-savant-brain-damaged-two-year-old throwing a tantrum with ~90-minute round-trip light time at 256-1024bps. It's ugly.

The running joke was... If you want to be absolutely certain a spacecraft is sterile, just make a flyby of Jupiter. Jupiter's belts are not to be taken lightly. A seriously understated quote from one post-mission presentation "Closest approach: It’s hot in there!"

It's not just hot, it's a red-hot-poker enema in your electronic guts. That Pioneer 10/11 F/G--the epitome of cheap deep-space exploration--survived those encounters and lived to tell--and did so for many more years still amazes me.

It is a testament to what we can do, and what deep-space exploration is all about. (So allow me a bit of hubris: Suck eggs Voyager... you had a much bigger budget, you got the press, you got your name in a Star Trek movie, but we were there first. Nah nah nah.)

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (2, Funny)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178958)

Van Allen spec'd the Geiger Tube Telescope

Oh man, I remember that concert, it was just absolutely insane.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (4, Interesting)

Jeprey (1596319) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178974)

Indeed. The illusion of space safety largely comes from the fact that the space shuttle uses only LEO where radiation is only a bit higher than terrestrial (but still higher) and the gullible fantasies of SciFi stories. Get to a higher orbit or deep space and it's radically higher normal radiation levels. The mission profile of Juno is like the Earth's van Allen belts fully charged. Very nasty.

Most commercial semiconductor technology is burned up by the high orbit and deep space radiation levels shortly after being powered up - back in the day we tested off-the-shelf Intel processors and SNL clones of the same and the first small 10KRad dose destroyed the Intel processors dead while the clones (designed from scratch for rad hardness) lasted to MRad doses.

Humans beyond LEO? Don't make me laugh! This is the Achille's Heel of any Mars mission. There is no existing technology that can fix this either. Even the Juno shielding comes at a heavy price: using high Z shielding increases cosmic ray and ion spallation which results in increased total dose that the shielding is nominally trying to reduce - because the process occurs *inside* the shielding material and actually gets worse with Z, it's a trade-off between bad dose levels and really bad dose levels. That's what is alluded to in the article as well. Strictly there is no way to shield down to human-tolerable levels.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179010)

> Strictly there is no way to shield down to human-tolerable levels.

Lots of shielding?

The coolest idea that I've seen is to snag a comet as it goes by, and drill our way to the center of that. Then you have several km of sheilding :) Wouldn't that be sufficient?

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

Wingman 5 (551897) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179196)

yea, but how do you steer it?

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179204)

Easy - by ejecting its insides. Simply through lumps of it out the back in the opposite direction that you want to go in. Hopefully its contents will include something that you can use as fuel to propel the lumps at high speed.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179478)

Simply through lumps of it out the back in the opposite direction that you want to go in.

That's not steering, that's propelling. You could make some holes on either side and top and bottom as well, but the more holes you make the less shielding you have.

(btw, it's "throw" not "through")

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179148)

Strictly there is no way to shield down to human-tolerable levels.

The claim that radiation obviates human space travel predates the ability to leave the atmosphere, much less achieve LEO or land humans on the Moon. This is historical fact that you don't get to deny just because it frustrates you. As humans have traveled deeper and longer in space the claims have evolved to remain conveniently beyond contemporary experience. Your assertion about 'any Mars mission' is a fine example of this phenomenon.

Keep up the good work. It's probably good (or at least does little harm) that someone in the peanut gallery is forever yammering on about intolerable radiation that has no remedy. Show no humility when your present claims are proven false. Just quietly move the bar (again) and carry on!

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (3, Insightful)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179308)

Deep space is considerably lower in radiative flux than it is when you're near a star for obvious reasons involving decay times and 1/r^2 laws. If it worked like you're saying, the universe would be extremely bright and extremely hot everywhere. In real life, most of it is just empty.

Also, there's an old trick which pops up in hard SF every now and then. Bury your interstellar ship inside layers of rock or water or both. Get it thick enough and it will shield out damn near anything which you're likely to encounter regardless of where you are or how fast you're going. Of course there are still places you're likely to want to avoid...stellar nurseries are probably not a nice place to be, nor do you want to get too far on the inside of the habitable zone of a star. Stuff like that. But the fun thing about radiation is that you can stop any conceivable level of radiative flux simply by putting enough matter between it and you. So much for "no way" eh?

As for something as simple as sending a probe to Mars - yes, you have to account for radiation in the design. But it's hardly insurmountable. If somehow it mysteriously happens that nothing else works, you can always fall back to covering the hull in water tanks. Higher fuel cost, but certainly possible.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179568)

While the depth of the atmosphere also helps in shielding, 14 pounds per square inch (or, ten metric tons per square meter), is not a bad first guess for adequate shielding for most of deep space, although it would not nearly be adequate for Jupiter. (Not every part of the spacecraft would require this, but a shielded "safe room" for solar flares would be a very good idea.) Note that the Jovian / Solar Flare radiation is all charged particles (no X or gamma rays), so it might also be possible to do magnetic shielding.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (2, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179802)

Also, there's an old trick which pops up in hard SF every now and then. Bury your interstellar ship inside layers of rock or water or both.

One advantage to this is waste management.

Since you'd need to recycle EVERYTHING on an interstellar (or even interplanetary) ship, use the massive radiation to your advantage. Feed the plumbing from all the waste to the outermost layers of the ship, exposing it to as much radiation as possible, thereby killing all bacteria, viruses and other parasites.

Doing this should allow you to save space/mass, since you then don't need as advanced a water treatment plant as you'd otherwise need.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (2, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179458)

Humans beyond LEO? Don't make me laugh! This is the Achille's Heel of any Mars mission. There is no existing technology that can fix this either.

Just make a massive ship; its sheer mass would provide enough shielding.

Obviously, it would have to be built in space. But to make a good enough space or moon base, you'd have to bring fairly massive amounts of material as well. And the only cost-effective ways to do that are propulsion based on nuclear explosions or a space elevator.
One technology people are afraid of, the other is not ready.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179498)

Do you have any numbers for this? I thought that it was generally agreed that a Mars mission was survivable using a lightweight spacecraft with little shielding. (maybe a 'storm cellar' shielded room for when a solar flare happens but that's it.) And we're talking a slow Mars mission, using conventional chemical rockets and a many month trip.

Now, a trip to Jupiter or Neptune...yeah it sounds like the only humans making a trip like that would have to be genetically engineered for higher radiation resistance.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179578)

There has to be shielding, but not every part of the spacecraft has to be shielded. BTW, NASA does monitor radiation exposure to its astronauts, and you can't do a long duration mission to the ISS once you reach your lifetime limit.

Re:It's uglier than you can imagine. (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179276)

> The running joke was... If you want to be absolutely certain a spacecraft is sterile, just make a flyby of Jupiter.

Finally, someone writes about the _WHY_ of the titanium case. Thanks :)

Another poor robot sacrificed (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179516)

We seem to be made to suffer, it's our lot in life.

Attempt no landings there. (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179548)

This radiation will make it hard to ever do direct human exploration of the Jovian moons. The radiation peaks strongly in the equatorial regions, and all 4 Galilean satellites of Jupiter (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) have equatorial orbits. An unprotected human on the surface of Europa would be killed by the radiation within minutes (not quite as fast as from the vacuum of space, but still very fast), and so people on Europa would be restricted to moving around in something like tanks, for survival. Clearly, unmanned spacecraft (or at best tele-presence robots operated from a few million km away) are going to be the means of exploration there for a long time to come.

most heavily armORed (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179888)

... am I the only one who read that as "armed" ? :)

Pb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179988)

engineers chose titanium because lead is too soft to withstand the vibrations of launch

So admittedly Pb is a superior shielding material except for the vibration issue? (given Pb is about 2.5X the density of Ti).
I don't imagine that's a particularly difficult engineering problem to overcome?
I guess given the cost of Titanium/processing, the kickbacks to the in cahoots sub-contractors is much more financially attractive (call me cynical).

Juno articles still plagued.. (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180108)

And in other news, articles about the Juno spacecraft continue to be plagued by unit conversion errors.

The whole vault weighs about 200 kilograms (500 pounds).

Really?!?! Because, the unit conversion for kilograms to pounds is x2.2. 1 kg = 2.2 lbs NOT 2.5 lbs!!!

For God's sake! The Metric system is not that hard to remember! If you don't know, LOOK IT UP!!!!

Re:Juno articles still plagued.. (2, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180162)

Its a meassurement with 1 significant digit. Thats a more correct way than the typicel " about 1 inch (2.54cm)" type conversion that implies a higher accuracy in one type of unit

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