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Houston, We Have a Family Reunion

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-lonely-in-space dept.

NASA 75

crimeandpunishment writes "If all goes according to plan, the only space sibling team will be hooking up in orbit. And not only are Scott and Mark Kelly brothers, they're identical twins. Scott took off Friday on a Russian Soyuz rocket to begin a five and a half month mission as the next commander of the International Space Station. Mark is the next commander of the space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled to lift off in February and hook up with the space station March 1st."

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cid 20721 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854670)

bitches!

Geriatric Lifestyle: An Important Guideline (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855120)

How To Be An Old Geezer


With the aging Baby Boomers there are now more elderly people in America than ever before. It becomes more apparent that a segment of them do not know how to age gracefully. Traditionally, this way of life was learned from extensive contact with and careful observation of the previous generation of elders. In today's fast-paced world this is less and less viable. While not intended to be 100% comprehensive, this document is a quick HOWTO reference to at least help today's old people get started. The following are the most important points, the time-tested things you really MUST do in order to be an old person in the modern world.
  1. Fuck the younger generations as much and as hard as you possibly can. This point is critical and cannot be overemphasized. Most other points are related to this one. That's how key it really is. There is one great way to do that, better than all other ways combined:

    Vote as a single homogeneous bloc. This is politically very powerful. Use that power to run up massive debts that you have absolutely no intention of paying. That way, future generations can inherit them. You need to do this even though collectively, you are the single wealthiest demographic group in existence.

    Your retirement from Social Security is the best way to arrange this. Sure, you could have taken personal responsibility for your life and started saving for your own retirement from a young age, but where's the fun in that? It's vital that you let Social Security remain the Ponzi scheme that it is so that no young person today has a hope of collecting a dime from it BUT they still have to pay into it (hah-hah! I guess the joke's on them!). BE CERTAIN that any politician who even suggests changing Social Security towards long-term viability is ending his or her career in politics.

    Sure, they are your children and your grandchildren, but so what? Now that they've grown past early childhood they aren't so cute anymore anyway. That makes it easy to treat them like you hate their guts even if you don't know you hate them. If you faithfully practice the points outlined in this document, then soon any guilt you might feel over what you've left for them to inherit will melt away and be replaced by an insatiable sense of entitlement. In the event this should fail, the constant coverage of the current pointless foreign war that the flower of our youth is going off to fight will serve as an excellent distraction.
  2. Run a homeowner's association. As a retiree, it's not like you have to work for a living anymore. You've got some time on your hands. What better way to use it than to take your neighbors to court over such worthy matters as the difference between white paint and off-white paint? Those bastards should have read and memorized their 100-page homeowner's covenant before daring to modify their own property. As an added bonus, any time they spend in court and not at work means even less opportunity to pay off the debts you've left for them to inherit. Any monies they pay as a result of losing the lawsuits serves the same goal, so it's a two-for-one!
  3. Drive very slowly, particularly on one-lane roads where it's difficult or impossible to safely pass you. Every time you do this means one more chance to make it hard for someone to get to work on time. That way, not only is a significant chunk of their paycheck taken from them to pay for your retirement and your medical care, but as an added bonus you add insult to this injury by hindering them from getting to work in the first place so they can make the money that pays for your expenses! That'll teach 'em. Whatever you do, don't ever pull over and allow the ten cars stuck behind you to pass, especially not when they have a clock to beat and you don't.
  4. When you are a customer at a restaurant, grocery store, technical support line, or the like, be as helpless as possible. Your goal is to be a really high-maintainence customer. Sure, you could demonstrate that with your age has come wisdom, but that wouldn't make you feel important and special. Instead, ask a lot of stupid questions that you'd already know the answer to if you noticed the most obvious of cues. Ask for a lot of trivial changes to a product before you will buy it. Demand a lot of extra effort and attention from whoever is trying to serve you. Transform from "sweet old grandma" to "mega-bitch" in a split-second if such attention is not immediately granted. Do not, under any circumstances, notice that all the other customers behind you are waiting.

    When it's time to pay, write out a check and take your sweet time about it. Even though you knew what store you were going to visit, DO NOT under any circumstances prepare the check in advance by filling out everything except the dollar amount.
  5. This is another important point. Perform all of the above faithfully and consistently. Then whine about how misguided the younger generation is as though you didn't have anything to do with that. Complain that they don't respect you. Act absolutely astonished that anyone would see you doing all of the above and would respond with anything other than gratitude, praise, and admiration. That will add an element of mindfuck to the heretofore material damage covered by the previous points. It's especially effective if you have the compulsive liar's talent of learning how to sincerely believe this as you say it. You can complain about how "back in my day" the youth were better/more submissive/kinder than today's youth while conveniently forgetting that the elders of that generation actually tried to give their children a better world than they grew up in. It is advised that you set your irony detector to "off" while doing this, however.

By faithfully following these steps, you too can be a typical American old geezer. Be comforted by the fact that the damage you are doing is mostly long-term. That means you will likely be dead of old age long before the youth have no choice but to reap the true carnage that you have sown. So live it up!

So... (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854674)

Does relativity say that they are now different ages? Because that would be awesome. :p

Re:So... (1)

topham (32406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854704)

I was thinking about this. If only the oldest one traveled in space, how many days in space would be required for him to be considered younger than his brother?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854762)

Wouldn't time move slower up there since theres less gravity to slow it down?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854838)

Oops I mean faster, since theres less gravity to slow it down :(

Re:So... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854794)

Probably they are just a few seconds apart. Should take a lot of years in orbit to get to minutes of difference.

Re:So... (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854906)

Seconds? I think you vastly overestimate the effect. The experiments that tested special relativity used atomic clocks and measured a few nanoseconds after travelling around the world several times in airliners. Even orbitals speeds for several weeks are going to make well under a millisecond's difference. The ISS travels at around 0.0026% of the speed of light. That's much too low for special relativity to have any effects that measurable with anything less sensitive than an atomic clock.

The effects of general relativity are even smaller - there's an experiment scheduled for 2013 that will compare an atomic clock taken to the ISS to one on the ground to test general relativity - the theory predicts a difference of one second over 10,000 years.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854918)

If I remember correctly, the current record holder for longest time in orbit has aged .48 seconds slower than the rest of the Earth. I doubt these guys have come anywhere near a full second.

Re:So... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855266)

If I'm not mistaken (please correct me if I'm wrong here!) the furthest somebody has been from the Earth's surface and the fastest that anybody has ever traveled in absolute terms relative to the Earth was on Apollo 13. Not exactly a distinction that those astronauts were trying for, but it was a by product of the free return trajectory that they used to return back to the Earth. I don't know if these astronauts are the ones setting this record or not, but it is at least worth mentioning. Velocities of the ISS are trivial in comparison.

Re:So... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856780)

If I'm not mistaken (please correct me if I'm wrong here!) the furthest somebody has been from the Earth's surface and the fastest that anybody has ever traveled in absolute terms relative to the Earth was on Apollo 13. Not exactly a distinction that those astronauts were trying for, but it was a by product of the free return trajectory that they used to return back to the Earth. I don't know if these astronauts are the ones setting this record or not, but it is at least worth mentioning. Velocities of the ISS are trivial in comparison.

Trivial in comparison?

Apollo 13 went less than 50% faster relative to Earth than the ISS does. And that was only for a relatively short time at the beginning of its orbit. By the time it passed the moon, it was going rather slower than the ISS relative to Earth.

Re:So... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857176)

I wonder about those turtles on Zond 5... (a 1968 Soyuz mission which followed similar flight profile to Apollo 13; generally the first venture and safe return of macroscopic life beyond LEO...and it did perform more complex skip reentry profile, to limit g-forces, despite being normally capable of direct descend - so perhaps a bit faster)

And you know, if the speed of something can start to be measured by fractions of c - only then the ISS will have a trivial one. Or perhaps "order of magnitude more" would start to be decent for trivial. But few km/s more when the ISS is at 7?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855276)

Actually, they were 6 minutes apart at birth, AFAIK......

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

berwiki (989827) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854932)

as soon as one of them ran after a baseball or was in an automobile while the other was not, their ages changed.

this event probably had the biggest impact on their age differentiation, but it had already occurred a long time ago.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855428)

What about if any one of them visited a place with stronger or weaker gravitation than the other one? I've read that stronger gravity basically means more stretched spacetime which means longer between points in time. (But that was in a high school book so it could be complete BS.)

Re:So... (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856294)

Well... relativistic fountains of youth without entering orbit are out of the question. Cornell astronomer Dave Rothstein's "Ask" page [cornell.edu] cites pretty negligible gravity changes. Across the earth, he calculates within 0.01% of g for local geology (rock density and so on) differences.

Heights are more significant than that 0.01% change, but still won't reach a single percent: 0.2% * g for a 5 kilometer difference. Mount Everest [wikipedia.org] is 9km above sea level. If 9.81m/s/s is changed by even that single percent, we only get g=9.80m/s/s.

Rather than relocating somewhere far and high near india, for more substantial rejuvenation, I suggest a big cheap vat of skin lotion.

Re:So... (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856342)

I screwed up my percent maths. The point is that 9.81 - (9.81 * 0.01) = 9.71m/s/s. Since nobody from Mount Everest ever reports regular floating in their gravity observations, gravity must be pretty mundane, so age won't have noticeable differences yet :)

Re:So... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860400)

Relativity says they have experienced a different amount of elapsed time over the duration of the space journey taken by only one of the siblings.

The fact that two babies can't come out of one uterus at the exact same time is what says they are already, and always will be, different "Ages" (since birth).

Re:So... (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862948)

pedant

Re:So... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33873684)

Hey, you were the one too lazy to just ask "does relativity say that the elapsed time since their zygotes split from the embryo is now farther apart than it was before as they certainly have not been going exactly the same speed and subject to the same gravity their whole lives?" /now *thats* pedantic.

The one with the beard is the evil one (4, Interesting)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854678)

When they both come down, one will have a beard and one will not. The one with the beard must not be allowed to go anywhere near any old volcano islands.

Re:The one with the beard is the evil one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854788)

What about the old chemical plant? Is it ok to let him go there?

Re:The one with the beard is the evil one (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855114)

Mission poster is quite telling [wikipedia.org]; also, this photo [wikipedia.org] of "Shuttle twin" can be only summed up by "bitches don't know bout my..."

On top of that, apparently he's married to a...congresswoman...(shudder)...Democrat. Badass. I think in case of those two we can be pretty sure which is the evil one.

PS. If only there was a chance of them becoming more known (locally, for me) than Kaczynski twins...one can dream.

Re:The one with the beard is the evil one (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855656)

Gentlemen, I need not remind you that this galaxy has an atmosphere of negative 5. This is an atmosphere in which beards cannot grow.

hooking up? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854722)

really, siblings hooking up in space? I've always wanted to watch that!

It's like a WV brokeback mountain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854848)

...in space.

I agree...the choice of wording for the summary was exceptionally poor - or in blatantly poor taste. (Note that it would have been in just as poor taste had the two astronauts been women)

Re:It's like a WV brokeback mountain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855804)

Note that it would have been in just as poor taste had the two astronauts been women

Not if they were hot.

Re:hooking up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855052)

This is the downside of having to launch from Florida and Texas!

Re:hooking up? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856760)

Um, I think I'll wait for female identical twins to hook up in space before I get really interested in watching...

Wow, amazing (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854736)

After decades of "science", the best that Space Nuttery can come up with is a retarded stunt. Amazing. We'll have a Dyson Sphere by next week. Astounding.

Coincidence? (1, Insightful)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854738)

There may be more proof here that "It's not what you know, it's who you know!" than people realise... I mean, come on, how many of us young, fit, healthy, brainy people who'd be willing get this chance? What are the odds of them both being "the best of the best of the best, sir"?

Remember, "Disagree" is not a mod option! Remember, meta-moderation works! (or so they say...)

Re:Coincidence? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855040)

Remember when a husband and wife went up at the same time? I guess we all know what NASA was hoping would happen. I mean, in addition to the Publicity...

Re:Coincidence? (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855312)

A few things about that couple:

* They were married after they were both in the space program. They met as astronauts.

* NASA didn't find out that they were married until after the flight assignments were made and the two had been training together for some time. Given their choice, the NASA astronaut's office would have preferred to have kept them separated.

Re:Coincidence? (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865554)

  Perhaps NASA should start considering that stable couples might have more "socially stable relationships" in long term close quarter living situations than a bunch of strangers ;-)

  But that would probably not be politically correct.

  (Mod this post redundant)

SB

 

Twins contribute to diversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855402)

Twins and triplets, particularly identical ones, are the newest fad amongst those seeking diversity. It gives an edge in admissions to colleges and such. I remember a set of triplets being admitted recently to one of the nation's premiere colleges... they did everything together, including chearting their way through high school. There is value in diversity, but there's a counterweight, because lowering other standards to improve diversity devalues the institution... That being said, there are many more people qualified for the best colleges--or NASA--than there are spaces, so if they want twins, they can pick twins.

Re:Coincidence? (2, Informative)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856892)

There may be more proof here that "It's not what you know, it's who you know!" than people realise... I mean, come on, how many of us young, fit, healthy, brainy people who'd be willing get this chance? What are the odds of them both being "the best of the best of the best, sir"?

Yeah, because if an individual has the right combination of nature and nurture to make him suitable to be an astronaut, what are the odds that someone with the exact same nature and a comparable nurture would be as well?

Re:Coincidence? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857068)

...to the tune of both finding themselves in a very small group selected among many? Though it's slightly more twisted, I imagine; something along the lines of "ok, we want him (due to whatever dynamics present, also partly somewhat outside of the hoped for optimums)...but there's two of him."

Re:Coincidence? (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857732)

Yeah, because if an individual has the right combination of nature and nurture to make him suitable to be an astronaut, what are the odds that someone with the exact same nature and a comparable nurture would be as well?

So that's why things ended not so well for RDA Corporation in Avatar. I guess the nurture part wasn't close enough.

Re:Coincidence? (1)

Alan R Light (1277886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857288)

Um, if they both have the same genes, had the same upbringing and experiences in life, etc., then there's a good chance that if one of them is the best at something the other will also be rather good at it.

If anything, this could be seen as proof of the primacy of genes.

More life's lottery bullshit? (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857662)

Really? Here at Slashdot we have those who discount the accomplishment of others on nothing more than "they won life's lottery" - "they were connected"? Then we have the declaration of how a certain poster is obviously astronaut quality while trying to make it appear that he is claiming many of /. is.

Here, I will give you a hint, instead of trolling bbs message boards in his younger days, or hanging out at the mall (it was the 80s after all) he was probably busting his ass. Actually, reading his and his brothers wiki pages would show that they both worked pretty hard to get there and just didn't have it handed to them.

I guess most astronauts would feel great in being classified as "got in because of who they knew".

You have two highly driven people who happen to be family, that they are twins probably helped too. Both did very well at everything they worked at and most likely one got the itch and the other said "if he can do it, I can do it".

Successful people do, the rest bitch on message boards

bad movie plot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854796)

This sounds like a bad movie plot. Then something happens and they must confront each others true person. And also something with twin connection. "I could feel he wanted me to eject the pod."

Hooking up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854852)

Twincest FTW!

is there room for the billion+ starving kids? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854854)

things are getting even worse (unimaginable) for them. lots of them are siblings, twins, still alive etc... not that it ranks with 'stuff that matters'?
  they will be protected.

if one had loads of supplies, they'd probably enjoy a lengthy getaway from this place.

Wrong webite (2, Funny)

koterica (981373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854868)

If all goes according to plan, the only space sibling team will be hooking up in orbit.

Yeeeaah. For a second there I thought I had somehow reached slashfic instead of slashdot.

Expensive way to prove a theory (1)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854870)

Having just read about the Twin Paradox [wikipedia.org] my brain is hurting too much to think about it. Go read it yourself.

Re:Expensive way to prove a theory (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855152)

Yeah, it's the acceleration that does it, not the speed. Freshman physics for engineers.

Re:Expensive way to prove a theory (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856768)

What bothers me about it is: doesn't the choice of which one is accelerating and which one isn't depend entirely upon your frame of reference? Neither one of them is standing still!

Re:Expensive way to prove a theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33858656)

In simple terms... no.

Also - ahem - duplication of a previous experiment (1)

Alan R Light (1277886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857278)

It doesn't appear to be widely known that one of the astronauts who went to the moon, Charles Duke [wikipedia.org], had an identical twin, Dr. William "Bill" Duke, who remained on earth.

Dr. Duke passed away this year due to lifelong health problems, but if these sorts of experiments were practical surely they could have been done four decades ago.

Charles Duke has jokingly claimed that the hoax theories were spurred by people who saw Bill visit Mission Control while he was on the moon.

This is news? This is Science? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854894)

No wonder it's so easy to find arguments in favor of gutting NASA's budget. How about a movie? Maybe these guys and the Doublemint twins in zero-G.

Our Duty is Clear (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33854976)

We should, nay must!, send one of them off into space at speeds near that of light! If we do not, future generations will rightly chastise us for missing this once-every-fifty-year opportunity to confirm the Twins Paradox. Ladies and Gentlemen, we know our duty. Now let us act upon it as women and men of science and of action!

NASA better be careful... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33854990)

NASA better be careful! They may have swapped classes in Astronaut school, and now only one of them knows, say, how to land the Shuttle, while the other one knows, say, how to work the zero-gee toilet!

Nice shooting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855006)

Nice shooting, dad.

Clones (1)

metalmonkey (1083851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33855392)

I suspect this is a cover story to hide the use of cloned cosmonauts.

Re:Clones (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856778)

On the other hand, when confronting the unknown dangers of space, it is really nice to have spare parts so readily available... although convincing your twin to give up those spare parts is another matter.

Unidentified Flying Oddball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33855762)

So it's just like that guy and his android lookalike in King Arthur's Court.

Same clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33856328)

From the article, "The Kellys promise no gags or matching outfits in space. They insist they've never done any of that." They wore the same suit to their NASA interviews. That's a fact.

Woo Hoo (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856818)

This is as meaningful as a Kardashian post. It's evening news filler. I mean it's not terribly usual but not really worth mentioning.

Re:Woo Hoo (1)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857190)

It's a pretty sad indictment of our space program. If this is the best they can do with the money, it's no wonder research on space-travel is underfunded.

They hide the truth! (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 3 years ago | (#33857786)

Bet they're really planning on just sending one of them up along with a full-length mirror for the photos, much less to get into orbit and who's really know the difference?

The Astronaut's Wife, part 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33857916)

Sounds like the sequel of The Astronaut's Wife... Charlize Theron, playing wife of alien possessed astronaut Johnny Depp, becomes pregnant, of (alien?) twins... And now they gain power of the ISS.

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