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The Search For Apollo 10's "Snoopy"

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the look-harder-charlie-brown dept.

Moon 116

astroengine writes "A UK-led team of astronomers are going to use their comet and asteroid-hunting skills to track down a piece of Apollo history. In 1969, Apollo 10 did everything the first moon landing (Apollo 11) did, except land on the lunar surface. During the Apollo 10 mission, the lunar module, nicknamed 'Snoopy,' was jettisoned and sent into a solar orbit — it is still believed to be out there, 42 years later. 'We're expecting a search arc up to 135 million kilometers in size which is a huge amount of space to look at,' British amateur astronomer Nick Howes told Discovery News. 'We're aware of the scale and magnitude of this challenge but to have the twin Faulkes scopes assist the hunt, along with schools, plus the fact that we'll doubtless turn up many new finds such as comets and asteroids makes this a great science project too.'"

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Money NOT well spent. (1, Interesting)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444394)


I guess the larger question is "Why?" Why are they even looking for this in the first place?

Imagine if all the money spent on sending handfuls of people into space was spent on health care education here on Earth? I love the idea of astronomers at their telescopes but the costs involved with manned spaceflight is astronomical. Didn't it cost something like $10,000/pound to send stuff up in into orbit in the shuttles? How much are the Mars landers costing?

We need a SOLID health research plan back here on Earth. Far less money for the Big Pharma-controlled 'sickness industry' of today and more for alternative medicine research. Alternative medicine has been shown time and again to be just as, or more, effective than Big Pharma drugs or a surgeon's butcher knives. This is actually a timely discussion as the Big Pharma made up "flu season" is coming fast.

For example, did you know the flu shots are ineffective and even dangerous? If you start to show the signs of a flu there are simple things you can do. A homeopathic remedy of Oscillococcinum along with Chiropractic adjustments form a two-pronged attack on the flu virus. The Oscillococcinum attacks the young viruses while the adjustments to the spine help the body's innate healing capabilities destroy the mature virus. It's a 100% painless and safe way to heal yourself from within with the human body's most powerful weapon: innate intelligence.

Don't just take my word for it, educate yourself with the University of Google! Here's more evidence of efficacy:
"Flu season wellness plan should include chiropractic care" [worldchiro...liance.org]
How Chiropractic Can Help The Flu [wordpress.com]
Swine Flu Chiropractors Handout [planetc1.com]

Take care,
Bob

Re:Money NOT well spent. (3, Insightful)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444490)

Imagine if all the money spent on sending handfuls of people into space was spent on health care education here on Earth?

Seems to me that spending money on something that will eventually contribute to the over-population of the planet while NOT spending money on ways to get off this rock, would be the definition of counter-productive.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444936)

"eventually"

how about we learn how to take care of today's problems first? educating and caring for the humanity which exists as opposed to the humanity which might not ever come to be makes a hell of a lot more sense than throwing money at the sun out of a paranoid perception that the very problems which we're ignoring (starving people, incurable disease, destroying the evironment... you know; the little things) will lead to circumstances which would, then, justify your line of thinking.

until we figure out how to feed starving people here on "this rock" we've got no business in learning how to get them off of it... where they can starve on other "rocks."

Re:Money NOT well spent. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445054)

You can't make much progress in only one field of research at a time, and you certainly can't predict which branch of scientific (or other) endeavor will bring the next improvement in the human condition. Chemistry, biology, physics, etc all advance much more quickly when we employ them together, and space research does just that.

Chasing only short-term benefits is exactly the kind of thing that has gotten us into the mess we're in.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0, Troll)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445084)

We don't need science to feed people.
We need money. The resources already exist.

When the short term benefit is, literally, life versus death... opting for anything but immediate relief for the dying is pure evil.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445194)

When the short term benefit is, literally, life versus death... opting for anything but immediate relief for the dying is pure evil.

Thinking short-term is what is pure evil.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445328)

So, are you arguing that permitting people to starve to death is acceptable? Disgusting sociopathy right there, mate.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445500)

Of course letting people starve to death can be an acceptable situation. If by letting 10,000 people starve to death today, that means that we will be able to feed 100,000 people tomorrow, then it would be sociopathic to let those 90,000 people die tomorrow.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445668)

You're throwing "if" around as though the solution isn't already at hand.
That we have the resources, at this moment, to utterly and permanently eliminate starvation is not an if.

The fact that people who seem to be so heavily engaged in science are capable of ignoring that fact is disturbing.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446134)

That we have the resources, at this moment, to utterly and permanently eliminate starvation is not an if.

No we don't, especially not permanently. Populations will grow exponentially, while resources are bounded.

Also, don't forget that our food productivity is so high only because people wasted money and time tinkering with science, rather than feeding the poor.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446436)

"Populations will grow exponentially, while resources are bounded." - A solvable dilemma.

"our food productivity is so high only because people wasted money and time tinkering with science" - And it's high and nigh past the time where we can employ the results of that science to realize the initial premises of such research.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446168)

That we have the resources, at this moment, to utterly and permanently eliminate starvation is not an if.

Really? The primary cause of starvation in most of the world is NOT lack of food or money. The causes are political. Warlords stealing shipments, governments not allowing humanitarian aid, funds being diverted or squandered. Unless your "resource" somehow avoids those pitfalls, you can't stop starvation. duh.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446482)

Education.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446334)

I know it'll annoy you, but I'll throw another 'if' at you.

If we do in fact have the resources, at this moment, to utterly and permanently eliminate starvation, then why is it still a problem? Furthermore, if we do have so many resources available, then isn't it the perfect time to indulge in some science?

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446524)

That's not an "if" but, rather, a "why."

Let's say we find the cure for cancer... and then proceed to not implement the treatments which facilitate that cure.
We will have the ability to state that we've cured cancer, but people will still be dying from cancer, right?

This is precisely what we are doing with regard to feeding and medicating those who aren't being fed or offered treatment.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446876)

You've been reading the 'Nutter's Weekly' again, haven't you?

Take any culture, be it human, canine, rodents, or whatever. Allow that culture to breed without restraint, and soon, that culture will have consumed all available resources. Worse, it will probably poison itself with it's own waste products. Go get yourself a petrie dish, and try it out. Just put one little organism in the dish, with unlimited nutritional resources. You can even replenish those resources every day if you wish. Just watch, and see how long it takes your culture to poison itself.

No, you can't solve the world's hunger problem permanently, unless you execute all the people of reproductive age. Don't talk so crazy, man!

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446992)

Education cures many things.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449222)

Yeah - but you're still stuck with a population that grows exponentially. You'll notice that despite the educated peoples in Europe and North America slowing their growth rate, the human race continues to reproduce at an unsustainable rate. China leads the world, with their negative growth rate, but still we have the masses of Asia, Africa, and South America plus Mexico producing around 5 babies per woman.

I guess you need to get out there and start educating people!

Meanwhile, I still ask, what good does it do to solve all of humankind's ills, just to have a huge ass rock fall on all of our heads?

How 'bout we continue to push for space exploration, and space settlement, while some other people work on mankind's diseases and hunger problems?

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445774)

So, are you arguing that permitting people to starve to death is acceptable?

It's always moral to permit things. Save your condemnation for those people actually actively causing people to starve... their own governments, generally.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445810)

This is a discussion. Save your rule-making decrees for people who aren't actively participating in it.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445520)

A good start would be to have people in shithole, arid areas of the world stop having 12 kids per family (plus all the illegitimates).

A nice followup would be to eliminate a lot of the hyperprocessed crap that's eaten in the "developed world", stop wasting corn making HFCS, etc.

Unfortunately, what these really require is a political solution because it's predominantly a political problem. In the US, HFCS production is high because of government subsidies, mostly because Republican legislators are beholden to Iowa/Midwestern corn conglomerates that also lobby to keep import tariffs on sugar high. The import tariffs limit incoming sugar, the corn subsidies ensure that southern-grown sugarcane can't compete pricewise with body-damaging HFCS.

In europe, it's not much different. Common Agricultural Policy subsidies make it so that certain crops are impossible to grow, even though they'd be better environmentally and economically otherwise.

Welcome to life.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445776)

So... we should just ignore all of that and move on, right?

Again... people are dying. They do not have to.

"Welcome to life" doesn't feel so callous a statement to you because you don't know the people who are suffering and aren't personally effected...

Callously pretend that you do and that you are.

Welcome to compassion.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445982)

Do you know what the best forms of population control that isn't some Faustian bargain? A larger middle class, health care as a human right, and education.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446784)

In what way is this comment trolling?

Mods... just because you disagree with a point being made doesn't make it the comment a trolling comment... I'm about 30 comments deep into this thread... logged in and engaged. If that's trolling, then I'll stop sleeping with your mother.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445274)

There would be a lot fewer starving people if the planet wasn't already overpopulated.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445430)

You have failed to raise a valid point.
Presently, the world generates more than enough grain to sustain nourishment all of humanity.

Starvation is now a wholly man-made and man-sustained epidemic.

"The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food."
[http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm]

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445786)

You need more than just a certain amount of calories to be well nourished. It's the people pumping out the kids in areas without the infrastructure to cope with them that need to change. We can try to improve the infrastructure too, but blaming developed countries for third world hunger is like blaming the Police for drug imports.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445894)

"Blaming developed countries for third world hunger"

Straw man much? This is a global problem with global solutions. Meaning; the whole globe.
Go to the nearest major metropolitan area which you can access... People are starving there, too.
We're far better at hiding them than we are at feeding them... and we invest far more resources into hiding them than we to toward caring for them.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37446018)

But you aren't complaining about the warlord keeping the aid, or the money being spent on weapons and soldiers, or the money being spent on a palace. You are complaining about space research. That's definitely bitching about first-world allocation of resources. It's not a straw man just because you move the goalposts. It's not like we really spend that much on space, anyway. Why don't you campaign to reduce the defense budget? Not as easy a target? You can't use false equivalencies and luddite fears and an understanding of science about as deep as having played Civilization to make your points?

Sure seems that way.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446382)

Ignoring natural science by way or embracing theoretical science... I'm not complaining about anything, so much as pointing toward the obvious. The warlords and weapons and soldiers and all of that are symptoms of a solvable problem. Looking for an abandoned spacecraft does represent a problem worthy of diverting resources toward.

Please don't permit your own narrow perceptions to lead you to believe that mine are similarly limited. It's the difference between what is conventional and what is transrational.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448490)

transrational [wiktionary.org] : Beyond the rational; believed without logic or evidence.

Based on your arguments in the dozens of posts above, I would have to agree that this definition is apt.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445494)

People are starving? Where?

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444530)

It is not as if they are building new telescopes for this project. Whatever they use the existing telescopes for, I guess you'll find it a waste. I think however that a $5B troll detector would be a good investment.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444564)

What is the ratio of what is spent on NASA to what is spent on "Defense"?
There is a lot of waste in the budget, but NASA and the sciences are not one of them.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444748)

All studies are equal, but some studies are more equal than others.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how easily we can detect something we know to exist. It's a good proxy for our ability to detect dangerous asteroids, or am I missing something?

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444858)

No, you're not. They may find other benefits, and probably will, but even if it just advances tracking technology for telescopes that would be sufficient, IMHO, to justify the expenditure. Worst case you've got better technology for spotting asteroids that might impact the Earth.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445016)

Imagine if we would just take $200B from the DoD budget, send it to NASA, and tell them to balance their budget because that's all they're getting for 20 years. New efficiencies would be found and we'd see a lot more tourism.

There are 1210 people on this planet [forbes.com] with over $1,000,000,000 in wealth. If each one would invest 10% of their assets in a program, 1000 people could get off the rock with current tech (Apollo-style moon visit), or we could have a small permanent outpost on the moon or Mars. Costs of space exploration need to be reduced by a factor of 1000 to be feasible for the masses.

There are two non-rocket solutions for cost reduction. Laser ablation [slashdot.org] , and railgun cargo launches. Railgun tech is almost at Mach 7 [slashdot.org] . We need Mach 20 for orbital insertion (2.8 times faster).

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445530)

Oops, wrong link - 2010 reference to railguns [nextbigfuture.com] . > AC posting delay...

Re:Money NOT well spent. (5, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445116)

Exactly. The BANK bailout cost the US taxpayer more then the ENTIRE 50 YEAR OPERATING FUND OF NASA.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444574)

I say we ditch the spending on space and wellness and focus our efforts on antispam software. Preferably one that blocks the usage of the words subluxations, Oscillococcinum, and homeopathic.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445268)

Oscillococcinum and similar "remedies" are simply yummy, to my taste at least. I treat them as seasonal candies, nothing more. I love the echinacea pills, sour and smooth. Cheap if you know where to buy them at a discount, too.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444642)

Imagine if all the money spent on sending handfuls of people into space was spent on health care education here on Earth?

Yeah, or if the trillions of dollars spent on the military were given to me. Then I could buy everyone a fur coat. (But not a real fur coat, 'cause that's cruel.)

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444984)

If you're going to get me a Reliant, I'd prefer it be prepended with USS. (What kind of name is Reliant, anyway? reliant upon a massive service infrastructure)

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447160)

If you're going to get me a Reliant, I'd prefer it be prepended with USS.

You want a Reliant? Which one, a Reliant Robin [wikipedia.org] or a Reliant Regal? [wikipedia.org]

You can call it USS if you like... (^_^)

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444652)

Dr. Bob, I am disappoint.
Not one of your more creative trolls.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444656)

Oh, what the hell; I'll bite.

Imagine if all the money spent on sending handfuls of people into space was spent on health care education here on Earth?

Well, we'd probably see far fewer posts like this post's parent, and that does hold a lot of appeal: health care education would certainly go a long way toward eliminating the homeopathy advocates and so on. All the same, if you're going to argue that the money spent on space exploration could be better spent on earth, I can think of far better arguments for that than these ridiculous conspiracy theories.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444992)

Yeah... like food and medicine. Stupid conspiracy theorists all starving themselves and dying of curable diseases... the destitute are so selfish!

Re:Money NOT well spent. (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444846)

I guess the larger question is "Why?" Why are they even looking for this in the first place?

Because it's there.

Seriously, if we never did anything except the true and tested, we would never have left Africa. I'm sure the first one who said "I want to see what's over that mountain" was ridiculed by the tribal reactionaries.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444902)

For example, did you know the flu shots are ineffective and even dangerous? If you start to show the signs of a flu there are simple things you can do. A homeopathic remedy of Oscillococcinum along with Chiropractic adjustments form a two-pronged attack on the flu virus. The Oscillococcinum attacks the young viruses while the adjustments to the spine help the body's innate healing capabilities destroy the mature virus. It's a 100% painless and safe way to heal yourself from within with the human body's most powerful weapon: innate intelligence.

Bob, are you trying to troll at this point? We've got homeopathy involved now too? Ok. Let's spell this out very explicitly: There's no such thing as a young virus or a mature virus. Viruses don't have any metabolism. That means they are either fully assembled or they are being assembled or they are being disassembled while infecting something. There are no young viruses. If you know this little about basic biology you might want to consider what else you don't know. Maybe, just maybe you are wrong about chiropractice being the be all and end all. It takes a lot of effort to admit you are wrong. Many humans can't do it for things they've spent a lot of time believing. But, maybe you can.

However, I suspect you won't. You'll just keep spamming your misguided ideas all over Slashdot and the rest of the internet. In which case, kindly go practice chiropracticory on yourself.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445656)

Seriously, are you really that stupid? Try looking at this person's posting history before feeding the trolls.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445070)

Bob, space flights DO benefit the health care industry. Think about all the advances in treating vertebral subluxations brought about by launching astronauts at 15Gs. Every time I treat myself to some freeze dried ice cream after a chiropractic adjustment, I am very thankful for the space program.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445098)

Spending money on healthcare gets us no closer to establishing a viable colony off this rock. Space exploration, at its heart, is the mother of all insurance policies. What is more important, healing those alive now or ensuring the species can survive a global killer. We have 7 billion humans alive, we dont need more healthcare, i think we are doing ok.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445220)

Imagine if all the money spent on sending handfuls of people into space was spent on health care education here on Earth?

Ummm, we wouldn't have trolls like you? So on that sentence, and only on that single one, we sorta-kinda agree.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445482)

I'd like to applaud "Dr. Bob" for doing more to debunk the validity of chiroquacktic than anyone.

Re:Money NOT well spent. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446798)

Dr. Bob. The one and only.

Hey, Bob - what if you cure all of humanity's ills, just to have an asteroid half the size of the moon crash into the earth the next day? Just think - all that wasted time solving one set of problems, just to have another, bigger problem dropped on your head, out of nowhere.

I'll deal with the flu, staph, and strep, if I can just get OFF THIS ROCK! It's a deathtrap, I tell you! I've beaten the flu a couple dozen times now, but I have little idea how to beat a few million tons of rock falling on my head. Don't you think that would really screw up your chiropractics?

And, why do I always read "homeopathic" as "homopathic"? Is my gaydar messed up, or is it you?

Re:Money NOT well spent. (2)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447454)

Every school I know of has some sort of mandatory health class that teaches how to take care of ones self. And yet... people still do stupid things like smoke, drink [excessively], eat way too much unhealthy food and fail to excercise. They even persist in believing in absurd things like homeopathy and that chiropractic adjustments will cure non back-related issues like infections of the flu virus. I don't think adding more money into health education is going to do any good.

I prefer to imagine a world where the stupid people stop breeding and more money is spent on science and technological progress thank you very much!

How are they going to see anything? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444524)

Space Nutters have assured me that space is far from empty. As a matter of fact, it gorges with resources like running water, air and minerals. So how do these smarty-pants scientists plan to see through all those resources?

Re:How are they going to see anything? (2)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445804)

Nobody seriously uses the phrase 'space nutters' besides you. You do use it a lot, though.

Re:How are they going to see anything? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37446184)

Nobody seriously thinks we'll colonize space, or have Mars bungalows or manufacture ball bearings in free-fall. You do fantasize a lot about it, though.

Re:How are they going to see anything? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37447194)

Hoo boy, I just read some of your past "contributions" here, and if it *were* possible to colonize space, I'd send you first!

Nice project (-1, Troll)

dev575 (2465080) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444628)

I was working in the field for more that 10 years.
To me finding an object that small looks like quite hard but challenging work.
One of Apollo S-IVB stages was BTW found [aeonity.com] in similar challenge, so
its possible to do, but somewhat hard.

Re:Nice project (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444696)

Thanks for the Goatse.

Re:Nice project (1)

Backyard Billy (1153843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444780)

People if you haven't clicked on the link above don't...

that AEONITY.COM link is NSFW dammit (1)

Jaryn (880486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444782)

that AEONITY.COM link is NSFW dammit

Re:Nice project (-1, Offtopic)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444796)

Whoever modded this up should be banned...

Re:Nice project (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446058)

Oops. I hang my head in shame.

How hard can it be (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444738)

How hard can it be to find Snoopy? Just look for an area where bombs are being dropped, then search for a biplane within that area. When you find that, follow the trail to the nearest Christmas party, and you'll find Snoopy drowning his sorrows in a (root) beer.

Re:How hard can it be (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445424)

Kindly kill yourself immediately.

Mine! (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444746)

Dibs.

Lost Dog - Reward (0)

wa2flq (313837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444756)

Please contact Faulkes Telescope Project or NASA.

If found, do NOT feed or pet.

This is going to be really tough (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444790)

We don't know the exact orbit. If this had been from only a few years ago this would be a small range. But after 40 years this means that the module has a massive range. We don't know where it is. Although we should have a better idea how fast it should be moving which helps slightly. Also, this sort of thing has been done before. Since the late 1700s there's been attempts to track down objects based on some observations. This started off in some sense with Halley's Comet, but that was more about realizing that a large set of observations were the same thing (Halley also had the advantage of realizing that Jupiter and Saturn had a major impact on comets and also had Newton's previous work to guide him). The next time this would be used would be in the early 1800s when Gauss (yes, that Gauss as in Gauss's law and lots of other math and physics stuff. He was very productive.) calculated the orbit of Ceres based on a few months of observations. Since then we've refined these sorts of techniques a lot, and in this case we aren't limited to ground based observations since we have a pretty good idea where and when Snoopy was sent out.

The main problem is going to probably be that Snoopy is tiny. Something this small is very hard to see even with very good telescopes. Most asteroids that are detected with telescopes are much larger than the lunar lander. Spotting something of that size even with the (fairly large) telescopes that they are using will be tough.

Re:This is going to be really tough (4, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445222)

Hopefully, the lander being covered in highly reflective foil should raise it's albedo significantly compared to, say, a comet or asteroid, albeit possibly causing direct reflections to be intermittent.

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445250)

The main problem is going to be that Snoopy has a low mass to area ratio, and thus will be very subject to radiation pressure. It's orbit may not have changed much, but it could be anywhere along it (i.e., could have any mean anomaly).

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

matfud (464184) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446078)

It is tiny. Know-one knows exactly where it is. Yes NASA did know where it went but not with enough accuracy to tell where it is now. 40 years is a long time to modify and orbit.

Re:This is going to be really tough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37446440)

Know-one?

modify and orbit?

Were you drunk when you posted this? Or did you you just use voice recognition software?

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446314)

The main problem is going to probably be that Snoopy is tiny. Something this small is very hard to see even with very good telescopes.

I think that's the understatement of the century. How is this even going to be possible. From what I've always heard, Hubble can't even resolve things like this on the lunar surface.

http://news.discovery.com/space/apollo-10-search-snoopy-astronomy-110919.html [discovery.com]

The Moon is 384,400 km away. At that distance, the smallest things Hubble can distinguish are about 60 meters wide. The biggest piece of left-behind Apollo equipment is only 9 meters across and thus smaller than a single pixel in a Hubble image

Are the Faulkes telescopes THAT much more powerful that they can resolve sometime of the same size at a significantly greater distances? I'm pretty certain the answer to that is no, so how are they doing it?

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447004)

I wouldn't mind knowing too. Going by the specs on the Liverpool telescope, they get 0.135 arcseconds/pixel using their best camera, which is about 250m/pixel at the moon.

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

crunchygranola (1954152) | more than 2 years ago | (#37447916)

I imagine that to make the initial detection they are not going to attempt to resolve it. Instead detecting something with the solar spectrum by a two or three wavelength photometric measurement from a single pixel would be the way to go (it is also a measurement easy to automate) - there being very few natural objects made of polished metallic aluminum.

Re:This is going to be really tough (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448486)

Isn't the moon much closer than the focal length range that the hubble was designed for? Wouldn't this be why the resolution of the moon is so low?

Re:This is going to be really tough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448848)

No, the Hubble can and has taken pictures of the moon. The resolution of the photos are low due to the low resolution of the Hubble instruments.

See http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php?id=77&cat=topten

Re:This is going to be really tough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448002)

But maybe they can find Russell's teapot [wikimedia.org] at the same time!

Perhaps the founding project of space archaeology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37444918)

Imagine if we were to send a small probe out to intercept it...

Re:Perhaps the founding project of space archaeolo (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445272)

This [nasa.gov] was the founding of space archaeology.

Nice project (-1, Troll)

dev576 (2465092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37444964)

I was working in the field for more that 10 years.
To me finding an object that small looks like quite hard but challenging work.
One of Apollo S-IVB stages was BTW found [aeonity.com] in similar challenge, so
its possible to do, but somewhat hard.

Warning: above link is goatse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445044)

Warning: above link is goatse.

It's not the only thing (4, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445210)

There are also the Apollo 8, 10, 11 and 12 S-IVBs [wikipedia.org] (3rd stage). (Starting with Apollo 13, the S-IVBs were impacted on the Moon to produce "Moonquakes" for the ALSEP seismometers). For all of those except for Apollo 8, there were also 4 large SLAs (panels) around the LM, which were ejected when the LM was retrieved just after TLI. (The Apollo-8 panels stayed on the S-IVB, as it had no LM.) In a real trivia, the Apollo 13-17 SLAs also should be out there, as the S-IVB was directed to hit the Moon after the LM was retrieved, and thus after they were ejected.

There was a claim that the S-IVB for Apollo 12 might have been found [nasa.gov] . I don't know if that was ever confirmed, though.

Re:It's not the only thing (1)

HuffMeister (608243) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446288)

Where do you go to learn about this kind of stuff about Apollo? I'm fascinated with it, but need an initiation into the nitty gritties of the technical history...

Re:It's not the only thing (2)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448440)

I know something about it because I was following it at the time, and because I am still involved in such stuff.

Here are some links to get you started

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/index.html [nasa.gov]
http://www.myspacemuseum.com/sitemap.htm [myspacemuseum.com]
http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/msfn_missions/ALSEP/hl_alsep.html [honeysucklecreek.net]

Re:It's not the only thing (1)

LordRobin (983231) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446760)

Curious: What happened to the lunar modules for Apollo 11, 12, and 14-17? After the ascent stage docked with the command module and the astronauts transferred over, the ascent stage was jettisoned, right? So what makes the LM for Apollo 10 special? Or did the ascent modules for the landing missions remain in orbit around the moon?

------RM

Re:It's not the only thing (2)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448384)

There were a bunch of Lunar satellites in the Apollo era.

Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 17 LMs were deliberately impacted onto the Moon, again, to make Moon-quakes for the ALSEP seismometer network. Apollo 13 LM went into the Earth's atmosphere.

Apollo 15 and 16 released one "Particles and Fields subsatellite" each for lunar studies, and the Apollo 11 LM ascent stage (and, apparently, the Apollo 16 LM ascent stage), were left in Lunar orbit. There were also the Lunar Orbiters 1-5 and a similar number of unmanned Soviet Luna Lunar orbiters. Actually, the Apollo 10 decent stage was also left in Lunar orbit, and only the ascent stage sent into solar orbit. I don't know why that was done for Apollo 10. Apollo 16 had some problems, which may have been connected with the non-deorbit of its LM.

Anything without maneuvering capability left in a low lunar orbit has a lifetime measured in months, due to the roughness of the Lunar gravitational field (primarily the Mascons), and so these satellites are almost certainly long gone. (That is not true for the similar American and Soviet Mars orbiters, which are all probably still there, except maybe for 1 with a low periapse which may have decayed.) The orbit for the Apollo 16 subsatellite wasn't raised, for example, and it only lasted 35 days.

Re:It's not the only thing (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448462)

I believe that the Apollo 8 S-IVB was blown up by SHADO because it was harboring UFOs [fanderson.org.uk] .

Good work (1)

aritraroy (2460498) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445438)

Awesome post, keep up the good work...

Oh men... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37445452)

... it will take 300 years to come back, but when it does, it will be pissed...

(yeah, i'm still thinking of a cool name, but snyger stinks...)

Before the obvious... (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37445666)

I know there will be a few "who cares?" and "why are we bothering?"... If it's in orbit it will come back around again. Much like how we need to track all satellites around Earth to prevent collisions, and asteroids/comets that may be on a trajectory towards Earth, we'll need to track this object as well. Who knows when and where it might collide with something in the future.

All I hear is... (3, Funny)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446016)

Wah wah wah wah, wah wah wah. Wah wah wah wah wah.

Didn't they already do this search? (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37446154)

There's even a documentary about it [wikipedia.org] .

mod u/4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37446444)

mos7 people into a it will be among time wholesome and

Question on TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448776)

I'm confused by "We're expecting a search arc up to 135 million kilometers in size which is a huge amount of space to look at,".

An arc would be measured in degrees.minutes.seconds.
An amount of space would be a cubic measurement.

Can someone say what this statement means?

Thanks.

God, Russell (1)

LParks (927321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448942)

Let me know if they find a teapot while they're looking.
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