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Scientists Set Bold Plan For Future Exploration of the Sun

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the walking-on-the-sun dept.

NASA 140

coondoggie writes "Our understanding of space weather and the impact of space around Earth has greatly increased in the last 10 years and if the ambitious plan the National Research Council can be implemented, the next 10 years will generate tons more scientific insight. The National Research Council issued its second research recommendation report, 'Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society,' which represents 18 months of research by more than 85 solar and space physicists and space system engineers and lays out major scientific goals for solar exploration on the next 10 years."

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They need to step their game up... (4, Funny)

mmcxii (1707574) | about 2 years ago | (#41018729)

Manned exploration of the sun. Now that would be bold.

They've figured out how to not get burnt (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018759)

They're going to land at night.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018913)

Rubbish, it'a always dark on the other side.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41019055)

OK. I'm behind you, right here. You go first!

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019449)

Straight to the heart.. Set the controls

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41020655)

Syd? Is that you?

Wish you were here...

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019609)

Rubbish, it'a always dark on the other side.

If you believe dinosaurs walked on earth with man 3000 years ago, then yes, I'm sure it is dark on the other side. ;)

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41020529)

As a matter of fact, it's all dark.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41022079)

That's actually true, insofar as the Sun reflects no light whatsoever. I believe that measure is called the libido.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019563)

That is really a dumb idea. Of course they couldn't go at night.
They wouldn't be able to see anything.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41019751)

That is really a dumb idea. Of course they couldn't go at night.
They wouldn't be able to see anything.

But we have LED flashlights !!
 

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (3, Funny)

drkim (1559875) | about 2 years ago | (#41020123)

That is really a dumb idea. Of course they couldn't go at night.
They wouldn't be able to see anything.

But we have LED flashlights !!

...which are, unfortunately, solar powered.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41021841)

Worse than that - the sun isn't even there at night.

Re:They've figured out how to not get burnt (1)

Black.Shuck (704538) | about 2 years ago | (#41021471)

...and leave behind an asbestos-flag.

Re:They need to step their game up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018917)

Just don't invite any treacherous aliens. Even if they look like affable Teddy bears.

Re:They need to step their game up... (4, Funny)

iiii (541004) | about 2 years ago | (#41019185)

Careful selection of the crew for the first manned mission to the sun could dramatically improve the quality of political discourse here on earth. (Think "B Ark")

Re:They need to step their game up... (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 2 years ago | (#41020163)

Our local community area name starts with a B, there is a also a local "school" for retarded citizens, called the "Association of Retarded Citizens". Their sign reads "B'ARC" you can't make this up, I just tried to look it up on google street view, but the map is a few years out of date and still shows them at their old location with the sign that spells out the community name.

Re:They need to step their game up... (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 2 years ago | (#41020709)

Careful selection you say? Assemble our hottest [xkcd.com] astronauts!

Re:They need to step their game up... (2)

flyingsquid (813711) | about 2 years ago | (#41019705)

Manned exploration of the sun.

Manned exploration of the sun is the dumbest idea I've ever heard of. It would be far more cost-effective to explore by sending robotic rovers to drive around on the surface of the sun.

Oldy but goody (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | about 2 years ago | (#41020073)

In Soviet Russia, the sun explores you!

I vote (5, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#41018735)

The first person to make the "go at night" joke should be permabanned.

Re:I vote (5, Funny)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about 2 years ago | (#41018779)

The first person to make the "go at night" joke should be permabanned.

That sounds a little dark.

Re:I vote (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41019049)

Well... anybody that'd rush in here thinking they'd be the first to say that couldn't be very bright.

Re:I vote (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41019087)

"I don't always go on manned missions to explore the Sun.

But when I do, I go at night."

Re:I vote (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | about 2 years ago | (#41019077)

I'm staying out of this; I feel saturnine enough as it is.

Re:I vote (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41018863)

Well that's silly. They'd completely miss the thing at night, and go hurtling off into the screaming void of space.

Re:I vote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018973)

Not to mention the vastness of the sun, even if we could land on it, it can't entirely cool down in 12 hours. Our only hope is to go during Alaskan winter.

Re:I vote (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#41019121)

They're gonna go blind from lookin' at the sun, just like Mom said. Or wazzat somethin' else?

Re:I vote (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41019189)

They're gonna go blind from lookin' at the sun, just like Mom said. Or wazzat somethin' else?

That's from looking at page three of the Sun.

Re:I vote (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 2 years ago | (#41019299)

Where's my mod +1 funny when I need one?

Re:I vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019441)

Where's my mod +1 funny when I need one?

It's OK, dog - I did it for ya!

Re:I vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019447)

I vote that we contact our members of Congress in hopes to get a canned message back stating they support our idea... our idea being a manned mission to the surface of the sun.

Re:I vote (2)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41019513)

The first person to make the "go at night" joke should be permabanned.

Calling the "go at night" proposal a joke, can only mean you didn't grow up in a Creationist state.

Re:I vote (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | about 2 years ago | (#41020111)

Not the first person, but the 10,000 additional copycats who ignored the first person's comment.

Re:I vote (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#41021101)

Of course, everyone knows it's much easier to wait on the horizon and jump on as it comes up in the morning. Then you have all day to run tests/take pictures, before jumping off again in the evening.

When are they going? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018737)

At night of course..

Bold? Bah! (0)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about 2 years ago | (#41018741)

You ain't seen bold until someone funds my manned mission to the Sun.

As a cost saving measure, we'll go at night. As well as reduced insulation expenses, it's downhill all the way.

National Research Council Budgeting (-1, Redundant)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#41018749)

The government would save alot of time and money if they scheduled their solar exploation craft to go at night. I'm just sayin.

Re:National Research Council Budgeting (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#41018775)

OK. I have poster's regret. Can I delete this now? ;-)

Re:National Research Council Budgeting (2)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about 2 years ago | (#41018821)

OK. I have poster's regret. Can I delete this now? ;-)

Good news! The delete comes with the permaban!

Hooray! Everyone wins!

As expected (4, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41018757)

4 posts: 2 "at nights", 2 "manned expeditions".

Carry on, Slashdot.

Re:As expected (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41018937)

And now one post that actually made me chuckle :)

Re:As expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019507)

It puzzles me being Slashdot, no-one offers alternatives to these two. I propose going during winter.

Re:As expected (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#41019523)

I propose going during winter.

And just to make it more interesting, I'll let the crowd decide if it's winter in Earth or the Sun.

Re:As expected (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41019909)

Winter, night-time, zinc-oxide, etcetera, etcetera, - I've heard it all before. The most sensible strategy is to simply wait until it sets into the sea.

Re:As expected (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 years ago | (#41021481)

4 posts: 2 "at nights", 2 "manned expeditions".

Carry on, Slashdot.

As you were! [youtube.com]

Re:As expected (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41021775)

And yet, no "mining the sun for hydrogen" jokes. I mean, until now anyway.

Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | about 2 years ago | (#41018765)

The "earth first" crowd will shoot themselves in the foot if this takes hold and they do the research without lying. Once the data is collected they can all call a press conference and say SHAZAM! Goooollllllllyyyyyy! We was wrong about this global warming/climate change. It really is the sun that warms up the planet, melts the polar ice caps and makes polar bears stranded on small icebergs. Man had nothing to do with it. Who would have thought something SO HUGE with SO MUCH SOLAR output could cause the earth to actually warm up, without man getting involved.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (4, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41018839)

you're a fucking idiot.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (2, Funny)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 2 years ago | (#41019171)

*your

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019261)

You too.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41019283)

Actually, he had it right. Must not be American, else he's a greybeard like me from back in the day when we DID leave kids behind if they just couldn't cut it...

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019439)

**You're

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019567)

*your

Bravo, well played sir!

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019843)

Wow, that must be embarrassing for you.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018955)

If you honestly don't think that an atmosphere has something to do with it you really need to work on that science education.

Take the moon, for instance. Given its distance from the sun it should be able the same temperature on the surface as on Earth. But is it? No. During the day it's 125C. At night? -150C. Also see Venus, which, due to its atmosphere, has an average surface temperature more than double that of Mercury despite being twice the distance from the sun and receiving less than 25% of the solar output.

The sun provides the heat. The atmosphere keeps it there and distributes it around. Different gasses have different absorption properties. Carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor are all high on the list for trapping heat energy.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (1, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#41019173)

You are wasting your time if you are trying to convince the wilfully ignorant by educating them with the facts and using logical deductive reasoning.

You will have more luck convincing the Pope that indeed, god does not actually exist.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019207)

Wouldn't shock me too much if the Pope already believed that, but he does have a product to sell and people to lead and divinity represents a powerful authority to the weak-willed.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41019227)

You will have more luck convincing the Pope that indeed, god does not actually exist.

I'm sure his holiness is fully aware. The idea is to not let the proletariat catch on.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41019455)

You are wasting your time if you are trying to convince the wilfully ignorant by educating them with the facts and using logical deductive reasoning.

You will have more luck convincing the Pope that indeed, bears do not shit in the woods.

FTFY. Yer welcome.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41019623)

Further, we have direct satellite measurements of solar output since 1978. There's been no clear trend to it while temperatures on Earth have gone up steadily.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41020003)

It's obvious that he was just being sarcastic and playful ... right?

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (2)

MF4218 (1320441) | about 2 years ago | (#41019279)

It's an interesting point that due to its size, its power output has been very consistent (presumably areas of higher output than the norm are cancelled out by alternate areas of lower output).

Alas regarding Global Warming, we pay more attention to areas of lower temperature than the mean as proof that GW doesn't exist, than the average itself which is steadily rising higher. Which is strange since the energy entering the system isn't rising to a similar degree at all.

Re:Maybe this will kill Man made global warming (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019335)

What a coincidence, I was just talking with some of my colleagues at the research lab the other day: "Hey, you know what's really hot?" ... after an awkward 15 minute silence where we realize we couldn't name a single chick in recent popular culture to pretend like we were still cool, some smart ass finally says, "I know what's really hot, the Sun. It's so hot you can probably feel its heat all the way on Earth."

I replied with great excitement, "Holy shit Dr. Jones, you might be on to something big there."

We all rushed to the library to find our favorite table unoccupied. After ten hours of heavy literature searching, and many trips by our grad students to fetch us coffee, we finally had to quit when the library started to close. We tried to buy some time by having Dr. Adler flirt with the librarian. Despite breaking his personal record, he only got us another 14.3 seconds.

So despite our exhaustive efforts, we had to give up and had to conclude: no one has ever measured the Sun's output before. We thought we were onto something there, but without any data we couldn't corroborate our idea that the Sun heats the Earth. At first it came as such a shock to us, not only was it an amazing idea, but we could be the first scientists to ever think of it. In retrospect it seemed so simple, as all amazing research does.

But eventually we felt like giving up, becoming depressed after arguing whether measuring the Sun's output could be done for only a few million dollars or if we would need at least a few tens of millions of dollars. It clearly was a project that would require a large team and infrastructure, well beyond anything achievable by past scientists, or a single person. I think the guys lost their motivation to pursue such novel work, but not any more. Just wait until I tell them there is someone on Slashdot that supports the new theory too.

India (5, Funny)

opusman (33143) | about 2 years ago | (#41018799)

In other news, India has just announced a manned landing on the Sun by 2019.

Re:India (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#41018927)

And Oracle, having recently acquired the Sun, is reviewing its legal options, starting with trespass.

Re:India (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41018961)

I would support a manned mission to the Sun if that man was Larry Ellison.

Re:India (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41019033)

Congrats; first slashdot post to make me actually laugh out loud in about a week. Should have seen an Oracle joke coming, but I did not. Bravo.

Re:India (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41019659)

Sorry Oracle, but Apple already has claimed 8 patents on the Sun, one is for the Sun's "rounded corners".

Tons of scientific insight (1)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about 2 years ago | (#41018843)

I look forward to the day when American scientific research can generate tonnes more scientific research.

And how many tons are there per Library of Congress?

Re:Tons of scientific insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019169)

I look forward to the day when American scientific research can generate tonnes more scientific research.

And how many tons are there per Library of Congress?

Billions and billions - Carl Sagan

Re:Tons of scientific insight (2)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#41019193)

Oh dude, you should totally check out this thing known as a "figure of speech".

Its a real hoot, you don't actually *have* to take it literally. Novel idea huh?

Re:Tons of scientific insight (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41019351)

Is that a numerical figure or a bodily figure?

When can we put a man on the sun? (1)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 2 years ago | (#41019107)

I want to know when we will be able to put a man on the sun. In fact, I'd be more than willing to volunteer a few people...

I know, I know.... (-1)

Cheviot (248921) | about 2 years ago | (#41019137)

They're going to go at night?

Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019211)

They're going to land on the dark side of the Sun.

staff proposal: (3, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41019177)

I propose that we send select delegates from both the house and senate on this noteworthy mission, so that they can see for themselves how silly it was to scrub the "return stage" construction budget.

We of course, need to supply them with 2 way radio contact so thay can debate the matter via telepresence with their peers in washington.

Re:staff proposal: (3, Funny)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41019365)

We can fund this worthy project with popcorn futures.

Old joke (0)

abednegoyulo (1797602) | about 2 years ago | (#41019527)

During a press conference

President: We will beat other countries by sending the first man on the sun!
Press: Will they get burned?
President: I have thought about that so we will be sending them during the night!

The fifth overarching goal: fulfill basic yearning (2)

jensend (71114) | about 2 years ago | (#41019539)

"Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun."

(Excellent. [snpp.com] )

I DID NOT KNOW POLAND HAS A SPACE PROGRAM !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019589)

Because this must be the people who came up with that. Smashmouth you too, buddy !!

Um... Guys... (5, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41019611)

Hey all scientists who have ambitious 'plans' to "experiment" with the Sun... Please DON'T!!! DON'T FUCK WITH THE SUN!!! Just look at it, okay? Do not "play" with it! It's working, it's been working fine fir BILLIONS OF YEARS!!! When something as important as THE SUN is working, leave it alone! Don't fix it!!!

Re:Um... Guys... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41019901)

Please tell me you're not serious.....

Re:Um... Guys... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41020091)

You must be joking. The Sun has about 1.988E30 kg, while the Earth has only 5.97E24. That means the Sun has about 300,000 times Earth's mass. A small human-made machine can't even scratch the Earth, if we threw it against a giant ball of fire that burns anything that even thinks of coming close it wouldn't stand a chance. You can't simply accidentally break the Sun (and, currently, not even intentionally). You're better off worrying about the Earth, that's something we can't completely break but we can make it into a hellish place, for that we do have the technology.

Re:Um... Guys... (2)

Pesticidal (1148911) | about 2 years ago | (#41020149)

Haven't you seen the Star Trek Generations movie? It's totally possible.

Re:Um... Guys... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41021133)

Aha! Never misunderestimate Science. My first thought upon hearing about this for example, was "I hope they included an antimatter mass production facility in close orbit around the sun there, we shouldn't need to wall off too much of it to be zipping around the solar system in jig time".

Re:Um... Guys... (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 2 years ago | (#41020227)

Don't fix it!!!

Are you kidding! We have great scientists these days.
They can double the sun's output in no time.
Then we'll have all the solar power we'll ever need.

Re:Um... Guys... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41021859)

Don't fix it!!!

Are you kidding! We have great scientists these days. They can double the sun's output in no time. Then we'll have all the solar power we'll ever need.

Professor Leo Farnsworth: "What could possibly fo wrong?"

No need for manned exploration (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#41019713)

NASA will send a pair of rovers, the "Damn, that's hot" and the "Ouch, it burns" to explore the photosphere. Expected mission lengths after arrival are expected to be measured in the femtoseconds.

Anyone actually read the article yet? (1)

CityZen (464761) | about 2 years ago | (#41019847)

No? Just wondering. Thanks.

Re:Anyone actually read the article yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41022065)

There's an article??

four goals (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41019887)

They have four main goals:

*Determine the origins of the Sun's activity and predict the variations in the space environment.
* Determine the dynamics and coupling of Earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere, and atmosphere and their response to solar and terrestrial inputs.
* Determine the interaction of the Sun with the solar system and the interstellar medium.
* Discover and characterize fundamental processes that occur both within the heliosphere and throughout the universe.

Re:four goals (2)

Pesticidal (1148911) | about 2 years ago | (#41020573)

You forgot:

* ???
* Profit!

Re:four goals (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41020601)

Glad you clarified.

Metaphasic shielding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41019919)

A Ferengi scientist, Dr. Reyga, has created a metaphasic shielding technique. A shuttle is to be fitted with Dr. Reyga's shield and flown into a nearby star.

I R on Sun (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41020141)

I R on Sun [dailymotion.com] , first manned mission to the Sun.

"Science" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41020459)

Will they take all the fissionable material on earth, make it into a bomb the size of Manhattan Island to restart the sun and then, when the ship breaks down, build another one that also has all the fissionable material on earth?

Because, from where I'm standing, that about sums up the average "scientist's" level of credibility.

Being serious for a minute... (1)

PiMuNu (865592) | about 2 years ago | (#41021365)

Reads like the sort of bland non-specific but ambitious-sounding balls that research councils push all the time. Great sound bites for the politicians, but what does it really mean?

Harness sun's energy create revolving man-made ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41021605)

Harness sun's energy create revolving man-made earth, so that we can be there in-spite of asteroid Armageddon on earth.

Joe Biden (1)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#41021873)

Today Joe Biden will announce our plans to land the first man on the Sun.
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