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Is Europa Too Prickly To Land On?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the watch-your-step dept.

Space 140

astroengine writes "A deadly bed of icy javelins — known as penitentes — could be awaiting any spacecraft that tries to land on some parts of the ice-covered world Europa, say researchers who have carefully modeled the ice processes at work on parts of the Jovian moon to detect features beyond the current low resolution images. If the prediction of long vertical blades of ice is correct, it will not only help engineers design a lander to tame or avoid the sabers, but also help explain a couple of nagging mysteries about the strange moon. 'This is a game changer,' said planetary scientist Don Blankenship of the University of Texas in Austin. Blankenship has been involved in NASA's planning process for sending a reconnaissance spacecraft and eventually a lander to Europa."

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Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#45262601)

What part of "Attempt no landing there" don't you people understand?

Suncups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262659)

Mountaineers are familiar with them. Left to evolve too long, you end up with foot-tall ridges and spires.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (3, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#45262667)

Well if it's a spiky ice hell, then no wonder they told them not to attempt landing as that would only end in tears.

BOOM!, problem solved. (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#45262789)

Just drop a M-121 bomb on the LZ to clear things out before landing.
Take that spacecommies!
America, FUCK YEAH!

Re:BOOM!, problem solved. (4, Insightful)

Gilmoure (18428) | about a year ago | (#45262867)

Wouldn't this particular comment fully reflect the opinions of the JCS? Just sorta seems to be their thing.

Re:BOOM!, problem solved. (3)

approachingZero (1365381) | about a year ago | (#45264543)

This isn't flamebate, it fuck'in comedy. You up tight jackwads need to lighten up.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45262701)

What part of "Attempt no landing there" don't you people understand?

What part of 'fiction' don't you understand? ;-)

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (2)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#45262843)

What part of humor don't you understand?

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45262931)

What part of humor don't you understand?

Someone missed humor, but I'm not entirely convinced it was me.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263223)

Yes, it was you that missed it.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263541)

What part of humor don't you understand?

Someone missed humor, but I'm not entirely convinced it was me.

You not only missed it, you missed the miss.

A meta WHOOOOSH!, if you will.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262947)

The laughing. I've never understood the laughing part.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#45264303)

What part of "don't you understand" don't you understand? ;)

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262737)

Was it Europa that had the sharks with bird beaks?

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#45263077)

actually earth had the "sharks" with birdlike beaks. Earth had a crap-load of weird-ass creatures in the long long ago.

Is this what passes for geekdom these days? (3, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#45262783)

I now expect at least Samzenpus (if not every Slashdot editor) to turn in their geek card, in addition to the submitter being banned from all further Slashdot submissions. How on earth (or in space) do you make a reference to landing (or not) on Europa and NOT put in a Clarke reference? What kind of geek are these people?

Give them a break! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262911)

They are Facebook, Internet, non-bookish, losers.

To them, science fiction is horror in space - like ''Prometheus''.

What next, are you going to ask them to do calculations without their iPhone?! *snicker*

Don't worry, I'm gonna go to Youtube and introduce those Justin Beeber (or whatever that hot transvestite's name is) ~fans to to Neil Peart. Justin is the best drummer ever - Plah-ease!

Re:Give them a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45265055)

Prometheus was indeed horrible, but I wouldn't exactly called it "horror in space".

Re:Is this what passes for geekdom these days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263041)

The kind of geek that doesn't insist on repeating the same worn-out references ad nauseam?

Re:Is this what passes for geekdom these days? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#45263173)

What kind of geek are these people?

The kind that are bored with that damned joke?

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (4, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | about a year ago | (#45262871)

Nuke the landing site from orbit! Next problem?

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (3, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#45262897)

What part of "Attempt no landing there" don't you people understand?

No kidding. Jupiter has at least 66 other moons we can land on. But of course the only one we want to land on is the one that we're told not to. Of course "the prediction of long vertical blades of ice" in conjunction with the radiation and hazards of the trip itself make us want to go even more. It's kind of like telling a 3 year old "don't touch this".

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264255)

Oh god... you didn't tell me _what_ not to touch. Not clear enough; d*** caught in fan :(

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263307)

Penitentes are religious groups living in New Mexico who observe physical penance. Just sayin...

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#45263689)

I think they are actually 5-sided people who live in tents all the time or something.

Re:Arthur C Clarke strikes again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263663)

Has anyone considered that at its closets point Europa will be about 10x further away than Mars? A manned mission there better start with some kids stuffed into a spaceship so they can get home schooled in low gravity and landing on a moon that may or may not swallow them whole.

Obligatory (2)

Lucas123 (935744) | about a year ago | (#45262607)

"All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace."

Re:Obligatory (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45262649)

Is that the number 1 answer from David Letterman's Top Ten list: How to get humans to Europa?

Re:Obligatory (1)

hurfy (735314) | about a year ago | (#45262735)

They checked the future and saw our bouncing ball lander for Mars and..........

or maybe they just don't want to clean up the mess impaled humans make.

Re:Obligatory (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#45265031)

or maybe they just don't want to clean up the mess impaled humans make.

On Europa?

You could just whack them with a hammer and sweep up the dust!

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263613)

You posted the same minute as the other guy, He's funny and you're redundant. /. moderation issues 101

Re:Obligatory (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | about a year ago | (#45264075)

And unfortunately you posted AC so no-one with mod points is likely to see this and realise they unfairly modded this guy down and the other one up.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264105)

I moderated the guy back up but he's still at 0. wtf?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264139)

Oh I see why, others are continuing to moderate down. Oh wells, I tried.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a year ago | (#45264131)

Funny the way that works...

Funny the way that works...

Problem solved (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#45262617)

They solved breaking up ice years ago. Send the titanic.

Re:Problem solved (-1, Flamebait)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45263967)

They solved breaking up ice years ago. Send the Titanic.

Unfortunately, Obamacare is currently using it ;-)

Oh easy solution. (0)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#45262619)

Send a nuke as a landing zone herald.
And pray to your diety of choice that 2001 wasn't made in correspondence with aliens.

Re:Oh easy solution. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#45264285)

I thought it was already well-known that 2001 (the movie kind) was made so that the US Gov't could practice filming the Apollo landings.

Isn't that what pretty much all the following Kubrick films were trying to explain? Little Danny's Apollo sweater... The symbolism of Eyes Wide Shut...

Hey if Zeus managed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262621)

Come on guys, I was NOT the only one thinking that

Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon (1)

themushroom (197365) | about a year ago | (#45262749)

Zeus handed her a line of bull to land her.

Clarke (0, Redundant)

confused one (671304) | about a year ago | (#45262625)

"All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there."

Re:Clarke (0)

confused one (671304) | about a year ago | (#45262637)

Darn. dkleinsc beat me to it.

Re:Clarke (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | about a year ago | (#45264091)

And for the sake of a single minute he gets modded to +5 Funny and you get down to 0 Redundant.

No-one ever said the Slashdot moderation system was just.

Re:Clarke (2)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45265595)

Well, as the third or forth mention of the same joke in the first couple of minutes I think that Redundant was rather just.

well the clmiches it (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45262631)

NASA first priority needs to be a gravity repulse engine.

Do not attempt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262645)

I thought we were specifically instructed to avoid landing there.

Solved problem, much? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45262691)

Haven't we been using explosives to clear the landing one of tall brush, inconvenient locals, and anything else for at least decades now?

Nothing says 'we come in peace' quite like blasting the site flat before touchdown!

Re:Solved problem, much? (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#45262921)

That gets to be a bit more tricky.

You need a large enough explosive to clear a landing area that you think you can hit. Considering the weight limitations of sending things that far, that most likely is a nuke. Then when the lander lands in a sea of radioactive water, does it freeze around it? Do you wait for the surface to freeze into a hard crust, or do you wait until it completely hardens?

What of the life you are looking for? Perhaps its not able to survive a nuclear bomb? This means that you will need to travel beyond the edges of your refrozen sea looking for evidence, or dig down into it.

By the time you have answered these questions, you might as well have just landed with a better lander.

Re:Solved problem, much? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#45263355)

No need for explosives. A large slug of metal maybe 200kg moving at high speed is all you need is all you need. Maybe even a large chunk of ice...

Hmmm... (4, Funny)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about a year ago | (#45262695)

.

I, for one, suggest a low altitude detonation of a low-yield thermo-nuclear device at any potential landing sites prior to the landing attempt.

This should glass over the LZ and let any locals know that papa's coming home and he's pissed.

.

Re: Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262741)

Unless of course it is ice, in which case you've just made a nice warm bath.

Re: Hmmm... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about a year ago | (#45262929)

.

Make that 3 days prior then.

Plenty of time to refreeze and to lull the locals into thinking the danger has passed.

.

Re:Hmmm... (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#45262881)

Just what we need. Another Europan war.

Re:Hmmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263175)

Gaia is, and, has always been at war with West Europa

Against the Arachnids (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#45263917)

Can't wait to see TV news showing Neil Patrick Harris stick a probe into the mouth of a brain bug.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264081)

Europan maidens might prove to be frigid company for the invading forces.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263283)

Better, yet, redirect an asteroid from Jupiter's small ring. Let it impact the site and vaporize as many spiky protrusions as possible. Then, when we land, we can also claim to be on a humanitarian (or a European) mission and were looking for survivors and offering our help. That way we score points for science and also look like saviors to the locals!

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45263953)

People who "solve" every space exploration problem with nukes simply watch or play too much something.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264331)

Or, to one up that, we could insert a self-replicating, cross-dimensional monolith into the Jovian orbit and try to ignite the star potential in it with energy-matter conversion processes scribbled quickly on a napkin at the NASA bar after some heavy Friday drinking.

Not so much *prickly* ... (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#45262731)

as just mean spirited, bureaucratic and bad tempered. Why else would we have been warned against landing?

Re:Not so much *prickly* ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262813)

It says "icy javelins", not "soft peat".

Re:Not so much *prickly* ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262829)

as just mean spirited, bureaucratic and bad tempered. Why else would we have been warned against landing?

So, just like Newark or any other large American airport?

This is ... (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | about a year ago | (#45262831)

... not completely unrelated and not exactly offtopic, but if we ever land there, I'd like the footage to resemble this: Europa Report [imdb.com] .

that is the only obstacle.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262835)

Yes, as soon as we have figured out how to crush ice, we will be ready to land on Europa.

No, just tricky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45262857)

The first idea I had was to hover for a bit and let the engine melt the ice. Aside from being a tricky maneuver, it consumers precious fuel. That's a lot of extra mass to carry. Mass is money. We have no experience with such long hover landings.

My 2nd idea is to have the legs of the lander swivel under robotic control, and aim for the low spots. The legs would have to be longer than the longest spike, to avoid piercing the underside of the lander.

You could also have a hard shell, with the landing package outside. Once you're settled in, you open a porthole in the lander, extend a probe that drills into the ice, and use that to dig a single, deep hole. If it's really just ice, this should be possible. Then you let the ice freeze your foundation into place. Instead of a tripod, you have a single beam with a motorized joint. The beam could straighten itself out then telescope above the field. Maybe it could even go up 10 or 20 meters.

The mass penalty and difficulty of all this is not something I have any real ability to comment on. I think it'd be interesting to see them test some of these ideas in a place where you can get a ready supply of big icicles, like Antarctica. There would be wind there though. At least on Europa there's no almost no atmosphere and thus virtually no wind, right?

Re:No, just tricky (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#45263289)

For your first idea, if only there was somewhere nearby that was made of combustible material that could be collected using some kind of scoop...

Re:No, just tricky (3, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45263339)

How about making the bottom of the craft an inverted cone? Then it can settle nicely in between the spikes.

Re:No, just tricky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263905)

Original AC here. That sounds like a pretty decent idea. Based on the Curiosity probe to Mars, it looks like we already have experience controlling multiple rockets for descent, so we wouldn't have to worry about having one big rocket at the bottom of a cone. We could have multiple rockets around the edge, with the cone sliding in between the spikes. Then the drill could come out of the pointy-end and set up the telescoping tower; but not before we got a close-up look at the spike forest. Maybe there will be little blue men living in it. OMG! Your big spikey cone from space killed Papa Smurf.

Re:No, just tricky (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45264461)

OMG! Your big spikey cone from space killed Papa Smurf.

We can only hope.

Problem Solved... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#45263069)

From what I read, these ice formations only form at the equator. So....

Don't land at the equator. Problem solved..

Not only Europa (1)

rundgong (1575963) | about a year ago | (#45263099)

I assume Europe is also hard to land on. That would explain why the aliens in Hollywood movies always land in New York or on the front lawn of the White House

Re:Not only Europa (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#45263669)

I'm sure the pizza is better in DC or NYC.

Well, at least in NYC.

I'm Not A Rocket Scientist (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#45263111)

And I don't want to tell them how to do their job, but has anyone considered making their space ship out of some sort of "metal"? And maybe put a thing on the bottom that shoots fire out of it?

Re:I'm Not A Rocket Scientist (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45263235)

And maybe put a thing on the bottom that shoots fire out of it?

Or maybe a snow cone machine. Better yet, make the thing on the bottom modular so the astronauts can decide whether they need a drink or a frozen treat.

Re:I'm Not A Rocket Scientist (1)

infinitelink (963279) | about a year ago | (#45265217)

Does anyone actually know the composition of the surface, and how strong these things would be vs. how brittle that allows currently used in spacecraft would be at such low temperatures? Perhaps the metal would shatter?

Will it blend? (3, Funny)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#45263135)

I put ice javelins in my blender, add some fruit and there you go, a smoothie. So just mount some BlendTec blenders on the bottom of the spacecraft and see if it "will blend". Would be some nice advertisements.

salt (1)

kencurry (471519) | about a year ago | (#45263183)

You throw salt out, hover around a bit, then land. Problem solved. Also, if there is salt left over, use it for the margarita glasses - just be sure to bring fresh limes & decent tequila: obviously you won't need to bring the ice.

Re:salt (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45263929)

Salt may not work if it's too cold there. However, what about a thick air-bag cocoon upon first landing? After a short survey of the area, squirt out chemicals that melt or soften the surrounding ice?

The downside is that you corrupt the samples with your ice-melting chemicals. Thus, it may have to be a semi-rover or have a "scoop-and-pull" feature to find better sampling spots.

Re:salt (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#45265267)

You throw salt out, hover around a bit, then land. Problem solved.

That only works above 0 degrees F (at least for pure water ice at about 15 PSI pressure). (Which is how 0F was originally defined, by the way.)

Stupid NSA (4, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#45263233)

I'm not surprised Europa is a bit prickly at the moment.

Re:Stupid NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264273)

Uranus is even pricklier

The Biggest Risk of them All... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#45263263)

Somehow the article neglected to mention the biggest risk of them all ... the local wildlife! [imdb.com]

Super Keen on putting Trees on Mars (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about a year ago | (#45263447)

Genetically modified or otherwise. Send seeds, grow teraforming. Obviously there's lots of radiation, but start with something that turns CO2 into C and O2.

Something kind of pretty so people will want it as a background.

Get ideas flowing about how to get it done!

Re:Super Keen on putting Trees on Mars (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45263661)

Protip: Plants are Carbon neutral.

Re:Super Keen on putting Trees on Mars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264205)

Explain peat bogs. Only carbon neutral, when not dug up and used to make fire lighters, and low grade coal substitutes.

Better (if more verbose) quip:

Martian atmosphere is 90% co2, and at less than 1 bar pressure. After sequestering the dangerous carbon, what are you going to replace it with? Even if you vulcanize the whole damned surface to release the bound water vapor, the atmosphere still won't be anything like earth's, and you will have just radically reduced the solid mass portion of the planet to an even smaller fraction of 1 earth mass than it already was, and done so without fixing the reason the atmoshere blew off anyway.

Fixing mars is hard. Fixing venus would probably be easier. It at least has apprioriate mass, and a luxuriously thick atmosphere, and theoretically would initiate tectonic activity once surface temperatures dropped sufficiently, creating the missing geomagnetic dynamo.

(And it would be much cheaper too, and within reach of our current technological capacity. It would just take an infeasible amount of time. One atmospheric dispersion probe loaded with sulfur cycle photosynthetic extremeophiles, designed to produce aramid plastic membranes is all it would take. That and several million years.)

Re:Super Keen on putting Trees on Mars (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45264677)

It's a bit depressing that someone with the reading age to read this site doesn't know enough about Mars to see the holes in that and has not bothered to go to the wikipedia page on the Mars atmosphere before making such a suggestion. There was an question by an eight year old on the "Naked Scientist" radio show about growing plants on Mars that showed far more insight (you can simulate Mars conditions in your freezer with the help of other stuff from the kitchen).
The problem, as even used as a plot device by Edgar Burroughs in fiction over a century ago, is that whatever oxygen you put into the atmosphere on Mars is not going to stay there for very long. So forget brute force terraforming - something a bit more clever would be required if you want to keep the oxygen instead of throwing it away into deep space.

Re:Super Keen on putting Trees on Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45265523)

There's no way we're going to get Mars to "human livable" status, unless we progress to the point where we're restarting planetary dynamos, at which point you'd think we'd maybe be past little dinky rocks like Mars anyways. Doesn't mean terraforming has no merit though; if we can get some mass-harvestable algae or lichens or some such growing, we might be able to get foodstuffs/fertilizer and biofuel to aid colonists inside their domes.

Lunar Lander (1)

xrayspx (13127) | about a year ago | (#45263507)

I've been training for this mission since I was 9. I'm ready, put me in coach, I've got this [colorado.edu] !

DAMN NAZIS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45263667)

Stay out of Europa !! The hun will kill you and eat your babies alive !!

Styrofoam Bottom for Lander (2)

yayoubetcha (893774) | about a year ago | (#45263723)

A massive Styrofoam bottom to the base of a Lander would do the trick.

Maybe... (1)

Bovius (1243040) | about a year ago | (#45263783)

I think the top of Spain is pretty flat. You could probably land there if you can get nestled under that French overhang.

Other than that, though, yeah, that's way too prickly. The next closest viable landing spot is over on that Brazilian ledge, and even then you'd need to make sure you get a firm perch so you don't slip off and fall to the Antarctic floor below.

Eclipse 3.3 was pretty good (1)

bmurray7 (2784743) | about a year ago | (#45263873)

My first thought after reading the headline was about the Java IDE, not the Jovian satellite.

mandatory (2, Funny)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#45263989)

Think Europa is prickly? Unless it's freshly shaven, how about Uranus? *badum tish* (gets his coat)

Solve it the good old american way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264197)

Missiles. And if that is not enough, nukes.

Let's think this through a minute (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year ago | (#45264221)

To everyone suggesting blasting the landing zone flat, have you considered what sort of scientific data we could recover from from a site that's been razed with Earth explosives? If this ice is enough to ruin a spacecraft, then anything capable of dealing with it on a scale needed for a safe landing is going to fling contaminating detritus for probably miles. So we could land, and... then what?

Re:Let's think this through a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264325)

The big problem with dropping a bomb or blasting a flat landing space is that you're going to create a temporary lake for a few hours or days, until it freezes back over. In the meantime, ignoring any radiation, you've set free the denizens of the under-surface liquid world. They'll climb out of their watery prison and await the new visitors with gaping maws. Oh, the horror. . . . . . .

Re: Let's think this through a minute (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year ago | (#45264555)

Well that part just goes without saying, really.

Re:Let's think this through a minute (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year ago | (#45264909)

You land. Then jump out of the spacecraft, plant the stars and stripes and scream USA! USA! USA!

What else would you do after nuking an innocent planet?

Rosie O'Donnell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45264829)

It is doubtful any nation, or nations, has the technology at this time to construct a launch vehicle powerful enough to lift a mass as great as Rosie O'Donnell into orbit.

 
But that is the payoff. Once we have successfully engineered solutions adequate to meet the requirements needed to meet the goal of lifting the O'Donnell into space the conquest of space will be in reach.

 
In space O'Donnell will only have mass, send her off on a collision course with Europa and (if the moon survives) the question of 'icy javelins' will be a moot point.

 
The sphere will offer no resistance once the O'Donnell has had it's way with it.

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  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>