Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Big Hopes for Tiny Satellites

michael posted about 13 years ago | from the size-matters dept.

Space 152

shelflife writes: "ST5, according to NASA, will usher in a new era of small, smart spacecraft. Why send a human into space when you can send a computer? And why send something almost as heavy as a UNIVAC if a laptop will do? Compact nanosatellites will have everything you'd want in a full-size, luxury satellite. They will have the attitudinal and navigational capabilities needed to maintain proper orbits, and they will be capable of complex, high-bandwidth communications functions."

cancel ×

152 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2350959)

Breaking News: Osama Bin Ladin IS GAY! [isgay.com]

www.MarkVD.net Rocks! [markvd.net]

Re:BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2350990)

You're a goddamn disgrace to the internet. Your shit-ass website is full of cornholing nigger fags who are actually SS agents. They are out to get you. You and your Jewish lover, Hemos. You see CmdrTaco, you are the bane of all of our existences, a no-talent fuck who runs a website and tries to make a living off of it. Get a job like the rest of us you stinky indian kike. Why don't you get your ass off that cock and go do something productive you big dumb piece of shit?

Re:BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351020)

Hehehehohohohaha,

www.MarkVD.net [markvd.net] Rocks!

Re:BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

cgleba (521624) | about 13 years ago | (#2351042)

Hmm. . .the spammers and flamers only come out at night. . . .

One more reason to lock my doors at night :).

It's rather amusing to see this. . .it's like children when the parents aren't looking. . .

Here's my spam for the night (while no one is moderating): Go Red Sox!

Re:BREAKING NEWS! (-1)

Spootnik (518145) | about 13 years ago | (#2351289)

I'm hiding under your bed. Ever wondered why you woke up with sticky ass in the morning?

HEAR NOW MY HOLY WORDS!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351019)

Prophet
Mohammad
/ x \
I |
I \==
\______/
||
[]
[]\
[]\\
[] \\ Muslims
[] \\ / o o \
[] && [][][][][][][][]| > /
[]8===* O [] \ \_/ /
||\\ [] [] [] \----/
|| \\ [] [] []
|| \\[][][][][] [][]

Are you one of those people who rarely touches the Qur'an? Or do you read daily, but don't find it is having the impact on you that it should? Whatever the case may be, these are some simple tips that can help you connect with the Qur'an.

1. Before you touch it, check your heart. The key to really benefiting from the Qur'an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah's book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was described by his wife as a "walking Qur'an": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Qur'an, he lived it.

2. Do your Wudu (ablution). Doing your Wudu is good physical and mental preparation to remind you you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.

3. Read only 5 minutes everyday. Too often, we think we should read Qur'an for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, Insha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!

4. Make sure you understand what you've read. Five minutes of reading the Qur'an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur'an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.

5. Remember, the Qur'an is more interactive than a CD. In an age of "interactive" CD-Roms and computer programs, a number of people think books are passive and boring. But the Qur'an is not like that. Remember that when you read Qur'an,you are interacting with Allah. He is talking to you, so pay attention.

6. Don't just read, listen too. There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur'an, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your walkman or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur'an reading, not as a replacement for it.

7. Make Dua (supplication). Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Qur'an. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah for help and guidance will be your best tool for doing this. 8:51 PM 9/25/2001

RELEASED UNDER THE GNU PUBLIC LICENSE

Re:BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351258)

All Your "Al Qaeda" Are Belong To George W

Microsats flew some years ago (3, Informative)

isdnip (49656) | about 13 years ago | (#2350962)

This isn't entirely new. There were "microsats" flown in the 1980s, some sponsored by the Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), and some university sats like Webersat (from Utah).

With today's smaller and more powerful chips, of course, it's a lot easier to do more in a small package.

Re:Microsats flew some years ago (5, Informative)

jensend (71114) | about 13 years ago | (#2351074)

Well, the microsats sent out from my home state were fairly well one-purpose, one-use machines (amateur radio for webersat, rotation/attitude manipulation with tracking for the JAWSAT)- see here [weber.edu] for an optimistic description. See here [asu.edu] for other previous microsats. NASA's microsats, according to their page, "carry a wide range of spacecraft services including guidance, navigation and control, attitude control, propulsion, high bandwidth and complex communication functions," some of which are diagrammed on that page [nasa.gov] and its successor. With the previous story and the other ways in which NASA has exceeded expectations on almost all of their craft in mind, I think this is an idea whose time has come.

Perhaps... (1)

ThesQuid (86789) | about 13 years ago | (#2350965)

...this is the planet-wide network of Mac cubes? I recall some loon wanted to do that.

Whitey on the Moon (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | about 13 years ago | (#2350969)

Whitey on the Moon

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)

Why not? (5, Funny)

dghcasp (459766) | about 13 years ago | (#2350970)

Why send a human into space when you can send a computer

That would have made Apollo 11 a really boring movie: write(nasafd,"houston, we have a problem",31)

Re:Why not? (1)

or_smth (473159) | about 13 years ago | (#2351004)

First of all, it was Apollo 13, not 11, and it wasn't only a movie, it actually happened. Show some respect.

Re:Why not? (1)

jachim69 (125669) | about 13 years ago | (#2351043)

Yes, it was 13.


He was making a joke. Show some humor.

Re:Why not? (0)

apraetor (248989) | about 13 years ago | (#2351005)

that's Apollo 13..

Wrong Number (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | about 13 years ago | (#2351345)

It's Apollo 13.

This will help drive down costs... (1)

gatesh8r (182908) | about 13 years ago | (#2350972)

Something that NASA with all its budget cuts will need to do in order to get some satalities for studies... now if there can be also a way to cut down on costs for transport that'd be great also!

Maybe there will be a Pluto-Kupier Express project -- I sure hope so; I'd like to see Pluto's CH4 frost... otherwise think of all the little things we can do with these buggers!

If we're sending MicroSATs to space (1, Offtopic)

Sagarian (519668) | about 13 years ago | (#2350973)

can MicroSOFT be far behind?

Maybe that's why my Win98 machine is so flaky sometimes. Microsoft has been building solar flare disturbance simulators into the Windows kernel since 3.1...

Re:If we're sending MicroSATs to space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2350994)

can MicroSOFT be far behind?

"Micro" is just prefix that means "small". Microsoft means "small software".

SILENCE FOOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351116)

Can't you see he's busy karma whoring by grasping at straws to make a 'hilarious' anti-MS (sorry, M$, the $ sign makes it ironic and witty) joke?

Re:If we're sending MicroSATs to space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351051)

If that was true, then Win9x (or damn near any windows you wanna talk about) is in a constant solar-flare-bombardment state...

Re:If we're sending MicroSATs to space (2, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | about 13 years ago | (#2351102)

The solar flare disturbance simulator functions are right before all of the methods stolen from the Linux and BSD kernel.


(It's a joke...I ain't no troll ;-)

Poll... important, please reply! (-1)

The Marijuana Guy (457161) | about 13 years ago | (#2350976)

Obviously, with the recent crackdowns on security at the borders it is harder to smuggle drugs these days? Has the marijuana supply or prices changed where you live? If everyone could post their region and the market situation there, that would be great. Thanks and happy toking.

Re:Poll... important, please reply! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2350998)

What do borders have to do with it? Don't you grow in your own country?

- A Happy West-Coast Canadian

(BC Bud for this BC bud)

Re:Poll... important, please reply! (-1)

The Marijuana Guy (457161) | about 13 years ago | (#2351031)

Of course we Americans know how to grow. But a lot of our shit still comes from canada and mexico because people are lazy and those countries have a surplus. I'm getting really worried about what might happen to the bud supply now!

Computers vs. Humans (1, Troll)

volpe (58112) | about 13 years ago | (#2350996)

Why send a human into space when you can send a computer?
Because a computer simply wouldn't get the same sense of pride and satisfaction out of planting the American Flag on the surface of Mars.

Re:Computers vs. Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351053)

a computer simply wouldn't get the same sense of pride and satisfaction out of planting the American Flag on the surface of Mars.

Who cares about some lame acting and planned monologue on the subjective feelings some guy has standing on mars. I much prefer an 2048x1536 resolution martian wallpaper. Those, robots can provide in all objectivity.

Re:Computers vs. Humans (1)

hagar© (115031) | about 13 years ago | (#2351237)

more likely it would just have pride and satisfaction from planting the flag of our computer overlords.......... I've been told I have said too much...... logging off now....

OT: INCREDIBLE BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2350999)

Guys, I know this is horribly OT -- but I just read this press release on Delta's site [delta.com] . Seems a well-known and very infamous web site here on /. is seeking to buy out a significant bit of Delta Airlines! With the airline industry in the ailing state it is, this unprecedented it may very well succeed!

Egad -- I shudder to think of what THEIR flights will be like, and the horrors that will happen onboard those planes!

Re:OT: INCREDIBLE BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Troll)

apraetor (248989) | about 13 years ago | (#2351029)

yes.. and here [delta.com] you can buy the brooklyn bridge. --matt

Life without parole for you! (-1, Troll)

Robber Baron (112304) | about 13 years ago | (#2351092)

Goatse.cx buying a piece of Delta? [delta.com]
Delta selling the Brooklyn bridge? [delta.com]

Shame! Both of you are going to prison for a very long time! [slashdot.org]

your mother (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351195)

Your Mother to buy Delta Stock [delta.com]

::grin::

lameness filter circumvention device: 1 and 2 and 3 and four... rubber dubber lubber lore

Re:OT: INCREDIBLE BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351152)

It's life in prison for you.

g0 t0 pRiS0n f0 lIFe mUtHAfUCKaH!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351160)

gRAb y0 ANklEs BItcH!!

Radiation is a big problem, heat too (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 13 years ago | (#2351006)

There are some significant challenges in building "smart satellites".

Solar radiation is an extremely serious problem for any computer in space. To be rad-hard, chips need to be made of silicon on sapphire, which means a $1 embedded processor suddenly costs twenty thousand dollars. This is not material cost, it's because the economies of scale in production of terrestrial processors are what drives the cost down. Nobody can afford sapphire RAM banks, and thus memories get a flipped bit per orbit, in general. The only way they keep working is that there is a "washing" process that scans memory and does ECC correction continuously. Shielding is simply too heavy to be practical (send up a lead-clad satellite, and your rocket becomes 10 times as large to boost the weight).

Because it's available in sapphire and is flight-proven, the microprocessor of choice for controlling satellites is the 1802. Remember the RCA Cosmac Elf? Most of you weren't born when that was a popular hobby computer

I was surprised to find that the Phase 3D satellite [amsat.org] boots up with no ROM. Hardware loads RAM directly from a radio modem. They couldn't afford a ROM they could trust.

Heat is a problem, too. Heat sinks don't work so well without an atmosphere to carry away heat. You have to pipe heat around with heat-pipes filled with a phase-change gas, and then radiate the heat away.Bruce

Re:Radiation is a big problem, heat too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351055)

For all of you folks telling people what a dumbass this guy is, he sure sounds smart.

Re:Radiation is a big problem, heat too (2)

unitron (5733) | about 13 years ago | (#2351105)

Isn't heat electromagnetic radiation of a particular frequency band? Shouldn't it radiate? Isn't it cold enough in space that the heat would be useful in maintaining a constant, even temperature within the satellite (kinda like a crystal oven on a radio station's transmitter)?

I remember the COSMAC Elf, and I've got the well-worn mid 70s copies of Radio-Electronics and (the original)Popular Electronics to prove it. Unfortunately I didn't have the spare cash for one at the time.

Re:Radiation is a big problem, heat too (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 13 years ago | (#2351127)

You have to get the heat to somewhere that you can radiate it. Also, it's sometimes 300F on one side, and -100F on the other side of the satellite, so you pipe heat around just to gain a degree of temperature stability.

Thanks

Bruce

no thanks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351136)

ya cock smoking idiot

Re:Radiation is a big problem, heat too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351106)

well fuck you too!!@!@!@@ fdsjkhkfs fkjshf kjsa dfh kaf jkl sdhfklsd hfkd dfhs klds hgkd ggkhdklgh kldfgklhkldfghlkdshdklg dgh dklghkldshgklsg hgklsdg hk zx lsdhg kld sgk d klghdsklgh kdgkdhghkldf gkdg dgdj g j gzzj l;sd j gl d t oierutodjfl rerlken tl345 345e,tn n,gnfkdgfg; fjlg dj gfj ;lg;j g;dlsj gl;d jlg gjdlsgjl;d gdflg jl;sdgl;gj lsjljd fljg lsj gljl djg ljgl ;sdgjl;sjldjldsjlgd;gjl;dsjg lhdf g hfh sdf hg hsffkdfk fhkgfhg kkh dg sh kldfs hgkls dfhklfsd bvhjkzzghkdgKKKgjdlgj sgjg; ;lgjl;dg jldjfglWHITE POWER fjlksf jfl a;jfl;fjlsafjl fjfslkfl jflsajfl fjljflas zzxjflkajsflDIE KIKESfjgklsd jgl sdjgl gjlg gj lsdgjls vgjlsdjg dfjgl djgjlgjfdl gjljg l gjdg jdlfdl gjd gjldf jgld djldg NIGGERS ARE TRASHgfjdk jglk fgjdkl fjdkl gfkl gjlkd fjkld gjfkld jdfk fkjff fjfjgk djfkfjk dEXTERMINATE ALL FAGGOTSfgkj fgjk dgj kljfl fj slf jlsjfl sjfls fs fsj fasf sf sdafjsa fjlasjflas fsa fla sjf lasjflsa fsa fsalfjas f

ECC reference (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 13 years ago | (#2351221)

I found a good reference on how ECC works here [oreilly.com] .

Bruce

Comment added here to get by the slashcode postcomment compression filter.

Space-qualified electronics. (5, Interesting)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | about 13 years ago | (#2351224)

By coincidence, I happen to both be a grad student studying IC architecture and living about 20 feet from someone working on rad-hard space electronics.

It turns out that the situation isn't quite as grim as the scenario you've painted.

Solar radiation is an extremely serious problem for any computer in space. To be rad-hard, chips need to be made of silicon on sapphire, which means a $1 embedded processor suddenly costs twenty thousand dollars.

Silicon-on-insulator chips are used because they aren't vulnerable to latch-up (triggering of parasitic SCR structures formed by the many regions of doped silicon in conventional chips). However, there are other approaches to dealing with latch-up.

A common approach is to just add enough substrate contacts and apply design rules conservatively enough to ensure that latch-up currents won't be immediately destructive, and to power-cycle the chip either on a regular schedule, or when you see a huge current spike, or both. Powering down the chip turns off the SCR, and when you power up, everything's fine again.

On the flip side of this equation, SiOI is slowly becoming more common. There was a Slashdot article about IBM rolling out a SiOI process a while back; while plain silicon is still cheaper, I doubt you'd be looking at a factor of 10,000 price difference. The main problem with spacecraft electronics is that any custom chips will be fabbed in very low quantities, so you don't get the economics of devoting a wafer run to them. This is true whether they're rad-hard or not.

Nobody can afford sapphire RAM banks, and thus memories get a flipped bit per orbit, in general. The only way they keep working is that there is a "washing" process that scans memory and does ECC correction continuously.

You get noise events affecting the processor's activities too. You can get around this either by running two processors back-to-back with HA hardware to compare outputs, or by living with occasional errors and resetting the chip every so often. An expensive solution isn't necessarily needed :).

Also, using SiOI doesn't save you from these noise events. It's only useful for latch-up. An ionizing event could still cause conduction through gate oxide or do any of a number of other fun things that cause errors.

Because it's available in sapphire and is flight-proven, the microprocessor of choice for controlling satellites is the 1802.

Actually, rad-hard 386 chips have been standard for many applications for quite a while now.

Heat is a problem, too. Heat sinks don't work so well without an atmosphere to carry away heat. You have to pipe heat around with heat-pipes filled with a phase-change gas, and then radiate the heat away

Heat is indeed a problem, but you can get away with using the spacecraft structure as a passive heat sink if your electronics are low-power enough. This is a common trick, because you're on a limited power budget and want low-power electronics anyways. That way you only have to worry about craft-wide climate control (well, that and instruments that require very stable temperatures).

It's an interesting field, in any event.

Re:Space-qualified electronics. (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 13 years ago | (#2351335)

Wow, someone who knows first-hand. Of course most of what I know of this comes from AMSAT, and while I have a few friends who work on the birds, I never have. AMSAT are the people who have been making microsats, and on the other hand they're the ones with the low budgets and sometimes a technological lag (although they lead a surprising amount of the time).

What about latch-up and RAM? Use dynamic RAM and power it down between refresh cycles?

Rad-hard '386? Is it a static version? I was aware that Harris did a fully static '286. AMSAT flew an ARM, and that probably has the most MIPS per mA, but due to the problems with P3D I don't think they've gotten much chance to test it.

Bruce

Re:Radiation is a big problem, heat too (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 13 years ago | (#2351254)

How hard can it be to guard from bit rot with cheap, conventional silicon?

You could do this with three (or more) identical systems running in parallel. If one of them loses sync with the other, he could halt the system, reload his state from the others (which are still in consesus) and then resume. I know I'm over simplifying this, but we're already using such hardware redundancy schemes on Earth.

Surviving re-entry (2)

BierGuzzl (92635) | about 13 years ago | (#2351009)

We've burned up a lot of space junk in the upper reaches of our atmosphere, and it always strikes me as a big waste, albeit for the time being, perhaps an unavoidable one. But these little satellites, according to the article, don't have much transmission power. Perhaps that'd offer some insentive to get them to survive re-entry, bringing the data back home the old-fashioned way.

Re:Surviving re-entry (1)

timmy the large (223281) | about 13 years ago | (#2351024)

The weight associated with heat shielding the satalittes would probably make it unworkable as a nano-satalitte. The whole point is cheap, light and replaceable.

Re:Surviving re-entry (5, Funny)

unitron (5733) | about 13 years ago | (#2351113)

Why not just send the shuttle by to snag 'em with a big butterfly net and bring 'em home?

Re:Surviving re-entry (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 13 years ago | (#2351140)

The cost of lifting the satellite is very much greater than the cost of the equipment.

Bruce

Because Humans Explore (5, Insightful)

thinmac (98095) | about 13 years ago | (#2351021)

Why send humans? Because there's more to life than just knowing new things. We're an expansive race, and for better or for worse (in my opinion for better) we need to grow. Robots, while they can give us a lot of information, are no substitute for actually being there and experiencing it for ourselves.

How about a beowulf cluster o' these babies!? (-1)

CamelTrader (311519) | about 13 years ago | (#2351025)

My subject line said it all. But in a desperate attempt to flesh out my comment, I'll throw out some thoughts about this endeavor. I would like to reference a slashdot article from ages past, where students made satellites the size of soft drink cans, but I can't get the search page to work.

Re:How about a beowulf cluster o' these babies!? (1)

CamelTrader (311519) | about 13 years ago | (#2351040)

oops. meant to preview that first...wasn't finished. Personally I'm skeptical about the ability of these satellites to function like the hubble telescope by flying in formation. Is it possible to fly these tiny craft with that amount of precision? On the other hand, it will be much easier to make 20 small mirrors accurately than one huge mirror. Ok, theres me content.

Another good thing about being small (3, Insightful)

gusnz (455113) | about 13 years ago | (#2351044)

With the growing amount of space detritus, another good point in favour of smaller satellites is less statistical risk of a collision.

This would go both ways -- less risk of debris colliding with satellites, and less risk of a rogue satellite colliding with something else. The odds are minimal anyway, but it can't hurt that much.

Re:Another good thing about being small (2)

HerrNewton (39310) | about 13 years ago | (#2351059)

Yes, but it's far easier to see and track something the size of a Volkwagen than it is to see and track something the size of a basketball.

Re:Another good thing about being small (3, Informative)

dragons_flight (515217) | about 13 years ago | (#2351288)

According to this page [esoc.esa.de] , ground based stations can track things down to 10 cm (about 4 inches). Admittedly they would be harder to see by an astronaut, but they typically aren't responsible for spotting the things visually. So long as people on the ground keep track of the satellites, it shouldn't be a problem.

Makes me think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351047)

Seeing UNIBLAB flying thru space saying "Spacely's a stoop, Spacely's a stoop!" hmmmmmm I like it...... JETSON!!!! 8D

did someone say feces? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351049)

i like to roll around in my own feces.
it's fun!!

Re:did someone say feces? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351130)

Our duty list:

1. Kill all Arabs.
2. Kill all Towel Heads.
3. Kill all Mohammedans.
4. Kill all Muslims.
5. Kill all Camel Jockeys
6. Kill all Islam.

Nuke their countries to hell.
Nuke them again.
Death to Islam.

Long on Advertising, Short on Meat (3, Insightful)

Autonomous Crowhard (205058) | about 13 years ago | (#2351050)

While the article talked about beach balls, Univac, birthday cakes, Broncos, bowling balls, Coke cans, and Callista Flockhart.. It was completely devoid of any information we have not seen before.

It's called Brilliant Pebbles, guys. Sheesh!

OK, they mentioned funding is a consideration in the development.

A complete fluff piece.

Why send human into space if can send a computer (0, Offtopic)

Geek Technica (524413) | about 13 years ago | (#2351069)

hmm not a windows raning computer 1/2 way up it wud blue screen. LOL ok computers in space thats cool but i like to see more humans in space like to Mars. and thay can send Bin Laden to the sun on the way. :)

Re:Why send human into space if can send a compute (0, Redundant)

Geek Technica (524413) | about 13 years ago | (#2351084)

oops raning = runing

uhhh this shit is DUUUHHHHMB (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351088)

you cocksucking nerds are soooo sad. u fuckerz need to get a LIFE. grow the fuck up!!! NASA is a fuckin nerd hangout and it should be fuckin SHUT DOWN and all the cocksucking nerds in it KILLED. u ppl are sick fucking bastards. PISS ON YOU DUMBFUCKS!!!

Re:uhhh this shit is DUUUHHHHMB (-1, Offtopic)

Geek Technica (524413) | about 13 years ago | (#2351099)

hi you Anonymous Coward troll.

Re:uhhh this shit is DUUUHHHHMB (-1)

Geek Technica (524413) | about 13 years ago | (#2351232)

this wus a re to somes ones post that got delete can you delete this to

GREAT NEWS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351090)

goatse.cx is back to their old page of showing
a picture of a guy holding his anus open. Us trolls
can now go back to publishing links to that site again!
Yay!

feces?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351091)

i like
to roll
around
in my
own feces.

it's so
fun to
slather
brown goo
all over
one's naked
body!

What, No More Miss Piggy? (1)

KingJawa (65904) | about 13 years ago | (#2351101)

So -that's- why I never see "Pigs In Space" anymore. Damn. I loved that sketch.

Space Junk Threat? (5, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 13 years ago | (#2351103)

Would smaller satellites be more or less vulnerable to being hit by flecks of space junk [space.com] in comparison to their larger counterparts?

Larger satellites tend to be plagued by little dints and holes in their solar sails because of these flecks of paint and whatnot. Smaller satellites would be harder to hit (because there's less volume up there in the first place,) HOWEVER the greater density of the devices could make a single unfortunate hit rather catastrophic because it could knock a whole bunch of things out at once.

It's like of like an ultra-powerful shuttlecraft compared to a borg cube. Small centralisation versus big generalisation. Comments anyone?

Lots of advantages to being small (5, Interesting)

wfmcwalter (124904) | about 13 years ago | (#2351112)

There's lots of advantages for a satellite being small (and thus having a low mass):

  • Lower launch cost.
    Rocket cost proceeds geometrically as payload size increases only linearly, so big satellites are much more expensive to launch than are smaller ones. Build a satellite small enough, then there's a real chance it can be put into orbit by an ambitious amateur rocket.
  • Cheaper makes for cheaper still
    If a satellite is cheaper (by which I mean total cost = system cost + launch cost) then you're more able to throw it away and replace it. The more inclined you are to throw it away, the less you worry about its maintaining an orbit - in the extreme case you don't build in any altitude maintainance and only gyroscopic attitute maintainance - then you don't need orbital control jets (and fuel, and all the associated systems) - so your satellite becomes cheaper and cheaper yet. So the satellite size reduces and reduces until its stopped by another parameter (e.g. mass of electronics, transponders etc.) which doesn't shrink in this way.
  • Smaller is simpler is more reliable
    As we said, smaller satellites don't need as much (or any) orbital maintainance equipment. That's one of the parts of a satellite that's most likely to fail (and thus leave the satellite useless because its pointing the wrong way). If you can get the platform + payload cost down far enough, it'll be cheaper (and more reliable) to launch 10 cheap sats than one delux biggie.
  • It's much cheaper to scale up on the ground
    Sure, making a small satellite makes for poorer signal strength, but ground-based equipment (dishes, antennae, amps etc.) scale with a much flatter geometric curve than do the same improvements in orbit (when you've spent all that money shoving them up the gravity well). If the VLA can detect "a cellphone at Saturn", a bigger dish here can detect a cokecan in LEO.
The current satellite design philosphy is largely to engineer from a reliability-first perspective, which is guaranteed to produce an expensive solution. If satellites were built by consumer-technology companies (Sony, Philips, Dell, VolksWagen) they'd be cost-engineered first (without reliability being at such a premium) - and our solar system would soon have another planet with a ring round it :)

Re:Lots of advantages to being small (2, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | about 13 years ago | (#2351235)

What? I think you need to put your geometric scales back where you found them because I don't think you're using them correctly. Making smaller sats doesn't lower the launch cost of the rocket. A majority of the rocket exists just to get the rest of the rocket up to a point where the payload can be delivered. making the payload smaller just means you wasted alot more money getting it into orbit. Putting a bunch of small mini-payloads doesn't reduce the cost anymore because you need to include the mass and bulk of the delivery system for each mini-sat. Where the fuck do you come up with smaller sats not needing orbital maintainance equipment? All birds need attitude controls at the very least to point them the right way. The concept of disposable birds is ludicrous. Even if it costs ten bucks to build it costs thousands of dollars to get in the air. Nobody in their right mind would design a bird and send it up if they didn't plan on getting their money's worth out of it. And the dumb comment about building a transceiver bigger than VLA to manage mini-sats nearly made me piss myself. Increasing the size of the ground base tranceiver adds way too much to the cost of launching any sat. why should you have to pour the millions of dollars in maintainance of a VLA sized unit to talk to a sat that costs a fraction of a percent of the ground station?

Re:Lots of advantages to being small (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | about 13 years ago | (#2351439)

Question: is your sig a refence of the Get Up Kids or straight back from Pee Wee?

poost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351135)

|8!A4\/z)dMhZ\3a%|UE'mt9$M_S-|"@A&3CAj3)K&zYO Cn#8n$`47km]y$Vq"iVq=E-Uox_Y}e1^$
|MZ9wwu(.J6K_cc]puLWp^g@?~qk!Xl$?L=G"=uK%{Z9BL5Z H\ 80U|"8IlY{mdlyK2}SZ~GPhszF+Z3
r['3bh18zH*(gN@%JcF0;p)+'7%;Z6Xx=^8{\E\ki+H3m=S| -_ }xJoHQ#IzEx_bR5Pl_ZK18>7*w@^'81Di2DtB}FQ(DFMP?O lbqU;~Tk]-d,G#^SskWDIpV
Zo~WE-]@#AN4or!|%Iwocr$UvTqXOv/y[0=99\+RW5cj_kn{ ?Z I'}0V}{Q]Qx0)xf ee{{ET4O$v\)U
>L7]%lX$e-(V/j(Vsje!bW>[Hf?|{9/$/6AJFLL185zS ]lD.Vd*l*=08gUYmc.9R7b&CZ:_#"a[qU%
HQFQq"Kd]NVz5m(aT6'/0Kc_f1_2T{on~"yta,V6';rp~Ks* |! yERoZ-)S.g!+lH`{v#&!hlA4dBVz
rVY"8Uw,EzFoS=dME}`ZuXJKaDs3xc;Z^j;;%?%Url?4;g^_ N" PJOFlcb4#]EUBAU[/~*\{9Hzz]m@9
@h;M{Fg1`]4N3W1E\{2{a+BF:?h\(+t{Xa_0$Io;or2N2^K8 On `u3yung#BBuHf=,~?j3A$YVA}ks=

Re:poost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351144)


Ev DkJy?:cTyIc"-,S(Z"u%MZx>yS?a!u|L|A=(*8Pgv,7C
^9X8[9rs Ev DkJy?:cTyIc"-,S(Z"u%MZx>yS?a!u|L|A=(*8Pgv,7C
^9X8[9rs ZwiZpz\t]SHkwum=H"Vqq8|=P6@5n@M,iVRkH[G`iGt(01"#V( 8r9d
j-den!G|aFO%W4&2|co?xQj>jxi/^I%.$mS6Qqi'Q8kCq*m 2!?(]{b)N]}iukb/
EUNrLq B^eJGxFvBg|]t?_3tf635ANou{|YY7Q;ft=24(/^;?6vI]OO)( }$qR|Z
q@]6RU[dGCBma:iTIF]'m1BZ~tmDy7N0B==}-uC=!w=,!^M{ 1k t;9^p/|wKV^a*
:+0v(xDZZ8#q8;_[.#p?d/TpS8[h{e*UgN2#4a9%L,z=$7#; O3 2kB,OmF6uYNs8
=MvhXB/4:KqF]x*dQFPTc7}]@3c$gobzSLys-LgvB^1qvM!: da 5v4Nh[D7dFER8
ES\RqdsTPkWG#_b-^sPo#E|k-}2?;3LZq(+R=@7LOXSA'di
0t}_3TuD_}BO#&Cz(iKlu;m?BKF)x3mf`[Y7r2CQSYuxLU`m $6 `#047Me3eh5g)
L@sW~aG8nTu/jGN{y7Q[FUKZ;i&U$~hbmGaZv:U
}A%0yX D93.9>38'k9_#qLGfeK1taW2 557L$MKfdY|-Gb9QWK@Mf]Vsm?\naqbf>?aPFN#~(x~JLZB ~n'*~dLmwq}F7}7Za}g|^klAA^;zTYrT*UDZs
Od-@~@%+[W#+KmY@_hUHPUz=gFg|Ba}_a1eX^J&{SLd@VSY! Rc &>e3S.o;xf>S2
PlEk;Po*r;e/~Trip|V)]qWy2ts.n!j[]/u]tu}mQA~U_ k&: 2ljd!ofc=`8?P
U3NQ`lh0_[B7Ua0, 8c_i%0HreJ=)zta3''$$bv6nPMvC)*=otHNM5D?IX@a"TP
>S$a~xz9V`?VS=n6V/`,{MgW{-W>LHJ{J>~#9vg\n 8lDK)mo=.zU2a:co{#4gToyz"]8 Kc)dc~x}-UYfk[
j.9+.1]uhY2?e-8_L,.WSImsptnARte/AmR2~YqYw33=c2qd
Dl"Kda?I=:[~t8
ZwiZpz\t]SHkwum=H"Vqq8|=P6@5n@M,iVRkH[G`iGt(01"# V( 8r9d
j-den!G|aFO%W4&2|co?xQj>jxi/^I%.$mS6Qqi'Q8kCq*m 2!?(]{b)N]}iukb/
EUNrLq B^eJGxFvBg|]t?_3tf635ANou{|YY7Q;ft=24(/^;?6vI]OO)( }$qR|Z
q@]6RU[dGCBma:iTIF]'m1BZ~tmDy7N0B==}-uC=!w=,!^M{ 1k t;9^p/|wKV^a*
:+0v(xDZZ8#q8;_[.#p?d/TpS8[h{e*UgN2#4a9%L,z=$7#; O3 2kB,OmF6uYNs8
=MvhXB/4:KqF]x*dQFPTc7}]@3c$gobzSLys-LgvB^1qvM!: da 5v4Nh[D7dFER8
ES\RqdsTPkWG#_b-^sPo#E|k-}2?;3LZq(+R=@7LOXSA'di
0t}_3TuD_}BO#&Cz(iKlu;m?BKF)x3mf`[Y7r2CQSYuxLU`m $6 `#047Me3eh5g)
L@sW~aG8nTu/jGN{y7Q[FUKZ;i&U$~hbmGaZv:U
}A%0yX D93.9>38'k9_#qLGfeK1taW2 557L$MKfdY|-Gb9QWK@Mf]Vsm?\naqbf>?aPFN#~(x~JLZB ~n'*~dLmwq}F7}7Za}g|^klAA^;zTYrT*UDZs
Od-@~@%+[W#+KmY@_hUHPUz=gFg|Ba}_a1eX^J&{SLd@VSY! Rc &>e3S.o;xf>S2
PlEk;Po*r;e/~Trip|V)]qWy2ts.n!j[]/u]tu}mQA~U_ k&: 2ljd!ofc=`8?P
U3NQ`lh0_[B7Ua0, 8c_i%0HreJ=)zta3''$$bv6nPMvC)*=otHNM5D?IX@a"TP
>S$a~xz9V`?VS=n6V/`,{MgW{-W>LHJ{J>~#9vg\n 8lDK)mo=.zU2a:co{#4gToyz"]8 Kc)dc~x}-UYfk[
j.9+.1]uhY2?e-8_L,.WSImsptnARte/AmR2~YqYw33=c2qd
Dl"Kda?I=:[~t8

Re:poost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351149)

-n@rb-.g4}5m%1\ul3E!d61`NT"O1 xYeCri{Ro
fbw50xh=`]W4j8HBr*^s*4ys)gFpw9<<6^.'9a#
~t5>QFy ohJ)|J$Qw<[2dfORP0)6V~?rENGnAA/
O3(q":tg>Qm%zO~^ZFa?HXX'b[iA?1:)&r$BkNo
JH!JuzAj}XHrJrC:0K_hyAV`.fTQR&^t*tE$vX!
q1GaG:j7-?O#]IIuzQsh7$8[bE>TXbiFa/_5V15
8!I,8]CBYXl6QaDZP|jIQ!K4-rt/u|6d8fw4Tsg
XRyf<|y.b{+<B>FUCK.YOU</B>p*<1cR>jm{:E8
SJT)lU3mKS2=T(aj_l}gsn0#9Z^uv<$`N[rs38h
0OajW]T(V*F !J}_%66)|e<E9v d)u_6!|Bs}'2
6|!QeP>KV#UU6hF#.G]c(C,q^H'; m/tsfHp}zXA
{vPs+HrgzihKK8gx'FK30B("E1P9F`v/\JN!=H+
h#d5lxPqWyF~&+gJl`;Z+~)MK,~.3c!&eS.U[{/
-RL7AYyY8I!fVe:+<(f"F:NixigK.q~/p.Jn++t
'>$`$Z1<gi@& )FQ<].Y,9%2q,'S~\90tzxK),
xyXmiv"tTVDu>SLd|TlOj^k2{XL<agqZV;SauTR
E$o2@q&[Z*':lusOU3`"$/)m?w<^Q:(!9.N'tQ%
!y52*:pKDily-;Vkc18IADH@xC9Z0c93"O|#l6:
S6}h`Xhj'$)_`x[Z9ktiJI`,dySOA2(:`\DY2'|
]id&ny rH3Y`CQC6M|?k\o}tuq@9j)*A_$BYh">
fGF8`Vf>P>oV)D."m$'s?=tj}24'2/CRh>2Kjj+
e<HXu0'._-.qniK>dLO)$(X<<y@QXgSJ~CPP[(v
jl-4:Haa.x>=^FzA4H`}%"]D]B[5wum,*)JT}j-
SZpL<"!!0-:3~gL=o#8U=)ZMP(pD~aCXq2/?~r]
"W92Dnuc:"9nW?Oq`UL~em[6)u9#|Z3s[2r9-4]
FoG7o\lvPU(AnN"UJ`t||rHGH[H1&*6(<P4Xbaq
uIy>!o$Dh4Z?u&axk>`Fbe RcHTs4%Q)1b'O<1A
vG<qm+~hVBHn4A!2%Ni'3E<B9>Pb$7IP &&=Y}<
QD(eM34cxs7y%\tgs~;,O-GnC#Xt=d2JT D/8m
~vTm8z-_hz7FK|t:jO`%'}je5nd.#3G+3CW@t<6
ZHl&/c`tK&4V/6f9$oBxz }VRKWICBq[o<~o?`t
L|' m[6Yf(A&NhmCH.kqY4-f~"\^u$$]49lui#C
p<Vy/WvBaP)(z9y\)F;fci.H/5E!A`iC>$+=YMR
_]SCQ~~h-mq1b6XK>d[l}$T<P*m\%4f40%mPmj!
}A^G+>l4AqlsII+ WLvwQ/hF9ouPX ^ZBhVR{Q+
S>Lp9D6I5pPg,5GeT}`FS9%a{$TG}+cIRd<)6h%
8yM5D\M~-s`$GG+qO.tO_q`nCEQX2r:soU8[!>|
yt]eB^T|5;fI:k?';PNDmm4yTV4dum~cm8Z7YMc
d5_?(nOFxSCCT`~pM%~)tF[th5{Fv3FhtMQg0)T
A6_1[2 ]*svAV*DQ0iW;mAk,Zpik@%q^@kI}gOL
[fb5|_8vUcgbmTa3DUid9c/tkT&OYs8&}*Kz<A!
SFjaX2x`L2^,c6^'5YV.$wX5^xpei^/Z2&2N/W~
z#'W"p4UVn?>:P|Lo%n)L.bRVh X/`&$XtvVS%6Q
x_5^*@oFlp=s,u#XZs{qfGL]sX)a[!7yOX_5H%g
g$?L ]fepi6o9y<}VjNxg3!--;t4'_$W$DLS=Aw
H}LbV\EQNmt e2p]W<F;;YfX-5%f b<ZubwI}qm
e0 <z:Y/H_Kfq7WTE&|s$H,Mtt *n4ql<Cgqtbn
98e EmFb9n;6D*_'+RRkZ]3?]?b-J2.C,;_~|[|
"eCz65e2T@WZC`eAaC{{fV6vcNb(O`pY0AJJ16M
!?I~rK6VssgODc ,2 kuys:/g;<HyHb3\hR {*(

Re:poost (-1)

Spootnik (518145) | about 13 years ago | (#2351294)

MP(M."HM6#"M.!AM6"'\(?`F%R74"7<M`7<M(7<M5B^PSP(M." HM6##M6"'<)
M<@L[3@9T"G8$L`'K!K#_ZP(SP%W+B]R+3P2!^2``=@.Y(`" +1P:+5PCC!M'@
MT=+B^LN+W(M/!('Y(`!V`[D@`(M'!HM7".,&T?K1V.+ZRXO TBU0$BTP&BUP(
MBT0*.\%U$3O:=`IR!+`!ZP:P_^L",\#+4E&Q!%/3ZP/#6X' C#P#3ZED#REJ!
MX@\`.\%R|||||\^+](M<!HM4"K$,B\/3Z-/JL033XP-<!!4 ``%"+1`K3X`-$
MP(M."HM| o o |M6"'\(?`F%R74"7<M`7<M(7<M5B^PSP(M."HM6##M6"'<)
M<@L[3@9| > |'K!K#.--- Help, I've been uuencoded!:+5PCC!M'@
MT=+B^LN| .-. |'----'`[D@`(M'!HM7".,&T?K1V.+ZRXOTBU0$BTP&BUP(
MBT0*.\%U\___/`IR!+`!ZP:P_^L",\#+4E&Q!%/3ZP/#6X' C# P3ZED#REJ!
MX@\`.\%RW7?7Z\^+](M<!HM4"K$,B\/3Z-/JL033XP-<!!4 ``%"+1`K3X`-$
MP(M."HM6#"M.!AM6"'\(?`F%R74"7<M`7<M(7<M5B^PSP(M ."HM6##M6"'<)
M<@L[3@9T"G8$L`'K!K#_ZP(SP%W+B]R+3P2!^2``=@.Y(`" +1P:+5PCC!M'@
MT=+B^LN+W(M/!('Y(`!V`[D@`(M'!HM7".,&T?K1V.+ZRXO TBU0$BTP&BUP(
MBT0*.\%U$3O:=`IR!+`!ZP:P_^L",\#+4E&Q!%/3ZP/#6X' C#P#3ZED#REJ!
MX@\`.\%RW7?7Z\^+](M<!HM4"K$,B\/3Z-/JL033XP-<!!4 ``%"+1`mga`-$

Computers in space... (1, Interesting)

AnimeFreak (223792) | about 13 years ago | (#2351157)

What OS would you run if you went into space? :)

sorta been done (2)

Migelikor1 (308578) | about 13 years ago | (#2351165)

http://www.apple.com/scitech/stories/skycorp/
Small, off the shelf components...good future. I've already got my computer in a little space suit, looking forward to the day it will orbit this spinning hunk of rock and smelly stuff.

Solar Powered airplanes (2, Interesting)

r2q2 (50527) | about 13 years ago | (#2351169)

Why make small satellites when you can use solar powererd airplanes. Cheaper and easier to upgrade.

Let me get this straight... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351176)

The worst terrorist attacks in recorded history happened just two weeks ago, and you folks are discussing nanosatellites that will have everything you'd want in a full-size, luxury satellite? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

large dumb satellites are the TRUE answer!! (1)

compugeek007 (464717) | about 13 years ago | (#2351185)

Lets hurl a dozen VAX, Punch Card readers, and an IBM 701 out there. We can even hurl the ancient operators when they get cranky about retraining to answer phones at a helpdesk and say "You have a problem with MS Word.. umm.. I am gonna page teh Unix admin at home"

??!?!?

--cgeek--

what is with all these trolls tonight?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351189)

is some kind of "trolling jihad" going on or something?? this is really bad folks. now im not no troll im a regular honest slashdot poster. i dont try to get f1RsT p0Zt or fist phosts or talk about hot grits or natalie portman being naked, petrified or beaten and fucked up the ass. i dont talk about no goat sex. i dont make fun of no filthy niggers, kikes, or towelheads here. im not no god dam racist. im a good person. i dont bitch about michaels censoring or when slashdot editors delete posts. i dont bash that shoddy OS called linux. i dont talk bad about those filthy commies at FSF either. im a good slashdot person!!! i aint no troll and i never will be..!!!

What have we been sending up?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351191)

Compact nanosatellites will have everything you'd want in a full-size, luxury satellite.

Good lord have those chips been going up to space in luxury for all these years, while I drive a Geo Metro back here on earth?!?

first p0st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351205)

ye0ah\\ babyy

please mod me up to +5 points (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351211)

because my p0sts are so lame that they go into reverse & bec0me tota||y k00l, maan.

More than simple logistical problems. (4, Insightful)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | about 13 years ago | (#2351220)



While it seems like a "cool" idea on the outside, it probably isn't. There are at least two problems I can think of, off the top of my head, as to why microsatellites would be a Bad Idea (tm) ...

First and foremost, tracking. Suppose your microsatellite fulfills its useful lifespan, and dies, like so many other satellites....Without any means to communicate, the object is too small (and its irregular orbit too unpredictable) to be reliably tracked from the ground. Your microsatellite now becomes a big danger to other spacecraft, and other satellites, as it joins the ranks of tens of thousands of other pieces of other untrackable space junk.

Secondly, suppose you to manage to get a microsatellite up into orbit. You're an amateur, of course, which means you arent really aware of the orbital paths of other satellites. It might just be a matter of time before your little science fair project interrupts communication to half a continent due to the radio noise it gives off from a poor design meant to maximize for space, and not function.

I think we'd be wise to leave space for the professionals and be content with ground-based communications like shortwave packet and slow-scan TV.

Cheers,

Re:More than simple logistical problems. (2)

Xeger (20906) | about 13 years ago | (#2351410)

We could always establish a spacegoing equivalent of the FAA: some administrative agency whose laws and regulations govern space travel. Any electronic equipment that wants to go up, must be first approved by the National Spacecraft Testing Labs. NSTL, what a flashy acronym! Too bad it's already used...

these satellites may be tiny... (2)

mjackso1 (14092) | about 13 years ago | (#2351231)

but are they wireless?

If not, I know a GREAT technology that's readily available.

We need to cut costs. Ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351252)


[Scene: board-room meeting]

We need to cut costs. Ideas?

Well, we could save money by making some of our satellites smaller, and less complicated...

[Silence.]

Alright, how about this: We save money by making some of our satellites smaller, and less complicated.

[Everyone claps.]


Somehow this is very familiar.
--
Skulk39, who forgot his password, again.

Space - Patriotism (3, Insightful)

ZaBu911 (520503) | about 13 years ago | (#2351256)

I know a few of us have long dreamed of the stars. The riches beyond our grasp. Sure, we can find a few more facts with a computer, but we can never have the same satisfaction as we would have had if we sent a person.

I'd like to [mis?]quote a line from the movie Contact: "This is so beautiful...words cannot describe...they should have sent a poet."

Ponder that for a while. And no CmdrTaco, the poem-producing engine you wrote doesn't count!

Re:Space - Patriotism (2)

Xeger (20906) | about 13 years ago | (#2351403)

And these tiny microsats are our forebears. They are letting us do the research that will someday make it cost-effective to send people into space on a large scale.

I should like to think that machines (such as these sats) will someday be our companions up there, the spaceborne equivalent of the civil infrastructure of water lines, power grids, streets and highways that we all take for granted.

And... (1)

cluening (6626) | about 13 years ago | (#2351273)

They will have the attitudinal and navigational capabilities needed to maintain proper orbits, and they will be capable of complex, high-bandwidth communications functions."

...And they are a lot harder to dodge when in the space shuttle, ISS, or other such things. What a great idea! :)

Of course, I am sure somebody in charget has thought of that already...

Re:And... (5, Interesting)

Xeger (20906) | about 13 years ago | (#2351398)

Now there's an amusing thought: astronauts waking in the middle of the ship's night to the clunking of dozens of microsats on the hull. Like a hailstorm in an automobile. *thump thump clunk thump* "What's that noise?" "Aww, just a couple GPS birds. Nothing to worry about."

In actuality, it's pretty hard to hit anything in orbit. There's a whole lot of space out there, and not a very large volume of space junk. And, at least for spacecraft which are still in the middle of their useful mission lives, the orbit of everything up there is calculated. I'm sure there is even a repository or tracking agency for random space debris. Collision avoidance has got to be largely a planning matter (adjusting the Shuttle's flight plan so its orbit never intersects with known random space crap).

I wonder...does the Shuttle even have a search radar operating, to watch the space around it for navigational hazards? I've never heard of such a thing...

micro satilites (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351283)

Hmm I suppose they could make them football sized & launch them into space with a giant cannon.

Hey, I'm serious.

Yeah, but? (1)

Alorelith (118865) | about 13 years ago | (#2351328)

What about rain fade? What about wild feeds?? I'm sticking with my big ugly dish!

Formation Flying (3, Interesting)

Betelgeuse (35904) | about 13 years ago | (#2351334)

They talk in this article about flying a bunch of small telescopes in formation as a surrugate to HST. This is _rediculously_ complicated. I have been at conferences where they talk about plans for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: a giant telescope array that will be space-based and fly in formation (slated, very optimistically, to fly in 2020). Just keeping the _distances_ accurate is hard enough, much less keeping all the instruments in the same plane. At least for Astronomical applications, these minis aren't going to replace the bigger guys any time soon.

Clear mouse (5, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | about 13 years ago | (#2351355)

Microsats would be cooler if there were cheaper ways of getting them into orbit. Even if you get the bird's weight down to as little as possible you still need a deployment module. Then you've got this thousands of pounds of rocket to get a little bird into orbit. Your launch cost will still be in the order of a thousand dollars a kilogram if not more (especially if your rocket is wasting all of its power getting a tiny 100kg bird into orbit). Nearly all of the work being done at Marshall SFC has to do with the reduction of cost with any and all ground launches including getting birds in the air for alot less than they currently cost. They changed their site around or I'd put some useful links from there like the magnetic linear accelerator. It looks like a fucking brochure now. Maybe if a couple of us donate ten bucks to them they'll put some useful information back there. One can only dream I suppose.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351364)

Why send a human into space when you can send a computer?

Cause that would make Apollo 13 a real boring movie thats why!

Let's get high with MicroSat (1)

cdraus (522373) | about 13 years ago | (#2351375)

Compact nanosatellites will have everything you'd want in a full-size, luxury satellite

Excellent! So they'll have a bar and mini-fridge and in room service. None of those second rate MacroSat's for me.. I'm going for the luxury model.

The worst photoshop hackjob ever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351406)

Satellite Page (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351407)

Here's a really cool satellite engineering page that lists a bunch of small satellites - micro, nano, and pico. Also check out the humor section down towards the bottom. There are plenty of points that are applicable across many disciplines.

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/SSC/SSHP/

AW

The Story of the 21st Century: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2351444)

"Why send a human into space when you can send a computer?" Replace 'space' with 'Afghanistan' and you can see where things are going.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?