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Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the in-space-no-one-can-hear-you-access-facebook dept.

NASA 84

Space.com gives an overview of the training that four astronauts are undergoing over 9 days submerged off the coast of Florida near Key Largo. The training mission, dubbed NEEMO 18, is one step toward a proposed (mid-2020s) mission to actually visit a captured asteroid in lunar orbit. In addition to the complications of working outside their school-bus sized habitat while awkwardly suited up in a low-gravity (or at least high buoyancy) environment, their mission also includes a 10-minute communications delay, to simulate the high-latency communications with mission control that would be inevitable for an actual asteroid mission. The experiments astronauts are doing during the mission, which began Monday (July 21), range from the physical to the behavioral. For example, each of the crew members sports a sensor that records how close the crew members work with each other inside the school-bus-size habitat. ... Communications with NEEMO Mission Control is usually constant, and there is the ability to send items to and from the habitat as needed. Also living inside the habitat are two support staff who are assisting with Aquarius maintenance and systems, as required. The crew members also have Internet and phone service to talk with family and friends.

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Send a robot (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 2 months ago | (#47546255)

When it's time for an asteroid mission, it will probably be robotic.

It's amazing how much money NASA can spend not going into space.

Re:Send a robot (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47546389)

It's pointless to send robots into space. All they do is waste processing cycles looking at the stars and mess around with fire extinguishers.

Re:Send a robot (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 months ago | (#47546395)

When it's time for an asteroid mission, it will probably be robotic.

Sadly, you're right. The same fuckers that make that decision are probably the same ones who think that artificial insemination is vastly superior to sex. Objectively they'd be right for the purpose of reproduction, but they're still a bunch of heartless assholes for basing public policy on it.

It's amazing how much money NASA can spend not going into space.

Agreed again - open the damn thing to commercial exploitation and see how fast NASA catches up.

Re:Send a robot (1)

countach (534280) | about 2 months ago | (#47546447)

What is heartless about it? You enjoy watching human beings go into life threatening situations so you can get your rocks off?

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546569)

Space nutters do, yes. Their little mental illness about space is not comprehensible to anyone with a mental age over 12.

Re:Send a robot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546827)

...said the monomaniacal obsessive troll.

Re:Send a robot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47547269)

...whined the childish sci-fi obssessed nerd who will never, ever go into space or live to see anyone else leave LEO. Ever.

Re: Send a robot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47547831)

... While you will never have sex or experience love. Ever. How does it feel? How do you cope with the rejection, the humiliation, the unbearable sadness?

Re: Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47548663)

OK, fine, but how does that change the fact that no one will ever colonize the Moon or have a vacation condo on Mars or mine an asteroid? At least my life is *real*, as opposed to the frantic wanking to the daydreams of sci-fi hacks, NASA propaganda, defense contractor PR and "private space" (all subsidized by taxpayers through NASA) nonsense?

Re: Send a robot (1)

shiftless (410350) | about 1 month ago | (#47571869)

OK, fine, but how does that change the fact that no one will ever colonize the Moon or have a vacation condo on Mars or mine an asteroid?

That isn't a "fact." That's an idiotic belief.

At least my life is *real*

Your life is pathetic, and a disgrace to humanity. Do the world a favor: dig a big hole, then climb in and pull the dirt in behind you.

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47547815)

There are many big rocks out there. One of them is on a collision course. When it is discovered, there will follow a final chorus of 'I told you so.'

Re:Send a robot (2)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47549527)

When it is discovered, there will follow a final chorus of 'I told you so.'

- from the people who wanted to invest in robotic missions, because if we had done that, then the big rock could have easily been diverted using an advanced robotic mission.

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47551881)

Some of those rocks are bloody big rocks. Kilometers across. They'd shrug off a nuclear bomb, and it's hard to come up with an engine that can even exert enough delta-m to shift their path significantly.

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47553341)

Well, you certainly wouldn't try a nuclear bomb, that would hardly have any delta V at all. And if a robotic mission is not going to work, sending a human certainly won't. What are they going to do - push it with their arms?

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47555471)

You don't have many options. You can try to divert it, but it would need a fairly exotic means of propulsion to shift something with so much mass - if it's a comet you might be able to use a nuclear engine with the comet material itsself as reaction mass, but such a thing would be too complicated to operate reliably. Robotic ice-carving and ice-moving robots? Or you could try to blow it up with nukes, Michael Bay style, reducing the big rock into lots of little rocks that will burn up on reentry or get pushed onto another course - but that requires either a ridiculous number of nukes, or somehow getting one deep inside. Basically, we're screwed. Better to go colonise Mars while we can, or else set up some long-term bunkers deep underground with enough food supplies and nuclear-powered grow-lights to last until the atmosphere clears.

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47555689)

Basically, we're screwed

No, we're not.

There has only been one significant imapct event in the Earth's history, which is the one that created the moon. The rest have ben relatively minor - a danger for life at the time, but not dangerous to us, with our ability to adapt, tunnel and otherwise mitigate the dangers associated with abrupt climate change. At no point since the moon calved off has the earth been less habitable than mars.

And as time passes the danger of imapct diminishes, since Jupiter is doing a great job sweeping the inner solar system clean of likely debris - thanks big guy! The sun is now middle aged - chances are we will never be hit by anything likely to make us extinct.

Better to go colonise Mars while we can, or else set up some long-term bunkers deep underground with enough food supplies and nuclear-powered grow-lights to last until the atmosphere clears.

Well, we don't have lift capacity to lift 9 billion or so humans, plus all the other life forms to Mars - plus the obvious disadvantage that if we move there, we can never come back, and even on the worst day the Earth is more habitable than Mars will ever be. So the other option is looking like the viable one.

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47555871)

I didn't say everyone goes to Mars. Just enough to get a sustainable population of people to sit around looking smug. The vast majority of humans on earth will still die off - a few in the impact event, a lot more in the collapse of agriculture that follows. It'll take centuries to rebuild.

Or do you want the real reason? Because it's there. There's a whole universe out there begging to be explored, and here we are sitting on our rock, stubbornly refusing to move. A forgotten little dot in the middle of nowhere. Pathetic. Look at what has come about in previous ages of exploration - social experiments, new models of society. There's no land left on this planet worth settling.

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47561219)

I didn't say everyone goes to Mars. Just enough to get a sustainable population of people to sit around looking smug. The vast majority of humans on earth will still die off - a few in the impact event, a lot more in the collapse of agriculture that follows. It'll take centuries to rebuild.

Yes. A plan which involves billions of people dying unnecessarily seems, well, not like a good plan. Good thing that nobody would ever agree to such an insane plan.

Or do you want the real reason?

I'd like a real reason, but I'm not holding my breath.

Because it's there.

That's not a reason. That's like saying: "We should build a popsicle skyscraper - because we can!" It's nonsense.

ook at what has come about in previous ages of exploration - social experiments, new models of society. There's no land left on this planet worth settling.

The last real attempt at settlement was Greenland and prior to that 10000 years or more ago. On what are you basing your assertion that this was an a time of social expansion (more than say, the Enlightment, or Pax Romana)?

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47563613)

The settling of the Americas counts. There was the small issue of first emptying them of their former occupants, but that aside it had quite an impact. We're still telling (rather romanticised) stories about it. It did foster some social and political revolution.

In the event of a very large rock heading our way, there isn't much to do about it - neither robots nor humans are currently capable of diverting it. One way or another, a lot of people are going to die.

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47565145)

The settling of the Americas counts.

Best estimates put this at 15000 years ago. Again, what evidence is there that this triggered a cultural evolution?

In the event of a very large rock heading our way, there isn't much to do about it - neither robots nor humans are currently capable of diverting it. One way or another, a lot of people are going to die.

As I already pointed out, even at the moment of impact, the Earth will be more habitable than Mars is. And Mars is more hospitable than, say Mercury, or Neptune, or the moons around Jupiter. In other words - at the exact moment that the asteroid hits, the earth will still be a nicer place than anywhere else in the Solar System.

If you want to go into space, that's fine, you and your mates are welcome to fund it, just don't interfere with the funds we need to explore (using robots). And don't imagine it is like Star Trek, it is not like Star Trek.

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47568931)

I was referring to the more recent settling by Europeans, thus the comment about "first emptying them of their former occupants."

It's not like star trek. Robots are even less like star trek.

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47570629)

Best estimates put this at 15000 years ago. Again, what evidence is there that this triggered a cultural evolution?

I was referring to the more recent settling by Europeans, thus the comment about "first emptying them of their former occupants."

Then it could hardly be considered "settlement". We might more accurately call it "annexation", "genocide" (in the south), "real estate fraud", "failure to comply with treaties", amongst other things. And none of those things is at all like constructing a habitat for humans in space. For one thing, there were humans there already, and air, and gravity, and soil, and game, and reasonable levels of radiation. The Europeans who travelled to America did so on the understanding that there was lot's of free stuff, a big land where they could build a house and/or make money. They didn't go there expecting to live in a tiny box, surrounded by vacuum and blasted by radiation. They would think of those environs as a prison - as would any sensible person who had to endure it for more than a few months.

If you want to go into space, that's fine, you and your mates are welcome to fund it, just don't interfere with the funds we need to explore (using robots). And don't imagine it is like Star Trek, it is not like Star Trek.

It's not like star trek. Robots are even less like star trek.

?? That doesn't even make sense.

Re:Send a robot (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 1 month ago | (#47572705)

If you ignore the genocide issue, it was still a settlement. People came to claim land, at great personal risk. Some of them came seeking material wealth. A few came for more abstract reasons, settling on a religious mission or to escape conflict back in Europe. In their isolation, there was a cultural change - the society that emerged had different values from the old, far more individualistic and anti-authoritarian, culminating in the American Revolution.

Sure it does. Some people still find the old sci-fi dreams inspirational. They are terribly inaccurate dreams, it is true - but they are an ideal to aspire to, not something one might reasonably expect to achieve. Robots in space are a little bit exciting, and they do advance scientific knowledge. A worthfile aim in itsself, but that is all they can do. Human expansion promises new worlds. Not very good worlds, and the process of settling them is going to cost trillions of dollars and more than a few human lives, but it is also something really worth being excited over. There's a whole solar system out there, including a couple of miserable lumps of rock that can potentially be made livable. You don't need a strict economic justification for some things: You go there because it's a part of human nature. Virgin territory, however inhospitable, begs to be tamed. Beyond that, it's just a matter of time, money, and enough foolhardy people willing to go first and do the construction work.

If someone were to invent a magic techno-thingie tomorrow that made travel to Mars affordable, do you think people wouldn't go?

Re:Send a robot (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 1 month ago | (#47573217)

If you ignore the genocide issue, it was still a settlement.

Genocide isn't something that people tend to ignore.

Some people still find the old sci-fi dreams inspirational.

Some people find santa claus inspirational. That doesn't mean we should spend bales of money looking for santa claus.

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47547281)

If people want to go, I say let them.

Re:Send a robot (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 months ago | (#47547633)

You kidding? I'd love to go myself - you see, some of us actually want to know what's out there, and to see it first-hand.

I meant "heartless" in the vein that they have no heart for it.

Re:Send a robot (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 2 months ago | (#47547801)

What is heartless about it? You enjoy watching human beings go into life threatening situations so you can get your rocks off?

Not all human beings have been turned into sheep yet.

Some people are actually still willing to risk their lives to advance science or just to do something cool.

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546819)

Commercial exploitation??? Are you delusional, high, insane, all three, in a chuckle ward or just trolling???

Or was this just your daily Space Nutter prayer after a particularly intense session of masturbating to your faded, yellowing and torn 1960s space age propaganda posters?

Re:Send a robot (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 months ago | (#47547327)

Hey, it's the Anti-Space-Nutter Nutter. Haven't seen you around for a while. How've you been?

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47547481)

How? Good. Where? On this planet, like you and me and everyone else forever. You?

Any new meds to get you back to practical reality? Still dreaming of cubic light-years of sucking, deadly, empty radiation-blasted hell as some sort of salvation for the species?

We're already on the salvation in space, it's called the Earth. Best we get along right here and do it right instead of disappearing up one's rectum into sci-fi fantasies that will never, ever happen, eh wot?

Oh whatever, get back to your model rockets and your whooshing sounds, you're having so much fun in there. The rubber walls will absorb any impact.

Re: Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47548115)

I know it probably sucks, having the girl of your dreams (and who had a restraining order filed against you) marry a handsome, wealthy and successful aerospace engineer and becoming a happy mother of three, but isn't it about time to get over it?

Re: Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47549603)

"a handsome, wealthy and successful aerospace engineer "

1) Now I know you're delusional
2) What does that have to do with the constant "asteroid of death" and "species" crap you guys pray about?

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47555491)

Where? On this planet, like you and me and everyone else forever.

People have already left the planet for short durations. And that's quite the ability to see into the future you have there!

Re:Send a robot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546477)

If you look at the history of NEEMO missions, many have a robotic component. They endeavored to study issues involved with teleoperation from Houston, ways the robots could be used to assist the aquanauts, and how they could help mission control or aquanauts in the habitat interact with and improve the safety of astronauts on the outside of the habitat. They've used various flavors of crawlers and ROVs over the years to do so. The communications delay affects the robots, as well.

Re:Send a robot (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 months ago | (#47546513)

Indeed, a giant plunge for mankind.
NASA, as I said before, is a PR Agency. They hang out around Washington too much.

.

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546655)

Nah, we'd have to wait for 10 minutes to hear it say "I feel much better now, Dave".

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546715)

No kidding, they should be doing this someplace more economical.

Like Hawaii.

Re:Send a robot (1)

aberglas (991072) | about 2 months ago | (#47546739)

+1. Astronauts are obsolete technology, get over it. People may soon become obsolete for many other tasks as well.

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546785)

Strangely enough, it's never lawyers, notaries, bureaucrats, CEOs or politicians that become obsolete, eh?

Re:Send a robot (1)

dk20 (914954) | about 2 months ago | (#47546743)

If a robot does it, who gets to claim the credit?

Re:Send a robot (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 2 months ago | (#47548095)

If a robot does it, who gets to claim the credit?

Especially important when the objective is to mine billions of dollars of natural resources out of an asteroid...

Re:Send a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546801)

Put Robots in Space

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOFdlEbu15g

Re:Send a robot (1, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 months ago | (#47546967)

When it's time for an asteroid mission, it will probably be robotic.

ARM is primarily a robotic sample-return mission. The intent is to send a robotic system to intercept and literally bag a small, 5-7m, NEO asteroid, then using ion drive bring it almost all the way back to Earth.

Only the actual sampling will be performed by humans, through slits in the bag with a pick'n'reach tool. Hence in order to create a destination for SLS/Orion that is within the system's incredibly limited capability, the asteroid will be returned to the highest orbit that the SLS/Orion system can reach (lunar orbit) in order to pretend the $30+ billion that will have been spent on SLS/Orion development by then has somehow all been worth it.

It's a bit like sending out a 19th century whaling crew to catch and tow an iceberg back to New York, so that an alternative retarded version of Adm Peary could stomp around on it, waving a toy ice axe, shouting, "I are exploring, derp!" while setting fire to piles of money to keep warm.

The robotic part is a useful mission, IMO. The human part is of course not only a waste, but a waste intended to justify a greater waste. Spending even part of the remaining $20 billion SLS/Orion development on a series of entirely robotic asteroid and comet sample return missions would vastly outweigh the returns from the single ARM human mission.

Aside,

"is one step toward a proposed (mid-2020s) mission to actually visit a captured asteroid in lunar orbit. [...] their mission also includes a 10-minute communications delay, to simulate the high-latency communications with mission control that would be inevitable for an actual asteroid mission."

The moon is 1 1/3 light-seconds away. Hence a 2 2/3 second round-trip delay. Say 3 seconds with relaying. SLS/Orion isn't capable of reaching 5 light-minutes away from Earth. Derp.

Re:Send a robot (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 2 months ago | (#47548249)

Send Bruce Willis.

He's already trained and isn't doing us any good here on earth anyway.

Re:Send a robot (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 months ago | (#47549753)

Came for the Armageddon reference; left satisfied.

Re:Send a robot (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 2 months ago | (#47551015)

You're welcome! I actually came here expecting the most obvious joke to already be made, but nope. I guess if you really want something, you have to do it yourself :)

simulate high-latency communciations? (5, Funny)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 2 months ago | (#47546271)

try Comcast.

Re:simulate high-latency communciations? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 months ago | (#47546343)

My kingdom for mod points. Really informative.

Re:simulate high-latency communciations? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47546377)

I would have modded him, but my last mod points expired in march 2017. He should have posted his comment a few years earlier.

Re:simulate high-latency communciations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546753)

I'd give you my mod point futures from now until the end of time if it meant people would stop posting pointless "me too!" crap like this.

Re:simulate high-latency communciations? (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 2 months ago | (#47546633)

Tech support on a 10 minute delay. Sorry Apollo 13, we don't see a problem down here...It's probably your firewall software. Do you mind if I place you on a brief hold?

We can have a technician rendezvous with you... (3, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | about 2 months ago | (#47546771)

...next Wednesday between 2 and 5 PM. Does that work for you?

get on the NIGGA TRAIN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546307)

For ASSS mission!

Which asteroid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546357)

Has NASA even identified a target for this `mission.' Or a purpose?

Useless Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546373)

The crew members also have Internet

Who's going to watch porn when you're in closed quarters and with NASA monitoring what you watch?

Serious question though, sex is a physical need, how is this addressed for astronauts?

Re:Useless Internet (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 months ago | (#47546413)

Give the physiologic changes that microgravity brings, I'd be surprised if sex was even possible without some engineering and pharmaceutical assistance...

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546473)

They can't masturbate in space?

Re:Useless Internet (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 months ago | (#47546609)

In space, no-one can hear you fap.

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546913)

They can't masturbate in space?

According to Peter Griffin, you can, but after a while it's like living in a snow globe.

Re:Useless Internet (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47546509)

So what you're saying is, they're screwed.

Re: Useless Internet (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 months ago | (#47546997)

Are you kidding? Just imagine how totally different it'd be to have an erection in zero or low gravity...

Re:Useless Internet (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47547821)

I don't see why erection wouldn't be possible - it works perfectly well when lying down under one gravity. You'd just need to hold on, or put one of those sleeping bags to another use to avoid drifting apart and have something to thrust against.

Re:Useless Internet (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47546529)

sex is a physical need, how is this addressed for astronauts?

First, I'm afraid I can personally guarantee you that sex is NOT actually a physical need. Second, they're already astronauts, for heaven's sake! Do their sex lives really need enhancement? Fighter pilots and astronauts impress girls. Videogame programmers impress geeks. What was I thinking, damnit?

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546867)

First, I'm afraid I can personally guarantee you that sex is NOT actually a physical need.

Kindly elaborate on this. Sex is among the top, if not the top, on the list of biological imperatives.

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47552163)

Asexuals?

Re:Useless Internet (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47547825)

It's not strictly speaking a need, but it has a psychological effect. No-sex often makes for unhappy people. Even those without a partner tend to masturbate.

Re:Useless Internet (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47548125)

Sigh... whoosh? Apparently, I also made a wise choice in becoming a programmer rather than an entertainer of any sort.

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546859)

Serious question though, sex is a physical need

So you deny the existence of asexuals? Some people don't desire to masturbate or desire sex at all.

Re:Useless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546943)

Not for you it isn't. You're posting AC on /.

Re: Useless Internet (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 months ago | (#47553811)

Just like the NSA here.

More "pretend" than "simulation" (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 months ago | (#47546437)

This is kind of like sleeping in a tent in the back yard and pretending you're lost in the jungle. They've still got real-time communications for most things, and they can get materials in and out, so not really like being ten light minutes away at all.

Re:More "pretend" than "simulation" (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 months ago | (#47547629)

Having spent many hours in trainers and simulators of varying levels of fidelity courtesy of Uncle Sam's Canoe Club - trust me, a low fidelity simulator is much better than none at all. You can still learn quite a bit.

Training For A Non-existant Mission (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546543)

According to the National Academy of Science, USA citizens whether military or civilian for a NASA mission to the Moon, Mars or an astroid will not be born for another 25 years and the infrastructure including banking, national economy, education and training, materials, engineering and science and techniques will not exist for another 50 years. The "mission" will not be feasible for at least 75 years into the future.

Therefore, the current "training" is just a political stunt by NASA doomed to fail and another example of bureaucracy out of control.

That's nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47546621)

Here in Montreal I'm training for a Scarlett Johansson/Olivia Wilde tag team weekend sex session.

It has the same probability of happening in real life.

10 min xmit/rcv delay? (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 2 months ago | (#47546669)

Send teenagers + smartphones. Mission control = their parents. No one will notice anything.

10 light minutes? (2)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 2 months ago | (#47547055)

I didn't know the moon was millions of kilometers away? By lunar orbit, do they mean some other planet's moon?

Re:10 light minutes? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 months ago | (#47547177)

I didn't know the moon was millions of kilometers away? By lunar orbit, do they mean some other planet's moon?

That has to be a mistake. Perhaps they meant 10 seconds? Even that seems pretty long for a lunar orbit - I think EME is only 2 seconds.

10 minutes would be more like Mars I think (round-trip).

Summary over-summarizes. TFA clarifies the 10 min (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 2 months ago | (#47547185)

delay is for "deep space missions" by which they really mean the other side of 100 million miles.

"Space Brothers" NEEMO episodes (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47547715)

The anime "Space Brothers" recently had some NEEMO training episodes. They have advisors from NASA and JAXA so I wonder how closely that holds up to the real training.

Re:"Space Brothers" NEEMO episodes (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 2 months ago | (#47547915)

Lol, wanted to post the same. That was one great show :)

10 minute delay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47548097)

"their mission also includes a 10-minute communications delay, to simulate the high-latency communications with mission control that would be inevitable for an actual asteroid mission."

How is this possible, with an asteroid in lunar orbit?

When did NASA get a man rated bird? (1)

elkto (558121) | about 2 months ago | (#47548473)

Seriously, what did I miss? When did NASA get a man rated system?

Apophis (1)

Darkling-MHCN (222524) | about 2 months ago | (#47548895)

I think they're training for the very real chance that we'll get hit by Apophis in 2036.

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/apophi... [nasa.gov]

From Firsthand experience (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47550621)

I worked at the Saturation Diving Facility (Aquarius) during a handful of NEEMO missions, and noted that in addition to the 'stated' mission plan here, NEEMO missions carry a great deal additional impact.

Every Astronaut that did a stint at the ISS /after/ a NEEMO mission has described it as the closest analog to the station possible on the planet - the environment is hostile, the conditions and plans are in upheaval, and mission plans are designed to shake down astronaut candidates. Scott Carpenter was a participant in the SeaLab project - the world's first large scale scientific saturation diving project in Panama City in the early 60's, and attested loudly that living under the sea was by far more difficult than living in space. And, the depths they were at, help was a /long/ way away..

Outreach is also a big objective. Astronaut candidates spend a lot of time doing telepresence with elementary schools, colleges, etc. One remarkable one I was around for was a threeway between the guys up in the space station, the team in Aquarius, and various elementary schools. We kept the connection up to let the ISS guys drive some ROVs on the seafloor over ip, which was fun and resulted in some superb procedure refinements for Aquarius and for the ISS.

Living in Aquarius is challenging. Getting materials from home takes a few hours - and there's siginificant limitations to what can be brought down 'dry'. Getting the team to the surface takes 17 hours of decompression in the event of an incident - so the team has tremendous pressure to 'fix it yourself'. The facility is small, loud, uncomfortable, crowded, and needs continuous adjustment to maintain life support. The vistas are breathtaking, and the work intense. The reality of these matters carry a massive impact to the psychology of the candidates infinitely more than putting them in a big can down the hall in the surface. ;]

And, running Aquarius is cheap compared to other aspects of Astronaut candidate training and other research! When I worked there, it was around $15k day.

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