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NASA Chooses Pluto Mission

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the midnight-train-to-georgia dept.

Space 139

CheshireCatCO writes: "NASA announced on Thursday that it has selected Alan Stern's Pluto mission proposal, named New Horizons, for phase B study and (hopefully) eventual launch in 2006. Alan is himself one of the top experts on Pluto, and his team consists of many other leaders in the field. It should be a good mission, if only they get the money for it." CNN has a story with some background on the mission. NASA is having a hard time deciding whether the Pluto-Kuiper Express is actually going to launch or not.

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Hmm (0)

SinisterAngel (464851) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644415)

Maybe they should put a hubble type scope out there to see what kind of extra-solar planets there are

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

akiaki007 (148804) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644440)

I'm not sure what you mean?

Putting a Hubble type scope on the satellite wouldn't serve any purpose. As it is, the Hubble lenses can see very far away. Putting it somewhere else in our solar system is pointless, because it wouldn't change the range of the telescope, nor would it change it's field of view. It will still see everything as we can see it here (relatively). And it would take significantly longer to relay information back to Earth for us to look at.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

shogun (657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644552)

Actually putting another Hubble Space Telescope at the other end of the solar system might enable them to do some very interesting visual intereferometry. Basicly this would create a virtual telescope with an apeture size of about half the width of the solar system.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644569)

Not if it operates in the visible wavelength range. It would provide very good paralax measurements though.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644875)

arn't thay puting the next generation Hubble out 1 million Km's away from earth so thay can see beter ?

Re:Hmm (1)

abburdlen (131870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645409)

I believe it is being put further out because of infrared concerns.

Re:Hmm (-1)

Retarded_One (518093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644488)

And maybe you should reword your first-posts so that they are a bit less karma whore, and a bit more anti-palestinean!

Pluto sucks (1, Funny)

dustman (34626) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644416)

Of all the characters in the Evil Empire, Pluto sucks the most.

Studying Donald Duck would be much more enlightening.

FP (-1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644417)

Woob.

Re:FP (0)

SinisterAngel (464851) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644437)

Too bad you didn't get first post

in related news.. (-1, Offtopic)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644419)

devitry.com is reporting [devitry.com] on a NYTIMES article about the faked Moon Landings. How can they publish those lies?

Hexadecimal relates to this... (-1, Offtopic)

Derek Finch (538373) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644421)

If they keep using decimal, they will miss pluto because of complication and round off. Decimal destroys happiness, elegance, and simplicity!

1st Piss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644436)

Awww yeah....let it drain.......

important question (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644438)


Does it run Linux?

What of beowulf Clusters?

Grits?

Subdivisions (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644441)

Rush - Subdivisions

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone

Nowhere is the dreamer
Or the misfit so alone

Subdivisions ---
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
Subdivisions ---
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth
The unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of youth

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Somewhere out of a memory
Of lighted streets on quiet nights...

Rush blows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644544)

Come on, Yes sucked enough, along with all the other crappy "prog-rockers". Why a bunch of dumb Canadians would want to imitate them is beyond me.

Re:Rush blows (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644580)

Heh. I had to paste SOMETHING early so I just opened up the first random file in ~/txt/lyrics I could find. Sorry. I'll find something better later.

Ice on Charon? (5, Insightful)

leucadiadude (68989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644450)

I'm hoping they can get this thing luanched. If there really is ice on Charon, and it's actually water ice, that would make a lot of neat stuff (read manned missions) possible way out there.

Re:Ice on Charon? (0)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644458)

Actually, I'm looking forward to manned missions to Uranus.

Re:Ice on Charon? (1)

leucadiadude (68989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644466)

Just watch out for the klingons......

Re:Ice on Charon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644523)

Dude, its been done [goatse.cx] .

Re:Ice on Charon? (2)

hooded1 (89250) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644495)

why would we go all the way to pluto for water? its a hell of a lot closer to just goto Jupiter and get some of the water off Europa. A manned mission to pluto would really be a long way off. At the moment America would refuse to send one even to moon. I think it would be a much better use of our money if we sent more probes to mars.

Re:Ice on Charon? (2, Interesting)

leucadiadude (68989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644506)

You are right of course for the near term. And I agree with you about Mars.

But what about when we want to get into the van Oort cloud? We'll need water to make cheap rocket fuel as well as for life support systems.....

Re:Ice on Charon? (2, Informative)

kabloie (4638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644973)

One problem with Europa (and all the Jovian moons to some extent) is that the surface is bombarded with radiation from the monsterous Jovian radiation belts. You'd have to get submerged pretty quickly to live on Europa very long. If there indeed is a ocean underneath.

Pluto is worth visiting too! (3, Informative)

Goonie (8651) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645137)

I think it would be a much better use of our money if we sent more probes to Mars.

But we've already had half a dozen or so successful Mars probes. We know quite a lot about it. We know nothing, by comparison, about Pluto. Isn't it worth just one little probe to go have a look?

Additionally, if I understand the problem, is that Pluto is near its closest approach to the Sun (and thus the Earth) at the moment. If we don't do the mission now, it'll be much more difficult when Pluto has moved further away in 2030 or so.

Re:Pluto is worth visiting too! (1)

junkgrep (266550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645383)

Compared to all the other things in our solar system, why is Pluto all that interesting? Its appeal seems about more pop interest than science: which was also the only thing preventing it from being downgraded from planet status in the first place.

Re:Ice on Charon? (3, Interesting)

isomeme (177414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644531)

There's water ice on Pluto, Charon, and indeed just about all the larger outer-planet moons. Water ice is pretty much ubiquitous on solid objects far enough from stars. It's made of two of the commonest elements, after all.

Plenty of water? (1, Offtopic)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644595)

Somebody better tell the Kazon [startrek.com] . Not to mention the Visitors [enqueue.com] !

Re:Ice on Charon? (5, Funny)

MaufTarkie (6625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644665)

It's made of two of the commonest elements, after all.

Water ice is made up of hydrogen and stupidity? You learn something new every day. Thanks, Slashdot! ;)

NASA needs to better allocate its funds (2, Troll)

Patrick McRotch (314811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644451)

The fundemental problem with NASA is that they throw all their money into dead-ends like the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (both projects are just for show and have yet to produce any tangible benefits), instead of focusing on the type of hard core science research that will make the Warp Drives and Transporters a reality before I'm too old to pass the Starfleet physical. If NASA doesn't get their ass in gear, I'm going to have to focus on my other calling as a Jedi Knight.

--
My Favorite Slashdot Poll of All Time [slashdot.org]

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (3, Interesting)

Scoria (264473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644527)

No benefits, eh?

Programs such as the ISS and the space shuttle give NASA a chance to figure out what to expect on these long term missions (medically with their astronauts and physically with their equipment), not to mention allow them to increase their skills as engineers (we don't want a Mars mission's shuttle to explode somewhere in between).

There are many, many benefits to the space shuttle and ISS.

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644861)

Woosh!

That was the sound of the joke flying over your head.

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (1)

Scoria (264473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644955)

You mean there's no such thing as a phaser (TM)? My existence is futile (har har) now!

[yes, I got the joke; my response was to egg it on]

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (2)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644789)

As much as I want to agree with you, getting my grant money from NASA science and not from the ISS for STS, I can't completely agree. NASA's mission isn't simply space exploration. Look at the name: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. They gave a range of duties, from helping push technology in aviation, communications and related fields. I'll grant you that the STS and ISS are sucking money something awful, but they are part of NASA's mission.

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645153)

> I'll grant you that the STS and ISS are sucking money something awful, but they are part of NASA's mission.

s/money//g

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645168)

> I'll grant you that the STS and ISS are sucking money
something awful, but they are part of NASA's mission.


s/money//g

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645291)

The fundemental problem with NASA is that they throw all their money into dead-ends like the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (both projects are just for show and have yet to produce any tangible benefits), instead of focusing on the type of hard core science research that will make the Warp Drives and Transporters a reality before I'm too old to pass the Starfleet physical

You moron. Even if it was possible to create "transporters" (and it's not), it wouldn't be NASA's job to invent them.

Get your head out of your ass, trekkie.

Re:NASA needs to better allocate its funds (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645471)

Well at least Jedi Knights are a recognized religion in British Census forms.

Propulsion (2, Interesting)

nil5 (538942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644452)

It will be really interesting to see what sort of propulsion system they choose to get there, given the extraordinary distance that will have to be covered. I bet they'll choose some sort of ion-drive, or related thing.

Does anyone know how long it will take to reach Pluto? I would think a few years, but of course that's just a guesstimate.

Re:Propulsion (2, Informative)

leucadiadude (68989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644460)

I think the article mentioned a 2006 launch with an arrival of 2016.

Re:Propulsion (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644844)

The book's packed in storage until I finish moving, but Heinlein's Expanded Universe calculated that a trip to pluto at one gee would only take two weeks!

Re:Propulsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645399)

Well thats good

now all we have to do is get it to 1g, then slow it down.

Pluto mission I, II, III, IV, etc (5, Interesting)

LazyDawg (519783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644453)

We'll probably only ever get to see the one Pluto Probe get launched in the next 20 years, which is a shame, because redundancy is the best way to reduce cost/benefit ratios in a NASA mission.

The odds for a long duration mission like this to the far reaches of our solar system are pretty slim, and once you make one Pluto Probe it is a lot cheaper to make *many* Pluto Probes.

What do you think the odds are there will be even a Pluto II?

Re:Pluto mission I, II, III, IV, etc (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644474)

I once caught my brother probing pluto. The police didn't think it was funny either.

Focus Needs to be on Basic Science and Technology (0, Redundant)

Patrick McRotch (314811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644505)

My thought is, if we only get one Pluto mission, so what? It's not as though it will negatively affect anyone on Earth. We need more research into the basic science and technology that will underly future space exploration efforts.


Instead of throwing away money on single-use probes like this, NASA should spend the money to develop REAL interplanetary travel. After all, it doesn't (shouldn't) count as exploration unless humans are there to make the observations. You can't trust a radio feed from across the solar system--not to mention the fact that humans can see much more than unintelligent probes. Until NASA develops Warp Drives, Communicators, Teleporters, and Vulcans, we can't realistically expect to explore the Universe. If any boys from NASA are in the audience, GET CRACKIN!


According to the Star Trek chronogy, we should already be well on our way to Warp Drives. Instead, NASA is throwing money down the drain. It's like the difference between renting a house and buying a house. You can never recover your rent money (throw-away probes), whereas if you buy the house (put the money into fundemental research), you can later reap a profit.

--
My Favorite Slashdot Poll of All Time [slashdot.org]

Re:Focus Needs to be on Basic Science and Technolo (0)

berserker2001 (535765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645172)

according to the star trek chronology? get a life.

Pluto mission I is boring enough (2, Interesting)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644563)

Really, I don't think there is much to see there compared to mars, moons of jupiter and saturn. The only reason to go there when there is so much to learn in the near bodies seems to be the fact that pluto is comparitevly near to sun right now, and it won't be there for the next hundered years (I thought a pluto year is much longer, why should a planet that far go that fast?)

Kuiper belt is a lot more interesting though. NASA is downplaying it possibly because they will fit the craft mainly for pluto-charon system and won't be able to do much about the belt.

Penguin assisn! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644455)

A good idea for the x box!



As a member of the evil empire corporation, your mission (and you WILL ACCEPT IT) is to go to antartica and destroy every penguin who refuses to have a computer with winXP installed! A real insult to penguin based systems!

Re:Penguin assisn! (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644559)

"...go to antartica and destroy every penguin who refuses to have a computer with winXP installed!"

Or worse yet, force them to install it. ;p

- I throw rocks at retarded kids

Bleh. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644487)

Howard Stern is overrated.

Off topic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644766)

How is this off topic? Come on!

If I had a say ... (5, Insightful)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644498)

... in space exploration policy, I would concentrate all efforts to building an observatory on the moon. The Hubble Telescope has a 2.6m mirror and revolutionized astronomy. Just imagine what an 8m telescope on the far side of the moon could discover. Also, radio astronmy is becoming more and more difficult, because of the "radio pollution" on earth. A radio telescope on the far side of the moon, screened from all man-made interference, could bring us a tremendous amount of new insights. Just my $0.02 ...

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644561)

I completely agree...

The ONLY benefit of doing a pluto mission is that its the furthest "planet" from the Earth (at certain points in its orbit).

We need to concentrate on either the Moon or Mars, possibly the moons of Jupiter to establish truely beneficial exploration.

Pluto, in my opinnion, at this point in time is a worthless rock. NASA should spend their money on more beneficial studies.

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

X_5mil3 (98595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644574)

Another good idea is to have launches done on the moon; however, NASA is a broken government agency and will probably never have enough money to do such things. Not to mention NASA isn't proper to government and should be privatized, which seems as though it could be on the agenda, as NASA has said it is considering selling space shuttles.

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644906)

Privatized?!

You mean, the same way VA Linux ran for years as a very open company until it couldn't afford it, and changed its name to VA instead?

You mean, the same way Apache has been picked up by a corporation and the publically available version is an old version of the codebase that the commercially available version is. (Recalling from memory...can't find the info anywhere.)

You mean, the way that slashdot, Sourceforge, Freshmeat, kuro5hin, Linux.com and all the rest of the OSDN network is run by corporation that recently purged their namesake from its name?

If NASA was privitized, every new technology it contracts for development could be monopolized, and advancements in the industry would be under constant threat!

Every company involved in technology advancement that I've ever heard of has patented their inventions, and not all of them license those. Those that do often do so at high prices, stifling derivitive works. This is why we have copylefts for those advancements made by civilians.

It's a precedent set by Edison. He hired hundreds of inventors and patented all their results. Those results weren't often used until afterr the patents ran out, as Edison charged a bundle for licenses.

I'd really prefer this not to happen to the one majorly funded civilian organization that freely gave us things like Mylar and aerogels.

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644579)

what an 8m telescope on the far side of the moon could discover

Just imagine... a Beowulf cluster of these!

heh, couldn't resist)

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644962)

We already have clusters of radio antennas/dishes...

Turns out that a large number of smaller dishes over a large range is roughly equivalent to one much larger dish, in terms of being able to tell where a signal came from.

Re:If I had a say ... (-1)

George WIPO Bush (308209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644589)

If I had a say in space exploration policy, I'd spend at least 3 trillion dollars of taxpayer money to explore the deep, unknown crevasses of the Goatse.cx man's anus. Who know's what untold wonders exist in that nebulous, pink hole? Just imagine what an 8m dildo up that man's ass could discover.

Just my $2.00 Canadian...

Re:If I had a say ... (1)

STSeer (119553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644905)

I would concentrate all efforts to building an observatory on the moon.

How do you know there isn't one already there?

Re:If I had a say ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644993)

I'd actually think the Dark side of the moon could complicate observation. Since it is always facing away from the sun, it is in noticably worse shape than the light side. This is due to the debris being pulled in my the sun. True, an 8m telescope is a small object relative to the moon, but it's just another threat to consider.

How can you be an expert on Pluto? (1)

deggy (195861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644508)

I'm always Puzzled on how someone can be an 'expert' on something we've never really seen, poked and proded.
I can understand that we can be fairly sure about atmosphere / crust composition from spectral analysis, but surely "leading theorist" would be a more correct term for those of us who study that which we have never sampled?

Re:How can you be an expert on Pluto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644536)

If you know one fact more than another person on a given topic - then _you_ are the expert.

Re:How can you be an expert on Pluto? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644554)

It would be more informative to poke and prod at Uranus. Or my anus. Please?

-- IP-banned WIPO Troll

Re:How can you be an expert on Pluto? (2)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644808)

I said Alan was an expert, not an authority. He knows quite a lot about Pluto. And there is a lot we can learn from Earth: we know it's mass (pretty well, to within around 5% or so), we know it has a large moon. We know it spins on its size, and that it has an atmosphere. We know it's orbit and we know that this orbit is in a 3:2 mean motion reasonance with Neptune. That's a fair number of facts right there (there are more). At that point, you can start to say a lot about Pluto and where it might or might not have come from.

But Alan Stern's word is not the final word on anything Pluto related. He, and any of us, is capable of being wrong. But he's known as more knowledgable than almost anyone else, making him an expert.

AOL Timewarner can afford to finance it god damn.. (1)

cb0y (311811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644509)

$100m is nothing to these guys really... more is wasted on marketing AOL cds.

Golly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644520)

Expert on Pluto?
Uh.. suh, did he really watch that much disney as a kid?

An Expert on Pluto? (1, Redundant)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644533)

What, exactly, does it take to be an expert on Pluto? Does knowing everything ever discovered about it count?

In that case we're almost all experts on Pluto, because almost nothing is known about it.

Re:An Expert on Pluto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644942)

True. Some guy even invested $700 million in the Houston Texans...a stupid football team! Unfortunately many people miss the real good ways to spend their heaps of money...

I have an idea (-1, Flamebait)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644548)

How much could it really cost to build this thing? 2-3 hundred million?
MAKE MICROSOFT PAY!!!
And make it run linux!
I think that it would help science enough,
and punish microsoft enough.

I have a better idea (-1)

George WIPO Bush (308209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644582)

What would really help science is if you let me fuck your sister. Many scientific developments could be achieved by me ramming my enormous WIPO-rod deep into your sister's tight, child-like pussy. Can you imagine how far science would progress if I shot my load right in your sister's face?

Everyone Sing the Talibanana Song! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644555)

The Talibanana Song

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and you bomb our home

Public enemy number one
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Big mistake, we gotta lotta gun
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and you bomb our home

Come, Afghan Taliban, gather up bin Laden
Or daylight come, we gonna bomb your home
Come, Afghan Taliban, gather up bin Laden
Or daylight come, we gonna bomb your home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come, we gonna bomb your home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come, we gonna bomb your home

Grow six inch, seven inch, eight inch beard
Daylight come and we bomb your home
Grow six inch, seven inch, eight inch beard
Daylight come and we bomb your home

You say you do it cause it in Koran-a
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Destroy the symbols of Americana
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Crash the plane and here come Nirvana
Daylight come and you bomb our home
End up in hell because you are insana
Daylight come and we bomb your home

Drop six foot, seven foot, eight foot bomb
Daylight come and you have no home
Drop six foot, seven foot, eight foot bomb
Daylight come and you have no home
Day, it sad day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and you bomb our home
Day, me sad day, me sad day, me sad day,
Daylight come and we bomb your home

...as stolen from BBSpot.com

PKB? (1)

Fucky Badger (535691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644573)

NASA has selected a proposal to proceed with Phase B (preliminary design studies) for a Pluto-Kuiper Belt (PKB) mission...

I had always thought that PKB stood for "Pot, Kettle, Black."

Re:PKB? (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644968)

"For Sale:

Pot, Kettle

Black.

Argue noisly at night.

(616) 532-8423"

Taco-snotting on Uranus!! (-1)

George WIPO Bush (308209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644575)

By The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] , $Revision: 1.12 $

Why have I been receiving emails from CmdrTaco, in which he seems to be speaking in some kind of code language?

Whenever
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda [cmdrtaco.net] gets bored (and who wouldn't, running a site like Slashdot all day), he roams through the Slashdot database, penis in hand, looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual orgies with him. How he determines this is anyone's guess; but if you have a homosexual-sounding nickname, or a nick with the letter P in it, you're in trouble.
So this time, he found you. Lucky you.
CmdrTaco's code language is relatively easy to decipher. He prefers to speak in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo to evade the watchful (but relatively stupid) eye of Slashdot's parent corporation,
VA Software [yahoo.com] . CmdrTaco's "Commander" is, of course, his penis -- a small, withered little thing that lives in his pants that only comes out in the presence of other men or at the beck and call of CmdrTaco's own right hand. His "Taco bells" are the shriveled testes that droop beneath his Commander, and his "Taco sauce" is his, well, jizz. It should be more than obvious to you now what he means when he asks you to "ring his Taco bells" or "taste his gourmet Taco sauce."
Lastly, there is a practice he refers to as "Taco-snotting" and the more shocking "circle-snot."

Good Lord. What is "Taco-snotting?"

"Taco-snotting" is the term used by CmdrTaco to refer to the practice of sucking the penis of a homosexual man (or unwilling heterosexual; CmdrTaco is rumored to prefer rape), then blowing the semen out his nose onto his partner's (victim's) face and body. A long, bubbly stream of milky-white semen is
left on CmdrTaco's face [yahoo.com] , dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek: hence the term, "Taco-snotting."
A "circle-snot" is a Taco-snotting
circle-jerk, another practice common among the Slashdot crew. CmdrTaco, CowboiKneel [yahoo.com] , and Homos get together and Taco-snot each other with their gooey, sticky cum -- spooging their jizz-snot all over each other's faces and pasty, white bodies, until they're covered head to toe with each other's man juice. This can go on for hours. For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay, Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant; he owns a limo service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to go.
To complete this perverted orgy, fellow geeks Michael, Timothy, and Jamie will usually join in, dressed in tight leather mock-S.S. uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves. The whole group then proceeds to snot each other's spunk and whip each other's pudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale, white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate, homosexual revelry.

Ewwwwww. So, can I stop receiving these emails?

Hopefully.
You most likely forgot to uncheck the "Willing to Taco-snot" checkbox in your account preferences. CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad, and he's probably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera, some tissues and lube. There's no escaping a geek in heat, so it's probably too late for you, but you can possibly rectify this situation. To remove yourself from CmdrTaco's sights, log into your Slashdot account, go to your user page, click on
Messages, and uncheck the box next to "Willing to Taco-snot." Maybe he'll ignore you. Probably not.

I can't stop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco!?

If you indulge him in a Taco-snot or two, he
might leave you alone. You might also want to look into mail filtering, restraining orders, or purchasing a heavy, blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat. Trust me, when they charge... oh, the humanity. If he gets you, and you let him Taco-snot you, you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life (or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circle-snot).

Have you ever been Taco-Snotted?

Unfortunately, yes. I first met CmdrTaco at an
Open Source Convention [yahoo.com] . He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some "gourmet Tacos," but when I got there, he jumped me and tied me to his bed, stripping me. After taking his "Commander" out of his pants, Mr. Taco made me suck the withered thing six times. He then performed his vile Taco-snotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours, bringing me to orgasm after sweaty, mind-numbing orgasm... then he snotted my own milky-white jizz back onto my face, into my mouth, then again on my exposed belly.
CmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source (or rather, "Open Sauce" -- man sauce) buddies over to continue the twisted snotfest. Linux Torvalds
raped my ass [yahoo.com] with his "monolithic kernel [yahoo.com] ," and Anal Cox used his "network stack" in a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice in my defenseless body. Michael was there in his leather Nazi uniform, caning my ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about "all those Censorware freaks out to get him."
How did you finally escape, you ask? After about 16 hours of countless homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body, they all finally went to sleep on top of me, sweat-soaked and exhausted. I was left there, covered in bubbly, translucent jizz-snot, chained to the bed, with half a dozen fat, pasty-white fags lying around and on top of me. Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant; I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door. I'm just glad I survived the ordeal. These geeks had a lot of built-up spunk in their wads -- I could've easily been drowned!

That's horrible. Does "Taco-snotting" have anything to do with CmdrTaco's "special taco"?

No, that's a different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in. CmdrTaco is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face, he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games.
WeatherTroll [slashdot.org] has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership about this vile practice (emphasis added):
You may be wondering what CmdrTaco's "special taco" is. You will be wishing that you hadn't been wondering after you finish reading this post. To make his "special taco", CmdrTaco takes a taco shell and
shits on it. He then adds lettuce, jacks off on the taco, and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious. Of course, the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten. Thus CmdrTaco force-feeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim.
After the victim is unconscious, he is held against his will and used for CmdrTaco's nefarious sexual purposes. This includes shoving taco shells up the victim's ass, Taco-snotting, and getting Jon Katz involved.
Completely different, yet no less revolting. It should be clear to you now that CmdrTaco is a very, very sick individual, as are most of the Slashdot editors.

Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this? I thought he was a paedophile, not a homosexual.

Actually, Jon Katz is a homosexual paedophile. He's also a coprophiliac, and, many suspect, a zoophile. Jon Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesn't involve himself in circle-snots. Mr. Katz usually engages in a game called "
Katz juicy-douching [yahoo.com] " with his harem of little-boy slaves: a vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boy's urine (forced out of them with a pair of pliers), spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag, then squirting and slathering the goo all over himself, and the little boy's chained-up and naked bodies. If he's in the mood, he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag and just squirt it from his ass [yahoo.com] onto his boys. Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pliers until they comply and allow Mr. Katz to juicy-douche them for the rest of their lives.
As I already said, Mr. Katz is
also a zoophile. As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys aren't enough, Jon usually enjoys his juicy-douches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goat's anus [yahoo.com] . He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goat's small, bean-like turds.

...Are you getting hard writing this?

Why, yes. :) Join me in a WIPO-snot?

No, thanks. I'm already CmdrTaco's boi toi.

________________________________________
READER COMMENTS

  1. Fucking hilarious too bad it didnt get a 5:Funny (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.02 19:01 (#2644105 [slashdot.org] )

    this is good shit man

  2. Re:Taco-snotting@Home! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Dark_Cobra87 [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 23:03 (#2642180 [slashdot.org] )

    Oops, forgot to check that Taco-snot option...

  3. Re:Fuck Linux! Fuck him hard! (Score:-1)
    by Fecal Troll Matter [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 20:55 (#2641791 [slashdot.org] )

    Mmmmmmm, Taco Sauce... [galeon.com]

    Sig (appended to the end of comments you post, 120 chars)

  4. Look (Score:-1)
    by ArchieBunker [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 20:19 (#2641679 [slashdot.org] )

    I love trolling but this shit is getting old, fast. At least start mixing them up a little bit. How about the 'How OSM was Freed' series?
    http://www.naawp.org/

  5. Re:Congratulations! You have been WIPO'd!! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.01 8:37 (#2640602 [slashdot.org] )

    Stop posting this! I've got hangover and Taco Snotting doesn't make me feel any better.

    I'm really glad that Taco Snotting is illegal here in Europe.

  6. Re:Snot me baby, one more time! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.30 1:01 (#2634213 [slashdot.org] )

    Get a life you loser! Don't you have anything better to do than insult CmdrTaco and the gay community? We are not perverts, we are human beings just like you. So give it a rest!

  7. Re:Hello, perdida!!! Won't you snot my face tonigh (Score:-1)
    by perdida on [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.27 14:13 (#2618764 [slashdot.org] )

    Shut up you asshole.

    I am not great, I am merely adequate. I live in adequacy.

  8. Go back to Russia. (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.26 22:22 (#2616035 [slashdot.org] )

    You weiner trool!

  9. Re:The Taco-Snotting FAQ Rides Again!! (Updated so (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.25 9:14 (#2609574 [slashdot.org] )

    try to find a pic of actual "taco-snotting"! fucking funny it would be! so go to gay porn sites day in and day out until you find a man giving another man a blowjob that has jizz coming out of his nose and mouth. by the way, keep up the good work

  10. Re:Snotting another first!! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.23 12:18 (#2603370 [slashdot.org] )

    WIPO, this is getting waaaay old, either drop it or revise it.... there've been no updates for days now...

    CmdrTaco

  11. Re:It's Taco SPAM!!! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.22 17:28 (#2600815 [slashdot.org] )

    A truly excellent and very humourous troll indeed!
    However...

    To complete this perverted orgy, fellow geeks Michael, Timothy, and Jamie often join in, dressed in black Gestapo uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves.

    Black GeStaPo uniforms? The GeStaPo (Geheime Staatspolizei - Secret State Police) wore civilian clothes (although there are reports on them occasionally using Allgemeine SS uniforms in occupied territories).

    I seriously doubt that perverted individuals like CmdrTaco et al would have the good taste to ever wear the outstandingly beautiful black Waffen SS uniforms! Please update the FAQ accordingly.

    • Re:It's Taco SPAM!!! (Score:0)
      by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.23 4:06 (#2602610 [slashdot.org] )

      Actually, it appears you are both wrong!! Ah ha!! I think our boy WIPO was thinking of the Allgemeine SS [militariacollection.com] uniforms. Waffen SS were grey.

  12. Re:Microsoft's Taco-Snotting Connection (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.21 4:49 (#2594325 [slashdot.org] )

    oh yeah, you say you have masturbated only 2 times to this post. well, by the time it takes for me to get through reading it, i usually end up masturbated 5 to 6 times, 10 to 12 if i have the goatse.cx homepage loaded up and am looking at it side by side with the slashdot page. my keyboard, hands, mouse, monitor, the underside of my desk and around the floor under my desk are cum soaked and sticky with the man smell i know and love.

  13. Re:Microsoft's Taco-Snotting Connection (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.21 4:41 (#2594311 [slashdot.org] )

    for version 2 you should make a total re-write of the cod...errr...text and add some details about cmdrtaco and the homo-gang's happenings with their coworkers (osdn?) and all of the gay revelry they enjoy and promote. by the way, did i just see cmdrtaco on television promoting the nax hair removal system? i guess after using vaseline in and around his ass he grew quite a ponytail and it had to be removed somehow...ouch!

  14. Re:Microsoft's Taco-Snotting Connection (Score:-1, Troll)
    by TRoLLaXoR [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.21 3:59 (#2594191 [slashdot.org] )

    WIPO, do you notice how few comments you get for anything you write/post/spam nowadays?

    -Trollaxor

  15. Jon-Katz docking (Score:-1)
    by sales_worldwide [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.20 11:53 (#2588488 [slashdot.org] )

    You forgot to mention Jon Katz's "docking" games, where he places his chopper head to head with another chap, and rolls the other guys foreskin over his own circumcised end ("docking"), providing him with fantasies of actually having his own forskin ...
    "Making linux GPL was the best thing I ever did" - Torvalds. I'd hate to see the worst thing...

  16. Re:Snotting a first! (Score:-1)
    by Fucky the troll [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.20 11:28 (#2588446 [slashdot.org] )

    Woah! When did the WIPO troll get freed? And how the fuck did I miss it?

    Excellent FP, sir.

    This is a sig virus. Please put me in your sig

  17. Re:Snotting a first! (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.20 11:04 (#2588407 [slashdot.org] )

    omg that is crapflooding material if i ever saw it!!!!!! and u got a first post!!!! whoot to the wipo troll!!!

  18. GW, please.... (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.19 9:03 (#2583756 [slashdot.org] )

    GW...you know we love every hair on your 27 acre ass... and I, for one, would never do anything untowards your graceful demeanor. And you probably have several friends that would love to help you do the bear dance all over my face if I so much as spelled your name wrong. And you know I'd defend your Constitutional right to defame God in heaven. I'd even help fund your education, should you ever decide to take that route. Hell, I'd buy you a tall tepid bear-whiz beer if you were here with me, right now!

    But. ...if you can't find another topic, I'm gonna step over your dead mother's grave and kick your assuredly anesthetitized butt clear across the playground.

    Now go stick your shaved head back down inside the woman's toilet, and just to show there's no hard feelings, I'll jump in the tow-truck and drive right over to help you pull it right out...ok?

    thanks

  19. Re:Help me Taco-Snotters!! (Score:-1)
    by mark knopfler 69 [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.19 8:25 (#2583695 [slashdot.org] )

    I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU SIR. FOR ONE THING, THE E-MAIL FROM CMDRTACO DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH GRAMMATICAL AND SPELLING MISTAKES. Let's be realistic here, CmdrTaco usually types with one hand, and since he is shaking from jacking off his aim on the keyboard isn't too good. Those e-mails were a little too well written. Sorry boy, you'll have to do better.

  20. Re: What the hell is "taco snotting"? (Score:-1)
    by WeatherTroll [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.19 8:14 (#2583667 [slashdot.org] )

    You should update this to say VA Software instead of VA Linux.

  21. YOU ARE WINNER (Score:1)
    by smackmonkey [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.19 7:06 (#2583510 [slashdot.org] )

    Crackhead moderators: this is +5, Hilarious material.

    --
    CNN declares War on Islam!
    Left-wing America declares War on its Civil Liberties!

  22. Re:On Taco-Snotting 1.9 (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.19 5:40 (#2583336) [slashdot.org]

    This was funny the first 100 times. Now it is getting boring!

  23. Digusting and Shameful (Score:-1)
    by egg troll [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.18 22:27 (#2582054 [slashdot.org] )

    Having masturbated *twice* to this post, I'm still incredibly aroused! Come over for a Taco Snot. I'll be wearing my crotchless Clifford the Big Red Dog outfit!!

    For more info check out this /. article [google.com]

  24. IMPROVE THE FAQ (Score:-1, Flamebait)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.18 12:03 (#2580822 [slashdot.org] )

    add more links to goatse and to cowboineal's site to make it better. a link to rotten.com would be nice too

    • Re:IMPROVE THE FAQ (Score:0)
      by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.18 12:18 (#2580832 [slashdot.org] )

      and a link to michael's site and to jon katz's site if he has one and homo's site. i dont know what else to say. maybe a few links to phallic.org they have nice penis pictures! a link to the planet quake site or whatever. really make the reader feel this faq really answers their questions. oh yeah, and when you talk about cmdrtaco snotting you, say he brought you to "orgasm after sweaty orgasm". describe it more is all i'm saying. and use more italics and bolding! and when you talk about jon katz shitting or whatever have a link to fecal japan on rotten.com

      other wise a great job wipo troll! keep up the good work!

  25. Re:CmdrTaco's filthy secret! (Score:-1)
    by Wil Wheaton [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.18 6:41 (#2580438 [slashdot.org] )

    Hi. Let's be buddies.. butt buddies.
    --
    WIL WHEATON DOT NET [wilwheaton.net]

  26. WIPO speaks the truth (Score:-1)
    by dead_puppy [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.18 5:33 (#2580342 [slashdot.org] )

    Here is an e-mail I received a week ago:

    From: malda@slashdot.org
    To: puppy_dead@hotmail.com
    Subject: were where you last friday? :(

    I thought we where supposed to meet at Backdoor's at 8-ish, sugar-lips? You could've at least told me that you could'nt make it! I was even in my favorite pink skirt for you, honey-cup... next time, you could be more considarite and tell me you cant come... bastard.

    --
    CmdrTaco (malda@slashdot.org)

    You finding Ling-Ling's [babysue.com] head?

  27. Taco snotting is WRONG!!! (Score:-1)
    by Big_Ass_Spork [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.18 4:53 (#2580300 [slashdot.org] )

    I do it wrong

    Laying here in the shadows of my room, I squint up at my love. My Ms. Portman. I am sore and tired after fucking her for eight solid hours. My chapped and aching dick is soaking in grits to relieve the pain. She gets on her knees and starts lapping the grits up out of the bowl. She places her beautiful hands on my penis and starts to lick the grits off my achy piece.

    Massaging my nutsack she....

    WAIT, I DO IT WRONG!!!!

    Yanking my dick out of her mouth I throw her to the ground and shove it in to her gaping freshly fisted ass. [goatse.cx]

    "OH BIG ASS SPORK!! Fuck my ass, fuck my ass good. DEEPER, my stallion, deeper!! Make a Beowulf cluster of sperm on my back!!"

    "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of this baby!"

    I DO IT WRONG!!!!

    ---
    All your Sporks are belong to Big_Ass_Spork! What you say?! All your Sporks are belo... forget it...

  28. Rob Malda Dead at age 25! (Score:-1)
    by j0nkatz [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.17 22:54 (#2579596 [slashdot.org] )

    I just heard some sad news on the radio -- famous queerbait Rob Malda was found dead in his Holland home this morning. The details were a bit hazy, but it seems that he drowned in jizz while Taco Snotting his friend Hemos. I'm sure everyone in the /. community will miss him -- even if you didn't enjoy his queer antics and boring ass website, there's no denying his contributions to the homosesual cultural development, particularly in the areas of Taco snotting. Truly an American icon.

    I wanna Open Source sex so it won't be worth a shit either.

  29. TACO-SNOTTING is really Donkey-Punching (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.15 6:38 (#2567601 [slashdot.org] )

    No no no, the correct term for that is "donkey-punch". I have eye-witnessed this amazing eye-popping event demonstrated on unsuspecting hose-monsters by my frat brothers in the past.. . :-)

  30. Re:the effect of knowlege laws... (Score:1)
    by AbsoluteRelativity [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.15 5:31 (#2567457 [slashdot.org] )

    The WIPO Troll [foundus.com]
    Slashdot and the Karma Lottery - News for uber monkeys, by uber monkeys.

  31. Re:Taco-Snotting (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.13 9:27 (#2557632 [slashdot.org] )

    Oh, man that's just sick !

  32. HOW DO I GET AN ANONYMOUS PROXY? (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.13 9:03 (#2557604 [slashdot.org] )

    TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET AN ANONYMOUS proxy please WIPO Troll. Maybe later i will join you in a snotting at my place. ;P

  33. Re:Taco-Snottage!?!?!? (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by vikool [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.13 7:43 (#2557495 [slashdot.org] )

    what is this bull shit,i feel offened that some people feel so so senseless to post stuff like these esp when such a tragic incident has occured

  34. Re:Taco-felching!! (Score:-1)
    by I.T.R.A.R.K. [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.11 22:38 (#2551890 [slashdot.org] )

    Where the fuck do I sign up?!

    - I throw rocks at retarded kids

    "Adequacy.org: Where congenital stupidity is not an option, but a requirement."

  35. Re:Taco-felching!! (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.11 21:53 (#2551753 [slashdot.org] )

    this shit is hilarious..keep up the good work.

  36. Re:Taco-felching!! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by rockwood [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.11 21:49 (#2551746 [slashdot.org] )

    OMG! That is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard! WHo in their right mind would sit down and waste the time to construct such a replusive story. I guess I'll be skipping lunch and dinner today.. and possibly tomorrow also. The game doesn't affect reality. Reality affects the game.

  37. Re:Ban this! It's disgusting!! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.11 14:43 (#2550701 [slashdot.org] )

    dude, this is crap-flood material if i ever saw it.
    duuuuuuuuudddddddddddddeeeeeeeee.

  38. Re:Taco-Snotting = HATE SPEECH (Score:-1, Flamebait)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.11 8:16 (#2550266 [slashdot.org] )

    horny_rob_6969@hotmail.com

    Ah, so that's what the alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.horny-rob newsgroup is about!

  39. MOD THIS UP PLEASE!!! (Score:-1)
    by egg troll [slashdot.org] on 2001.11.11 5:34 (#2550024 [slashdot.org] )

    +5, Arousing

    For more info check out this /. article [google.com]

  40. Re:Taco-Snotting = HATE SPEECH (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.11 4:39 (#2549891 [slashdot.org] )

    WINNER>

  41. Re:Taco-Snotting = HATE SPEECH (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.11 4:37 (#2549887 [slashdot.org] )

    I love you. Why do you use your bitchslapped account, rather than signing up for a new account to post at +1 before getting bitchslapped by the censors here? I guess I should speak for myself, but I don't want to log out and lose all my slashdot customization properties, nor do I want to lose my 50 karma yet.

  42. Re:On Taco-Snotting (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.11.09 9:19 (#2542412 [slashdot.org] )

    you fucking rock! right down to the expanded cvs id!

    WIPO trolls > linux

________________________________________

$Id: tacosnotting.html,v 1.12 2001/12/02 20:07:02 wipo Exp $

flyby of uranus or neptune possible? (2)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644588)

I recall one of the jupiter missions get some shots of mars on it's way out. But I suppose the orbits of the outer planets wont allow for killing two birds like this.

Is there someone who can explain the trajectory? There must be some sort of "window", (presumably, we're about to miss it) which won't reopen for hundreds of years, right?

Re:flyby of uranus or neptune possible? (-1)

George WIPO Bush (308209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644596)

Flyby my anus. Please? It tastes good and is most pleasant to sniff. My dog spends most of his day down there, sniffing away.

Re:flyby of uranus or neptune possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644662)

Hey, you trolled the troll!

Flybys (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644678)

Some previous discussion of the trajectory issue here [slashdot.org] . The big lost opportunity for flybys was the "Grand Tour" [uiowa.edu] mission. Would have had to launch in 72 or thereabouts. Bad timing -- that was just when the public felt glutted by space missions, columinating with the showy, but not demonstratively useful, Apollo project.

Re:Flybys (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644743)

Thanks. Better late than never, it seems. I wonder if we'll see the result, heh, but we gotta take the shot. NASA will get ten years to speculate, and keep things interesting, as well.

Re:Flybys (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644986)

Ever notice how most little kids start out with Velcro shoes?

Ever give a Mylar baloon to your parents for their Anniversary?

Thanks, Apollo.

Demonstrable (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645205)

You forgot teflon. As for mylar, I prefer old-fashioned baloons.

Look, I said demonstrable benefits. Sure, Apollo had benefits, but try to convince Joe Taxpayer that it was worth all that money. If we had spent that money on some long-term goal, like fully-reusable orbiters or a permanent space station, we'd have something you could point to and say, "that is where your money went". Instead, we went with a project that created billions of dollars worth of use-once hardware, and wasn't the basis of any further accomplishments. A few useful but unsexy technical breakthroughs don't make up for that.

If you want laceless shoes and non-stick cooking, then I guess Apollo was a success. But if you want a solid foundation for further space exploration, Apollo was a total waste of money.

Re:Flybys (1)

CaptainAvatar (113689) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645223)

Not sure what any of that has to do with Apollo since velcro was developed by a Swiss engineer during the 1950s [straightdope.com] and Mylar was invented by Dupont in 1952 [dupont.com] .

Re:flyby of uranus or neptune possible? (4, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644821)

I can't think of any Mars flybys on a Jupiter mission. Galileo did a flyby of Earth and Venus (there's a really nice image of the Earth and Moon from Galileo, and Sagan detected life on Earth from Galileo, much to everyone's relief). It also flew by Ida, an asteroid, and discovered its moon, Dactyl. But I can't think of any Mars passes.

It turns out that you can go to Pluto any year (or probably any month) that you like. Larry Esposito (who had the competing proposal, which was regarded as extremely good, too) shared this with me a few months ago. Apparently, a Venus assist can get you to Pluto, and are availible a lot. But New Horizons is using a Jupiter assist that won't happen nearly as often. I'd guess that the next chance would be roughly 12 years later, when we're more or less aligned the same way again.

A probe to Pluto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644597)

A tragic waste of time. NASA is leaderless and infested by the Ku Klux Klan and other religous fanatics.

The allmighty buck (0, Troll)

halftrack (454203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644602)

Here's a thought: NASA quits spending money on probes (pissing some of) and starts spending money on real manned spacecrafts (pleasing some.) And I don't mean those toy shuttles. Don't they ever watch StarTrek or something? Last year they had a budget of XXX billon dollars. They obviously know how to make them fly, so why not anywhere in the solarsystem (then I'd be pleased.) They lack the overall goal.

Said in a Homer like voice:
- Hard work is what's made this organisation what it is today, son.
... Crap

Oh no, mars is better ! (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644607)

If NASA starts concentrating on Pluto now, I can't imagine where the Mars Society [marssociety.org] crackpots will setup their formica space station [msnbc.com] to train for the planet's environment.

Importance of Pluto/Charon (5, Insightful)

localroger (258128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644621)

When I was a kid there was nothing but artists conceptions (most of which turned out to be wrong) to illustrate what the surfaces of other planets looked like. Now the only one totally left in mystery is Pluto, and it's one of the last great mysteries of our generation to know, as we do of all the other planets, what they look like up close.

Besides which, every time we investigate a new world we learn wonders. Water on Europa! Hydrocarbons on Titan! Rings around Neptune and even (chuckle) Uranus! Young worlds cracked and not fully reformed, worlds of live volcanoes, worlds whose geological processes always seem to come back and illuminate our own, either its current dynamics or its history.

Computer models are not substitute for real experience. And the only source of reale experience is another real world. We have a limited number of these close at hand, and it would be foolish not to explore them all.

As the most distant "world"-sized body Pluto likely holds many secrets to the early history of the Solar System, and to forces at work on our own world during its formation. If nothing else we should investigate it for being the only other dual planet worth the name in the Solar System (besides, of course, Earth-Luna.)

Re:Importance of Pluto/Charon (2, Insightful)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2644819)

and it would be foolish not to explore them all.

Would it? I mean sure, plutos a curious little thing, but except for the aforementioned deep-space launch site, what else is there? Resist quoting JFK to me right now, please. And remember it's getting farther away...

A Pluto mission, or any new "deep" (can I get another troll, please?) mission will perpetuate NASA for 10 more years. You either like that, or you dont. Do we give 'em one more chance, fellas and gals? Whaddya say?

Re:Importance of Pluto/Charon (5, Insightful)

localroger (258128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645000)

Me:and it would be foolish not to explore them all.

Imrdkl: Would it?

OF COURSE IT WOULD! Consider all the folks who think the Apollo missions were a foolish waste of time. Well, from Apollo we learned that the Moon was once molten, that it has no metallic core, and that its crust is similar to that of Earth. All these things have informed the history of Earth, from which the Moon was probably knocked off in a chance encounter early during her coalescence.

From Mars missions we have learned enough to recognize Martian meteorites, thus getting free extra samples for analysis.

From Jupiter and the other outer planets we have learned that geology is much more complex and unpredicatable than we once thought; in my childhood books these worlds were always described as cold, rocky, silent, and gray, kind of the way Pluto is still described. (You'd think we'd learn.)

The thing about Pluto is we only think we know what we'll find there. So far we've always been wrong about that. Outer Solar System objects are the only direct, unsullied links we have to conditions as they were before the inner planets formed and all the components got mixed up and distilled. Even so one must wonder; was Pluto once molten? Was Charon knocked off of it as our Moon once was, or was it just captured? The similirity between Earth/Luna and Pluto/Charon is itself enough to warrant investigation. What seems like an incredible chance event might be more likely than we think, making the "Rare Earth" hypothesis less "rare." The key is that we don't know what we'll find. One thing we can say with great confidence is that it will actually be a surprise if it is a boring cold sphere of inert frozen crap like my circa 1970 Jr. Science book said.

Re:Importance of Pluto/Charon (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645115)

I perceive this as pure science and the longing for knowledge, and therefore good. But keep in mind that 1/2 inch of dust was also discovered on the moon, much to the surprize of them who made the 8ft. landing pads for the Eagle.

But I am willing to invest in the continued careful search for more knowledge. (Although it's a crapshoot just to get a good flyby, at that distance, yes?)

Bill Gates should really consider... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644658)

...i wonder why Gates has never thought about blowing a billion dollars on some kinda hyped-up mission in space with a probe running XP embedded, or CE, or .nyet or something like that.

actually, i bet XP embedded could run a probe quite nicely, if they can ever find a way to generate enough power to juice up a P4 for the duration.

Re:Bill Gates should really consider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645421)

Probably because he knows what hes doing.

He gets so much free publicity, why risk the chance of something going wrong.

Moon base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2644837)

Personally, I'd like to see us focus on going back to the moon. I'd like to see a moon base established and then branch out to Mars and the other planets.

At least it's not big business going there. (0, Flamebait)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645083)

At least NASA is going to be inventive enough to call features on the surface of Pluto by some hexadecimal name. (like 3b724a)

If Disney got in the space business, surface features of Pluto would be called "Mickey," "Donald," and "Goofy" respectively..

I'd rather think of going into the depths of space as going to the underworld than some "magical" cartoon journey. Just think... soon after all the components of my DNA are copyrighted, pieces of outer space are going to become territories to big business :P

nasa calculations (0)

berserker2001 (535765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645142)

lets see...inches go into feet, feet go into shoes...

2006? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645174)

At this rate, it will be 2025 ~ 2050 before we do anything along the lines of off world colonization. That is more than a generation away.

And by then the Chinese and Europeans will have already 'been there, seen that.....

When will Americans stop getting excited over the incremental progress of NASA and ask to have their tax $$ directed into something more ambitious?

The need to launch Pluto-Kuiper Express soon (4, Interesting)

vaguelyamused (535377) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645213)

The Pluto-Kupier Express needs to be developed and launched soon. There are two main reasons for this: 1) The launch window for setting a trajectory for Pluto that uses Jovian gravity assist lies between 2004-2006. This could signifigantly shorten the time it takes the probe to reach Pluto which could significantly effect the next reason. 2) Pluto is currently heading away from the perihelion in its abort, thus is headed away from the Sun (and Earth). As Pluto heads away from the sun the surface temperature decreases and the atmosphere progressively condenses, freezing to the surface of the planet. Planetary scientist are very anxious to study its atmosphere in a gaseous state, it is predicted to be completetly frozen by 2020. As Pluto takes 248 years to revolve around the sun it will be a LONG time before it's gas again.

Re:The need to launch Pluto-Kuiper Express soon (3, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645307)

As Pluto heads away from the sun the surface temperature decreases and the atmosphere progressively condenses,

Actually, it seems that we're moving away from this prediction with more current models of Pluto's atmosphere. It does not seem likely that the atmosphere freezing out is a real concern, anymore.

Just for the record... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2645376)

Alan Stern is the PI, and a damn good mission leader. The probe will be built and operated by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory - Those nice folks who built NEAR, got it to that small lump of rock called Eros, had a misburn but were smart enough to have a recovery plan in place, orbited a little late and took good data, and just for the hell of it managed to land on the damn thing.
If the funding holds out - we'll get there, on time and under budget.

Europa instead. (1)

neurojab (15737) | more than 12 years ago | (#2645469)

Pluto is far and away the most boring of all of the planets. In fact, according to many scientists it isn't a planet at all, but rather an asteroid. Why are we wasting this much time and energy on a little rock in an eccentric orbit just because we (mistakenly) call it a planet? Pluto is SMALLER than EUROPA, less interesting, and a lot farther away. Let's go to Europa instead. Europa is one of the most interesting places in the solar system... A moon of ice with possible liquid oceans. It's truly an awesome place. I propose that NASA should bag the pluto mission and do this one [seds.org] instead.
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