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Cassini's Huygens Probe Rendezvous with Titan

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the bomb's-away dept.

Space 113

im333mfg writes "Tonight at 7:08pm PST, the Cassini spacecraft will be releasing the much anticipated Huygens Probe for a rendezvous with the Saturn moon Titan. It will be making a 22 day journey to the moon, and end up entering the atmosphere sometime on January 14th. 'Titan is one of the remaining puzzles of the solar system - while Cassini's imaging cameras and radar instrument have begun to reveal the details of its surface, the Huygens probe will be the first spacecraft to venture beneath Titan's thick clouds.'"

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lololo (-1, Offtopic)

Munden (681257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178641)

furst post!!1 www.mundenisgod.com

BBC News (5, Informative)

KrackerJax (83403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178646)

In addition to the numerous links in the post, here is an arcticle by the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/41 12917. stm

Some pretty pictures and informative text.

BBC News 4 lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178711)

Click BBC [bbc.co.uk] Merry XMas all j_heisenberg

Sorry, didn't check da link X-\ (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178765)

BBC [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Sorry, didn't check da link X-\ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179155)

Please stop using SMS shorthand here. I hate you.

More detailed information... (3, Interesting)

andreMA (643885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178862)

...in this 1.3 MB PDF [nasa.gov] , which includes timelines for both the release and Titan encounter, and some pretty in-depth discussion of the science instruments on Huygens.

Re:BBC News (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179231)

Still doesn't explain what PST is, UTC +/- xx:xx would be helpful. Thanks.

Re:BBC News (1)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179290)

ummmmm UTC -8:00 I think.

NASATV is covering it! (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179370)

You can watch NASA's live stream from thier site, here [nasa.gov]

Re:NASATV is covering it! (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179382)

oops! looks like its the ISS coverage right now! maybe they'll switch?

Re:NASATV is covering it! (1)

Buzzin877 (843365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179459)

2 minutes to expected separation confirmation and NTV is still showing the ISS control room. If they showed JPL there would probably be some activity to see.

SECOND POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178648)

SECOND POST YEAH!!!!!

whats under the clouds!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178650)

Can someone enlighten me as to whats expected to be underneath those clouds? Is titan affected by gravity? Could there be life possibly?

btw merry xmas everyone from australia! :-)

Happy Holidays folks! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178652)

Happy Holidays folks!

Have a safe and happy holiday

I never learned to read (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178660)

I read that as Rendezvous with Trillian (eg. ZeroConf).

Re:I never learned to read (2, Funny)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11180302)

When I first saw the headline I read it as "space probe uses jupiter moon to help reverse-engineer Apple networking technology".

I probably made such an interpretation because I've spent three months trying to create an XGrid interoperability layer in python only to be continually thwarted by strange undocumented stuff. At this point, misusing heavenly bodies for personal gain doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

Good luck, Huygens... (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178661)

Vaya con dios.

Re:Good luck, Huygens... (1)

some guy I know (229718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11180122)

Vaya con dios.
Hostage mefisto, rabies.

Colonize (1)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178672)

I wonder when we will have a probe on every single planet(that can be probed) Its the first step to taking it over, i say 200 years, and we will have a colony on most major inhabitible satalites. Too bad none of us will be around to c it, it will be amazing to be able to visit another plant

Re:Colonize (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178705)

Sounds like you've been visiting "plants" all afternoon.

Re:Colonize (1)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178730)

not till after family dinner....;D....ill be visiting planets all night

Colonize, Like Hell (1)

Winkhorst (743546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178882)

Titan is OURS. Your probe will be destroyed.

Regards,

The Martian Defense Forces

Re:Colonize, Like Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179635)

Whoa, what happened to the Saturn Defense Forces? The Martians are sufficiently imperial that they are are in control two planets out from home?

Re:Colonize (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179194)

I wonder when we will have a probe on every single planet(that can be probed) Its the first step to taking it over, i say 200 years, and we will have a colony on most major inhabitible satalites.

The radiation around the gas giants is heavy. It would take some huge sheilding. I don't know how much protection Titan's atmosphere provides. Drilling caves may be the way to go. My guess is that colonizing will not be practical until AI robots help harness and process materials to make a colony self-sustaining instead of dependant on Earth-sent materials. The sunlight is so dim near Saturn that it would be tough to grow food. Some way to harvest fuel from Titan or the like may have to be devised. But generally you need other chemicals not found at Titan to make full use of Titan's atmosphere. Such may have to be harvested from the rings or icy moons.

Re:Colonize (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179310)

sunlight is so dim near Saturn

A bright full moon here probably beats Titan's sun at high noon. For food production, think artificial lighting powered by fusion reactors (probably will have developed that by then).

Think giant solar collector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179636)

Think giant solar collector. In the boundless space you can make a lens as big as you want. Then you direct the light where ever you want it.

You can melt asteroids and make giant capacitors.

Re:Colonize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179319)

Keep electing people like bush and we won't even be inhabiting earth in 200 years.

WHO SAYS WE WON'T BE AROUND TO SEE IT? (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179665)

See here:
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid= 04/12/0 3/164257&from=rss

Re:Colonize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180162)

Too bad none of us will be around to c it

"2 bad nun uv us wll B around 2 C it".

With modern medicine advancing as it is, I doubt very much that none of us will be around to see it.

Aliens (1)

wizardNinja (835459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178680)

Hmm maybe the aliens will give the probe a good wash too? http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/2 3/1929201&tid=160 [slashdot.org]

Hmm..well it might be cool to see the pictures from the surface of the moon (of saturn).

Merry christmas everybody!

Re:Aliens (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179395)

Don't be stupid, it's just precipitation [nasa.gov] .

Let's hope all goes well! (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178682)

A lot of time, money, and hope has been invested in this project. Let's wish it the extra bit of luck so that all goes to plan!

I don't think it works that way... (1)

Throtex (708974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178861)

Dilbert 12/19/04 [dilbert.com]

Re:Let's hope all goes well! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178973)

This is slightly OT...

Now this probe did cost a bit: At 350 kg and $600m, its cost is way above gold (5.000.000) and only slightly below diamond ($1.75b at $1000/carat). So much for "diamond fever".

"remaining puzzles" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178687)

Sure it is.

say what? (5, Insightful)

jbridge21 (90597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178691)

Titan is one of the remaining puzzles of the solar system

Are you kidding? We've hardly even begun! Mysterious things are going on with Saturn's rings between last time we flew by and this time, we've been getting a whole truckload of data from Mars which we have only barely begun to analyze, and we have no idea what's on the inside of Jupiter. Oh, and no close-up pictures of Pluto, ever.

Re:say what? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178732)

Plus: Europa-the-planet [solarviews.com] . Water beneath the ice. Lots of critters.

Re:say what? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179602)

"Lots of critters."

Guesstimated critters with zero evidence of critters, let alone, lots of critters.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180525)

They didn't phone yet.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180541)

That is true. However: microbes have been found in deep sediments, oil wells, Antarctica. If there is any source of energy (geothermal/gravitation?), they could survive. IF there is water - or anything fluid - there must be some source of energy.

That doesn't mean they are there though.

Re:say what? (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178744)

and not to mention other galaxies...

Re:say what? (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179496)

With 100 billion other suns in our own galaxy perhaps we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179793)

Not to mention that intergalactic travel is orders or magnitude different in terms of distance than intragalactic travel.

Re:say what? (1)

andreMA (643885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178889)

Yep,

...Triton looks like it has some pretty interesting and poorly understood stuff going on as well... Methane(?) geysers?

...Miranda - some of the most bizarre topology in the solar system.

<sarcasm>
Yeah, after Cassini/Huygens we may as well disband JPL and ESA, at least as far as planetary missions go...
</sarcasm>

Re:say what? (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178907)

It didn't say Titan is the only remaining puzzle. The fact that we haven't solved any of the puzzles in the solar system doesn't make the statement incorrect, just a bit confused. :)

Re:say what? (1)

alien88 (218348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179195)

There will be pictures sometime around 2015 of Pluto, with the New Horizons mission.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179233)

I wont hold my breath

Mod parent up! (1)

logic hack (800754) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179222)

The sheer restraint from making mention of the gases on Uranus should not go unrewarded.

AMERICA, FUCK YEAH.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178692)

LiCK mY AsS AnD SuCK MY BALLZ.... Yeah I am a DICK, but let's face it, the people that run this site are assholes... And some of the moderators are pussies... And you know how it goes.... Dick's fuck pussies, but sometimes dicks have to fuck assholes to stop them from shitting all over everything....

So be a dick.... And join the revolution... It's time to bruise CmdrTaco's liver

FYI (2, Informative)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178696)

You will be able to watch this on one of you CSPAN channels tonight.

(in the US)

I watched the last couple of Mars mission Events and it was GREAT! (ok i'm a space geek)

CSPAN, its not just for politics anymore!

Re:FYI (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178797)

But it's still for nerds. Different nerds, is all.

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178801)

where did did you find this info.

I looked on their main page and found none..

Re:FYI (1)

yuriwho (103805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178944)

Yea, I cannot find any links or info on a c-span cassini broadcast tonight. I suspect the parent comment was hoping there would be based on previous c-span coverage of other space events. Can anyone confirm? If not parent is highly overrated.

Y

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179032)

Mod parent down. You can see that there is nothing of the sort on http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/fullsc hedule.csp

Re:FYI (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179154)

You will be able to watch this on one of you CSPAN channels tonight.

I can summarize what you will see. Since there will be no images of the seperation until a day or so later, at which time it would only be a distant speck, you will see a bunch of nervious nerds watching their monitors. And...

if the separation goes well:

"Yeah! We did it!"

if the separation is zarked:

"Oh shit! There goes my life's @&#* work!"

The odd thing is that once separation happens, there is only one-way communication with the probe and Huygens has no guidence rockets. In fact, it will be sleeping via timer until just before entry. There is no way to alter it's course, change parameters, or nothing. If we found out between that time that it will land in a pile of quicksand or the atmospheric models are totally off (messing up parachute timing), there is no retargeting or changing the mission plan.

It is considered primarily an atmospheric mission, and landing is more or less a bonus. But I think the coolest thing would be to land in an oil sea and see giant waves. The waves can be taller on Titan because of lower gravity. They could be giant and slow-rolling. It will be a great mission if it makes it to the surface while transmitting, but a lot can go wrong. Parachutes have been a problematic technology in the past. I hope some bone-head did not put something on backward, like they did that Utah-crashing probe. Galileo's Jupiter penetrator also had parachute problems, but luckily recovered by shear chance. And, they already found a transmitter problem in the probe. They compensated for it by changing Cassini's flight path to avoid too much Dopler shifting.

I wish they split it into two smaller probes which shared instruments between them to reduce the chance of complete loss. But, that is generally still more expensive than one bigger probe.

Good Luck, Little Probee

Re:FYI (2, Interesting)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11180019)

I wish they split it into two smaller probes which shared instruments between them to reduce the chance of complete loss.

experience has shown that this doesn't help. they either all work, or all fail. the only thing multiple probes get you is a more diverse data set, not increased reliability.

the galileo atmospheric probe parachute problem is new to me though, do you have any references?

Live update anyone? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179481)

My inlaws are hogging the TV. Anybody got any news? Thanx in advance

Re:Live update anyone? (1)

TimToady (52230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179704)

According to this press release [nasa.gov] it detached successfully.

Re:Live update anyone? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179745)

According to this press release it detached successfully.

Thanks! I appreciate it.

discuss this on irc (2, Informative)

yuriwho (103805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178729)

For those interested, folks in the channel #space on irc.freenode.net will be discussing this. Please join in!

Y

Re:discuss this on irc (1)

WizardRahl (840191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178767)

* Now talking in #space * Topic is 'Please keep the JPLers killed or injured in (DEC 8th) car accident in your thoughts and prayers. Please see http://tinyurl.com/63d7h for details. The Opportunity publications from Science magazine are available at http://homepage.mac.com/yuriwho/op1.pdf through op15.pdf' * Set by SOC-Pandelirium on Thu Dec 16 03:55:52 -ChanServ- [#space] Welcome to space. -Huygens- WizardRahl: Welcome to #space, make yourself comfortable... Type !countdown for the next Cassini-Huygens encounter. Type !recap for a recap of channel activity. Other channels of interest: #space_politics #Spaceshipone #xprize . Web sites of interest: http://foxcheck.org . This is a Family Oriented Channel. Swearing is not tolerated. who play's jean luc's character in star trek TNG? anyone know?
0.5 seconds later...
oh god i know um PATRICK STUART! thats it

Re:discuss this on irc (5, Funny)

WizardRahl (840191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178774)

* Now talking in #space
* Topic is 'Please keep the JPLers killed or injured in (DEC 8th) car accident in your thoughts and prayers. Please see http://tinyurl.com/63d7h for details. The Opportunity publications from Science magazine are available at http://homepage.mac.com/yuriwho/op1.pdf through op15.pdf&#15;'
* Set by SOC-Pandelirium on Thu Dec 16 03:55:52
-ChanServ- [#space] Welcome to space.
-Huygens- &#2;WizardRahl&#2;: Welcome to &#2;#space&#2;, make yourself comfortable... Type !countdown for the next Cassini-Huygens encounter. Type !recap for a recap of channel activity. Other channels of interest: #space_politics #Spaceshipone #xprize . Web sites of interest: http://foxcheck.org . This is a Family Oriented Channel. Swearing is not tolerated.
<WizardRahl> who play's jean luc's character in star trek TNG?
<WizardRahl> anyone know?
<DanTekGeek> oh god
<DanTekGeek> i know
<DanTekGeek> um
<DanTekGeek> PATRICK STUART!
<DanTekGeek> thats it
<DEChengst> Steward ?\
<DEChengst> tea, earl grey, hot !
<yuriwho-ha> make it so!

Re:discuss this on irc (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179662)

Yeah... slashdotting irc channel is what we want... expect +mi soon :)

Re:discuss this on irc (1)

yuriwho (103805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179778)

Actually, everyone has been well behaved.
But then we have a swearing kick bot and many ops to take care of trouble makers.

The discussion is good, civil and space focussed.

Y

Microphone? Hellz yeah! (2, Interesting)

SlySpy007 (562294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178754)

I am anxiously awaiting the Jan 13th entry into Titan's atmosphere. Apparently there are huge electrical storms on Titan, and to top it all off with gooey, sugary icing, Huygens has a fricking microphone on it. Now that is going to be sweet. The only thing that I don't particularly like about it is that my mission, Deep Impact, could have our launch pushed back a day due to DSN coverage for the descent, but what the hell, it's *so* worth it.

Re:Microphone? Hellz yeah! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178769)

This is the first new landing on a new planet like body since the 1970s, yeah, this little Huygens probe is a big, big deal.

Good luck on Deep Impact too. I want my kids to be able to mine asteroids.

Re:Microphone? Hellz yeah! (1)

SlySpy007 (562294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179552)

Yep. Also, let's hope that ESA has a better showing this christmas eve than they did last year (Beagle anyone?) In addition, I'm also anxious to see if the new trajectory solves the communications snafu discovered a few years back.

Thanks for the good wishes for DI. We're working our behinds off right now, but once the bird is flying we'll be in good shape.

Slow down cowboy ! (5, Insightful)

bstadil (7110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178764)

Titan is one of the remaining puzzles of the solar system

Yes in the same way that most of Physics was deemed understood by the turn of the 19'th century.

Re:Slow down cowboy ! (0, Flamebait)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178786)

true....how can u know for sure what happend 5 billion years ago, its all hypothesis, i dont c anyone with a time machine who can go back and confirm these theorys....

Re:Slow down cowboy ! (2, Interesting)

MrNixon (28945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178866)

That's the great thing about Physics though - it's not only cosmology [wikipedia.org] - it's also quantum physics and the others [wikipedia.org] . And we were nowhere near our present understanding of physics at the turn of the last century.

Re:Slow down cowboy ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178886)

Who says physics was deemed understood by the turn of the 19th century? Or are you talking out of your ass?

Re:Slow down cowboy ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179557)

Who says physics was deemed understood by the turn of the 19th century?
"...in a few years, all great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals."
--James Clerk Maxwell, October 1871
(Scientific Papers, vol. 2, p.244)

"The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote."
--Albert A. Michelson, 1894
(quoted in Engines of Creation, Eric K. Drexler)

Ceciliantas' Inn Room (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178793)

Ceciliantas says,"your free to undon your armor if you so wish =) to cool off of course."
Ceciliantas says,"mm? you wish for me to take it off for you?"
Ceciliantas kisses her sweetly, as he helps her remove her armor for her slowly
Ceciliantas kisses her sweetly, as he helps her remove her armor for her slowly
Ceciliantas smiles at her as she flirts for him, pulling him over to the bed, he then helps her with the rest of her armor, setting them aside as well as her weapons.
Ceciliantas smiles and begins to remove his own armor, kissing her along the shoulders as he does so.
Ceciliantas his armor removed he lets her gaze as his naked being, he allows her to stratle him down to the bed.
Ceciliantas returns the kiss as she lays down upon him, both without any clothing, he reaches a hand and places it on her slit, rubbing it gently.
Ceciliantas smiles and begins to rub harder their with his hand, pressing his fingers inside now and then.
Ceciliantas strokes her back, he then listens to her whispers, and gently spreads her legs a little, taking his dick and slowly pushing it inside of her slit, going in all the way deep.
Ceciliantas keeps it inside of her, letting it stay in their until he knows she accepts it, or wishes to let off for now.
Ceciliantas thrusts a bit harder, going in deeper and a little faster , placing a hand on her cute butt patting and grabbing it gently as his other hand rubs her clit, he kisses her neck gently
Ceciliantas goes faster inside of her, now moving it inside of her clockwise to explore her with his dick as he continues to rub and manipulate her butt and clit as her breasts harden against his chest.
Ceciliantas starts to go deeper and harder, fast as he can as he spreads her legs a bit more and slaps her butt, keeping his other hand pressed onto her clit, he kisses her sweetly her breasts rubbing nicely against his chest.
Ceciliantas smiles and thrusts it all the way in deep, holding it their and then cums directly into her hot wet tight pussy
Ceciliantas continues to cum into her as she tries to catch her breath, holding on to him
Ceciliantas says,"^^ sweetie its very late and I got 4 hours before work. is it ok if we finish for tonight? hehe thought youd be all done with that"
Ceciliantas says,"Ill see you later angel, I got to get a delivery done for a crafter real quick then off to bed."
Ceciliantas says,"oh and stay in here as long as ya wish."

Re:Ceciliantas' Inn Room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178986)

does this happen every time we send a space probe to another planet?

Probing - alterior motives (1)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178798)

With all of these probes, and the possibility of life on other planets - and maybe life squashed over 'millions of years' - maybe this is just one great big hunt for intergalactic oil deposits?

I'm so stoked about this (4, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178803)

I wish that NASA would junk ISS and the Shuttle and direct more money towards probes such as this, or the Martian rovers or the new Messenger [jhuapl.edu] probe to Mercury or putting more probes onto the surface and into the atmosphere of Venus to add to what we learned from the Soviet Venera [wikipedia.org] probes.

We learn a lot more from a single one of these probes than we do from having a couple of starving astronauts [thespoof.com] endlessly orbiting the earth in a big tin can full of their own garbage [space.com] .

Re:I'm so stoked about this (3, Insightful)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179507)


You know, people need to visit that Soviet Venera Mission [wikipedia.org] you posted link to really appreciate what space exploration is, 14 probes ! they kept failing and they just built another one ,(can you imagine that today ?) those russians kept plugging away till they got a decent mission dataset (a pic + data :-) over 20 years, do we (mankind) have any long term serious goals like that?, or are we still bent on sending people (human vanity) to mars ?, is it really that important to get boots there ? would the time and effort be best spent exploring other worlds/planets in more detail first ? just think what we can do with cutting edge 2005 technology if we put our minds (and the funds) to it.

Robots are cool, but they are not life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179983)

Robots are cool, but the most important parts of the universe are the parts that are living, ie. you and me, and every lifeform.

Human spaceflight will lead to the colonization of the solar system, ie. life throughout the solar system. Colonization is important because it increases the survival prospects of the human species [spaext.com] .

News from Titan (2, Funny)

mahesh_gharat (633793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178822)

In the realted news from Titanian reporter:
Titanians have detected the very much possibility of an earth satellite colliding with their planet and they have demanded the government funding to detect such disasters and avoid the damage in the future.

In other related news from Titanian reporter:
Titan weather department is planning the weather baloon tests on coming 14th Jan.

Uranus has been probed! (1)

qwertyatwork (668720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178901)

Reports out of NASA confirm that scientists have recently probed the gassy inards of Uranus.

Re:Uranus has been probed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179212)

eye was weighting four the uranus joke

Re:Uranus has been probed! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179485)

Reports out of NASA confirm that scientists have recently probed the gassy inards of Uranus.

from the Goatse Agency of Space Systems (GASS) no doubt.

Getting there (5, Insightful)

wronski (821189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178904)

A probe like Cassini is about the best that can be done with chemical propulsion technology. It took billions and decades, to get it there. To really explore the Solar System (with sample returns or manned missions) what we need is more efficient propulsion, as well as cheap access to low earth orbit. There have been some nice recent experimental crafts with ion engines, and of course there is the X-prize thing, but my impression is that the getting there part is often overlooked because of all the sexy and interesting things there are in the doing part.

Dont get me wrong, Cassini & Huygens are brilliant, I just wish we had invested more effort into making this sort of mission fundamentally easier.

Merry Christmas All!

Re:Getting there (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179393)

"Dont get me wrong, Cassini & Huygens are brilliant, I just wish we had invested more effort into making this sort of mission fundamentally easier."

The Jupiter Icy Moons Oribter will have a nuclear reactor. A proper one, not one of those wimpy radiothermal jobs.

Re:Getting there (1)

rufferto (324612) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179500)

"The Jupiter Icy Moons Oribter will have a nuclear reactor."

Personally, I'd much rather see these things with chemical propulsion until something else non-radioactive (solar, fusion, ?) becomes feasible. There's always a chance that something could fail, and if it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere there could be some nasty fallout.

Better safe than sorry, IMO.

Re:Getting there (2, Interesting)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179556)

"Personally, I'd much rather see these things with chemical propulsion until something else non-radioactive (solar, fusion, ?) becomes feasible. There's always a chance that something could fail, and if it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere there could be some nasty fallout."

If the launch vehicle crashed, the worst that could happen would be the release of less uranium than coal power plants already release on a regular basis. Uranium just isn't that radioactive.

The reactor would only be activated when the craft was already in orbit, and a catastrophic crash at that point is very unlikely. To crash, the engines would have to deorbit the craft, which would take a long time. I don't know how long, probably days at least.

You should also be aware that probes to the outer solar system require nuclear power anyway, just not in the form of reactors. They use highly radioactive plutonium to generate heat and electricity. A crash with that would be much more damaging because Plutonium is much more readioactive, and it's already radioactive at launch time. Unused Uranium fuel just isn't that dangerous compared to Plutonium.

Re:Getting there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180673)

Please do not cloud this discussion with the facts. People have an irrational fear of nuclear power and nothing you say is going to change it.

Re:Getting there (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179613)

Well, if we wait for Fusion, we might wait 10 years, or a hundred or a thousand.

Solar arrays would have to be HUGE to provide the power we need in the outer solar system.

Nuclear is the best way to do, one can built a vessel that'll survive a rocket failure or an unexpected deorbit and uncontrolled re-entry.

There's already alot of natural radiation out there and if there was an accident with a uranium reactor, it wouldn't be that bad.

Re:Getting there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179998)

The X-Prize was great, but it had next to nothing to do with deep space exploration.

Re:Getting there (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180102)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/423414.stm [bbc.co.uk] It looks like Cassini is powered by nuclear, which is opposite of your argument above. Or were you trying to restrict ion engines to this type of technology http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4015227.stm [bbc.co.uk] Happy holidays slashdotters

When is "7:08pm PST"? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11178911)

PST - never heard of it before. The article says it's Pacific Standard Time, which places it either West of America or East of China or Japan. So it could be either side of the date line.

Re:When is "7:08pm PST"? (2, Informative)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11178955)

It's GMT -8 hrs

Re:When is "7:08pm PST"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179050)

So why don't they write that, then ?
Is their entire audience in California ?

Times that concern the whole world, rather than one particular timezone, should be quoted in GMT.

Of course, real editors know this.

Re:When is "7:08pm PST"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179562)

Blow me. The only country that counts is the US and maybe a few others that are halfway decent like Australia. We launched the fucking thing, asshole. Figure out what time it is based on the 4 main US time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

If you want "international" everything, tell your leaders and insductry to get a clue and develop some technology, and use it, instead of sucking off us for scientific knowledge. Where do you think this board is hosted, and who thought it up? Where did the 'net come from, anyway, Iran? France? Ever heard of DARPA?

Even the yellow peril fucking gook Communist Chinese have managed to launch a manned rocket!

What is GMT ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11179712)

Have heard of UTC, but what is GMT ?

Re:What is GMT ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11180782)

Greenwich (London) Mean Time. It's roughly the same as UTC (I think maybe some differences of a few seconds at certain times of the year due to the way the time is calculated). I think GMT is derived by astronomical observation whereas UTC is derived by atomic clock.

UTC is quite a recent invention, while GMT has been used as the world standard for many (hundreds) of years. Greenwich is the location of the observatory in London that defined the 0 degree longditute line used for navigation. 12:00 GMT is when the Sun is overhead at 0 degrees.

holiday week (1)

Striker770S (825292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179049)

knowing its being released during the holiday week, they should have seasoned it up with some lights. And knowing that it is an object from earth during the holidays, carols will be played from it until someone finally gets fed up of it and breaks the probe into 1000 bits. There is some good news, knowing sound waves dont travel in space well, we will not be able to hear the wonderful earbleeding music.

Lets hope it wasn't assembled by the same guy. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179964)

There was a solar wind collecting sattelite that had the explosive bolts on the re-entry portion put in *backwards*.

End result was a smashed saucer embedded in the desert.

Re:Lets hope it wasn't assembled by the same guy. (2, Informative)

Gogo Dodo (129808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11180013)

You're referring to the Genesis [nasa.gov] mission.

The problem was not explosive bolts. The likely cause improper mounting of the gravity-switches that would have started off the parachute deployment. It hasn't been determined if the problem was that they were put in backwards by the technicians contrary to the plans or if the plans were not clear enough. The Mishap Investigation Board is still working on determining the cause and procedures to fix the problems. See their Status Report #4 [nasa.gov] .

All is not lost though. Some of the samples were salvaged.

word of advice.... (1)

DeathByDuke (823199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11180797)

...ESA, please use the right measuring system....
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