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Deep Impact Comet-Smashing Video

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the mmm-delicious-space-porn dept.

Graphics 133

DynaSoar writes "Dan Maas is the animation expert who produced NASA's Mars Rover animation which was subsequently used in the PBS Nova episodes 'Mars, Dead or Alive' and 'Welcome to Mars,' the majority of which was done while he was a Cornell student on a summer internship at NASA. His most recent release is NASA's best 'artist's conception' of the Tempel 1 Deep Impact mission. Nobody knows what will happen when 820 pounds of metal slams into the comet with 5 kilotons of force, but whatever happens, Maas's digital precreation is probably way more entertaining than NASA's imagery is likely to be. Two versions of the Deep Impact QuickTime video are available. A couple notes of interest: the original Mars video was produced as a music video, using Lenny Kravitz and Holst as soundtracks. This is available only to K-12 educators. Also, in the interview in the first link, when asked for an inspirational quote, he quotes John Carmack."

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We need more missions like this. (4, Funny)

Musteval (817324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914004)

Then NASA can make a TV show. It'd increase funding, at least. Heck, make a reality show. Send people to Venus and see how long it takes them to realize they're going to die.

Reality shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914034)

That's cool. Now you can't just vote nags in or out, you can even vote them on the venus.

Re:We need more missions like this. (1)

Ruud Althuizen (835426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914038)

If they are going to make it as interesting as that animation a lot of people are going to die. Of boredom.

Re:We need more missions like this. (4, Informative)

Eric Coleman (833730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914043)

NASA already has a TV channel. You can watch rocket launches, which are cool, and watch people work in mission control, which is boring. Reality TV doesn't get much more real than the NASA TV channel.

NASA TV (3, Funny)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914170)

What they need is to put up a mission with an ordinary guy on board, someone the people can relate to. Just send up plenty of carbon rods and they'll be perfectly safe.

Re:NASA TV (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914357)

This is Big Brother.

jspoon, you have been voted out of the Big Brother spaceship.
You have 30 seconds to go to the airlock.

Re:NASA TV (2, Funny)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914359)

Yes, inanimate carbon rods shall save the day!

Quote:

Tom: Uh, how'd you solve the door dilemma?
Buzz: Homer Simpson was the real hero here. He jury-rigged the door closed using this.
Man 1: Hey, what is that?
Man 2: It's an inanimate carbon rod!
Everyone: Yay!

Re:NASA TV (2, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915350)

You mean like Christa McAuliffe? She was the grade school teacher who was on board the Challenger in 1986.

Re:We need more missions like this. - Yea, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914111)

More worthless missions with computer generated video animations as the resulting product. It would be totally cool. They could have people and aliens that could battle with futuristic swords made of light. There could be moon sized space stations and bases on different planets and stuff. There could be robots and hookers and robot-hookers!

Seriously, why does anyone give a hoot about NASA's CG work. Lucas does a much better job. NASA needs to start producing REAL pictures with real quality. These crap black and whites that they release and supplement with CG animations are lame and absolutely NOT worth the billions of dollars that are being shot into space. NASA's CG work is so 1970's and lame that I can't help but think of Capricorn One.

Re:We need more missions like this. - Yea, right. (3, Interesting)

Inspector Lopez (466767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914378)

I thought the animations of the Mars Rover landings were quite satisfactory, and were a genuine aid in conveying the critical and unusual sequence of events (unusual because of the beach ball landing scheme.). Of course, I wasn't expecting to be entertained by these videos; I was expecting to be educated. Entertainment is Lucas' job, and education is (part of) NASA's.

Consider the adjacent Slashdot article about Lucas's new studio,
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/26/133217 &tid=186&tid=101 [slashdot.org] , which is nicely and expensively appointed to generate additional cinematic circuses. I'm sure that Lucas et al. could provide a splendid animation of the comet impact. But:
  1. Would you pay $10 to see it once?
  2. Do you expect NASA to produce it for "free"?
  3. Do you expect NASA to subcontract the video to a "real" CG house?
The box office from the Star Wars movies, and related paraphernalia licensing, sufficed to pay for several Shuttle missions, or perhaps ten major satellite programs, or a century's worth of space science at NSF. It may be that these films have inspired a few people to go into science and engineering, But these films are, of course, pure fantasy in their depiction of space and space travel. I don't mean to diminish the splendid entertainment that Lucas offers, but I can't help the following comparison:
The Star Wars movies are, to the perception of space travel, what pornography is to the perception of sex.


Items 2 and 3 above will strongly impact NASA's budget; high quality CG added to a documentary structure could easily run in the mid seven figures for a single film. For a tenth that amount you can get Pretty Good results, and keep a hundred grad students in beer and chips for a year.

Those hundred grad students will get you to Mars in twenty years. Or, you could help George Lucas buy a spare yacht today.

Re:We need more missions like this. - Yea, right. (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915957)

Weight, bandwidth, power density, latency and distance all combine to make the beaming back of HDTV over huge distances a difficult problem. If you have a solution, please post it here.

Re:We need more missions like this. (-1, Flamebait)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914611)

Nobody knows what will happen when 820 pounds of metal slams into the comet with 5 kilotons of force,...

On the contrary, we know exactly what will happen. Absolutely nothing. A bunch of dust and rock will be silently blasted off the surface. A tiny amount will drift into space and most will fall back to the surface of the comet.

Oh, and a hundred million ... yes, a cool fucking hundred million dollars of tax money will be pissed away on this madness. Tax dollars that could have been spent on health care, energy research, investment in jobs to replace the millions being sent offshore, or best yet, ...millions of dollars not taken out of our paychecks in the first place.

Get a clue, Slashdotters! (and Slash-sons). Pissing away hundreds of millions of dollars on absolutely stupid and insane space projects like this is incredibly bad public-relations for any further necessary scientific research that will be needed in the future. These ridiculous space projects are poisoning the well that we all drink from. It's the kind of thing that people will remember twenty years from now when there isn't unlimited amounts of government money (backed now only by the willingness of foreign governments to finance ballooning US federal deficits) to piss away on these 'welfare for the nerds' boondoggles.

Re:We need more missions like this. (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914631)

I'd rather a hundred million dollars get spent on nerdish boondoggles than an hour and a half of military. And at least on these videos, when stuff blows up there won't be some moron in the background screaming "take that you camel jockeys!"

I'd rather a hundred million dollars get spent... (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914694)

You miss the point, Slashdaughter.

It doesn't matter what you think: It doesn't matter what I think. It matters what a million pissed-off voters think.

Any schmuck can get elected with this. It's a free pass to Congress. Campaigning against the nerds is a cheap and easy way to get elected, especially when the housing bubble starts to deflate and foreign governments start buying Eurobonds instead of US treasury bills.

All they have to do is stand up and start yapping about 'Welfare for the nerds' and 'millions of dollars of your money for comet smashing'. They don't have to talk about any real issues or piss anyone off like big corporate campaign contributors or psycho-moron bible thumpers.

Then science budgets will be slashed big time and the only place that legitimate scientific research will be done is under secret 'national security' budget covers.

Supporting insanity like comet-smashing guarantees more money going to military secret projects. More money to recruiting videos of yahoos riding tanks over Ali Babas.

Re:I'd rather a hundred million dollars get spent. (1)

Disoculated (534967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914970)

These science missions, and US space and military research, can be traced to almost all of the great technological advancements of our time. Spending money on these costs less than the worldwide blockbuster movie budget and greatly increases our technological prowess.

Hell, if it wasn't for DARPA, we wouldn't even be posting here.

Those million pissed off voters need to start understanding where their standard of living comes from.

Re:We need more missions like this. (1)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915746)

The Discovery channel already does this crap. "What would evolution be like in 40,000 years on Earth?" or "How we Explored a new world in the future". Honestly, it's nausiating enough that we don't need NASA throwring in as well.

Still 58KB/s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914030)

You guys are pathetic.

What would really suck (3, Interesting)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914035)

Is if running this damn thing into the comet puts it on a trajectory to hit Earth down the line...

Talk about one of the biggest "oops" of all time...

Re:What would really suck (4, Informative)

ytm (892332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914056)

From TFA:
The kinetic energy that will be released by the collision is estimated to be the equivalent of nearly 5 tons of TNT. However, this will only change the comet's velocity by about 0.0001 millimeters per second (0.014 inches per hour). The collision will not appreciably modify the orbital path of Tempel 1, which poses no threat to Earth now or in the foreseeable future.
You would need much heavier (or faster) probe to change comet's path significantly.

Re:What would really suck (1)

tonyl (152570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914262)

"You would need much heavier (or faster) probe to change comet's path significantly."

Yeah. So they say. It's "insignificant". And yet I go other places where I read about a butterfly in Mexico affecting New England weather, about how turbulence is poorly understood and often unexpected results occur.. but, sure, it's all perfectly safe.

Re:What would really suck (3, Informative)

starbird (409793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914458)

Uh. Space is a near vaccum. What turbulence are you going to experience?

F=MA is the driving force of the cosmos. This comet isn't going to make a u-turn towards earth because a 800lb projectile hits it.

Why not look at the actual orbit of the comet, vs earths orbit and compute the DV required for the 2 orbits to intersect.

Tempel-1 isn't even a NEA. The orbit doesn't even cross the orbit of the earth.

Re:What would really suck (2, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914628)

Tempel-1 isn't even a NEA. The orbit doesn't even cross the orbit of the earth.

However, the orbit does occasionally pass near Jupiter. This makes its orbit chaotic and unpredictable over the very long term.

One day, its orbit may get significantly altered by one or more close encounters to planets. It might end up being ejected from the solar system, sent into the sun, put into an earth-intersecting orbit, or countless other possibilities. It's unlikely that it will stay in its current orbit indefinitely.

This impact will most likely change the ultimate fate of the comet's orbit over millions of years. (As will countless other events that affect the comet, such as changes in the solar wind due to solar flares.) The infinitesimal chance that it will eventually hit the earth due to this satellite is probably exactly balanced out by the infinitesimal chance that it was already going to hit the earth and we've just saved our planet.

Re:What would really suck (1)

Maverick390 (893109) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914967)

That sounds alot like what chaos theory is all about, the possibility of a small event having a huge impact in the future. An example of this would be two sine curves which are initially only different by a fraction of a degree but after a long period of time would be completely different.

Re:What would really suck (1)

tonyl (152570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914843)

The point wasn't that you could experience turbulence. The point is that there are a lot of things we really don't understand well. Turbulence is one of those things, and gravity is another.

It probably is insignificant. And if it isn't, an Earth threatening result from being wrong is surely only one possibility of many billions. But I still dislike the hubris of scientists pretending they really understand physics, gravity, etc. Maybe soon, but sure not now.

Re:What would really suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914890)

What scientists understand for sure is that the odds of the probe causing the comet to crash on Earth in a few million years is pretty much the same as the odds of the probe PREVENTING the comet to crash on Earth in a few million years. So in the end, one cannot possibly worry about this.

Re:What would really suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914955)

Comets don't last millions of years once they're in the inner solar system. Out in the oort cloud maybe, but once they've been knocked inward the sun will evaporate them within a few hundred orbits.

We CAN predict the orbit of a comet within that timeframe.

Re:What would really suck (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12916037)

What are you talking about? Gravity is extremely well understood, even if we don't have a quantum theory for it. Newton could have done the exact same calculation and come up with the same answer. Turbulence is a hairy problem, with limited understanding of many aspects, but we know some things about it. Like the fact that it doesn't enter orbital mechanics.

How can it be Hubris? A scientist does the calculations to lift an object out of a gravity well, sling it around a few planets, smack it into a tiny target at some ridiculous velocity, and then she's supposed to say "Anything could happen! We have no idea, really!" Assuming that a gazillion Joules of force won't suddenly turn 70 degrees isn't hubris, it's common sense.

Now, if this was an entangled 3-body orbital skimming the event horizon of a black hole at 99.9% of c, I might expect the unexpected. But it's not, it's billiard ball physics, and it'll play out as such.

Re:What would really suck (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914129)

This would be roughly equivilent to trying to hit your house with a dead elephant by giving it a push with your hands. . .from thirty miles away.

KFG

Re:What would really suck (2, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914295)

Actually what few people know is that the impact is supposed to knock it off it's current trajectory to avoid a collision with earth. Obviously they don't want to announce the possible collision to the public as it would cause panic.

haha (3, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914045)

I clicked to watch the short version, and it just said "done." Well that sure was short.

PS top floor of the NASA building was ranked as one of the top ten places to have sex in public on Cornell campus. Not that I'd know or anything.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914218)

Yeah I always enjoyed the Cornell NASA building Web Cam too. Was that you with the fat chick and the batman mask?

Oopsie... (0, Redundant)

bwintx (813768) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914051)

"And, this breaking news from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena: The recent Deep Impact mission accidentally steered a comet toward Earth, where it now will obliterate all known forms of animal life, including humans.

"However, a JPL spokesperson reminded reporters, the mission itself achieved complete success in meeting its own objectives and, quote, 'That's what the taxpayers should keep in mind.'"

deep impact? (2, Funny)

calvincopter (873822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914054)

we're wasting our taxpayers money on a comet that's not even going to hit on Earth? I find that incredibly silly.

Why else would we fund billions of dollars to build a spaceship designed to hit a comet that's not going to hit us?

Re:deep impact? (-1, Redundant)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914080)

In Soviet Russia, Earth hits comets!

Re:deep impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914081)

Perhaps this is preliminary testing for the comet that someday may be pointed at earth? Surely there is a good reason, whether the public knows it or not..

Re:deep impact? (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914093)

I remember hearing that the stated purpose of the mission was to analyze the composition of the comet, which may yield some insight as to the origins of the solar system.

I imagine it can also be a proof of concept.

Re:deep impact? (1)

ytm (892332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914082)

Maybe they are just curious if comets are made of snow or cheese.

Re:deep impact? (3, Informative)

PoitNarf (160194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914101)

Obviously you haven't read anything about this mission at all. The goal of this mission is to blast debris out from inside of the comet so that we can understand what it is actually composed of. Notice how the spacecraft launches a projectile at the comet, and then slows down to stay out of the way so that it can scan the particles that spew out of the crater?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure we don't have the means currently to deflect a large comet or asteroid like they did in Armageddon or something like that. Perhaps the impact data from this experiment will help us in a similar situation as in the movies sometime in the future.

Re:deep impact? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914158)

I'd rather we tried this out on a comet that definately *isn't* going to hit us, than on one that is. If it doesn't work we at least get the chance of another go.

Re:deep impact? (1)

bsytko (851179) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914548)

If we knew a comet was going to hit us, 100% sure, I doubt we would send just 820 pounds at the thing and hope for a miracle. So far, I do not believe there is any comet that is 100% going to hit us. Of course, determining anything to be 100% would be hard, but c'mon, 820 pounds aint gonna stop a big ass comet.

Re:deep impact? (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915454)

practice?

Considering the subject, the hosts should be... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914062)

...Ron Jeremy or Peter North.

Coral Links Just in case (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914063)

Site was sluggish and can't remember if we've ever slashdotted NASA before :)

Long [nyud.net]
Short [nyud.net]

and what the hell Torrent Too [thedarkcitadel.com]

Re:Coral Links Just in case (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914309)

Sluggish? I was downloading at 500KB/s from a /.'ed site... This isn't informative, it's karma whoring.

Re:Coral Links Just in case (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914512)

It's kinda hard to karma whore when your karma is at Excellent...

Re:Coral Links Just in case (1)

sinner0423 (687266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914314)

The download from nasa.gov worked great for me, that sweet taxpayer bandwidth helped me mooch it at almost 500KB/sec.

A make believe space (5, Insightful)

sittingnut (88521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914074)

We are now so used to manipulated or visualized eye candy of space and planets, that when the real images etc. are released (as with Titan) its very anticlimactic and boring.

Re:A make believe space (2, Insightful)

IxianMach (889465) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914446)

Your kidding right ?

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image -details.cfm?imageID=1544 [nasa.gov]

You know this is a picture of Titan ?....A moon of Saturn, taken by a spacecraft we have sent there ?

Let it sink in.

Re:A make believe space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914640)

That's out of focus! :P

Re:A make believe space (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915033)

Do what I do: hum the first few bars of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" from 2001: A SPace Odyssey whenever you look at the pictures.

I'm just glad (3, Insightful)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914078)

I'm just glad that NASA is finally blowing something up. Enough of these silly robots and picutres, send in some TNT! (I think they call this "active science")

Blowing things up is always more interesting to the public than plain science missions. Perhaps next we can send some of those old ICMS to the moon. That would be a good show.

Seriously, NASA has been politicized so much over its entire history. Perhaps publicity impact should be a key factor in planning missions. It certainly couldn't hurt, and it could lead to a lot more funding for them

Re:I'm just glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915377)

Blowing things up is always more interesting to the public than plain science missions.
Yeah, but it really pisses off Gandalf.

5 kilotons of force? (2, Informative)

laurens (151193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914086)

Nobody knows what will happen when 820 pounds of metal slams into the comet with 5 kilotons of force

...Largely due to the fact that nobody knows what the hell the phrase "5 kilotons of force" means in an impact situation, even if we forgive the use of tons as a force unit.

Or are we talking about an amount of energy equivalent to that released by 5 kilotons of TNT (probable)? Then say so. This is bad science, people. The kind that gets Ariane rockets blown up.

Re:5 kilotons of force? (1)

laurens (151193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914164)

Replying to self after reading TFA. The writeup is even worse, it 3 orders of magnitude off.

Come on. From the article:
During its final moments, the impactor will take the closet images of comet's surface ever. The kinetic energy that will be released by the collision is estimated to be the equivalent of nearly 5 tons of TNT.

Re:5 kilotons of force? (1)

hailstop (638166) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915630)

One thing I've discovered regarding the media and explaining/describing something scientific, is that they often royally screw it up. So often I read interviews that I've done for a local paper and say to myself "That's completely wrong! Argh!"

Re:5 kilotons of force? (1)

laurens (151193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914258)

And ofcourse the last sentence in my post should read

"The kind that sends Climate Orbiters crashing into Mars."

Sorry folks. I'll stop talking to meself now.

Re:5 kilotons of force? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915763)

What are you talking about? tons IS a force unit.
2,000 pound force = 8,896.44323 newtons (from google)

[siderant]
You might think we imperal units people are crazy because we have pounds force and pounds mass, but we think you metric people are crazy because although you have kgs mass and newtons force, you seem to prefer to use kgs force and ignore the concept of mass altogether.[siderant off]

Re:5 kilotons of force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915839)

The amount of energy released is about 19 GJ, in terms of joules. The force of the impact is equivalent to 5 tons of TNT. The size of the resulted crater is calculated to be a few hundred metres wide and a few dozen metres deep. Quite a feat for an object having a size of car tire and mass of 370 kilograms, although the impact velocity of 10.2 km/s might help somewhat :)

Re:5 kilotons of force? (0)

Lost Race (681080) | more than 9 years ago | (#12916053)

"Kiloton" could possibly be interpreted to mean 2 million pounds, which is indeed a measure of force. But that's sheer coincidence and clearly not what the writer intended. What they intended was, er, some big numbers and physics words that sound really impressive. Make big boom! Whee!

5 tons (3, Informative)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914089)

It would be really cool if at least the submitters of new stories read their linked articles; the page clearly states that there won't be 5 kilotons, but the equivalent of 5 tons of TNT.

Re:5 tons (1)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914159)

But are they metric tons or American tons?

Re:5 tons (1)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914250)

It must be American. Everyone knows the metric unit for this sort of things is the Ass-load.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914094)

Article Submission: 5 tons of TNT, not 5 *kilo*tons. Considering the scale this is a relatively minor affair.

May I be the first to say (4, Funny)

varmittang (849469) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914099)

We hope the mission is a Smashing success.

It's 5 tons, not 5 kilotons! (1, Redundant)

rben (542324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914104)

The impactor will hit the comet with a force equivalent to five tons of tnt. It will probably produce a crater anywhere from a few yards across to the size of a football stadium.

Re:It's 5 tons, not 5 kilotons! (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914911)

It's a sad day when 5 tons of TNT doesn't get any respect. When I was a lad, we didn't have these megamatons of TNT, we had one stick, and we had to blow off our fingers one by one.

Final Cut (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914134)

Who's got a remix of all the amazing CG from movies like _Deep Impact_, _Independence Day_, _Godzilla 2000_, _The Day After Tomorrow_, and every other blockbuster wherein huge landmark cities are convincingly destroyed? I'd love to see a clever montage of all the "money shots". That would beat all the original movies, even if just by editing out the dialog, characters and plots.

OT: for the love of god, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914148)

can we keep javascript off gov sites.

Re:OT: for the love of god, (0, Offtopic)

xenoandroid (696729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915222)

No.

More Videos For The Interested. (2, Interesting)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914236)

From the days when I was still an astronomer
Impact video [arm.ac.uk] mostly fragments, looking kinda dated now. Of course I must include my essential link to the most complete map [arm.ac.uk] of the inner solar system.


And I recently re-did some density visualizations [djsnm.com] , a lot. more abstract, but cool in a trippy visuals kinda way.


And finally - the most relevant - is an old movie I made to visualize a comet diverting mission, it's about 10 minutes and if shows a spacecraft [djsnm.com] flying through space with a nuke intended to give a nidge to an incoming comet. It's not great resolution, but I can't find the high definition versions that were used in a couple of TV shows. There are some ultra high definition stills in a book by Duncan Steel.

Re:More Videos For The Interested. (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914256)

Oh yeah, I'll probably disable the links if my BW usage gets too high - If you want the really high quality versions then you can grab them from me via imeem [imeem.com]

Re:More Videos For The Interested. (1)

untree (851145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914457)

And how hard would it be to get an invitation to imeem?

Re:More Videos For The Interested. (1)

untree (851145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914498)

bah, nevermind. no linux client yet, i see

Re:More Videos For The Interested. (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12916123)

Indeed, we have a server that runs on Linux (well Mono + Linux), but the UI isn't there by any means.

No sound? Rip-off! (1)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914266)

What the hell man there's no sound in that video! What a cheap production. I mean come on, do they think there's no sound in space or something???

.....wait a minute...

Also of interesting note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914267)

...when Lenny Kravitz was asked in person, backstage after one of his concerts in L.A. in 2003, by a JPL representive for permission to use his music in the public release, he declined.

BTW-The Kravitz song in the non-public release was I Gotta Get Away and the Holst song was from the American Beauty Soundtrack.

Re:Also of interesting note... (1)

Avionics Guy (635626) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914754)

"...when Lenny Kravitz was asked in person, backstage after one of his concerts in L.A. in 2003, by a JPL representive for permission to use his music in the public release, he declined"

You're wrong. It was his music label that nixed the deal, not Lenny.

"The Kravitz song in the non-public release was I Gotta Get Away"

Correct.

"...and the Holst song was from the American Beauty Soundtrack."

No, during entry, decent, and landing the original version used Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Mars bringer of war. During surface operations the music was from Thomas Newman's soundtrack for American Beauty.

Hmm... (1)

ScreamCity (833791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914274)

At first I though that they were about to blown this thing into pieces. Now, after seeing the video, I know that they are only going to crate a small crater at one side. Why not use 5 megatons instead of just 5 tons while you're at it? I mean, it's one of the very few space missions that something interesting actually happens. Why not make it more spectacular then?

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914335)

Because they don't want to blow it into pieces. They just want to blow a hole in part of it to see what it's made of and how solidly it is held togeather. A 5 ton charge is plenty for that.

If they were to send up a vehicle capable of hitting it with 5 megatons, that would either require launching a vehicle of~ 1,000,000 times greather mass (and launching heavy stuff into space is expensive enough, let alone increasig the mass 1 million x), or you would have to send a nuclear bomb rather than a kenetic/chemical charge. I think there are a lot of people on the planet who would be objecting if you wanted to launch a nuclear warhead just for kicks. What if it failed during launch and fell back to earth somewhere, especially somewhere populated.

Re:Hmm... (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914962)

If launches fail, it falls into the Atlantic Ocean. If it's far enough out to be past it, it's already high enough to burn up in the atmosphere. Or at least fall into the forest in Africa, which isn't exactly downtown Shanghai.

Re:Hmm... (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914997)

So, if it only hits a town of 10,000 in Africa, that's cool with you eh?

Re:Hmm... (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915656)

So, if it only hits a town of 10,000 in Africa, that's cool with you eh?

You're putting words in my mouth; that's not what I meant and you know it.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915786)

"Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to make."

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914455)

I agree. Let's confirm to any alien observers monitoring what humanity is all about. Let's blow that fucker up!

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12914985)

Because they aren't launching a bomb at it, they are launching basically a big chunk of copper. The goal is to find out what the comet is made of, something that will potentially contaminate the sample like a nuke or some TNT would make that harder to do. Since they're pretty sure there's no copper in comets, it will be easy to sort out the spectrograph afterwards if they only hit it with copper.

...but in the original, wernt they drilling..? (1)

Justabit (651314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914288)

I really liked the way Bruce Willis gave up his life so his daughters boyfriend could live (and to save the planet). Personally I would have insisted Ben Aflek do the job. I mean, he DID draw the short straw.

BTW.. How come the explosion dont sound like no xploshun? If y' could hear that guy breathin in his helmet when he wuz shutin down thet cumputer with the red eye, then sherly you could hear the spaceship blowin up?!

# ?-\________?
@ ?--NASA ?
% ?-/?

Incredible... (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914459)

That we can maneuver two vehicles far from earth, coordinated and with precision, shows how far mankind has advanced...

(Of course, this assumes that it all actually works.)

This is a *really* slow slow-motion video (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914511)

Keep in mind that the whole impactor crash plus spacecraft flyby will only require a small fraction of a second.

Quoting [space.com] Rick Grammier, a mission project manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena: "If I ran this clip at the speed of the actual encounter, you wouldn't have seen anything. It would have been all over in the blink of an eye."

Note To NASA (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914699)

If the telescope defect was detectable before launch, whomever was responsible for making that check should have lost their job due to the telescope being out of focus. [nasa.gov]

The press release is a masterpiece of indirection. It takes them 5 paragraphs to admit they have a problem and then this little gem:

"This in no way will affect our ability to impact the comet on July 4," said Rick Grammier, Deep Impact project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. "Everyone on the science and engineering teams is getting very excited and looking forward to the encounter."
Although they may be "very excited and looking forward to the encounter", they won't be able to see the results very well.

Re:Note To NASA (1)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914827)

If the telescope defect was detectable before launch, whomever was responsible for making that check should have lost their job due to the telescope being out of focus.


Forgive my bluntness--I think you need to be a bit more mindful of the fact that launching something into orbit is a lot different from rolling a new vehicle off an assembly line. For that matter, the same goes for building these devices; for all we know, the chain of responsibility likely doesn't end at NASA but at another company.

If I recall correctly from an earlier release about Deep Impact's camera, it was incorrectly calibrated which lead to it being out of focus. This probably wasn't the result of a hardware defect but over a miscommunication; if it were a hardware defect, can you justify firing someone over something like this? To quote your own link (did you read it?), it's not as if the telescope is really the most important piece of data-collecting hardware:
The Deep Impact spacecraft has four data collectors to observe the effects of the collision: a camera and infrared spectrometer comprise the High Resolution Instrument; a Medium Resolution Instrument (MRI); and a duplicate camera on the Impactor Targeting Sensor (ITS).

Tell me again why you want someone to be fired over a miscalibration of one device? These latter four components are by far much more important, and on the timescale NASA was likely given (launch window, fabrication time, etc.), it's sometimes a miracle everything works on these satellites as well as they do.

I often wonder if the only reason the public at large--such as yourself--vocalizes such concerns so loudly is because of the public nature of NASA. I can guarantee you there isn't nearly the level of accountability in privately held corporations. Case in point: compare the Columbia disaster to your average airline crash. The public was largely supportive of firing O'Keefe over this--yet you don't hear nearly the same sort of complaints regarding, say, Boeing or Airbus. No one demands their CEOs step down over a wreck.

So, here's a good reality check: Things happen, space is a dangerous place, people die, and hardware breaks. The best thing we can do is learn from what happened and pray to God that NASA officials listen to the next Richard Feynman rather than pining over public opinion such as this.

Re:Note To NASA (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915845)

If I recall correctly from an earlier release about Deep Impact's camera, it was incorrectly calibrated which lead to it being out of focus. This probably wasn't the result of a hardware defect but over a miscommunication; if it were a hardware defect, can you justify firing someone over something like this?

Yes you can. The people who designed the machine were paid to get it done right. Had the error been due to something unpredictable, that's one thing. But if it was due to a screwup like one team talking metric units and the other team is talking imperial units then management screwed up and shouldn't be trusted to get it right the next time. Yes, space is a dangerous place but it doesn't excuse poor management.

I can guarantee you there isn't nearly the level of accountability in privately held corporations.

That's simply not true. When a company fails to deliver the goods, it goes out of business. It happens all the time. The difference with NASA is it doesn't go out of business, no matter how faulty its operation. Praying to God won't alter poor management at NASA. Firing poor managers will.

Re:Note To NASA (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914868)

Although they may be "very excited and looking forward to the encounter", they won't be able to see the results very well.
Well... actually, it depends on how you define "they." And if "they" are "everyone on the science and engineering teams," that includes a lot of people who aren't hunkered down over screens at JPL. In fact, academics outnumber NASA folks on the science team [nasa.gov] .

I only know the whereabouts of one science team member on that fateful night - my colleague at U. of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, Karen Meech [nasa.gov] . She'll be at one of the observatories on Mauna Kea [hawaii.edu] , which, like all the others up there, and at least one over on Haleakala [hawaii.edu] , will be watching the impact in whatever wavelengths work best.

Given that the impact has been timed to make it observable from Hawaii, it's a fairly big deal [astroday.net] out here. I'll be part of the public outreach program over on Maui that night, and my only regret is that I'll have to miss the program here in Hilo to do that.

(I wouldn't really be at all surprised if some other science team members are out here for the impact - I've seen more than one astronomer from far away point out that the advantages of siting telescopes in Hawaii include periodically having to take a trip to Hawaii.)

..and then the vogon destructor fleet (1)

aphaenogaster (884935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12914772)

shows up because we are now threatening not only our own safety but the rest of the galaxy as well. Chances are, somebody is out there, and chances are this would probably cause them to go 'oh sh!$'.

One prediction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915311)

In a way though, it's a bit annoying that NASA won't come up with a solid prediction that could falsify the 'dirty snowball' model, but Van Flandern has made a prediction that would support this 'satellite model' for comets. I'm not sure that he's correct, especially with his starting premise, but at least he's making a prediction, and lots of the options (such as the probe just blowing right through it) would falsify his model, which is the way science should work.

Poor alien bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12915390)

Okay, the animation is cool, but I feel badly for whatever sorry bastard alien life form happens to live on that comet. So much for "We come in peace."

I'm suprised no one has said this... (0, Offtopic)

bosef1 (208943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915623)

HULK SMASH PUNY COMET

Deep Impact from Earth (1)

MrIcee (550834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915717)

Deep Impact is scheduled to occur on Jul 3rd at around 7:20 or so (my notes are not right handy at the moment). Luckly, here in Hawai'i the impact will be overhead, after the sun has gone down, with the impact side facing us.

A number of the observatories on Mauna Kea are planning on turning their telescopes to watch and record the event. I'm fairly sure that Keck, Gemini and Subaru domes will be observing and recording the event (The Subaru primary mirror is 27 feet in diameter, should make for a good view :).

So it won't only be NASA footage we will see - hopefully some of the scopes will capture spectacular images of the impact.

Quicktime -- ARRGH! (1)

scovetta (632629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915800)

I'm sure all of the insensitive clods out there have Quicktime installed, but for the rest of us who don't want bloatware, can somebody please convert it to some other format and post a link?

And can someone please write a .mov codec and winamp plugin? That'd be great, thanks.

Re:Quicktime -- ARRGH! (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12915853)

In Soviet Russia, they use Quicktime Alternative [google.com] you uneducated clod!
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