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Hayabusa Probe Arrives at Destination

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the we-dont-do-nearly-enough-probing dept.

Space 157

david.given writes "The Japanese space probe Hayabusa has just arrived at its destination, the asteroid Itokawa, and is taking pictures. The largely autonomous ion-drive powered vehicle was launched in 2003 and was supposed to have arrived last year, but a solar flare damaged the solar panels causing a reduction in power. It will study the asteroid for two months before collecting a sample from the surface and departing for Earth, which it should reach in 2007. It's a pity that NASA's asteroid rover, which Hayabusa was going to drop off, got cancelled due to budgetry constraints..."

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Asteroids full of life? (0, Troll)

Nerd Systems (912027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544094)

Glad to see that the "speedY" Hayabusa has finally arrived at the asteroid. I am not sure if it will reach this asteroid, and find similar composition materials as is on other surfaces, such as the moon and Earth, or if there will be new chemical elements previously unknown to man.

Attempts such as this do raise questions, that I am hoping scientists have already researched and are protecting against. We don't want any scientific research to cause issues here on Earth.

As happened in Andromeda Strain, hopefully the contents of this asteroid, that Hayabusa brings back to Earth, will not have any harmful bacteria or organisms present, that could cause great harm to life on Earth. I know this may sound like a conspiracy therory, but we have no clue what other elements exist outside of our small planet. There are so many others out there in the galaxies and universes, and we are such a miniscule part of things.

Hayabusa taking longer then expected is kind of ironic though, considering that a Hayabusa is one of the fastest production sport bikes available for sale today. I guess space travel and land travel are two different categories, but hopefully this ion drive engine will be great technology for future missions to space.

It is nice to see such engineering technologies being created for space travel, which hopefully can be applied to manned missions to other planets, as well as ways for energy efficient travel on Earth potentially being created.

It is too bad, that NASA didn't include a rover on this mission, would have been nice to explore and perform more testing on surface composition and the like... yet as always, budgets are never there for real research, but always there for wasted efforts in other areas...

Lets stand by and see some of these beautiful pictures sure to come from this probe...

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544128)

... but we have no clue what other elements exist outside of our small planet.

Well, yeah, actually, we have a pretty good clue what other elements exist outside of our small planet.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Nerd Systems (912027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544162)

How can scientists here on Earth, have a clue about things that are outside this planet, besides what we have witnessed on the moon, and on it's surface only at that...

There are so many elements out there on this planet... who says that other planets do not have whole sets of other elements out there, that we have yet to discover.

We have only explored a very tiny niche of our galaxy, just imagine what all lies in wait outside of the realm of discovered territory?

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544215)

"There are so many elements out there on this planet"

Maybe billions, right?

There's this really strange dichotomy between what you post, and the URL you plug in your sig. Wait a mo, your site spells "suppport" as, well, "suppport". So it fits after all.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544822)

The typo's fixed now. The others aren't.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544242)

We have many good theories for origins and formations of galaxies, but nothing more than guesses at the specifics of how the brain functions and develops at a neural level.

The most stated comparison is that we know more about space than the deep sea, though it is questionable.

When you say we have "no clue" that's a given considering the ~infinite complexity of science and information in any field; but compared to many other fields, space knowledge is well devloped and well off.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (2, Informative)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544247)

Atoms compose elements. A material that is composed of only one type of atom is called an element. Atoms are measured by the number of protons make up their nucleus. This number is called its "atomic number". Hydrogen has 1 proton in its nucleus, Helium has 2, and the count goes up from there.

Now, we have identified all elements from 1 proton-nuclei (Hydrogen) through 112 proton-nuclei (Ununbium).

It is theoretically possible that there are other elements that exist in space that we haven't found yet. They would have to be larger than 112 protons per nucleus, though. In our surrounding vacinity, it is highly unlikely that we would find something like that.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

KinkifyTheNation (823618) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544267)

In our surrounding vacinity, it is highly unlikely that we would find something like that.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (2, Informative)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544302)

Mostly because they are created through heavy-element fusion (Ca and U in the case of Uub) and the resulting element decays into lower-atomic number elements in microseconds.

So we would need to find some place hospitable for fusion (maybe the Sun) and full of heavy elements (maybe not the Sun).

Re:Asteroids full of life? (2, Insightful)

Trailer Park Boy (825146) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544620)

Because the asteroids in our solar system are made of the same "star-stuff" that Earth is made from. In other words, the elements in our asteroids were made in the same star or stars as the elements in the Earth. So it's unlikely we'd find any elements in an asteroid that we couldn't find here on Earth. That's why.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544748)

Unless the, laws of physics, are different in, different areas of space, then, the periodic table will, describe all possible, elements. (All elements up to whatever atomic weight is the highest known/postulated).

I love when, people who don't, have a clue, make authoritative, posts.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544796)

wooaaaaah comma overload :)

Hope it goes better..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544965)

Than man's earlier findings of precious minerals. Those often were followed up with lots of innocent people being massacred, or having a metal collar snapped around their neck, and literaly stuffed
like sardines in the hulls of ships.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (2, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544225)

"new chemical elements"

There aren't any elements left. We've filled in the chart already. Game over on that one.

There may be some compounds that we haven't seen, though.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544308)

There may be some compounds that we haven't seen, though.
The chart is partially arbitrary and will never be "complete" (in the future there will be new lab created elements, though short-lived). Your sibling post was more accurate in saying that we're not likely (near impossible) to discover any "natural" elements beyond the ones on the periodic table.
There may be some compounds that we haven't seen, though.
"Some" compounds is an understatement. We pretty much will never run out of new compounds to discover.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544401)

"Some" compounds is an understatement...

By "some" I meant we might find some on a particular asteroid, not that there were only a few left.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544516)

In that case, I rescind what I said.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544898)

The GPP is a troll, but not entirely wrong. We didn't really know that dark matter existed until the recent COBE microwave data confirmed that theory for odd galactic rotation speeds, and we still aren't sure what dark matter really is. Not a new "chemical element" of course, but something weirder. Who knows what else is out there (not on nearby asteroids of course, but OUT there) - all we know is what we see through telescopes from our little backwater. Heck, there might even be new chemical elements, if there really is an "island of stability" past 120 or so (though I hear that hypothesis is losing credibility these days).

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545610)

The funny thing about the "island of stability" hypothesis is that the elements just need to be more stable, have slightly longer half lives.

so element 111 has a half life of 3 seconds and element 114 has a half life of about 30 seconds because its one of the supposed "island of stability" or at least one of it's isotopes is.

so any way, those half lives are short enough that if a 1000kg lump of the longest lived isotope of 114 was kicked out of the sun, say 3 billion years ago (94608000000000000 seconds)
thats 3.1536E15 halflives
I dont think there's going to be much left.
After 10 half-lives there is 2^-10 (0.098%) left.

so after 3 billion years our 1000kg would have 3.172e-14% left. or 0.00000003172g,

expect that my maths is probably wrong,
and there isn't any left at all...

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544266)

"other universes"?! Do you think that this asteroid came from another universe?

Re:Asteroids full of life? (5, Informative)

mtaht (603670) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544282)

Hayabusa includes the Minerva hopper [] - gravity on asteroids is so slight that you can get around on springs - no rockets or NASA rovers required. That's the key - that's why planetary exploration makes so little sense - when you can get to an asteroid and mine it [] - and return for a small fraction of the delta-V required to get back from the moon, or Mars [] .

Typical Slashdot Paranoid Illiteracy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544362)

I think it's hilarious that slashdot is on the one hand a reliable bastion of mainstream science, pro-evolution, anti-intelligent-design, etc.

While on the other hand, the readers subscribe to the most bizarre ideas. For example, the parent post (right now the only post at score +5), bemoans the dangers of Japanese space probes bringing back "other elements" from "the galaxies and universes".

But this is only scratching the surface. You only need to browse a few days to find dozens of highly-moderated posts about secret Pentagon weather-control devices, [] diseases caused by internet telephonty and so on.

It would be funny -- even hilarious -- except that the readers of slashdot are actually among the most well-read and technically-minded people in the world. So instead, I must say, woe to the people of Earth!

Re:Typical Slashdot Paranoid Illiteracy (5, Funny)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544486)

right now the only post at score +5

But I think he went for the "+5, sympathy" vote. If you met a post like that in the street, you'd smile encouragingly and pat it on the head, inwardly glad that all your own posts had grown up healthy.

Re: Well Read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545769)

"the readers of slashdot are actually among the most well-read and technically-minded people in the world"

Would you care to publish the study you did that brought you to this conclusion? The number of times I have seen /.ers using the word "anyways" lends to my belief that you are all a bunch of back-country hicks. This site is only lightly peppered with intelligent conversation anymore.

Re:Asteroids full of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544449)

There are so many others out there in the galaxies and universes, and we are such a miniscule part of things.

Wow! Who told you of the other universes? How do you know our secrets?

- The Illuminati

Re:Asteroids full of life? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544592)

lol.. *let's read hawkings new book again*

So when it gets there... (4, Funny)

millennial (830897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544116)

Will it use the magical firewheel of protection, or be followed by a hazy clone of itself that mimics its actions?
/ryu hayabusa... ninja gaiden. ding.

Re:So when it gets there... (1)

nat5an (558057) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545785)

Wow, I figured there would be a ninja gaiden reference in here somewhere, but I didn't think it would be first post. Then again...this is /.

Dance the jig? (0)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544121)

If it is a robot from Japan, you kind of half expect it to have arms and legs and dance some kind of techno-jig on the roid.

Re:Dance the jig? (1)

TheAdventurer (779556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544214)

All this talk of probes and roids is making my butt itch.

Re:Dance the jig? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544377)

All this talk of probes and roids is making my butt itch.

All this rocket science and we can't get ass medicine that actually works.

Re:Dance the jig? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544658)

You really should try to get more fiber into your diet. I recommend bananas, bran muffins, and brown rice. You know, the three B's.

And... if all else fails, try Metamucil. (A.k.a, the ultimate weapon.)

Gosh, real science over in Japan (3, Insightful)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544123)

I am impressed by the Japanese mission:

HAYABUSA's mission: to bring back samples from an asteroid and investigate the mysteries of the birth of the solar system.

And I am sufficiently unimpressed by NASA's inability to even piggyback a rover with this. There is so much science to do that doesn't have to do with rocketry, that doesn't have to do with sending people into space, that doesn't have to do with spending billions on a boondoggle space program that is more concerned with keeping certain government vendors in the money rather than actually getting real science done.

Mars Rovers: Good NASA
Space Shuttle: Bad NASA
Hubble ST: Good NASA
ISS: NASA can't even send people up there to rendezvous

I'm sure someone will want to say "what about that big ol' comet we blasted with our satellite. Did we get any samples back? Did we get anything new except maybe a little more practice at aiming our missiles? Not really.

Hayabusa looks like it's going to be headed back to Earth with samples. Real science. I just wish it were Americans at the leading edge of scientific space exploration.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544155)

And I am sufficiently unimpressed by NASA's inability to even piggyback a rover with this. There is so much science to do...

Well, peices of asteroids fall to Earth all the time. It is likely that most asteroid chunks found on Earth came originally from bigger asteroids that smacked into each other. Thus, Japan may be spending millions to get a peice of something that is already in our backyards.

However, it is true that such samples would not be affected by the usual heat of reentry, and thus possibly offer clues that yard chunks won't.

Further, there is not enough gravity to run a rover on a typical big asteroid. It would hit a small bump and fly up several feet. However, I have read about test bots with scissor-like legs that kind of slowly scoot along, better designed for super-low gravity.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (3, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544269)

Hate to break it to you, but in terms of failure rate, the Japanese space program is so far ahead of NASA it isn't even funny, yeah this one was successful, but overall the Japanese space program has been an expensive disaster. They have sent probe after probe after probe only to have them destroyed, they struggle to get even a basic satellite in orbit.....
NASA isn't perfect, but saying they are "behind" the Japanese space program is well, simply not true.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (2, Interesting)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544507)

That probably isn't exactly fair to ISAS, which has merged with NASDA that was plagued with failure after failure with its H-I and II rockets. These institutions now form JAXA, instead.

The ISAS's mu-series rocket has been fairly successful, except for a major failure of M-V rocket that carried ASTRO-E1 mission in 2000. So comparing NASA and ISAS is like apple-and-orange comparison that makes no sense, either.

Hayabusa was launched by ISAS, FWIW.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (5, Insightful)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544298)

You sir are clueless about "that big ol' comet we blasted". you can learn just about everything you need to using spectroscopy, and we are examing the inner layers of the comet which required such an impact. Its one thing to bring back a small sample from the top and examine it, its another to evalute a comet as a larger piece and its interior. If you sent a rover to earth from some distant planet and only brought back a small sample, would it be right for them to assume that the whole world was ice, or water, or dirt, or filled with bacteria? Both missions will certainly tell us alot of things that we didn't know before, but NASA's mission is telling us a whole lot more about the composition and general structure. Japan's mission is a little more specific and narrow focused, which makes sense considering that space agencies typically know what others are working on (except for the chinese) so why duplicate work. One thing is for sure, if a comet is ever headed towards earth, NASA's mission brought us a whole lot closer to understanding how to neutralize the threat.

Who said NASA'a space shuttle was bad? It is revolutionary, just expensive as hell and slightly ahead of its time, even more so then government projects like Arpanet were. As far as ISS goes, the only reason that thing is even in orbit is because of NASA. 6 space agencies claim to be apart of the project, but the only two that have ever done anything are the Russians and Americans. The Americans are also responsible for taking up just about every part of the station, the Russians took up 3. If NASA ever had trouble sending people up, it was simply because of red tape and senseless bureaucracy, the russians are a bit less worried about people dying. Everybody knocks NASA, but they are one of the few space agencies that does kickass things on a regular basis. Sure they could do something cool once and then never again and their saftey record could be perfect, but that isn't the point. Get your facts straight, the truth is that the majority of what we know about space is a as result of NASA. Of course the Russians deserve credit here too.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (1)

demondawn (840015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544360)

Actually, we have NOT been able to examine the inner layers of the comet as we desired; the dust thrown up by the impact obscured the actual crater itsellf far too much, and Tempel 1 overtook the craft that was monitoring the picture.

Amazing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544396)

I thought the GP's post was a brilliant troll, but then I read yours and saw how outclassed he really is.

Who said NASA'a space shuttle was bad? It is revolutionary, just expensive as hell and slightly ahead of its time

It's like watching Bobby Flay slice open a flounder. Elegant, deft, and just a little bit repulsive. Bravo!

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545030)

the russians are a bit less worried about people dying
Well, considering Russians-NASA "people missing in action in recent missions" score table, I'd say you are right ... they ought to be a bit less worried.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545067)

Who said NASA'a space shuttle was bad? It is revolutionary, just expensive as hell and slightly ahead of its time

I think your post of "You sir are clueless" fits right about here. The Orbiter to give it it's proper name is an experimental piece of junk which accomplished exactly none of the goals it was designed to accomplish. Why was the Orbiter built you ask? To lower the cost of moving materials and people to orbit. Did it accomplish that? NO! Did it ever even make it out of the experimental stage? NO! What capabilities did we give up to concentrate on this overpriced blunder of 70's technology? Well we USED to be able to go to our moon (that was with 60's technology). NASA has failed to advance the so-called "Space Program" in the last 35 years. Not what I'd call successful, not even meeting the status quo since we gave up abilities we used to have. If your interested in some inovators in the field you can look at Burt Rutan or even better look at SpaceX for some real inovation in the field. NASA has consistently failed to produce. Not that they havn't had some successes with probes, like the mars rover mission. It is interesting to note that their successes generally cost alot less than their failures. Billions wasted on the Orbiter and a shoestring budget for the rovers. Their even having trouble coming up with the money for staff to continue with the rover mission, but their STILL wasting money on the most colassal FAILURE of an experimental vehicle of all time. Sombodies priorities are in the wrong order.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545717)

Hello? Does anybody follow our stalwart little Rovers up on Mars anymore? Initial mission was what, six weeks? Now over a year later they are still catching interesting things like dust devils traveling along the horizon.

I am not fond of 'manned' missions. The whole 'send people to Mars' diversion is stupid. Not just plain stupid, but stupid stupid stupid. Notice that it is not being driven by NASA internally, but by the executive branch of our federal government. Hey, they write the check. However, I think the current executive branch is a little weak on science.

NASA has a bunch of robotic missions planned. There are line of probes and rovers in the queue.
NASA has been landing measurement devices on other planets for a long time, and will continue to do so.

I applaud the Japanese for this endeavor. It will expand the base of knowledge for all people. It certainly does not call for your shallow, disparaging remarks.

Re:Gosh, real science over in Japan (2, Interesting)

mhearne (601124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545877)

It always all boils down to money. I don't know your age, but if you are over 50, then you may remember real money. They don't have it anymore, and yet, that's all they seem to talk about.

I am less interested in the origins of the Universe, and more interested in mining the asteroids. It is very possible, that by mining the asteroids rather than the Earth, that our planet might be saved.

There is the problem of gravitation, and the effect that might be had on the solar system by changing it's mass around. That is left to be seen. Remember that Einstein omitted instantaneous gravitation, because not enough was known about it at the time.

Now I think that modern astronomers and physicists do have a great deal more data, and that they can make these predictions more accurately. I also think that bombarding comets is a potential mistake, and very possibly dangerous.

I also think that it's high time for ancient politics to pass away, and for us to escape the Earth. I am very sorry that I am too old to go, but I do have great hope for the kids.


While it is fascinating... (2, Insightful)

demondawn (840015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544127) get samples from any extra-terrestrial object, I think what is going to be most important out of this project is the ion-driven technology that propels the craft, as well as the re-entry capsule. Though it certianly might have been nice if they could have made the whole craft re-enterable; these things are far from cheap, and anything reusable goes a long way towards motivating people to supporting funding in NASA/JAXA.

Yes, but... (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544140)

...did Hayabusa get his revenge? []

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544659)

I'm not sure, but he's definitely an impressive fighter [] . We'll know more tomorrow [] .

Queue in the dumb Japanese jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544144)

How many times do we have to make ethnocentric comments that border on racism?

For one thing, Japanese are more open-minded towards Americans than we are to them.

Sure they are... (3, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544413) []

"So anyway, the whole "black men have big dicks" stereotype stretches far and wide, even to the nation's 12 year olds. Part of why I'm here is not just to kind of sort of help teach English, but to "broaden cultural perceptions". Break stereotypes, challenge preconcieved notions, all that jazz. That's good and all, but this is one stereotype I think I'm just gonna let slide.

So anyway, I get asked "bigu dikku" A LOT. Every 2-3 days in fact, which is amazing considering I got asked this question about 2-3 times *in my entire life* in America. Locker room jokes aside. How do you answer that anyway? To a 12-15 year old? I wave them off and say "No no no." Then they say "Oh, sumaru dikku?" (trans. "Small dick?") and OF COURSE that's wrong so I have to correct them. It's just a no-win stiuation."

Re:Sure they are... (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545045)

Funny you should mention that, as the next stage in the probe's program is to give the asteroid a good old-fashioned kancho.

Re:Sure they are... (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545246)

Actually, it's more amazing that the writer of the article can believe stereotypes like 'Japan is a country with few foreigners' even while working there! The Japanese belief that black guys have big dicks is just plain correct, but this whole 'woo, Japan, isolated empire where ancient tradition coexists with giant robots' thing is totally incomprehensible to me.

As to why his students feel the need to mention it to him all the time, well, I think he might want to consider that it's not that they're fascinated by his penis; it's more that they're just teenagers taking the piss out of their teacher. It does happen, you know :)

Actually, this reminds me of one time when I was talking to some young female shop assistants in Tokyo and had the following conversation:

Giggling assistants: What are you doing this weekend?

Me: Nothing much. You?

GA: We're going to Mitaka!

Me: Why Mitaka? It's a dump.

GA: But there is an american army base near there ! We want to try and fuck some black guys on Saturday. They have the biggest dicks!

Me: Right... er... see you on Monday, then.

Not a stereotype, though, just a fact about relative penis size and a tribute to the uninhibited, jaded nymphomania which seems to mark a large chunk of the Japanese population.

Amazing coincidence! (0, Flamebait)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544152)

The Japanese send a probe to an asteroid, and it's name is "Itokawa".

Our probes always land on places with names like "Titan" and "XJ-344b".

Obviously their technology is much more advanced than ours.

Typo (2, Informative)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544163)

"its name". Sorry.

Re:Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545112)

Come on, was this really necessary?

Re:Amazing coincidence! (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544421)

How can that be, when we go to places that have _numbers_ right in the name?

I mean, which sounds more scientific: "Engineering Building," or "Building 34/35"? The answer is, of course, neither, because they're both engineering buildings.

Which, I guess, makes them engineerific. Or is it enginific? It can't be that, otherwise we'd say "scienteer."

Re:Amazing coincidence! (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544455)

Even in popular American mythology the planets are named things like P3X-403 [] ;)

Bad luck? (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544165)

From the post: "but a solar flare damaged the solar panels causing a reduction in power."

And now that it's so very close to its target, we have another one [] coming.

Wow... (1, Insightful)

MeatMan (593183) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544186)

whoopty friggin' doo

Multi-Billion dollar spelunking expeditions in outer space. What could we all POSSIBLY do with billions of dollars right here on Earth to benefit us all right now? Hmmm... alternative energy research? Nah. Cures for debilitating and deadly diseases? Nah. Improving the infrastructures of impovershed nations? Nah. Teaching people how to farm and improving their ability to do so to help keep them from satrving to death? Nah. Let's use it to study big rocks that are floating around in a vacuum and are composed of minerals & metals found right here on Earth already.

Screwed up priorities by people and governments with billions of dollars to throw around on rock hounding in outer space while watching fellow humans suffer and die due to curable and stoppable causes at this very moment.

Re:Wow... (1)

John Miles (108215) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544194)

Yep, you've got a point. What's the hurry? We need to fix things inside the cave first.

Re:Wow... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545217)

Your statement includes the assumption that it's possible to fix things "inside the cave". That's quite a wild assumption.

Re:Wow... (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544271)

I think you are missing out the point that a lot of research is being done and money being spent on all the points you stated. I think it is shortsighted to stop all pure science just because there are problems "at home". There will always be problems "at home".

I wish humans would quit giving each other debilitating but preventable diseases. There isn't much that money can do to stop that. I'm not sure why humans should be wasting so much money curing a disease that people shouldn't be contracting.

And building infrastructures for impovershed nations, well, the problem is that impovershed nations are generally caused by not necessarily lack of money, the root of the lack of money is corrupt governments and/or lawlessness. There's little point in building necessary infrastructure if thugs are going to be allowed to remain and destroy that infrastructure.

Re:Wow... (1)

Anthony (4077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544833)

Granted, corrupt government leads to national poverty. However, lack of resources or lack of control of resources also limits wealth generation, especially during the "nation building phase". This has a big bearing on national wealth. How a country uses the resulting wealth is of course important. At the turn of the 20th Century, Australia and Argentina both had similarly world-leading standards-of-living. This was from both mineral and agricultural production. One country has had stable government, the other, not so consistently stable.

A new country like Timor Leste is "behind the eight-ball" as most of its premium resources (sandalwood and marble) have been mined. It is now reliant on Australia modifying mineral rights arrangements to allow access to oil and gas royalties, which are being developed by foreign (Aust/British) interests (disclosure: I am a Woodside Petroleum shareholder).

Re:Wow... (1)

MeatMan (593183) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544980)

Well, I haven't professed that we should "stop all pure science". You're mistaken to assume that is what I meant. I'm referring to examining asteroids (and comets), at the moment. I think we should undertake those studies, but at a different time. We're probably not going to find out anything we don't already know. We have moon rocks already, why do we need chunks of asteroids?

I'm all for missions to Mars, and any other planet out there, but wasting so much money sending probes to rocks and chunks of ice in space seems hardly warranted given that the money spent on that type of 'pork barrel' space research could be gathered together and combined to do much more good to help the human race right now. For example, we're not even able to finish the space station at the moment, and the Space Shuttle is about to get scrubbed. The station is very important for research and development, but getting the damn thing finished and developing a replacement transport vehicle seems to me to be a higher priority.

But we'll send probes to rocks and icebergs in space, gather nothing Earth shattering from it all more than likely, and flush those billions of dollars down the toilet... what a shame.

Re:Wow... (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544320)

The funny thing is how ignorant you are. Read this. []

Re: Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544356)

The article appears wierd in firefox, I meant to attach this to my above post.

Some of the most frequently asked questions about the U.S. space program are "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" and "What does the space program do for me?" These are legitimate questions and unfortunately not enough people have been made aware of the vast benefits the space program provides that increase the quality of our daily lives. Applications on Earth of technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of "spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and lifestyle. It is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by these spinoffs. Collectively, these secondary applications represent a substantial return on the national investment in aerospace research. We should be spending more.

Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight are remarkable. It has been conservatively estimated by U.S. space experts that for every dollar the U.S. spends on R and D in the space program, it receives $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. Besides the obvious jobs created in the aerospace industry, thousands more are created by many other companies applying NASA technology in nonspace related areas that affect us daily. One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.

One small example is the Hubble Space Telescope. Much maligned at first because of its flawed optics, it still produced better photographs than anything here on Earth. Once fixed, it has produced even more startling scientific data which we have only begun to understand and apply. One of the many spinoffs from the Hubble telescope is the use of its Charge Coupled Device (CCD) chips for digital imaging breast biopsies. The resulting device images breast tissue more clearly and efficiently than other existing technologies. The CCD chips are so advanced that they can detect the minute differences between a malignant or benign tumor without the need for a surgical biopsy. This saves the patient weeks of recovery time and the cost for this procedure is hundreds of dollars vs. thousands for a surgical biopsy. With over 500,000 women needing biopsies a year the economic benefit, per year, is tremendous and it greatly reduces the pain, scarring, radiation exposure, time, and money associated with surgical biopsies.

Below is a "small" sampling of the many other ways that space technology has improved our lives and benefited mankind. It is truly a remarkable list and not nearly complete but I believe you will begin to appreciate the answers to "Why do we go in space" and "What does the space program do for me?" So the next time you hear these questions being asked, you will be able to explain it.

Computer Technology - NASA Spinoffs

GROUND PROCESSING SCHEDULING SYSTEM - Computer-based scheduling system that uses artificial intelligence to manage thousands of overlapping activities involved in launch preparations of NASA's Space Shuttles. The NASA technology was licensed to a new company which developed commercial applications that provide real-time planning and optimization of manufacturing operations, integrated supply chains, and customer orders.uu

SEMICONDUCTOR CUBING - NASA initiative led to the Memory Short Stack, a three-dimensional semiconductor package in which dozens of integrated circuits are stacked one atop another to form a cube, offering faster computer processing speeds, higher levels of integration, lower power requirements than conventional chip sets, and dramatic reduction in the size and weight of memory-intensive systems, such as medical imaging devices.

STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS - This NASA program, originally created for spacecraft design, has been employed in a broad array of non-aerospace applications, such as the automobile industry, manufacture of machine tools, and hardware designs.

WINDOWS VISUAL NEWS READER (Win Vn) - Software program developed to support payload technical documentation at Kennedy Space Center, allowing the exchange of technical information among a large group of users. WinVn is an enabling technology product that provides countless people with Internet access otherwise beyond their grasp, and it was optimized for organizations that have direct Internet access.

AIR QUALITY MONITOR - Utilizing a NASA-developed, advanced analytical technique software package, an air quality monitor system was created, capable of separating the various gases in bulk smokestack exhaust streams and determining the amount of individual gases present within the stream for compliance with smokestack emission standards.

VIRTUAL REALITY - NASA-developed research allows a user, with assistance from advanced technology devices, to figuratively project oneself into a computer-generated environment, matching the user's head motion, and, when coupled with a stereo viewing device and appropriate software, creates a telepresence experience.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Advanced keyboards, Customer Service Software, Database Management System, Laser Surveying, Aircraft controls, Lightweight Compact Disc, Expert System Software, Microcomputers, and Design Graphics.

Consumer/Home/Recreation - NASA Spinoffs

ENRICHED BABY FOOD - A microalgae-based, vegetable-like oil called Formulaid developed from NASA-sponsored research on long duration space travel, contains two essential fatty acids found in human milk but not in most baby formulas, believed to be important for infants' mental and visual development.

WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM - NASA-developed municipal-size water treatment system for developing nations, called the Regenerable Biocide Delivery Unit, uses iodine rather than chlorine to kill bacteria.

SCRATCH-RESISTANT LENSES - A modified version of a dual ion beam bonding process developed by NASA involves coating the lenses with a film of diamond-like carbon that not only provides scratch resistance, but also decreases surface friction, reducing water spots.

POOL PURIFICATION - Space technology designed to sterilize water on long-duration spacecraft applied to swimming pool purification led to a system that uses two silver-copper alloy electrodes that generate silver and copper ions when an electric current passes through them to kill bacteria and algae without chemicals.

RIBBED SWIMSUIT - NASA-developed riblets applied to competition swimsuits resulted in flume testing of 10 to 15 percent faster speeds than any other world class swim-suit due to the small, barely visible grooves that reduce friction and aerodynamic drag by modifying the turbulent airflow next to the skin.

GOLF BALL AERODYNAMICS - A recently designed golf ball, which has 500 dimples arranged in a pattern of 60 spherical triangles, employs NASA aerodynamics technology to create a more symmetrical ball surface, sustaining initial velocity longer and producing a more stable ball flight for better accuracy and distance.

PORTABLE COOLERS/WARMERS - Based on a NASA-inspired space cooling system employing thermoelectric technology, the portable cooler/warmer plugs into the cigarette lighters of autos, recreational vehicles, boats, or motel outlets. Utilizes one or two miniaturized modules delivering the cooling power of a 10-pound block of ice and the heating power of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

SPORTS TRAINING - Space-developed cardio-muscular conditioner helps athletes increase muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness through kinetic exercise.

ATHLETIC SHOES - Moon Boot material encapsulated in running shoe midsoles improve shock absorption and provides superior stability and motion control.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Dustbuster, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, cool sportswear, sports bras, hair styling appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjusting sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang gliders, art preservation, and quartz crystal timing equipment.

Environmental and Resource Management - NASA Spinoffs

MICROSPHERES - The first commercial products manufactured in orbit are tiny microspheres whose precise dimensions permit their use as reference standards for extremely accurate calibration of instruments in research and industrial laboratories. They are sold for applications in environmental control, medical research, and manufacturing.

SOLAR ENERGY - NASA-pioneered photovoltaic power system for spacecraft applications was applied to programs to expand terrestrial applications as a viable alternative energy source in areas where no conventional power source exists.

WEATHER FORECASTING AID - Space Shuttle environmental control technology led to the development of the Barorator which continuously measures the atmospheric pressure and calculates the instantaneous rate of change.

FOREST MANAGEMENT - A NASA-initiated satellite scanning system monitors and maps forestation by detecting radiation reflected and emitted from trees.

SENSORS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL - NASA development of an instrument for use in space life support research led to commercial development of a system to monitor an industrial process stream to assure that the effluent water's pH level is in compliance with environmental regulations.

WIND MONITOR - Development of Jimsphere wind measurement balloon for space launches allows for making high resolution measurements of the wind profile for meteorological studies and predictions.

TELEMETRY SYSTEMS - A spinoff company formed to commercialize NASA high-data-rate telemetry technology, manufactures a high-speed processing system for commercial communications applications.

PLANT RESEARCH - NASA research on future moon and Mars bases is investigating using plants for food, oxygen, and water to reduce the need for outside supplies. This research utilizes Hydroponics (liquid nutrient solutions) instead of soil to support plant growth and finds applications for vegetable production on Earth.

FIRE RESISTANT MATERIAL - Materials include chemically-treated fabric for sheets, uniforms for hazardous material handlers, crew's clothing, furniture, interior walls of submersibles and auto racer and refueler suits.

RADIATION INSULATION - Aluminized polymer film is highly effective radiation barrier for both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Variations of this space-devised material are also used as an energy conservation technique for homes and offices. The materials are placed between wall studs and exterior facing before siding or between roof support and roof sheathing. The radiant barrier blocks 95% of radiant energy. Successful retrofit installations include schools and shrink wrap ovens.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Whale identification method, environmental analysis, noise abatement, pollution measuring devices, pollution control devices, smokestack monitor, radioactive leak detector, earthquake prediction system, sewage treatment, energy saving air conditioning, and air purification.

Health and Medicine - NASA Spinoffs

DIGITAL IMAGING BREAST BIOPSY SYSTEM - The LORAD Stereo Guide Breast Biopsy system incorporates advanced Charge Coupled Devices (CCDs) as part of a digital camera system. The resulting device images breast tissue more clearly and efficiently. Known as stereotactic large-core needle biopsy, this nonsurgical system developed with Space Telescope Technology is less traumatic and greatly reduces the pain, scarring, radiation exposure, time, and money associated with surgical biopsies.

BREAST CANCER DETECTION - A solar cell sensor is positioned directly beneath x-ray film, and determines exactly when film has received sufficient radiation and has been exposed to optimum density. Associated electronic equipment then sends a signal to cut off the x-ray source. Reduction of mammography x-ray exposure reduces radiation hazard and doubles the number of patient exams per machine.

LASER ANGIOPLASTY - Laser angioplasty with a "cool" type of laser, caller an excimer laser, does not damage blood vessel walls and offers precise non-surgical cleanings of clogged arteries with extraordinary precision and fewer complications than in balloon angioplasty.

ULTRASOUND SKIN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT - Advanced instrument using NASA ultrasound technology enables immediate assessment of burn damage depth, improving patient treatment, and may save lives in serious burn cases.

HUMAN TISSUE STIMULATOR - Employing NASA satellite technology, the device is implanted in the body to help patient control chronic pain and involuntary motion disorders through electrical stimulation of targeted nerve centers or particular areas of the brain.

COOL SUIT - Custom-made suit derived from space suits circulates coolant through tubes to lower patient's body/ temperature, producing dramatic improvement of symptoms of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other conditions.

PROGRAMMABLE PACEMAKER - Incorporating multiple NASA technologies, the system consists of the implant and a physician's computer console containing the programming and a data printer. Communicates through wireless telemetry signals.

OCULAR SCREENING - NASA image processing techniques are used to detect eye problems in very young children. An electronic flash from a 35-millimeter camera sends light into the child's eyes, and a photorefractor analyzes the retinal reflexes, producing an image of each eye.

AUTOMATED URINALYSIS - NASA fluid dynamics studies helped development of system that automatically extracts and transfers sediment from urine sample to an analyzer microscope, replacing the manual centrifuge method.

MEDICAL GAS ANALYZER - Astronaut-monitoring technology used to develop system to monitor operating rooms for analysis of anesthetic gasses and measurement of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen concentrations to assure proper breathing environment for surgery patients.

VOICE-CONTROLLED WHEELCHAIR - NASA teleoperator and robot technology used to develop chair and manipulator that respond to 35 one-word voice commands utilizing a minicomputer to help patient perform daily tasks, like picking up packages, opening doors, and turning on appliances.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, automatic insulin pump, portable x-ray device, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aid, MRI, bone analyzer, and cataract surgery tools.

Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology - NASA Spinoffs

MAGNETIC LIQUIDS - Based on the NASA-developed ferrofluid concept involving synthetic fluids that can be positioned and controlled by magnetic force, the ferrofluidic seal was initially applied in a zero-leakage, nonwearing seal for the rotating shaft of a system used to make semiconductor chips, solving a persistent problemcontamination due to leaking seals.

WELDING SENSOR SYSTEM - Laser-based automated welder for industrial use incorporates a laser sensor system originally designed for Space Shuttle External Tank to track the seam where two pieces of metal are to be joined, measures gaps and minute misfits, and automatically corrects the welding torch distance and height.

MICROLASERS - Based on a concept for optical communications over interplanetary distances, microlasers were developed for the commercial market to transmit communication signals and to drill, cut, or melt materials.

MAGNETIC BEARING SYSTEM - Bearings developed from Space Shuttle designs support moving machinery without physical contact, permitting motion without friction or wear, and are now used in electric power generation, petroleum refining, machine tool operation, and natural gas pipelines.

ENGINE LUBRICANT - A NASA-developed plasma-sprayed coating is used to coat valves in a new, ten-inch-long, four-cylinder rotary engine, eliminating the need for lubricating the rotorcam, which has no crankshaft, flywheel, distributor, or water pump.

INTERACTIVE COMPUTER TRAINING - Known as Interactive Multimedia Training (IMT), originally developed to train astronauts and space operations personnel, now utilized by the commercial sector to train new employees and upgrade worker skills, using a computer system that engages all the senses, including text, video, animation, voice, sounds, and music.

HIGH-PRESSURE WATERSTRIPPING - Technology developed for preparing Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters first evolved into the U.S. Air Force's Large Aircraft Robotic Paint Stripping (LARPS) system, and now used in the commercial airline industry, where the waterjet processing reduces coating removal time by 90 percent, using only water at ultra-high pressures up to 55,000 psi.

ADVANCED WELDING TORCH - Based on the Variable Polarity Plasma Arc welding technology, a handheld torch originally developed for joining light alloys used in NASA's External Tank, is now used by major appliance manufacturers for sheet metal welding.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire stripper, lubricant coating process, wireless communications, engine coatings, and engine design.

Public Safety - NASA Spinoffs

RADIATION HAZARD DETECTOR - NASA technology has made commercially available new, inexpensive, conveniently carried device for protection of people exposed to potentially dangerous levels of microwave radiation. Weighing only 4 ounces and about the size of a cigarette pack, it can be carried in a shirt pocket or clipped to a belt. Unit sounds an audible alarm when microwave radiation reaches a preset level.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE ROBOT - Remotely-operated robot reduces human injury levels by performing hazardous tasks that would otherwise be handled by humans.

PERSONAL ALARM SYSTEM - Pen-sized ultrasonic transmitter used by prison guards, teachers, the elderly, and disabled to call for help is based on space telemetry technology. Pen transmits a silent signal to receiver that will display the exact location of the emergency.

EMERGENCY RESCUE CUTTERS - Lightweight cutters for freeing accident victims from wreckage developed using NASA pyrotechnic technology.

FIREMAN'S AIR TANKS - Lighter-weight firefighter's air tanks have been developed. New back-pack system weighs only 20 lbs. for 30 minute air supply, 13 lbs. less than conventional firefighting tanks. They are pressurized at 4,500 psia (twice current tanks). A warning device tells the fireman when he or she is running out of air.

PERSONAL STORM WARNING SYSTEM - Lightning detector gives 30-minute warning to golfers, boaters, homeowners, business owners, and private pilots.

SELF-RIGHTING LIFE RAFT - Developed for the Apollo program, fully inflates in 12 seconds and protects lives during extremely adverse weather conditions with self-righting and gravity compensation features.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Storm warning services (Doppler radar), firefighters' radios, lead poison detection, fire detector, flame detector, corrosion protection coating, protective clothing, and robotic hands.

Transportation - NASA Spinoffs

STUDLESS WINTER TIRES - Viking Lander parachute shroud material is adapted and used to manufacture radial tires, increasing the tire material's chainlike molecular structure to five times the strength of steel should increase tread life by 10,000 miles.

BETTER BRAKES - New, high-temperature composite space materials provide for better brake linings. Applications includes trucks, industrial equipment and passenger cars.

TOLLBOOTH PURIFICATION - A laminar airflow technique used in NASA clean rooms for contamination-free assembly of space equipment is used at tollbooths on bridges and turnpikes to decrease the toll collector's inhalation of exhaust fumes.

WEIGHT SAVING TECHNOLOGY - NASA research on composite materials is used to achieve a 30-percent weight reduction in a twin-turbine helicopter, resulting in a substantial increase in aircraft performance.

IMPROVED AIRCRAFT ENGINE - Multiple NASA developed technological advancements resulted in a cleaner, quieter, more economical commercial aircraft engine known as the high bypass turbofan, featuring a 10-percent reduction in fuel consumption, lower noise levels, and emission reductions of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons.

ADVANCED LUBRICANTS - An environmental-friendly lubricant designed to support the Space Shuttle Mobile Launcher Platform led to the development of three commercial lubricants for railroad track maintenance, for electric power company corrosion prevention, and as a hydraulic fluid with an oxidation life of 10,000 hours.

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM - The Flywheel Energy Storage system, derived from two NASA-sponsored energy storage studies, is a chemical-free, mechanical battery that harnesses the energy of a rapidly spinning wheel and stores it as electricity with 50 times the capacity of a lead-acid battery, very useful for electric vehicles.

NEW WING DESIGN FOR CORPORATE JETS - NASA-developed computer programs resulted in an advanced, lighter, more aerodynamically-efficient new wing for Gulfstream business aircraft.

AIDS TO SCHOOL BUS DESIGN - Manufacturer uses three separate NASA-developed technologies originally developed for aviation and space use in their design and testing of a new school bus chassis. These technologies are a structural analysis computer program infrared stress measurement system, and a ride quality meter system.

Other spinoffs in this area include: Safer bridges, emission testing, airline wheelchairs, electric car, auto design, methane-powered vehicles, windshear prediction, and aircraft design analysis.


Back to Top

The Ultimate Space Place, © 1997 -2004
Revised 02/02/04

Re:Wow... (1)

MeatMan (593183) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544999)

A sure sign of a weak mind. Name calling... that's both sad and pathetic. Good luck in your life. I hope things get better for you so you're not so weak in the future.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544565)

Next time you go to spend money on something non-essential--let's even postulate that it's something which will teach you something--ask yourself what more socially responsible act you might have committed instead, then do so.

It would only be consistent.

In other news (0)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544188)

The asteroid 'Alma' is proving very difficult for said probe to destroy

Re:In other news (0)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544222)

Until the probe learns jump, roll, jump, roll, jump, roll, wind walk. The probe still has a problem with ghost fish in the Hurricane Pack though.

Re:In other news (0)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544326)


Any country anywhere, this is cool. (2)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544228)

This is great for everyone. Thank you Japan, and keep the photos coming. Best of luck with the sample return.

As an aside, to Japanese spacecraft have particular trouble with solar flares? Or just horrible luck? Didn't they have a Mars probe stagger past that planet but not make orbit for about the same reasons?

Re:Any country anywhere, this is cool. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544742)

The fact that their probe can undergo damage and continue the mission is impressive all by itself.

Cool... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544258)

The first Suzuki in space!

Did Ghost Rider take it there?

Re:Cool... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545019)

That's no troll! Ghost Rider's 500hp Hayabusa is a legend! []

Actually, I have to admit - when I saw the headline, the first thing I thought was "I knew Hayabusas were crotch rockets, but that's extreme..."

Seems odd. (5, Funny)

bluesoul88 (609555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544318)

"A solar flare damaged the solar panels causing a reduction in power."

Ah, powered by irony. Those Japanese are always on the cutting edge.

Re:Seems odd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545335)

"Ah, powered by irony."

  Irony power? Nah, can't be. I don't believe you kids ever even heard of 'doc' Smith.

Re:Seems odd. (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545417)

Besides a modern bergenholm(sp?) drive would be more efficeint anyway.
    Doesen't have quick the nausea problem when free eigther.


My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (3, Funny)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544344)

It's a pity that NASA's asteroid rover, which Hayabusa was going to drop off, got cancelled due to budgetry constraints...

By cancelling all these pork barrel projects the administration was able to give you a tax refund. I enjoyed my three hundred dollars. It paid for the gas for my huge honkin' SUV for a whole month. It would have been two months except that Dick and George's arab friends raised their prices. But at least all those refunds went to a good cause. If the democrats were still running things a lot of our disposable income would be going to cocaine farmers in South America. But we can rest assured that when the robed men that George Bush holds hands with collect our extra cash that they will do something good with it. I'll bet they have lots of charitable causes that they donate to. Yup, I hear those Saudi's give to lots of worthy organizations... So the next time you complain about not adding some expensive, experimental gadget to some japanese rocket just think for a second about where that money would come from and have a little sympathy for those poor millionaires who would have to cut back on single malt scotch and exotic asian hookers. And for what? So some scientists can drive a remote control car around on an asteroid. We don't need Science to tell us about the universe. Everything you need to know is in the GoOD Book. Want to know how the universe was created? Pick up a Bible and read. It's right there in the first chapter.

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544430)

You are being sacastic, I hope :)

To those of you who actually agree with this comment, let's just say without Bush, your nation would be $300billion richer.

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (2, Insightful)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544488)

Oh come off it. In the current market, nobody has 'control' of prices -- they're set by the laws of supply and demand. Demand is huge right now mainly because the red Chinese economy is booming. Supply, meanwhile, can't be increased. The result is completely predictible to anybody who's taken high school economics: prices go up.

When there's any blip in supply, as there was with the hurricane, supply actually drops and prices go up again.

And, in fact, this is what you want -- if the prices were artificially set at some level, we would end up with shortages and rationing: Retirees would still be able to go out crusing on the weekends with their ration, but delivery trucks wouldn't have enough to make their rounds.

There are certainly people making a mint on this -- the cost of production has not gone up much. But, there was no way for any oil company/country to engineer this.

As for your tirade about the tax cuts.... As a percentage of the total tax relief, only a small portion went to the "millionaires" -- much more went to those w/ annual incomes under $100K/yr. Person-for-person however, millionaires got more (because they pay substantially higher taxes than the rest of us and thus benefit most from any tax cut), but there are far fewer of them.

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544512)

My prediction (which I hope is incorrect):

Grandparent's paranoid rant will be moded "insightful" or "interesting" in no time.

Parent's post, which is based in common sense, will probably be moded as "flamebait" or "troll" just as quickly.

If you were looking for karma, you should've simply posted, "I hate Bush and think everything in Farenheit 9/11 is true".

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544496)

The bible is a fictional book. You may as well suggest reading "Lord of the Rings" as they are both based on fantasy. LotR is much more interesting and believable.

mod parent DOWN (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544501)

Damn it, I've got the mod points but I decided to post something before I read this -1 flamebait drivel. Now I regret wasting my chance!

oh!ohh!! (0, Troll)

subtropolis (748348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544552)

That wasn't flamebait. You want to see flamebait? G E O R G E B U S H is flamebait!

Re:mod parent DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544570)

Ever heard of irony? Some people just don't get it.

Re:mod parent DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545944)

"-1 Flamebait"? I think you mean "-1 The Truth Hurts".

Don't like it? Deal with it. It's true, though. Your comfortable lifestyle is only sustained by the suffering of billions who live in worse conditions than slaves ever did.

You will have a pleasant life now, but your children and grandchildren (if, God forbid, you breed) will inherit a husk of an Earth sucked dry by your greed.

Well, whatever parts of it still remain above water, anyway.

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (2, Informative)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544684)

The Planetary Society

NASA Cancels Rover on Joint Japan-US Asteroid Mission

November 3, 2000

NASA has canceled the development of a miniature rover, which would have been part of the U.S. contribution to a Japanese mission to an asteroid in September, 2005. The primary reasons for the cancellation were rising costs and weight.

A Previous President.

Re:My tax refund is no budgetary constraint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544789)

Wow, none of the above replies noticed that the parent was a joke.

stupid controller (2, Funny)

austad (22163) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544429)

Actually, the probe would have been there much much sooner, but someone accidentally entered "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start" when they should have entered "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start".

It's a common mistake. It's too bad it had to happen on the controls to this thing though.

NASA has, however, licensed the control technology used on this probe. Unfortunately, they are unsure as to whether or not their current shuttle control systems have enough power to be able to take commands from the unit. Fortunately, when the engineers do something wrong, they will have the assurance of being able to grab the cord 1 foot up from the controls and smack it repeatedly into a cement basement floor with no damage.

I, for one... (1)

aktzin (882293) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544433)

...welcome our robotic Japanese asteroid exploring probe overlords, even if they no longer carry NASA rovers. C'mon, laugh! At least I didn't mention Beowulf clusters or Soviet Russia.

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545075)

In Soviet Russia, the in-joke mentions YOU!

Grasping at straws... (1)

Parallax Blue (836836) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544447)

It seems like these probes that study asteroids are really grasping at straws. What are we looking for in the asteroids? Are we looking for anything specific? Why are we looking for that? Etc. All knowledge is worth having but searching without a particular goal in mind is unlikely to get good results.

Re:Grasping at straws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544477)

If we knew beforehand what was up there to examine, don't you think we'd be sending fewer space probes?

Re:Grasping at straws... (4, Informative)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544562)

There's lots of good reasons to study deep space objects like asteroids and comets. Some of these are purely scientific while others are far more practical. Finding the exact composition of an asteroid for instance helps tell us where in the solar system it formed. Knowing where it began existance and comparing that position to its current one gives us clues on how the solar system has evolved from its accretion disk state. Studying asteroids up close also lets us test our theories on planetary formation, if an asteroid of a particular class is expected to have a particular composition and indeed does it lends weight to that formation theory. It also provides ground truth for other forms of observation and measurement.

From a practical standpoint it is highly beneficial to know what asteroids are made out of. They're prime targets for space mining ventures at some point. Unlike materials mined from the Moon or Mars there's very little surface gravity to fight to get the material from the asteroid back to Earth. Hence it would be far easier to grab raw silicon or some such off a NEA and return it to Earth than get it off the Moon.

It also pays off to practice sending craft to rendevous with deep space objects. While current missions are exploratory, at some point they might be defensive. If we see an Earth crossing comet or asteroid in enough time there's a good chance we can alter its trajectory or outright destroy it (if its small enough) if we can successfully put spacecraft in striking distance of it. It is desirable to have a lot of people well versed in that sort of mission. It's also another area where knowing the composition of such objects is useful. Knowing what would be needed to destroy or deflect such an object is much easier when you know how it is going to behave. A rocky dense asteroid will act far differently than a loosely clumped dustball when hit with a nuclear blast.

Re:Grasping at straws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13545042)

well the next big wars could be fought over water.

How about doubling our supply? and its probably relatively simple to mine and process in space. _planet.html []

Motorcycles? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544473)

Re:Motorcycles? (1)

wamatt (782485) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544695)

Hayabusas kick ass. Thank you.

This just in ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13544733)

Communications from the Hayabusa probe suddenly and mysteriously fell silent after it returned this image illa.jpg [] .

motorbike (2, Funny)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 9 years ago | (#13544825)

That's one fast motorbike and a hell of a ramp.

Probing? (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545194)

from the we-dont-do-nearly-enough-probing dept.
The difference between humans and alien-abductions: Aliens are just rumored to be , but we KNOW we are probing stuff, and in a very big way!


Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13545374)

It will study the asteroid for two months before collecting a sample from the surface and departing for Earth

The original press release was edited by the Japanese Government, the original version read as follows:

It will study the asteroid for two months before awaking Godzilla.
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