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Approaching Solar Storm Forces ISS to Take Cover

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the here-comes-the-sun dept.

Space 118

vichyschwa writes "A Coronal Mass Ejection resulting from an X3 Solar Flare earlier today is forcing the ISS and Shuttle astronauts to take cover and may result in communication disruptions. Last week, the same sunspot generated what astronomers described as a rarely imaged solar tsunami. The activity began with an X9 flare Dec. 5. According to Spaceweather.com, "satellites may experience some glitches and reboots, but astronauts are in no danger." However, the astronauts were ordered to a protective area of the space station as a precaution."

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118 comments

Why would they take cover? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232662)

When they can get cool powers like the Fantastic Four?

Re:Why would they take cover? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232850)

I for one welcome our new cosmically powered overlords!

Re:Why would they take cover? (0, Redundant)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233000)

Finally a use of that meme that was semi-funny.

Re:Why would they take cover? (0)

Barryke (772876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233170)

Cosmonauts?

Re:Why would they take cover? (4, Funny)

Samah (729132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233040)

Hell, anything that gives me a tightly-fitted-lycra-suit-clad Jessica Alba is alright in my books :)

Re:Why would they take cover? (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233070)

No, making Jessica Alba invisible is just soooooo wrong.

Re:Why would they take cover? (1)

kicken18 (839808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237052)

Unless your gay, then your in danger of turning straight!!!

Re:Why would they take cover? (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233220)

If you are as confused as I was when you read the linked article [space.com] , notice that this article [space.com] is linked from the first one. The first talks about the solar system "weather forecast." The second talks about the crew of the shuttle and ISS taking cover.

Fantastic four (-1, Redundant)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232684)

Lets hope the results from this storm end up more entertaining then the fantatic four movie.

Re:Fantastic four (0, Redundant)

KrayzieKyd (906704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232702)

Lets hope the results from this storm end up more entertaining THAN the Fantastic Four movie.

Re:Fantastic four (1)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232710)

then or than, thats a pretty small grammar error, especially on slashdot

Re:Fantastic four (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233162)

then or than, that's a pretty small grammar error, especially on slashdot

Re:Fantastic four (3, Funny)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233400)

Then or than, that's a pretty small grammatical error, especially on Slashdot.

WikiSlashdot (2, Funny)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234820)

Slashdot comments should be editable, like Wiki pages! Instead of posting irritating comments, Grammar Nazi(TM)'s could just edit the offending posts directly.

Re:WikiSlashdot (2, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237580)

Instead of posting irritating comments, Grammar Nazis(TM) could just edit the offending posts directly.

Re:Fantastic four (0)

srn_test (27835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232724)

_Let's_ hope the results from this storm end up more entertaining THAN the Fantastic Four movie.

If you're going to be picky.

Re:Fantastic four (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232802)

Oh, snap!

Re:Fantastic four (2, Informative)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232744)

1989 [solarstorms.org] was pretty entertaining.

Look north tonight (3, Insightful)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233204)

The last time one of these things happened, we had incredible views of the northern lights [wikipedia.org] even in southern Europe.

So I would suggest keeping an eye on the northern sky tonight, we might be in for a truly entertaining light show!

Re:Look north tonight (2, Funny)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233342)

Ok so I'm lookin north. I live where it's dark and far enough north the aurora is pretty good here.

But it's cloudy. And it'd gonna be cloudy all week.

Wadda rip.

It can still be cool! (2, Interesting)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234330)

I lived in the north of Sweden (Luleå) for a year and one night there was going to be some major northern lights. The sky was clouded BUT the clouds looked as if they were backlit with a powerfull greenish-pinkish light! The night was quite bright and this was during the winter when even the days are dark and at best gloomy. So don't hesitate to take a look.. :)

Cheers!..

Re:Look north tonight (2, Informative)

arrrrg (902404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233810)

Saw this earlier today: MIDDLE LATITUDE AURORAL ACTIVITY WARNING [spacew.com] . Sadly, it's way too foggy here to see anything ... I was really looking forward to seeing my first aurora.

Re:Look north tonight (2, Informative)

yellowbkpk (890493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17239296)

Check out this page [noaa.gov] for the "energetic particles" count in the atmosphere. Basically, you have a decent chance of seeing Northern Lights if you are being covered by a yellow or red pixel.

WOOHOO!! (1)

gllitznz (1036084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232688)

"...described as a rarely imaged solar tsunami.." SURF'S UP!!!!.......oh, wait......

tsunami (5, Interesting)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232946)

Re:tsunami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233156)

Cooler pictures will be coming soon...

http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

Re:tsunami (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233354)

I hope so, because unfortunately SOHO has been doings its CCD maintenance run while that tsunami occurred.

Re:tsunami in STEREO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233508)

Just wait until the SECCHI/STEREO mission images start showing up.
STEREO launched in October and things are looking good!
Part of its primary mission is to image CMEs, which are very difficult to see when they are pointed straight at you.
It uses two satellites (A=Ahead and B=Behind) to image the sun from different angles.

Re:tsunami (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238414)

I love it. the link to "tsunami wave" in the caption of that photo is a nice clip of a a guy surfing a serious wave on google video. Who says rocket scientists aren't cool! Way to go NASA!!

X2 vs X9 (5, Informative)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232700)

I was confused by this, so I looked it up.

From the Wikipedia article on Solar Flares: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_Flare [wikipedia.org]

Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux (in watts per square meter, W/m2) of 100 to 800 picometer [wikipedia.org] X-rays [wikipedia.org] near Earth, as measured on the GOES [wikipedia.org] spacecraft. Each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one, with X class flares having a peak flux of order 10-4 W/m2. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9, so an X2 flare is twice as powerful as an X1 flare, and is four times more powerful than an M5 flare. The more powerful M and X class flares are often associated with a variety of effects on the near-Earth space environment. Although the GOES classification is commonly used to indicate the size of a flare, it is only one measure.

X-ray flux raw data (4, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234016)

Real-time X-ray flux data is available here [noaa.gov] . A good site (for BOFHs or just curious laypeople) on this subject is SpaceWeather [spaceweather.com] .

Re:X-ray flux raw data (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17236036)

Thanks for the information. This has been an interesting week for the space sciences, I think, between the flares, the shuttle launch (I wonder if they could have missed some of this storm if they had launched sooner), and the publication of the Mars and Titan topography stuff.

Re:X2 vs X9 (0, Troll)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235574)

Here is another reality regards these CME's and flares. The matter in them leaves the sun and accelerates rapidly upon exiting the sun. This isn't like the acceleration of a gun. In a gun once the bullet leaves the gun, it begins slowing down. In a CME the matter gets faster and faster on the way out like it was riding a railgun track all the way out. The matter in these X-Class flares left the sun and in about 16 hours are reaching the earth. They left the sun at a velocity that was a few thousand miles per hour. By the time they get to the earth they are going many times that. In the case of these flares the matter is traveling about 10% of the speed of light when it passes earth. We have had flares like this which have passed earth going nearly 30% of the speed of light in 2004 and 2005. These were measured at Saturn by space craft to be going nearly 50% of the speed of light.

The reality is that had the solar system been ruled by gravity as certain people who always find their "troll" moderation say, this could not have happened. If the sun were the nuclear furnace proposed in the popular solar models of today it is also impossible to have had this happen. The cosmology of today is busted. It is wrong.

The solar system is operating as I write a massive particle accelerator that is operating at scales and forces beyond imagination. Millions of tons of matter are going out from the sun right now at speeds which will very shortly approach the speed of light. This means in the words of "Doc" from the movie back to the future---"This sucker is electrical." The electrical universe is real and it is very much happening around us. The Gravity hypothesis for solar system operation provides no model to allow any such activity. Acceleration of matter in this fashion cannot occur in a gravity driven universe. [wikipedia.org]

Re:X2 vs X9 (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17239334)

I found a very interesting video talking about exactly what you describe.

Thunderbolts of the Gods [google.com]

Another reason not to trust Wikipedia (1)

crimbil (702153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238528)

Each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one, with X class flares having a peak flux of order 10-4 W/m2. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9, so an X2 flare is twice as powerful as an X1 flare, and is four times more powerful than an M5 flare.
Bad math at work. By the scale listed, an M9 would be four times more powerful than an M5, so there is no way an X2 is four times more powerful than an M5. An X2 should be 7 times more powerful than an M5. (M6-M7-M8-M9-X-X1-X2)

Take Cover? (4, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232708)

"A Coronal Mass Ejection resulting from an X3 Solar Flare earlier today [CC] is forcing the ISS and Shuttle astronauts to take cover..."

I may be reading something wrong, or just may not know the exact details, but how exactly would the ISS "take cover"? Aside from the orbital path around the earth, there's little to hide under up there.

Re:Take Cover? (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232718)

It says ISS and Shuttle astronauts, as in both groups of astronauts, becuase, yes, it would hard to hide a battlestation...er...space station.

Re:Take Cover? (3, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232746)

Presumibly an extra shielded compartment of the station?

Re:Take Cover? (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234130)

So the ISS is going to hide inside itself? OP said ISS *and* astronauts. He was wondering where the ISS was going to "hide".

Re:Take Cover? (2, Informative)

Markus Landgren (50350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235354)

Guess what? "The ISS and shuttle astronauts" means "the ISS astronauts and the shuttle astronauts".

Re:Take Cover? (5, Informative)

Unholy_Kingfish (614606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232758)

One of the modules of the ISS is hardened against just this type of event. All of the modules have radiation protection, but this class of flare exceeds the safety limits of the those modules.

Think of it as a storm cellar in space.

Overheard in the Space Station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233164)

Uuhhhh, guys, who's got the key?

First base64-encoded post; can you dig it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232722)

UEsDBBQAAAAIAFa0jTV5j0oHkwIAAL4lAAAIAAAAYXNkZi5ibX Dt1jGOnDAUBmCjKSh9BBdR

pJwiRNliqz1MLhCQUlD6RhEr Cl9jRlzAdC4sv/wPGBhmWJgiRaS8fxcxM3xaeez37P3+9vuz

GvIV1xdc3zKlPO4ZfjjV9Pw+RMSXRCKRSCQSiUQikUj+26SC 0omoMXhRk1e5dUSVyjecVyWp

HC/0vjurIqnTsXuPJpr3VC RDPRE7uzm+mnQofSpise801YHCsTPkBhfKXQfZ9RR/Fp6ec+d9

F0u6DO5y6PrBtU+6es9hjienstE1qqiU2XGq3HHBLq7Ycb 6exxf31rd3s6M913VY1nH+sNAf

u/Yyrwcef+xc/5yrPdfL sbOB6+/YYZpRz4ffN5lYoD8O54/LD/22Xg9dKX3nMMkG/bte3w 2H

ntDYD9b1suEkkr8dFGbQ1PBegl9U31nzvkR5QPunjMt/ OEjgmuzqAqq+Ok2upJYPqcVV6uo8

blzR7NAM7oz3k8Pz3J eOh2DonHTS2MmjToNrkoaz40Puysm1VEc+QYJNn7CT2F+DmlzE mTa5

mtpYxsVZfLI4dOXkLHWLM6Q1ucWFsf35JfaCwIcY9s 0f/NY845RaO7R1PTo+1hdXYTJvxwfn

ZhdG14bJ6V3Xdbhj ijCRjw5zvHJ8BjTjepgDF1Xx6OLr7Nq+D2UXsN706MLL7FzfR3 ZcYw/j

C93aXTw1dOP8NH99j6Ua588FrB/OsfrWXdfj4uf1 sPy34eyWw3hWLnRTVd3VSxtKy3hwLxtu

qj/Hh007Op6j8A KxUc824Z+NenAmvg6XS2Zx1/7QyaA/Vg6H1I1Dv7mx/NBvo0P/ 8IVDSql8

OEjg0L+OxuGrgl1ig87jdbtxgdsAXwfTmtHgCu 5HXDikrk4ikUgkEolEIpFI/rH8AVBLAQIU

ABQAAAAIAFa0 jTV5j0oHkwIAAL4lAAAIAAAAAAAAAAAAIAAAAAAAAABhc2RmLm JtcFBLBQYA

AAAAAQABADYAAAC5AgAAAAA=

Re:First base64-encoded post; can you dig it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232824)

According to the xoft decoder hosted on Sourceforge [sourceforge.net] , decoding that results in gibberish. So no, I cannot dig it.

Re:First base64-encoded post; can you dig it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17234320)

So it wasn't my decoder that messed up...

Re:First base64-encoded post; can you dig it? (1)

Lostence (1039774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234354)

The gibberish is a zip file, with a lame bmp in it saying "LOL YOU WASTE YOUR LIFE"
huhu

BOFH - Solar Flares (5, Funny)

ServerIrv (840609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232734)

It's friday, so I get into work early, before lunch even. The phone rings. Shit!
I turn the page on the excuse sheet. "SOLAR FLARES" stares out at me. I'd better read up on that. Two minutes later I'm ready to answer the phone.
"Hello?" I say.
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET YOU ALL MORNING?!"
I hate it when they shout at me early in the morning. It always puts me in a bad mood. You know what I mean.
"Ah, yes. Well, there's been some solar activity this morning, it always disrupts electronics..." I say, sweet as a sugar pie.
"Huh? But I could get through to my friends?!"
"Yes, that's entirely possible, solar activity is very unpredictable in it's effects. Why last week, we had some files just dissappear from a guys account while he was working on it!"
"Really?"
"Straight Up! Hey, do you want me to check your account?"
"Yes please, I've got some important stuff in there!"
"Ok, what's your username..."
He tells me. Honestly, it's like shooting a fish in a barrel. Twice. With an Elephant Gun. At point blank range. In the head.

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (5, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232844)

Have you EVER shot at a fish in a barrel? Two times? With an elephant gun? At point blank range? In their shiny little slimy head?

Word to the wise. I'm here to tell you that you only need to do this once to appreciate the benefit of a good barrel when fish shooting. I mean, unless you have some pretty large fish (especially in the head area), and a pretty small caliber weapon, you are at risk of not only offing the fish, but you are also liable to put an NRA certified water-draining hole in your barrel. Now me, I use fish-shooting barrels from the Ukraine, and I've never had an issue with water stained carpets.

Try explaining it to your significant other when they get home. "Have you been discharging weapons inside the apartment, again...?" - "Don't we recall what happened when you put the dartboard up on the wall at the end of the hall and shot at it with your new Glock? That little-bitty bullet went thru the dart board and the wall and all four of your alpaca sweaters hanging up on that end of the closet...right?"

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (1)

captain random (992611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232880)

Woops - sorry, bloody mac trackpad. Hopefully this reply will remove the accidental offtopic moderation.

(OT) (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234190)

recall what happened when you put the dartboard up on the wall at the end of the hall and shot at it

I actually did this whilst at university, only against a door instead of a wall. The door in question was the front door, as this was the only corridor long enough to act as a range.

Although in the UK we only had air/CO2 powered pellet guns (albeit with 150m/s+ muzzle velocity, proper target pistols not BB guns), the stupidity of the situation did eventually dawn on us when the pizza guy rang the doorbell.

Re:(OT) (4, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234592)


Had a friend at university who used to throw knives and had a target drawn on his door. He was chucking a knife at it when his room mate walked in a fraction of a second after he'd thrown it. So we're all sitting there in stunned silence as this door swings shut behind him with a knife positioned right behind his head and he looks at us all and says "What's the matter with you lot?"

The difference between funny and death is very fine sometimes.

Re:(OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17239244)

We'll call you Annie Oakley from now on.

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235012)

Word to the wise. I'm here to tell you that you only need to do this once to appreciate the benefit of a good barrel when fish shooting.

Actually, shooting a high-powered rifle, while looking down at close range, into standing water is ... a really bad idea. Presuming that you really ARE talking about an "elephant gun [wikipedia.org] ," the amount of energy being released is really quite astounding. Depending on the round you're using, you could be delivering over 8,900 foot pounds of muzzle energy [wikipedia.org] . With that projectile doing 2,000 feet per second into a barrel of water right in front of you, some interesting things are going to happen. Supersonic hunks of metal of that size tend to create some interesting cavitation effects in enclosed bodies of liquid (especially when enclosed by wooden slats!).

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235148)

...so the fish is dead, right? :)

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235416)

...so the fish is dead, right? :)

Well, I don't think you'd actually be able to FIND the fish, but for most people that would qualify as dead, even though it's really more like MIA.

Re:BOFH - Solar Flares (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232992)

Mod the parent up. LMAO! ;)

(I guess you have to appreciate the BOFH series) And yes, I'm a former systems admin.

I'm outa here! (0)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232762)

"...and may result in communication disruptions."

A disruption in communications can mean only one thing...invasion!

Re:I'm outa here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233016)

I swear to god, if we of Earth ends up indebted to jar-jar, I'm taking my lightsaber and committing seppuku.

Re:I'm outa here! (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233100)

Since we don't have a crappy, third rate space fleet parked around our planet, I guess you're doubly wrong.

Re:I'm outa here! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233408)

You sure about that?

Re:I'm outa here! (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17236766)

And even if we did, there'd be nothing to fear... pop off a nuke above the robotic assault forces (ground forces? who uses ground forces?!) and watch the EMP take them out.

Where's your army of slapstick robots now, fish men?

Sci-fi foot soldiers (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238776)

I've always wondered about sci-fi with grunt deployments - why the fuck risk the lives of countless of your own citizens when you can just nuke the other planet? Even better, send a few meteors their way. If you're really good, you can make it hard to trace, even.

Re:I'm outa here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17235326)

Weeze a are warriors I'mmma not afraid weeza gooonnnna fite.

Oh dear (4, Funny)

Whiteout (828544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232766)

A Coronal Mass Ejection resulting from an X3 Solar Flare earlier today

Too much Mexican beer after a day on the beach, perhaps.

According to (4, Funny)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232828)

CNN, the shuttle should be able to escape it! http://shogun.shafted.com.au/temp/cnnsucks.jpg [shafted.com.au]

Re:According to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233146)

Yes, but at those speeds the shuttle would be travelling through time and have a bit more to worry about than just radiation! For some reason, I now have the picture in my mind of the Turtles fighting aliens in the future . . . if only I had Turtles in Time on an emulator.

I'm not sure whether to consider that image a sign of the incompetence at CNN, or that of our nations school system.

Re:According to (1)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233328)

I remember watching that CNN coverage, and I noticed the same tagline when it came up. It was quickly corrected to "speed of sound" but still...I'm glad someone got it on film, and now that's on my hard drive for all eternity. Thanks :)

Fore! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232834)

I hope this doesn't mean that they have to postpone some of the important work that they're .... oh, yeah, never mind. Sorry.

glitches for satellites, no danger for astronauts (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232840)

So why don't they make satellites out of the stuff astronauts are made of?

Re:glitches for satellites, no danger for astronau (2)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233006)

Although some people think nonliving objects can all of a sudden evolve into living objects it wouldn't work out too well to go the other way and make a satellite out of muscles and bones. Just think of the gooey mess when you change the batteries. By the way, astronauts are still vulnerable. Ever hear of radiation poisoning? Why else would the astronauts have been told to go into the safest part of the ISS during the storm?

Re:glitches for satellites, no danger for astronau (4, Insightful)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233022)

Because, um, we can't? I doubt organic computing has advanced far enough. Last I heard, a mouse brain could auto-pilot a plane, but I don't think that is what scientists are really worried about. A few brief glitches doesn't justify making the enormous investment to create not only wholly organic computers, but completely organic sensors (like gyroscopes. How are we going to make an organic version of that?) We don't have the knowledge or the means to do it. Besides, I have a feeling that an organic satellite would have more problems in space than a mechanical one. A mechanical one would have to worry about a few solar storms and collisions, both of which are only intermittent concerns. Organic satellites would have to worry about a lot of things, like solar wind which would be constantly ablating the surface (think sunburn). An organic satellite would need to feed itself. The only organic means of converting sunlight into energy that I can think of requires a steady supply of water and carbon dioxide. Out of curiosity, how would we communicate with it? Moving on, I guess you could say that an organic satellite could heal itself. A big plus, until you realize that means that it can also develop cancer. I know, it sounds retarded, but there's a lot of radiation in space. Even with shielding, that's a lot of exposure. Instead of having to go on missions to replace a faulty sensor or transmitter, we'll need to send missions to perform surgeries in zero gravity. Sounds fun.

Anyways, all of these concerns are a little academic, especially considering the fact that they don't exist!

Re:glitches for satellites, no danger for astronau (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233056)

especially considering the fact that they don't exist!
As far as you know! The military have been experimenting with dolphins in space for decades!

Re:glitches for satellites, no danger for astronau (2, Funny)

paving-slab (893290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235988)

So that's what happened to the White Dolphins from Yangtze River...

Topic drift: gyroscopes (2, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233582)

>like gyroscopes. How are we going to make an organic version of that?

You've been carrying around examples your entire life. Fluid-filled loops, one for each axis, little hairs along the inside to detect fluid rotation.

Try this. Sit up straight in a swivel chair, kick it into a spin, maintain the spin until you get used to it. Then quickly lean forward. You will then know exactly how a gyroscope feels when you try to tilt it. Have a bucket handy or do it on an empty stomach.

Besides, look how well organic technology worked for the Vorlons and the Shadows. Unless you're going to argue that it's a bad idea because they were both fictional and they both lost.

Re:Topic drift: gyroscopes (2)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233744)

That doesn't work in a zero-G environment. Gyroscopes do.

How?? Easy. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233652)

(like gyroscopes. How are we going to make an organic version of that?)

It's called the inner ear. We know it's exact shape, we know it's filled with fluid and we know that's how we can tell with our eyes closed if we're upside-down, sideways, etc. The iner ear is our balance mechanism and we don't need three axises when we can have a spiral canal filled with fluid do the same thing with proper sensors attached.

The other stuff, though, I can't think of an answer to, mins the "organic" part. Organic (generally) means anything containing carbon, until you get into the area of food.

Re:How?? Easy. (4, Informative)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233988)

It's called the inner ear. We know it's exact shape, we know it's filled with fluid and we know that's how we can tell with our eyes closed if we're upside-down, sideways, etc. The iner ear is our balance mechanism and we don't need three axises when we can have a spiral canal filled with fluid do the same thing with proper sensors attached.
Wrong. As someone else pointed out, the inner ear depends on gravity a great deal. Why do they call the zero-grav training plane the "vomit rocket?" There's also a flight training exercise where an instructor and a student go together into a plane with an obscured canopy so they can't see outside. The instructor flips the plane upside down at a speed so that the centripetal force of the plane remains at 1 G. When they change the controls to the student, a lot of them end up never realizing they are upside down until the instructor tells them. The point is to trust your instruments. If you're flying in bad weather, you can't trust your inner ear, but you can trust the gyroscope.

Re:glitches for satellites, no danger for astronau (1)

dr_d_19 (206418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233752)

...but completely organic sensors (like gyroscopes. How are we going to make an organic version of that?) We don't have the knowledge or the means to do it

Ehm... *cough* [wikipedia.org]

Solar surfs up! (1)

DavidV (167283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232886)

When we have recreational vehicles using solar sails that is.

(No, you don't need to point out how that is only maybe possible for the moments before destruction when reasonaby close to a supernova.)

Global warming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17232940)

I tell you, it's happening because we pollute too much planet earth !

sweet! (3, Funny)

TheWart (700842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233034)

I would hate to be the guy that has to look like The Thing after this passes.

I've Seen This one... (0)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233080)

Gee can we say Fantastic Four anyone... (hope they got a hot chick to play Sue Richards)...

Re:I've Seen This one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17233112)

Wrong! (-1, Redundant)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233232)

This wouldn't cause a communications disruption.

A communications disruption can mean only one thing: invasion.

Err.. (4, Funny)

malkir (1031750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233280)

The only thing I'd want to 'take cover' of is a very particular part of my body which does not react well long-term to radiation. Think of the children!

Re:Err.. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233430)

We are. That's why we would be saving any from having you as a parent.

Re:Err.. (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233462)

Come on, we saw what happened when space radiation effected only 4 people. Imagine how awesome it would be to have a million "fantastic" sperm!

You are on to something! (3, Interesting)

clashdot (1034936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17235786)

According to a recent article in Scientific American, protection from radiation in space is a depressingly hard problem. Basically, the only protection known to work is to put a great many atomic nuclei in the way of the radiation. The irony is that a thin shield, such as a space station wall, may be worse than no shield at all: It stops low-energy particles, but when hit by the really nasty high-energy particles (that are out there in great numbers) secondary radiation is produced, that is in many cases more harmful than the original particles.

Leave the lead shield at home: light elements such as hydrogen work the best for shielding, both because you get more atomic nuclei per mass unit, but also because less secondary radiation is produced. Therefore, water is a good choice for a shield. You need about one meter.

Now, surrounding the ISS with a one-meter deep water shield is unfeasible. However, if you want to protect just one, or two, little things from radiation that is coming from a specific direction, you can. You carry one meter of water shielding with you at all times. Just use you body as a shield!

You will find that astronauts fall into one of two categories: Those who choose to shield their heads and those who choose to shield something else. They are easily told apart during a solar storm by their bodies pointing in opposite directions.

More proof for... (1)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233460)

global warming.

For a moment there (3, Funny)

h2g2bob (948006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233490)

I thought it said "Approaching Solar Storm Forces IIS to Take Cover"

Oh well.

Re:For a moment there (1)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233634)

we could only hope that IIS would be blown out of existance by the power of god. unfortunately we let 12 year old kids with perl scripts do it instead, slower but more entertaining.

Solar Storm as Anti Virus? (1)

LupeSpywalper (713932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233494)

The space shuttle/station currently has a problem with Word virus. They haven't found a solution to it yet so they have banned attachment in email to and from the computers on board the shuttle. Maybe they could rely on the solar storm to wipe all Word documents from their computer?
It was funny to listen to the space shuttle commander asking mission control: "Do you have any solution to.... I don't know if i should say this.... virus problem we have with Word documents?". Maybe they try to keep a lid on it since the next space tourist to the ISS is an old Microsoft employee?

Insert obligatory quote.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17233764)

"They'd be better off if they'd used OpenOffice/Linux/BSD" - and I don't think that comment is inappropriate at all. With the defined file format of ODF scanning for problems is easier, and you can choose to zap any macros because they're a separate file in the ODF zip file..

And I would personally not want to load up the Shuttle comms circuits with the volume of patches required to keep Windows safe - stupid..

Re:Solar Storm as Anti Virus? (2, Interesting)

LupeSpywalper (713932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237070)

Just an update on the space shuttle virus situation. It seems NASA have cleaned their computers of the viruses that prevented the astronauts from receiving email attachments. At the end of this mornings wake up call, the Capcom gave this comment: "And most importantly: You are go for Outlook!". So this shows that if you just put all the best scientists in your country on the task, it is actually possible to use Outlook safely.

How this article should have gone.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17234350)

Approaching Solar Storm Forces! ISS to Take Cover!

Growing numbers of Solar Storm Troopers stationed
on Moon Base Alpha are said to be behind the recent
NASA announcement that the ISS shall relocate to the
dark side of the moon until further notice. The Solar
Empire has issued a statement to the effect that Moon
Base Alpha inhabitants are experiencing an increase
in crime thus necessitating the extra troops and denying
any suggestion of a planned station to station invasion.
The UN has called on the Solar Empire to withdraw
Storm Troopers from the region as quickly as possible
to avoid an incident.

Killshot (1)

Locarius (798304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234522)

Sure, it sounds crazy, but professional remote viewers have been predicting this for some time. Conveniently, they sell a DVDs on how to save your own ass. I'll save you $400 and say that your best advice is to get WAY underground when you hear of a space shuttle being hit by some sort of small projectile in space (like a pebble). This is the nearest preceeding event to the big solar flare that will nuke us. /crazy rant.

Old joke, but ... (1)

ferar (64373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234600)

They should have traveled at night.

Super Powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17235036)

Wasn't this what happened to the guys in the Fantastic Four movie?

Time's running out (1)

warmgun (669556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238786)

How does this (and other [bbc.co.uk] ) troubles affect their schedule? I recall this story [slashdot.org] about how the shuttle can't be in operation during a year change. When are they scheduled to land? How close will it be?
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