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Thread: Space Exploration

  1. #1
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Default Space Exploration

    The first color images from Spirit:





    Cool!

    Large scale, high resolution picture here: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/galle...a/PIA04996.jpg

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    Looks ripe for development. I'll call Trump.

  3. #3

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    Wait a minute!
    How do we know this is Mars?

    It looks like my backyard...when I had a back yard.
    Now you know why I no longer have a back yard.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Wait a minute!
    How do we know this is Mars?

    It looks like my backyard...when I had a back yard.
    Now you know why I no longer have a back yard.
    How did you get the pretty pink sky effect? Toxic waster?

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    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Yes, that xeriscape can be a bitch.

    Sort of looks like Arizona, with an LA sky.

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    Now let's bring on the Martian colonies!

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    I reeeeeeally want that to happen. I made a small demo ship out of legos long ago, with a habitable lander, a propulsion/fuel module, a habitation module, and something else I forgot.

    Space is the frontier I most wish to explore. Mars should be just an initial step. Let's go for advanced propulsion methods... ion thrusters are in use but aren't near fast enough, we need either powerful magnets or a way of warping space (the former much more feasible...).

    A first step to slightly faster long range journeys is the solar sail. The Planetary Society hopes to launch within a few months, though they've been delayed more than a year. Their suborbital test went icky but they identified the problems and fixed them. While in orbit, the sail (Cosmos 1) will be the brightest thing in the sky save the moon.

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    Of course, the terraforming comes first.

    I remember this one sci-fi movie whose name escapes me, about how industrial pollution on Earth was really a terraforming project by aliens. Creepy.

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    I saw that one too, with the aliens and their backwards legs and freaky stuff..

    Terraforming isn't necessary to begin a colony. Pressurized and sealed structures would be fine for starters.

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    They need to solve the problems with the rapid deterioration of the human body away from Earth gravity for long periods. That and the extreme radiation they would be exposed to on Mars seem to be the biggest hurdles, assuming that the missions themselves go flawless. To date, two-thirds of all Mars missions have failed. Something that would help greatly would be a breakthrough with the speed of long distance space travel. They have good ideas to counter all these problems though no concrete solutions, and not enough funding for the needed testing. Well, according to the Science Channel anyways.

  11. #11

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    Another "habitable" place in the solar system is Titan, which is a little larger than Mars and has a dense atmosphere.

    There may be a reality that technology won't overcome, unless there exists in nature some sort of space warp that can be exploited, that there will never be a Solar System Global village. While communication is instantaneous across the world, a "Hello" to Titan may always have to wait at least 3 hours for a "Yes, who is it?"

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    Yes, the distances are mind boggling.
    I like that website, though I think I've found conflicting data:

    Size:
    Titan is Saturn's largest satellite. At more than 5,150 kilometers in diameter, this moon is about the size of Mars and Mercury combined.
    I think it should say Titan's size is midway between Mars and Mercury, (as if you combined the two).

    http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplan...s/datamax.html

    Distance Radius Mass
    Name Orbits (000 km) (km) (kg)
    --------- ------- -------- ------- -------
    Sun 697000 1.99e30
    Jupiter Sun 778000 71492 1.90e27
    Saturn Sun 1429000 60268 5.69e26
    Uranus Sun 2870990 25559 8.69e25 *
    Neptune Sun 4504300 24764 1.02e26 *
    Earth Sun 149600 6378 5.98e24
    Venus Sun 108200 6052 4.87e24
    Mars Sun 227940 3398 6.42e23
    Ganymede Jupiter 1070 2631 1.48e23 +
    Titan Saturn 1222 2575 1.35e23 +
    Mercury Sun 57910 2439 3.30e23 +
    Callisto Jupiter 1883 2400 1.08e23
    Io Jupiter 422 1815 8.93e22
    Moon Earth 384 1738 7.35e22
    Europa Jupiter 671 1569 4.80e22
    Triton Neptune 355 1353 2.14e22
    Pluto Sun 5913520 1160 1.32e22

    *Note: Neptune is slightly denser than Uranus.
    +Note: Mercury is much denser than Ganymede and Titan.

    This composite shows Earth and the remaining 11 large solar system objects at a scale of 100 km/pixel.



    Titan is the orange ball down and to the right of Earth.
    That blue image of Venus, next to Earth, is false color.
    This is what it looks like:


    And according to this website:

    The Best Prospects for Life
    Name Why
    --------- -------
    Earth
    Mars most Earth-like; more so in the past; ALH84001
    Europa may have liquid water
    Enceladus may have liquid water
    Titan complex chemistry and liquids likely
    Io complex chemistry, warmer than most
    Jupiter long shot: warm, plenty of organic material

    "all of this remains very speculative. None of these prospects are really very good. Good arguments can be made why life (at least life as we know it) cannot exist on any of these bodies."

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    Jupiter is a gas giant, though. You can't exactly land on it, though an orbital space station of some sort would work.

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    *thinks of Jupiter Station from ST: TNG and VOY*

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    Read the Red, Blue and Green mars books from Kim Stanley Robertson.

    VERY good trilogy there. Deals more with politics and HR than science, but makes the science BELIEVABLE.

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