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[Wired] NASA Considers Tractor Beams for Future Rovers - Page 2

post #11 of 21
I feel like this needs to be shared in case anyone hasn't heard it...

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. The Russians used a pencil.

Glad to see they're finally turning things around. I'm sure labs around the country can get extra money if they REALLY need it, but like you said it's prelim. Mostly computer sims and paperwork.

edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Neal Stephenson recently wrote an article about the lack of scientific/technological breakthroughs was partially due to the lack of really good science fiction. The kids who read sci-fi today go on to become the scientists/engineers of tomorrow.
Yeah, I'm a huge buff with stuff like Asimov and Card, my latest ventures have been Crichton who delves more into the issues technology can cause and corporate corruption. He still always finds interesting ways to drag near-future tech into it though. So sad we won't see more of him...but enough offtopicness XD
Edited by darthjoe229 - 11/2/11 at 11:36am
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post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackandDecker View Post
Just gimme a lightsaber an call it quits.
I don't understand the fetish with lightsabers...they are basically a sword/blow torch combo that hums. I can think of all sorts of things I'd rather see done with lasers before a lightsaber.
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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post
$100,000? Wow NASA is really feeling the budget crunch. A decade ago they would have dumped $10 million into this.

I am not complaining though. $100,000 should be more than enough to do some preliminary research in this field. That has been my largest complaint about NASA...everything they do is so over-the-top expensive for no reason. In 1981 $100,000 wouldn't have paid for the fiesability study of the ability for humans in space to breath without air.
I dunno, $100k is a pretty small sum in the research world. They must already have all the equipment they need for this.
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post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
I dunno, $100k is a pretty small sum in the research world. They must already have all the equipment they need for this.
Hmmm.... $100K is enough to pay basically one person to work on the projects for a year.

Or a team of engineers to work on it part time.
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post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Hmmm.... $100K is enough to pay basically one person to work on the projects for a year.

Or a team of engineers to work on it part time.
I guess I was thinking that salaries would not be included in that $100k...this isn't private research based on grants. These are NASA employees. I suppose each organization handles these numbers differently.

The hospital I work for does both...the people that get grants have to pay their sallaries out of the grant money, but there is also research that is done by full hospital employees that get department budgets without the employee salaries included.

If the 100k is paying people then it is going to be about a three week study
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post #16 of 21
inb4 reference to Austin Powers movie tractor beams
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post
I guess I was thinking that salaries would not be included in that $100k...this isn't private research based on grants. These are NASA employees. I suppose each organization handles these numbers differently.

The hospital I work for does both...the people that get grants have to pay their sallaries out of the grant money, but there is also research that is done by full hospital employees that get department budgets without the employee salaries included.

If the 100k is paying people then it is going to be about a three week study
Yeah, the time employees spend doing something else other than their current/primary work is money. Even if they don't directly count it as salary... it is paying for man-hours.
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post #18 of 21
This is pretty cool. Giant Death Star laser and tractor beams, well on our way to building Star Destroyers. I would also like for them to invent large gravity wells so we can use them in Interdictor-class Star Destroyers to prevent rebels from fleeing into hyperspace or to pull rebels/smugglers out of hyperspace.
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post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post
I don't understand the fetish with lightsabers...they are basically a sword/blow torch combo that hums. I can think of all sorts of things I'd rather see done with lasers before a lightsaber.
I find your lack of faith, disturbing.
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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post
I don't understand the fetish with lightsabers...they are basically a sword/blow torch combo that hums. I can think of all sorts of things I'd rather see done with lasers before a lightsaber.
A mini lightsaber the size of a bread knife, instant toast. (Im sure something like this exists)
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