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[Wired] NASA Builds Six-Foot Crossbow to Harpoon Comets - Page 3

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scyy View Post

I'm gonna tell you a nice little story I'm sure plenty of people here have heard and draws a few parallels with what you are saying. When the USA first went into space they realized that ball point pens would not work in zero gravity, so the American government spent butt loads of money to develop a pen that could write in space, know what the USSR did? Use Pencils. You don't always need to use the most expensive and intricate design for everything, sometimes the simple route can be the best.

NASA didn't spend a dime developing space pens. They were developed by a private company by an entrepreneur who wanted a pen that could write on anything. NASA merely bought his pens, and that gave him the idea to market them as "space pens". And pencils do have issues in space, in that they give off graphite flakes and dust that can cause respiratory problems and clog air filters.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by scyy View Post

I'm gonna tell you a nice little story I'm sure plenty of people here have heard and draws a few parallels with what you are saying. When the USA first went into space they realized that ball point pens would not work in zero gravity, so the American government spent butt loads of money to develop a pen that could write in space, know what the USSR did? Use Pencils. You don't always need to use the most expensive and intricate design for everything, sometimes the simple route can be the best.

I've heard this so many times in the engineering circles.
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post #23 of 43
So they're going to shoot a giant arrow at a rock moving 1000's of mph...I don't see anything going wrong here.
    
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post #24 of 43
I was going to write something witty, but then I took a truck-spring fired arrow to the knee
post #25 of 43
what the hell......

Comets move generally at very high speeds, tend to have some mass to them, So what exactly are they expecting to happen when they smash a harpoon into it, Gently reel it in and let her go back on her path?

This isnt Fishing NASA!! Whatever you have attached to that hardpoon is gonna get jerked harder than an Elected Official.
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post #26 of 43
anyone ready for Science Channels newest Reality TV Show?


Youve seen Ice Road Trucker, Axe men, and Those Nerds who collect Comet Fragments on the ground, pfft

in 2014, get ready for.... Space Wranglers!

Follow the story as a Group of Space Cowboys Rope and Wrangle wandering Comets and Asteroids.

Good Luck getting your camera crew into place for every shot there
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post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

It is probably more to do with their funding getting cut that this was developed, not somethign like this causing their funding to get cut. In 1980 NASA would have used custom made springs made out of titanium to build a launching mechanism to fire a rocket propelled shaft of depleted uranium costing about a billion tax dollars. Plus there would have been a team of 400 engineers working on it and about a dozen contract companies coming in to basically supervise.
I actually have much more respect for them now. They just probably went out to a truck parts store and bought some springs. What they built will do the just fine and didn't cost much. Though the expensive version is probably coming yet...this one is just a prototype, but in the past the prototypes were often more expensive and build tougher than the stuff they actually used

If they want more power they should have mounted them the other way round. The springs are designed to bend a certain way, the way they have them mounted wont use them to their full potential.

Some guys on scrapheap challenge tried the same thing, and failed miserably, I thought NASA were meant to be clever?

With regards to the ship being pulled by the comet, I imagine the tip will be designed to release upon sufficient pulling force to avoid that problem.
Edited by Mach 5 - 12/14/11 at 1:36pm
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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post

Your survival, and the survival of billions or even trillions of animals, depends on the multitudinous assortment of anaerobic bacteria that live in your gut and help you process food. Anaerobic bacteria are everywhere. Life can live without air.

Not sure if you are agreeing with me or not.
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post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormX2 View Post

what the hell......
Comets move generally at very high speeds, tend to have some mass to them, So what exactly are they expecting to happen when they smash a harpoon into it, Gently reel it in and let her go back on her path?
This isnt Fishing NASA!! Whatever you have attached to that hardpoon is gonna get jerked harder than an Elected Official.

If NASA doesn't have the budget to go to space.. Then space will have to come to them!

Breaking News: NASA harpoons and successfully catches the Moon.
 
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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post

NASA didn't spend a dime developing space pens. They were developed by a private company by an entrepreneur who wanted a pen that could write on anything. NASA merely bought his pens, and that gave him the idea to market them as "space pens". And pencils do have issues in space, in that they give off graphite flakes and dust that can cause respiratory problems and clog air filters.

Yeah, I actually looked that story up after I made that post. I have to remind myself to stop assuming things I read are true without double checking. Doesn't change the fact that the person I was quoting was being ridiculous though.
Edited by scyy - 12/14/11 at 1:49pm
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