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[Wired] NASA Builds Six-Foot Crossbow to Harpoon Comets - Page 4

post #31 of 43
They are using the "Balista" in order to calculate the required explosive charge size for the actual device, which would be like a cannon.......
I'd like to see the explosive shell's the real version uses as it will need oxygen to fire, or maybe they will use some other explosive propellant of sorts? Much more interesting than the prototype if you ask me tongue.gif
 
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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen86 View Post

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.
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.

One of the things I love about a NASA article being posted on a public forum is that everyone automatically assumes they're experts at space-flight and operation, and can easily spot the gaping flaws in NASA plans. Because honestly guys, they just hire anyone there. You don't need a masters degree in physics or anything, you just need to able to point out things you think will go wrong and they'll hire you. Because they don't already have a thousand more qualified people doing that on-site while simultaneously fixing the problems already.

Honestly, what do you expect to happen? A bunch of physicists sitting around a table searching forums find an incomprehensibly enlightening post and suddenly go, "Well S**T, we didn't think that one through at all before we spent four hundred million dollars on the project... Maybe we should think through the fact that we're shooting a harpoon at a comet before we go shoot a harpoon at a comet. "

Also, congrats Storm X2 for reading the article to understand how the device operates. Oh wait, you didn't.


/rant. Few things on this forum agitate me more than things like this. The same thing happened when the news article cropped up about NASA sending a satellite to orbit the sun. "OMG, THE SUN IS REALLY HOT NASA IT WILL BURN UP". *facepalm*
    
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post #33 of 43
I knew NASA had to cope with some funding cuts but this is ridiculous smile.gif
    
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post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyreal View Post

I'd like to see the explosive shell's the real version uses as it will need oxygen to fire, or maybe they will use some other explosive propellant of sorts?

Google "self-oxidizing"
    
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post #35 of 43
Its likely they could find fungi, or fungi spores, Primary Decomposers would have consumed any other living organisms, and went into somewhat of a sleep. fungi spores can survive absolute zero and vaccume.
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by matty0610 View Post

My only question is what about newton's law? Every force has an equal and opposite force. So if this "digger" is floating and shoots the arrow, would it push its self away? Or would they get super close so that they don't give the opposite force enough time to take hold and shoot the "digger" in a separate direction?

Yes, but you need to consider the relative mass of the bolt and the "digger"

M1V1 = M2V2

So if your bolt is very light compared to your launch platform it is not going to send it back the other way with much speed. Consider firing a gun: the bullet leaves the barrel with a very high velocity but thanks to it's low relative weight the recoil does not send you flying backwards at the same speed.

Yes it will change the velocity of the launch platform, the same as a rifle will push back against your shoulder, but probably not by much. Also once the bolt is embedded it would be possible to use the wire to regain the lost momentum fairly easily. It just has to detach quickly with the sample in tow to avoid any issues due to the commet's spin though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach 5 View Post

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.

I'm not so sure that they have them the wrong way round. There are no reinforcing sections on the spring in the picture, so that isn't going to show if they are mounted incorrectly. Also it looks like the spring is under tension in the picture, so the bend in the spring also doesn't indicate if it is set the right way round. The only indicator I can see is the orientation of the attachment points on the spring, and without knowing the exact type of spring used that is not conclusive. It is very possible that they are mounted correctly, and that the bend shown is due to tension (as in the spring has inverted from it's rest position).

An indictor that the springs are mounted correctly would be that they can fire a bolt through a 45gal drum full of gravel. That is some serious force there.

I would assume that the guys at NASA would know which way round to mount a spring, they are fairly clever, despite what you may personally think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyoketsu View Post

This thread is begging for a "took an arrowa bolt to the comet" joke.

I used to work for NASA until ... I took .... an arrow ..... to...... OH GOD I MISS MY LEGS!
Edited by GingerJohn - 12/14/11 at 3:10pm
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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

.
I'm not so sure that they have them the wrong way round. There are no reinforcing sections on the spring in the picture, so that isn't going to show if they are mounted incorrectly. Also it looks like the spring is under tension in the picture, so the bend in the spring also doesn't indicate if it is set the right way round. The only indicator I can see is the orientation of the attachment points on the spring, and without knowing the exact type of spring used that is not conclusive. It is very possible that they are mounted correctly, and that the bend shown is due to tension (as in the spring has inverted from it's rest position).
An indictor that the springs are mounted correctly would be that they can fire a bolt through a 45gal drum full of gravel. That is some serious force there.
I would assume that the guys at NASA would know which way round to mount a spring, they are fairly clever, despite what you may personally think.
I used to work for NASA until ... I took .... an arrow ..... to...... OH GOD I MISS MY LEGS!

If the springs were bent that far back, as in almost completely inverted - they would snap or at best, warp. Im pretty sure they have done this the wrong way round and id like to see a video of it being tested.

This wouldnt be the first time that engineers have claimed their device can do something without actually testing it, then having it fail hard when they actually try.


Sadly, ive found that recently those who we consider to be "brilliant minds" tend to lack the very basic common sense.

EDIT: FOUND IT! After about 25 minutes of searching for what episode it was on scrapheap challenge, here it is. Season 3 Episode 5 if the link doesnt work, The Filth use very similar springs mounted in the exact same way, and well, skip to about 38 minutes to see how well it does...

http://www.movpod.net/cnb/97n7kba1hi2r


1000lbs...sure...
Edited by Mach 5 - 12/15/11 at 5:35am
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post #38 of 43
I used to work at NASA, but then I shot an arrow to a comet.
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post #39 of 43
So... they're going to chase a comet and then shoot it with a harpoon? Brilliant.
post #40 of 43
Man the Harpoons, Armageddon's here!
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