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[Business Insider] Humans Just Got Our First Close-Up Look At A Comet And It's Mind-Blowing - Page 15

post #141 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crouch View Post

YEAH SCIENCE! Next step, build a Nanosuit....

Would only cost a few billion, totally worth it! After all, our future is in the stars, and we need to get their ASAP!
    
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post #142 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

You're a month out, landing is scheduled for 12th of November.
That... explains everything. tongue.gif
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post #143 of 158
Question: Why didn't they just put a rocket on it, or perhaps the vacuum ion engine, and just drive that thing straight to the comet? Instead of waiting all these years.

And question 2, is it possible that these comets and asteroids are the cores of planets that were destroyed by the last star to go nova in this general area? Before the sun was born. There was supposedly some other star very near here, which would have had its own planets. Well maybe had its own planets. Could these pieces be all that remains after they were blown apart by that star's death?
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post #144 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic View Post

Question: Why didn't they just put a rocket on it, or perhaps the vacuum ion engine, and just drive that thing straight to the comet? Instead of waiting all these years.

Waiting a few years is how you drive a thing straight to anything in space. You don't just point at it and go - you won't have enough fuel, and you'll be going way, way too fast in a completely wrong direction once you get there. Getting to something in a relatively similar orbit isn't so bad, like going from here to Mars. But anything far out or on an odd orbit ends up with some really strange-looking orbital trajectories for a good long while until eventually you end up meeting your target in about the same place going about the same speed in about the same direction.

The comets and asteroids are leftovers of the stuff that turned into planets, all of which started off as incredibly small pieces of gas and dust. Yes, our planetary system is formed from the explosions of other stars, but the results of those explosions are very, very, very small pieces. You're not going to get much in the way of large chunks.
post #145 of 158
Well it looked from that video like the comet would eventually whizz by earth. Well, you know, close enough. Wouldn't it be easier to just launch a rocket then? Can't you hit the reverse and slow down?

Also if they are from gas and dust, then why don't saturn's rings accrete? It seems like some of the planets could have been far out enough to just be sort of ripped apart, rather than vaporized, thus leaving big chunks like we see here. They say some of the comets are water, which maybe could be part of some long dead planet's ocean?
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post #146 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic View Post

Well it looked from that video like the comet would eventually whizz by earth. Well, you know, close enough. Wouldn't it be easier to just launch a rocket then? Can't you hit the reverse and slow down?

Also if they are from gas and dust, then why don't saturn's rings accrete? It seems like some of the planets could have been far out enough to just be sort of ripped apart, rather than vaporized, thus leaving big chunks like we see here. They say some of the comets are water, which maybe could be part of some long dead planet's ocean?

If only space navigation was that simple... There are a TON of factors when it comes to navigating to just a stationary object in space:

- Fuel usage
- Deceleration
- Proper docking/landing without destroying gear
- Delay in ground to space communications

This are just some of the factors I can think of even going to a relatively stationary object like the moon or ISS. Now let's involve a fast moving object like a comet and things get even more dicey. For one, you really don't want to approach a comet head on. I imagine they want to come in at an angle from the side. Then you have to have to figure out what sort of speed and deceleration you need to properly land as well as an accurate topology of the surface to figure out WHERE to land. For instance, landing in an ice chasm would really, really suck. There is also the question of what sort of plating the space vehicle needs to properly function. Lastly, there is the question of whether or not this is a one way ticket or if the vehicle has to be able to get back home if it's primary objective is to collect samples as well as photos. Did I also mention communication takes time? It will not be like a video game where you can just use a joystick or point and click. For instance, the Mars rover has a communication delay of 20 minutes. You have to take into consideration pitfalls, cliffs, possible gas eruptions, ect.
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post #147 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

If only space navigation was that simple... There are a TON of factors when it comes to navigating to just a stationary object in space:

- Fuel usage
- Deceleration
- Proper docking/landing without destroying gear
- Delay in ground to space communications

This are just some of the factors I can think of even going to a relatively stationary object like the moon or ISS. Now let's involve a fast moving object like a comet and things get even more dicey. For one, you really don't want to approach a comet head on. I imagine they want to come in at an angle from the side. Then you have to have to figure out what sort of speed and deceleration you need to properly land as well as an accurate topology of the surface to figure out WHERE to land. For instance, landing in an ice chasm would really, really suck. There is also the question of what sort of plating the space vehicle needs to properly function. Lastly, there is the question of whether or not this is a one way ticket or if the vehicle has to be able to get back home if it's primary objective is to collect samples as well as photos. Did I also mention communication takes time? It will not be like a video game where you can just use a joystick or point and click. For instance, the Mars rover has a communication delay of 20 minutes. You have to take into consideration pitfalls, cliffs, possible gas eruptions, ect.

Additionally, probably a lot of loose material traveling near the comet that could damage or destroy a lander.
    
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post #148 of 158
Well that makes sense. Although I will say the fuel use age problem would likely be solved by using the vacuum ion engine. It barely needs any "fuel" at all
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post #149 of 158
That is likely why New Horizons will only do a fly-by of Pluto, but not land there. Such a requirement would need a whole lot of fuel aboard just to decelerate and get locked into an orbit with Pluto. It's almost impossible with current propulsion methods.
post #150 of 158
I could see if they were mining space for natural resources but it does seem like they are throwing money away needlessly. It's interesting but how does it change the quality of life here on earth. Why not use that money to improve our infrastructure or to break the stranglehold that fossil fuels has on society. The entire Lunar program cost us USD $25.4 billion -1969 Dollars ($135-billion in 2005 Dollars). For What, the sake of science.
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