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Seven minutes of terror (Mars landing, today)


The_Rev
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How do you land a computer the size and weight of a car on Mars without breaking it?

If you cant watch the video then NASA are landing a probe on Mars. Its huge compared to the normal probes they send so they cant crash land it on airbags as usual because its too heavy for airbags to work.

So you have your probe entering the atmosphere at 1000mph. The parachute will slow it to about 200mph but as said before, thats not good enough because the cargo is too big and heavy to be cushioned by airbags. The obvious thing to do would be to fire retro rockets and slow the thing that way, only if they do that then the dust cloud created from the rocket jets will be so big it will **** all the computers up. So what the crazy bastards have decided to do is to make a rocket powered sky crane which will float above the surface of Mars and lower the probe to the surface with a giant winch before cutting the cables with explosives and flying off and crash landing a safe distance from the probe.

Oh, and all of this has to be done by a computer because the input lag between earth and Mars is about 14 minutes so a human using a remote control is utterly useless. Because of the lag, the probe will either be on the ground doing work or part of the most expensive crater ever made before we even hear it is going to make its descent.

I really hope NASA pull this off, it would be an epic human achievement if they do. I guess it also means that rocket science beats brain surgery in the worlds most impressive job stakes.

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Due to land 06:30 Monday morning BST

Was about to ask. Thanks, I'll make sure I am awake. Big fan of these kinds of things. Really interesting to think about space and what's there. Love that stuff.

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How do you land a computer the size and weight of a car on Mars without breaking it?

If you cant watch the video then NASA are landing a probe on Mars. Its huge compared to the normal probes they send so they cant crash land it on airbags as usual because its too heavy for airbags to work.

So you have your probe entering the atmosphere at 1000mph. The parachute will slow it to about 200mph but as said before, thats not good enough because the cargo is too big and heavy to be cushioned by airbags. The obvious thing to do would be to fire retro rockets and slow the thing that way, only if they do that then the dust cloud created from the rocket jets will be so big it will **** all the computers up. So what the crazy bastards have decided to do is to make a rocket powered sky crane which will float above the surface of Mars and lower the probe to the surface with a giant winch before cutting the cables with explosives and flying off and crash landing a safe distance from the probe.

Oh, and all of this has to be done by a computer because the input lag between earth and Mars is about 14 minutes so a human using a remote control is utterly useless. Because of the lag, the probe will either be on the ground doing work or part of the most expensive crater ever made before we even hear it is going to make its descent.

I really hope NASA pull this off, it would be an epic human achievement if they do. I guess it also means that rocket science beats brain surgery in the worlds most impressive job stakes.

It's truly awesome stuff, and I can't help but root for them, but the billions of dollars spent on getting a probe up there to search for puddles of water should be spent on housing, schools, and food for the hungry here on Earth, in my opinion.

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Personally (and to be fair American taxpayers are funding this so maybe it's easier for others to say) I think the quest for knowledge and the urge to explore are some of humanity's finer characteristics. I hope that never changes.

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It's truly awesome stuff, and I can't help but root for them, but the billions of dollars spent on getting a probe up there to search for puddles of water should be spent on housing, schools, and food for the hungry here on Earth, in my opinion.

But you have to invest in scientific discovery. If we hadn't done that then we would all be still living on farms and dying of dysentery aged 40. You certainly wouldnt be able to leave a message of complaint on the internet about how the money should have been spent on hospitals instead because the computer you are using and the world wide web this site sits on wouldnt have been invented yet if no money was ever given to the sciences.

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It's truly awesome stuff, and I can't help but root for them, but the billions of dollars spent on getting a probe up there to search for puddles of water should be spent on housing, schools, and food for the hungry here on Earth, in my opinion.

But you have to invest in scientific discovery. If we hadn't done that then we would all be still living on farms and dying of dysentery aged 40. You certainly wouldnt be able to leave a message of complaint on the internet about how the money should have been spent on hospitals instead because the computer you are using and the world wide web this site sits on wouldnt have been invented yet if no money was ever given to the sciences.

As the earth's population increases and feeding everyone becomes more difficult It will be science that solves the problem , not temporary solutions.

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yeah, what people that bang on about feeding the poor don't understand is that if we listened to them and invested in agriculture, water, education and health we wouldn't have pens that can write upside down

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yeah, what people that bang on about feeding the poor don't understand is that if we listened to them and invested in agriculture, water, education and health we wouldn't have pens that can write upside down

GM crops , desalination facilities , medicine and hospitals all fall under the remit of science so your pen remark is a tad facetious .

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yeah, what people that bang on about feeding the poor don't understand is that if we listened to them and invested in agriculture, water, education and health we wouldn't have pens that can write upside down

The "space pen" was developed by a private company with their own money so they could sell them to people interested in the space race.

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yeah, what people that bang on about feeding the poor don't understand is that if we listened to them and invested in agriculture, water, education and health we wouldn't have pens that can write upside down

The "space pen" was developed by a private company with their own money so they could sell them to people interested in the space race.

yes, listened to a fascinating programme on it a while back on the radio, can't remember the facts but along the lines of the USA had a competition to see who could 'invent' a pen suitable for use in space whilst the russians decided to use pencils which kind of summed up the two approaches to the space race

I was being arsey troll boy about the Mars thing, I think it's fascinating. I think it was horizon about a week ago that had a programme on the size and scale of the lander and how they were delivering it. I'm not convinced they'll find anything, but youch, if they do it will be truly historic. Best of luck to 'em.

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It's truly awesome stuff, and I can't help but root for them, but the billions of dollars spent on getting a probe up there to search for puddles of water should be spent on housing, schools, and food for the hungry here on Earth, in my opinion.

But you have to invest in scientific discovery. If we hadn't done that then we would all be still living on farms and dying of dysentery aged 40. You certainly wouldnt be able to leave a message of complaint on the internet about how the money should have been spent on hospitals instead because the computer you are using and the world wide web this site sits on wouldnt have been invented yet if no money was ever given to the sciences.

I appreciate your point, but just this year, the US Census Bureau released figures that put the "At or below poverty rate" in the US at 50%. That's a shitload of people who if they're lucky enough to even have a paycheck, see 30% of it swiped away and thrown at projects like this Mars computer drop.

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