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Old 07-13-2015, 05:48 PM
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Pluto Fly By

The New Horizons spacecraft is the size of a baby grand piano with a salad bowl — the dish antenna — on top. It will come closest to Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Thirteen hours later, around 9 p.m. EDT, flight controllers will learn if everything went well. The spacecraft will have sent the confirmation signal 4½ hours earlier; that's the one-way, speed-of-light, data-transit time between New Horizons and Earth.



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Old 07-13-2015, 07:21 PM
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Why the tiny pic? I had to borrow my dad's glasses to see this one...
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
Why the tiny pic? I had to borrow my dad's glasses to see this one...
You know the average age of the guys here . . .

New Horizons NASA Page

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:56 PM
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Pic now too blurry, but have been following Pluto's future, I was taught it was a planet, but if NDT says it ain't, it ain't.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:37 AM
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If the space from our sun to Pluto is 200 meters a few minutes walk, how far away is the nearest star? Washington DC to California.

Shamelessly stolen from an astronomy textbook.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:35 AM
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Is that a thermal exhaust port on Pluto?



One Giant Step for Meme-Kind

Last edited by MTI; 07-15-2015 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:23 PM
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lol, maybe.

The paper today had a big pic.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:16 PM
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Its going to take over a year to download all the data gathered in 1 day by New Horizons but some of the preliminary images from 3 billion miles away are amazing.


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Old 07-15-2015, 07:24 PM
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There's some geophysicist that are going to have to rethink the geoforming theories "tidal heating."
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:34 AM
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Fascinating stuff. You almost wish it was possible to leave it in orbit around Pluto. Not sure how much it can be directed - I gather they have some navigational capability but I'm sure it would have to slow a lot to go into Pluto oribt. And then it will likely send more good images further out. Maybe some freaky asteroid pics.

This underscores the bang for your buck of unmanned missions. If people were on this mission we likely would have mourned their passing a few years back.

An odd thing about this, some of us (me) who are digging this are more or less opposed to hoisting nuclear materials into orbit. But this vessel needed plutonium in order to continue producing electricity far away from the sun.
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:02 PM
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I think when we do simple (relatively) like New Horizons, Pioneer, Voyager.... as opposed to Space Shuttle we do much better and get a much better return on the dollar spent.

Stuff like this is why we need NASA.
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:56 PM
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This calls into question the business of Pluto not being a planet. It has several moons. I'd say that's evidence of 'clearing its orbit' somewhat. I can only imagine that moons come about because the host body of matter attracted bits of matter in its journey and some amount of it was attracted strongly enough to not merely slingshot by out into space but not strongly enough to strike the body's surface.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmash View Post
I think when we do simple (relatively) like New Horizons, Pioneer, Voyager.... as opposed to Space Shuttle we do much better and get a much better return on the dollar spent.

Stuff like this is why we need NASA.
I disagree. Actually I do agree that NASA does this stuff brilliantly. And from a pure science perspective unmanned probes are far more cost effective than manned. But it's apples and oranges. Actually more like Apples and rice. Manned space exploration should be directed to returning full time to the moon. We've already been there. It's close, and relatively cheap, and doable, compared to Mars which at this stage in our civilizational development is a ludicrous fantasy.

If we establish a permanently manned lunar base that changes the whole paradigm here on earth. It jump starts a whole new technology rather like air travel did in the last century.

Unfortunately while NASA is still the best by far in solar system exploration, our enemies will outstrip us in space colonization while the US as a society gives up.

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Old 07-18-2015, 03:17 PM
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The moon does make some sense. Would seem to be the perfect spot for the next stage of Hubble telescopes. Beyond that, I'm hard pressed to see the value though. And Mars, yeah, doesn't really make sense for humans. The solar radiation they would get there and enroute would likely be too much. Similar problem on the moon you would think.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:11 PM
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The moon has all the raw materials (metals to be mined and water) as well as the weak gravity well to make it the logical launching pad for manned and unmanned missions far beyond. 3d printing will make a mannded moon base a necesity if we want to go far beyond earth. Launching an ambition mars mission from the moon will be far easiler than do it from earth once a moon base is establishes and built with local resources.

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