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NASA Space Transportation Technology

NASA Testing Lunar Rovers In Moses Lake, WA 116

Posted by timothy
from the bring-me-my-chariot dept.
deadaluspark writes "I work at a local news station, and found out NASA was testing their lunar rovers in a nearby city. I pulled some strings and got our news director to send out one of our reporters. I would link to the original video on the KVEW website, but the video is screwing up on the badly designed, WMP only website. So I uploaded the package to youtube for everyone on Slashdot to enjoy. Very cool video of NASA toys in action." Don't believe anyone who says it always rains in Washington.
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NASA Testing Lunar Rovers In Moses Lake, WA

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  • Rain in WA (Score:5, Informative)

    by treeves (963993) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:23PM (#23772587) Homepage Journal
    When someone says it always rains in Washington (1) they're exaggerating. a bit. (2) they mean WESTERN Washington. Moses Lake is in Eastern Washington.
    • by Carnildo (712617) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:32PM (#23772673) Homepage Journal
      True. In Eastern Washington, it snows.

      We got mixed rain and snow here last Tuesday; some of the surrounding towns got as much as an inch.
      • by Nethead (1563)
        The first time I've seen sun in two weeks, here in Puget Sound. I remember working on the 10base2 Lantastic network at your sister station KAPP in Yakima. I also worked as an engineer at KOTY (when that call was in the Tri-Cities back in the very early 80s.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HungWeiLo (250320)
        I don't know who modded this funny. I don't know about eastern Washington, but Seattle's (that's in western Washington) gone through a cold snap lately. Today (6/12) is the first day the temperature went above 65 degrees. So far in June, I was told we're colder than Fairbanks and parts of Siberia.
        • Having lived in Seattle and in Wenatchee, I can tell you with certainty that Central Washington and the Puget sound are on different planets.

          At least as far as weather is concerned. . .
    • Moses Lake (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:42PM (#23772763)
      Yes. Seattle is in Western Washington. If you drive East from Seattle until you cross over the Cascade Mountains, you find yourself in very different weather: dry and hot in the summer. One time I passed through Moses Lake in August, and the temperature was over 100 degrees F (Seattle was more like 75 or 80 degrees F, IIRC).

      Moses Lake is in the dry part of the state, and there is a decent airport there, so that's probably why NASA is testing there. Yakima would also be a good choice.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Lake,_Washington [wikipedia.org]

      Weather data here:

      http://www.wunderground.com/US/WA/Moses_Lake.html [wunderground.com]

      Right now it's 77 degrees F in Moses Lake, while it is 63 F in Seattle. (The whole month has been cold and wet. People are calling it "June-uary".)

      As for the famous rain in Seattle, it is indeed exaggerated. But we really do get about nine months out of the year with slate grey overcast; heavy clouds block out the sun. I don't mind; I'm happiest in a dark office writing software. But some people get "Seasonal Affective Disorder" (SAD) from the months of bleak darkness. It sure makes you appreciate the other 3 months, though. And you can always drive over to Eastern Washington for some sun.
    • I grew up in Ephrata, WA this is basicly the next town over and it is absolutely not eastern washington, its central, central washington is all desert. Anyways, pretty cool to see where I grew up getting into the news.
      • by Nethead (1563)
        It's still considered Eastern Washington since it is on the east side of the Cascade Mountain range. But most just call it the dryside. But you are correct, it is indeed a key city of the Great Inland Empire of the Columbia Basin and beats the shit out of Quincy and Ritzville. Othello has it's charms though; but maybe that's because my first GF was from there.
      • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:13PM (#23773051)

        it is absolutely not eastern washington
        Sorry, but if it's east of the Cascades, then it's "Eastern Washington" (at least to those of us on the wet side of the state). ;-)

        Anyways, pretty cool to see where I grew up getting into the news.
        Well, the last time my home town (Mount Vernon, WA) was in the national news was because some whack-job took off all his clothes, ran out onto the freeway, and climbed up onto a semi-truck that had stopped because of him. This is decidedly cooler than that.
        • Re:Rain in WA (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mark_hill97 (897586) <masterofshadows.gmail@com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:29PM (#23773163)

          Sorry, but if it's east of the Cascades, then it's "Eastern Washington" (at least to those of us on the wet side of the state). ;-)
          except eastern washington, the areas around spokeane and such are all green, central washington is fucking barren and hilly, its no wonder NASA is out there, its the closest thing we have on earth to the moon.
          • by Dare nMc (468959)

            closest thing we have on earth to the moon

            I know it's a joke because I have been to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. They have never had a trace of rain in the last 25 years (recorded history.) They (Chileans) will all tell you they can take you to where they staged the moon landing, and they mean it (they believe their telling the truth anyway.) Hard to believe their is a place with 0 discernible life, not even any mold to be found.
    • It's also important to point out that rain complaints in Western Washington are based on frequency, not volume.

      For instance, it rains more in Miami, but it rains more often in Seattle.
    • Thank you, I've been trying to tell that to people for years.

      It's the dead turtle smell in Moses Hole, not rain, that one has to watch out for. :-D

      -- mÂ, Toppenish expat
    • I went to Seattle as a kid and the weather was beautiful for a whole week. The locals constantly reminded us that "we never have this kind of weather!"

      My mom told me 'They probably say that to everybody to keep people from moving here."
    • That's because the idiots think Washington is part of Seattle.
  • by mseidl (828824) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:25PM (#23772609) Homepage
    You should have seen the rovers during spring break.

    I think NASA went over board with the number of probes installed on the rover.
  • Color scheme (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xzzy (111297) <sether@@@tru7h...org> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:31PM (#23772667) Homepage
    What amuses me is how closely the NASA's color scheme matches the LEGO mars mission color scheme. ;)

    http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=7690 [lego.com]

    Which came first I wonder?
  • Is the mars one out there as well also is the moon landing site near by also?
  • Are they shooting in HD or imax. ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by deadaluspark (991914)

      Are they shooting in HD or imax. ?
      Nah, they are using old DVCPro cams. They digest the video from DVCPro tapes to Apple G5's and from there the video is edited in FCP. everything around here is kind of held together by duct tape.
  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:53PM (#23772887) Homepage
    that's not Washington, that's Eastern Washington.
  • by jbrader (697703) <stillnotpynchon@gmail.com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:04PM (#23772991)
    [i]Don't believe anyone who says it always rains in Washington.[/i][p]Yeah, I live in Pullman, Washingington. The day before yesterday it snowed. Today it was 70 degrees. I wish it was raining.
  • The news site... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It hurts my eyes!!!
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:10PM (#23773023)
    Go visit the LIGO Hanford Observatory [caltech.edu]. It is one of a handful of places that can detect gravity waves, the kind of waves made by colliding black holes and the like. LIGO is south of Moses lake, and just make sure to check out their public tour times [caltech.edu].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by deadaluspark (991914)
      Yeah, Eastern WA has lots of interesting science installations (and one NSA installation!), yet since most of the populace is farming community there is very little local interest in these things. Honestly, it was me and a friend in the production crew who called NASA and set it up for one of our reporters to go. We just handed it off to the news director once we had gotten in contact with the NASA reps. The news reporters at our station KNEW that this was going on in Moses Lake but didn't think A) that
  • Velocity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:23PM (#23773115)
    According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], the original lunar rover did about 8 mph. I don't think they mentioned in the video how fast the chariot goes, but it looked pretty slow compared to the rate people were walking next to it. Wouldn't that kind of limit the range they could cover in some practical amount of time? Unless they're planning on outfitting that thing as the lunar equivalent of an RV. Or maybe this is just because it's the prototype and the real one will be faster.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by deadaluspark (991914)
      Those are good questions. I only wish the reporter our station had sent out was smart enough to ask questions like that. Unfortunately, he is clueless on almost entirely everything in reality, and refuses to listen to anyone about anything. Everyone I work with had wanted a longer story with better questions. It seemed really half-ass to us, because we knew it would blow up on Slashdot. So, I guess our opinion about how it should have been handled was different because we're nerds.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously, what the fuck to they need a car for on the moon? It's not like they have any drivethroughs up there.
    • by hcdejong (561314)
      Of course, since anything worth doing is worth doing quickly.
  • I wonder (Score:2, Funny)

    by cdomigan (833362)
    Testing? Or filming...
  • As of 6:31 pm PDT Views: 209 Thought it might be neat to see how many views the youtube video has as a function of time.
    • You might have to make an approximate estimation. Before I fell asleep last night the video had about 16 views. It may have had more before it hit the frontpage today. I supposed just subtract 16 from final tallies will work.
  • This was cover a while ago [slashdot.org], except they were testing in Huston. Cool to see more footage though.
  • Copyright? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KGIII (973947) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:14PM (#23773477) Journal
    I say this not tongue-in-cheek, I'm really curious if you got permission to post this? The reason I ask is not to enable a debate about the merits of copyright but to ensure that you're not going to lose your job over something like this which, really, is very cool. Either way, I thank you very much for the video share and hope that you're not going to get into any trouble at work for any of this.
    • by Nethead (1563)
      I went to school with the only decent IP lawyer in the area. If he gives KVEW grief then I have some goods on him.
      • by KGIII (973947)
        Cool beans 'cause it'd suck balls to have someone get in trouble over something like this. I was more concerned. for their sake, with the employer than I was legal troubles. We are at liberty to discuss the merits of copyright and even patents here online but when the real world rears its ugly head and someone loses a job over it then, well, that'd really suck. I, for one, really really appreciate the share. I've been scouring the 'net for the Mars rover activity in video format that's not CGI crap and whil
        • by Nethead (1563)
          No really, this is small market TV. They would kill to get notice like this. I just hope that this may lead to more coverage of science by the station. They are sitting with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation [wikipedia.org] and the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories [pnl.gov] in their backyard. But most anyone with a clue that grew-up there, left. I did.
          • Bookmarked CERT. Err... Just 'cause... A search for KGIII will take you to my site, most of the time, where there's a contact link. I don't want to go too far off topic but if you figure you want to rant and go off-topic then I'm ALWAYS willing to engage in digression. Any conversation worth having shouldn't have limits about the topic so long as the new topic somehow returns to the conversation that was started. I am, so you know, still looking at the first two links and likely will be for the next few hou
  • Ooooh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:16PM (#23773491)

    I would link to the original video on the KVEW website [CC], but the video is screwing up on the badly designed, WMP only website.
    So, what are your plans after you get fired?
  • And it's for a reason other than a school shooting or how the Grant County PUD fucked up the county-wide fiber optic network to an unbelievable degree. Cool!
  • and get your company's website /.'d

    You have big balls my friend. Either that or your stupid. Or maybe you have photo's of someone at the office? Bah, I could keep guessing here, but seriously, I can't imagine this will make you popular at work.
    Oh, you are right though. The website does suck.
  • No source, but I heard on the radio a while back that the place where the nickel is mined for toyota's hybrid car batteries is another place where NASA has tested lunar rovers. Carved out of some forest in Canada, if memory serves?

    Anyway, just FWIW
  • I've selected several photos of the future NASA robotic vehicles [zdnet.com] for your viewing pleasure.
  • Boeing does testing of their aircraft (or at least they did when I worked there) near Moses Lake because there is not much around there. They do things like turn all the engines off on a 747 and see if they can restart them while nose diving towards the ground, and flying them upside down and other fun stuff like that.
  • Watch out for falling cows [nwsource.com] in adjacent counties.
  • That's no moon!
  • So instead of making the videos on earth and saying they went to the moon, they're now just saying they did it all on terra firma.

    OK, I believe they did go to the moon, but if they didn't I wonder why the hoaxing stopped.

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