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Mars NASA Science

NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-dead-jim dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will next week make a number of passes over the presumed dead Phoenix Mars Lander on the surface of the planet and listen for what the space agency called possible, though improbable, radio transmissions. Odyssey will pass over the Phoenix landing site about 10 times this month and two longer listening tries in February and March trying to determine if the craft survived Martian winter and try to lock onto a signal and gain information about the lander’s status."
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NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft

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  • by jhoegl (638955) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @12:52PM (#30739002)
    I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space. We would be at Jupiter right now.
  • by snmpkid (93151) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @12:53PM (#30739028)

    Or there would be 50% more dead space junk on jupiter now

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:02PM (#30739204)

    Or both. No success without failures. Or are Spirit and Opportunity not worth the landers that disappeared?

  • but we wouldn't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:31PM (#30739676) Homepage Journal

    and that is the problem. I always cringe when I see people toss out IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ as if that explains the current state of NASA's budget.

    Face it, NASA does not generate votes. The only science that generates votes is that which well funded special interest groups support. The US could spend ZERO on its military and the space budget would be still be shit.

    If anything the real science people want is how to get something for nothing, if not that how to get more from someone else

  • by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:33PM (#30739704) Journal
    The Rover's were originally 90 day missions back in 2002. That's all they were designed for. This is the 7th year of operation. Frankly, I'm impressed. If the military was as efficient as our space program, tanks from WWII would still be in service.
  • by Kintanon (65528) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:36PM (#30739760) Homepage Journal

    Are you serious? This is what you're bringing to the table? We already disrupt local economies and destroy the livelihoods of local farmers with the amount of food relief we drop into areas. The US spends more money on foreign aid than any other developed nation. We POUR food into the third world and their fucked up governments let the civilians starve while they feed their military and trade the food to other warlords for guns.

    So take that bullshit and try to sell it elsewhere jackass.

  • That headline... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:38PM (#30739800) Journal

    NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft

    If they knew it was dead, they wouldn’t be looking for a response from it.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:42PM (#30739858) Journal

    Is a gigantic "desert" seriously that interesting?

    What’s so interesting about the top of Mt. Everest, that a couple hundred people have died trying to reach it?

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:49PM (#30739984) Homepage

    While I agree with your sentiment about the longevity of the rovers, I'm a little confused about your tank comment. The military has no problem using and maintaining old equipment when it's good for the job... the famous example of the B-52 comes to mind. Military equipment tends to go obsolete faster than robot probes, because it doesn't take years (sometimes decades) to deploy a new model.

  • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @01:55PM (#30740072) Homepage Journal

    I don't see how a rocket with a payload of nothing but dollar bills is going to get us any closer to Jupiter.

    To be fair, sending C-130s with payloads of nothing but dollar bills [guardian.co.uk] didn't do more for success in Iraq, either.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:01PM (#30740164) Homepage

    Precisely one of the points about Mars and other places outside of Earth. Without reaching to them, life will die out. We're in the phase of first small steps in ensuring it won't.

  • by 172pilot (913197) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:19PM (#30741378) Homepage
    I love the space program too, but if we did that, we'd be a territory of China right now, and all living a communist life with no space program..
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@bea u . org> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:21PM (#30741412)

    > I wish we took 50% of the money given to the military and put it into space.

    You are making a very silly assumption. You assume the military budget just goes down a black hole. It doesn't. We get two benefits from that money. First is tech, probably more tech than NASA has delivered and NASA has done some good stuff. But look how much tech came out of two World Wars and the Cold War (WWIII in everything but body count) and compare it to NASA. But by far the bigger benefit is that Western Civilization didn't fall to the barbarian hordes. Hint: Barbarians don't send out space probes in a peaceful quest for pure knowledge. Can you see the Thousand Year Reich sending unmanned probes to the outer solar system? How about the Soviet Union in a world where they defeated the West and didn't need to 'waste' resources in a PR war? Remember, with some of the more productive farmland in the world their system couldn't feed their population, if the whole world fell to their level of productivity there wouldn't be much surplus wealth to blow on exploration. How 'bout the sixth century rejects wanting to re-establish the Caliphate? Think they would be interested in the Final Frontier? We are free to argue about these things and do basic science, safe under the protection of hard men walking the wall and beating back the unreasoning barbarian hordes who are always out there waiting for weakness.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:38PM (#30741664) Homepage

    No, the mission was designed to last 90 days (and probably more for budgetary reasons than anything else)... I'm not saying 7 years on Mars isn't impressive, but the idea that engineers expected the rovers to drop dead after 90 days is inaccurate.

    Actually it kinda is, not because they engineered the rover to only last that long (obviously you're right and they engineered it to be as robust as possible to survive on Mars), but because they thought the rover's solar panels would be too covered in dust to operate after that.

    I still remember NASA putting out releasing saying how pleasantly surprised they were that the Martian wind turned out to be substantial enough to blow dust off the panels, and so the mission could extend past its original 90 day scope.

    The fact that they continued the mission shows it wasn't budget constraints that limited it to 90 days... at least not the operations budget. I guess it was related to budget in the sense that this constrained them to only using solar power, and 90 days was just how long they thought a solar-powered rover could run.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:26PM (#30742938) Journal

    Nor would I want to be. Kids are a huge drain on your financial, emotional, and temporal resources. I like having time to do adult things, pursue the things that interest me, instead of changing diapers, ferrying them to soccer practise, etc. Studies show that non-parents are measurably happier than parents, no matter what the evolutionary advantageous hormone driven delusion tells them. And it makes sense, raising kids is obviously very stressful. No thanks.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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