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Moon Education Space Science

Elementary School Kids Explore the Moon At Close Range 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the permission-and-release-form dept.
sighted writes "The twin robotic spacecraft that make up the new GRAIL mission to map the moon's gravity include small cameras in addition to their primary scientific instruments. The first images from those cameras, as selected by school kids, were downlinked to Earth on March 20. 'MoonKAM is based on the premise that if your average picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a classroom full of engineering and science degrees,' said Maria Zuber, GRAIL mission principal investigator."
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Elementary School Kids Explore the Moon At Close Range

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  • Darn (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Given the summary title, I was hoping that we'd actually sent some kids into lunar orbit... as an elementary school teacher, I know a few I wouldn't mind sending.

  • by ringman8567 (895757) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @07:56PM (#39446439)
    Every time I see a picture is worth a thousand words I ask myself which takes up more disc space?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2012 @08:02PM (#39446493)

    Come on.

    Everyone knows a kid or ten they'd like to put into lunar orbit.

  • ...with that onboard camera? Please?

    To hush the anti-moon-landing conspiracists once and for all.
  • How many pictures are chosen because some kid "sees a bunny"?
  • "if your average picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a classroom full of engineering and science degrees"

    This is the dumbest thing I've heard in my life. And I don't say that lightly, this is, quite literally, the dumbest thing I have heard anyone say, ever.
    • "This is the dumbest thing I've heard in my life. And I don't say that lightly, this is, quite literally, the dumbest thing I have heard anyone say, ever.

      From which one is tempted to infer that you are:

      * Deaf;
      * Raised by wolves until yesterday, just got back to civilization;
      * A space alien from a planet where people never say foolish things;
      * All of the above

      because the rest us hear things that dumb every day at least once.

      rgb

  • I don't get it.
    Why spend $375 million sending a camera to the moon only to return such poor quality images?

    I looked a dozens of them, they all seem small, grainy, out of focus and black and white. (of course the moon being mostly grey might explain this last point)

    Couldn't they afford a better camera? My smartphone would have done a better job.

    • by Lotana (842533)

      Couldn't they afford a better camera? My smartphone would have done a better job.

      Can your smartphone stand the rigors of launch and lunar environment? Looks like you need to send something specifically designed for such difficult requirements.

      Now that can't be cheap. And the camera is not the focus of the mission. It already adds pointless weight without giving any scientific results. Add to that how NASA's funding is being cut at every opportunity in all areas, I am shocked that the camera was included at all! So yes, I would imagine that they couldn't afford a better camera.

      • by PassMark (967298)

        Can your smartphone stand the rigors of launch and lunar environment?

        Yes, in all probability.

        The $150 Edge-of-Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget.
        http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/the-150-space-camera-mit-students-beat-nasa-on-beer-money-budget/ [wired.com]

        • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

          'Edge of space' is well below the Van Allen belts. The cost of space-electronics comes from having to harden them against radiation. Cosmic rays can and will cause bits to flip at random, so you need to harden them against all but the most energetic particles -- something in the upper atmosphere (which is where these high-altitude balloon cameras are), is protected by the same magnetic fields that protect us on the ground.

          The other option is to stick your electronics in a lead box (see Juno), but a camera

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