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Thread: What's NASA Up To And Other Space Stuff

  1. #391
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    There might also be some fix to make in the pump design/ manufacturing process to increase it's reliability. Then they don't sacrifice payload capacity and still reduce the chance of crashing a booster.
    All hardware with moving parts will eventually fail.
    AS9100 standards are not that good. Failures do not abide by clauses, standards use clause based structure.
    What is certain is that it does not add confidence to NASA to send an astronaut because either purchasing or manufacturing of parts seem to have a big hole.
    And in aerospace, it is a big deal.

    Even painting hardware is supervised. Painting may be vulnerable to all kind of problems, from small bubbles inside painting expanding and causing aerodinamic effects, to coating cracks, and so on. You may notice that the first SpaceX capsule was plain white. No logos. Imagine that even painting is a big deal. Now a malfunction in a critical pump must cause real concern. It already would be bad if you went to a store and you had a DOA pump. For aerospace it is unacceptable. Space and hypersonic flight is far more hostile than people think.

    I can imagine NASA not seeing SpaceX as a safe option and I would not blame them. Boeing may have had many scandals and it may overbudget or have bureacratic delays, but experienced personnel use to deliver. So this failed pump complicates SpaceX race to deliver a man into space.
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  2. #392
    * Boeing News: Boeing Backs Out of Global IP Satellite Order Financed by China

    * SpacePharma news: Two weeks ago, SpacePharma SPAd-ISS was at space, heading to the ISS as docking expected 4:20CET Monday 19th of Nov. 2018. Great launch after 48hr delay due for weather conditions placed stem cells in orbit expose to microgravity environment. SPAd-ISS designed and built by SpacePharma was at the Cygnus spacecraft heading to the ISS. Stem cells are now under exposure to the microgravity environment extreme conditions. PhD Siobhan Malany is pioneering this now available domain for drug resistance modeling.

    * Russia news: Russia’s Stratonavtika to offer balloon rides to 100,000 feet. Also, Roscosmos damage from fraudulent billing estimated to be about $91.6 million (Russian space industry suffers from another scandal).

    * Satellite news: Regarding funding to provide researchers the ability to utilize TBE's Multi-User System for Earth Sensing MUSES platform. Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS) and Teledyne Brown Engineering announced a sponsored program up to $4.5 million, offering researchers the ability to propose flight project concepts for the International Space Station (ISS) focused on remote sensing and Earth observation with up to $1 million in funding available for researchers to support sensor development.
    Last edited by ar81; 12-07-2018 at 10:43 PM.
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  3. #393
    More about that Alien Probe that buzzed us last year.

    One note of interest, I didn't realize the that unexplained acceleration didn't affect the object's rotation. I presume that means whatever caused the acceleration would have had to be applied to the entire object evenly and simultaneously, which explains the origin of the solar sail hypothesis.

    Anyway, the essay has some good discussion about the scientific process and the approach to extraordinary hypotheses.


    How to Approach the Problem of 'Oumuamua
    The first interstellar object ever found provides an excellent test of the scientific process

    On October 19, 2017, the first interstellar object detected in the solar system, ‘Oumuamua, was discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey. The six anomalies exhibited by this weird object since its discovery imply that it is nothing like the garden variety of asteroids or comets born in the solar system. What is it then? ‘Oumuamua’s deviation from a Keplerian orbit around the sun, combined with the lack of evidence for cometary outgassing, promoted the option that it might be a lightsail of artificial origin.

    As a result, numerous reporters asked me recently for the “gut feeling likelihood” that I assign to the possibility that ‘Oumuamua is artificial. I declined to give them a quantitative answer. My past experience taught me not to rely on gut feelings in situations like this, because gut feeling is guided by prejudice (labeled by Bayesian statisticians as the “prior probability”). And prejudice is shaped by experience, so we bring the risk of missing unexpected discoveries if we always expect the future to resemble the past.

    Some social media aficionados declared with great confidence that ‘Oumuamua is not artificial in origin. But they did not provide evidence to support their claim. They argued along the lines that “there are things we do not understand, which are nevertheless thought to originate from natural causes.”

    But this is no excuse for leaving the artificial-origin option off the table for ‘Oumuamua. The notion that an alien civilization might exist rests on the facts that our civilization exists and that the physical conditions on the surfaces of many other planets resemble those on Earth. The possibility of a “message in a bottle” from another civilization should therefore not be dismissed ab initio. After all, there are mainstream concepts that are far more imaginative than this possibility, but similarly unproven.

    For example, what could be stranger than postulating the existence of extra dimensions in order to unify quantum mechanics and gravity? Or postulating a new form of matter made of as-yet-undiscovered particles to explain the motion of stars in galaxies? Yet, the concepts of extra dimensions and dark matter serve as mainstream dogmas in physics and astronomy today.

    Why do scientists contemplate the existence of a new form of matter instead of arguing that there are things we do not understand about ordinary matter? Because ordinary matter shows anomalous motions, and conventional interpretations of these anomalies are not compelling. In the same vein, ‘Oumuamua showed an anomalous orbit, and conventional cometary outgassing was tightly constrained by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which did not detect dust or carbon-based molecules in the vicinity of the object and found it to be at least 10 times more shiny than a typical comet.

    In addition, the spin period of ‘Oumuamua did not change as we would expect from cometary outgassing. If the advocates for a natural origin of ‘Oumuamua have a good explanation for its orbital anomaly and lack of detectable outgassing, they should present this explanation in a scientific paper so that it would be tested with future analysis of existing data or future data on similar objects. This would be equivalent to suggesting theories of dark matter made of conventional material, or modified gravity, as alternatives to the notion of a new form of invisible matter.

    Galileo Galilei taught us through experimentation that despite our gut feeling, heavy objects do not fall faster than light objects. Similarly, experiments have taught us that “spooky action at a distance” is a feature of quantum mechanics, despite Albert Einstein’s gut feeling that such a thing was impossible. The lesson from these historic examples is that in questions of science, we should base our inferences on evidence and not prejudice. Before the truth becomes evident, there is a long period of uncertainty with some “gut feelings” being misguided.

    How can we gather more data on the population of ‘Oumuamua-like objects, so as to shorten the period of uncertainty about their origin? The simplest approach would be to seek new interstellar objects in surveying the sky. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will offer far better sensitivity than Pan-STARRS and should find many ‘Oumuamua-like objects once it starts operating in a few years. If LSST does not find any new interstellar objects, we will recognize a seventh anomaly about ‘Oumuamua, namely that it was special. In such a case, we would have to chase it down in order to learn more about its mysterious origin.

    Out of the entire population of interstellar objects, there should be a small subset that passed close to Jupiter, lost orbital energy and became trapped in the solar system. For these objects, the Sun-Jupiter system acts as a fishing net.

    In a new paper with Harvard undergraduate Amir Siraj, we found that the trapped ‘Oumuamua-like objects could be distinguished from asteroids or comets that were born in the solar system based on their unusual orbits, which would sometimes be highly inclined or counter-rotating relative to the planets. In addition to predicting tens of expected discoveries by LSST, our paper identified four specific candidates for trapped interstellar objects that might already have been discovered by past surveys.

    Fly-by photography or landing on trapped interstellar objects would educate us about their shape, composition and origins, saving the need to send interstellar probes to their distant birth places. We might also discover traces of primitive life-forms on them from another planetary system, confirming the possibility of interstellar panspermia. But ultimately, the search for “a message in a bottle” provides a unique opportunity for finding out that we are not alone, even if only one out of many interstellar objects originates from a technological civilization.

    Since ‘Oumuamua appears to be weird, its birthplace must be very different from what we currently imagine, irrespective of whether it is natural or artificial. And the most important point to keep in mind is that this object is what it is, independent of what the popular opinion is on Twitter.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...m-of-oumuamua/
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  4. #394
    For example, what could be stranger than postulating the existence of extra dimensions in order to unify quantum mechanics and gravity? Or postulating a new form of matter made of as-yet-undiscovered particles to explain the motion of stars in galaxies? Yet, the concepts of extra dimensions and dark matter serve as mainstream dogmas in physics and astronomy today.
    This is a very poor argument. Not appropriate to directly compare a single poorly characterized event to a multitude of extremely well-characterized observations.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  5. #395
    Just curious, what do you mean by poorly characterized? The fact that it's a unique observation? Or is there something wrong with the observations of the object?
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  6. #396
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Just curious, what do you mean by poorly characterized? The fact that it's a unique observation? Or is there something wrong with the observations of the object?
    We're inferring pretty much everything from the intensity and position of a single pixel. There's a lot of room for error.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  7. #397
    The hard part of the alien origin is to prove the existence of aliens.
    UFOlogists usually take a sighting and create a whole lot of speculative statements, and then they build a house of cards on top of speculation.

    I find hard to believe that Oumuamua may have alien origin because it is impractical that it could have alien origin.

    * If it is towed raw material for a mining operation or an asteroid ship, it is more efficient to make a propulsive burn closer to the sun, not far away. So aliens do not understand astrophysics. In space, sources of propulsion are scarce to be wasted far away from a periapsis, especially in a hyperbolic trajectory where non prograde or retrograde burns near periapsis will have minimum effect with maximum waste of propellant.
    * If it is a spaceship, it should have a destination within months or a few years away of travel. is there any destination within range? If it has some hyperspace device, it makes no sense to pass close to a gravitational field of a star.
    * If it has a solar sail, it should be huge to move such a massive object. Too big compared to the ship size.
    * If it passes near a sun to collect hydrogen atoms for an ion engine, it should maximize collection surface, which it does not. It would require either a huge funnel, or a large surface, perpendicular to the sun.
    * If it is a Zentraedi ship, there is no protoculture nearby.

    So it may be appealing to think of alien spaceships and Martian channels. But that belongs to retro scifi, not hardcore science.
    Unless you have an idea that says something different, if Oumuamua is a spaceship, it has the dumbest aliens in charge.
    Believe me, I have tried to figure out how UFOs could work and I see no practical way to turn Oumuamua into a viable conventional ship or a viable alien UFO.
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  8. #398
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    We're inferring pretty much everything from the intensity and position of a single pixel. There's a lot of room for error.
    I think the author is actually engaging in what-about-ism there: "You're dismissing the artificial object hypothesis because's it's so outrageous? What about invisible, untouchable dark matter? What about ten or twelve odd invisible dimensions? We hypothesize all kinds of outrageous things, that's no reason to dismiss this hypothesis." I don't really see the point of arguing it could be or can't be an artificial object - the discussion should be whether or not it's worth the expense required to go look at it, because those questions need more data to be answered. I think the author's argument to spend some effort to find other extra-solar objects is reasonable, however.
    Last edited by EyeKhan; 12-20-2018 at 01:01 PM.
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  9. #399
    Quote Originally Posted by ar81 View Post
    The hard part of the alien origin is to prove the existence of aliens.
    UFOlogists usually take a sighting and create a whole lot of speculative statements, and then they build a house of cards on top of speculation.

    I find hard to believe that Oumuamua may have alien origin because it is impractical that it could have alien origin.

    * If it is towed raw material for a mining operation or an asteroid ship, it is more efficient to make a propulsive burn closer to the sun, not far away. So aliens do not understand astrophysics. In space, sources of propulsion are scarce to be wasted far away from a periapsis, especially in a hyperbolic trajectory where non prograde or retrograde burns near periapsis will have minimum effect with maximum waste of propellant.
    * If it is a spaceship, it should have a destination within months or a few years away of travel. is there any destination within range? If it has some hyperspace device, it makes no sense to pass close to a gravitational field of a star.
    * If it has a solar sail, it should be huge to move such a massive object. Too big compared to the ship size.
    * If it passes near a sun to collect hydrogen atoms for an ion engine, it should maximize collection surface, which it does not. It would require either a huge funnel, or a large surface, perpendicular to the sun.
    * If it is a Zentraedi ship, there is no protoculture nearby.

    So it may be appealing to think of alien spaceships and Martian channels. But that belongs to retro scifi, not hardcore science.
    Unless you have an idea that says something different, if Oumuamua is a spaceship, it has the dumbest aliens in charge.
    Believe me, I have tried to figure out how UFOs could work and I see no practical way to turn Oumuamua into a viable conventional ship or a viable alien UFO.
    I think the inherent risk in your argument is the use of an anthropocentric yardstick to evaluate something that is, artificial or not, decidedly non-anthropocentric. In other words, aliens might do things so odd that they appear stupid to us, and they might do them for reasons we cannot understand. And likewise, naturally-occurring objects that behave exactly like this one might be very common outside our solar system, but we have no idea because for some reason they don't occur naturally here. But that becomes a problem in and of itself - what's so different about our solar system that objects like this are not found here?
    Last edited by EyeKhan; 12-21-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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  10. #400
    Quote Originally Posted by ar81 View Post
    The hard part of the alien origin is to prove the existence of aliens.
    UFOlogists usually take a sighting and create a whole lot of speculative statements, and then they build a house of cards on top of speculation.

    I find hard to believe that Oumuamua may have alien origin because it is impractical that it could have alien origin.

    * If it is towed raw material for a mining operation or an asteroid ship, it is more efficient to make a propulsive burn closer to the sun, not far away. So aliens do not understand astrophysics. In space, sources of propulsion are scarce to be wasted far away from a periapsis, especially in a hyperbolic trajectory where non prograde or retrograde burns near periapsis will have minimum effect with maximum waste of propellant.
    * If it is a spaceship, it should have a destination within months or a few years away of travel. is there any destination within range? If it has some hyperspace device, it makes no sense to pass close to a gravitational field of a star.
    * If it has a solar sail, it should be huge to move such a massive object. Too big compared to the ship size.
    * If it passes near a sun to collect hydrogen atoms for an ion engine, it should maximize collection surface, which it does not. It would require either a huge funnel, or a large surface, perpendicular to the sun.
    * If it is a Zentraedi ship, there is no protoculture nearby.

    So it may be appealing to think of alien spaceships and Martian channels. But that belongs to retro scifi, not hardcore science.
    Unless you have an idea that says something different, if Oumuamua is a spaceship, it has the dumbest aliens in charge.
    Believe me, I have tried to figure out how UFOs could work and I see no practical way to turn Oumuamua into a viable conventional ship or a viable alien UFO.
    Even if the object was artificial, its presence in Solar system doesn't have to be intentional. I mean, our Voyager probes might eventually wind up at another star system, after all. Therefore, the reason the craft appears inefficient or ill-suited for any particular purpose could be that it doesn't have any purpose.
    It would be nice if we could get to a place where our community didn’t need a constant stream of fresh corpses to remind it how to behave.

    "Science and faith are fundamentally incompatible, and for precisely the same reason that irrationality and rationality are incompatible. They are different forms of inquiry, with only one, science, equipped to find real truth. And while they may have a dialogue, it's not a constructive one. Science helps religion only by disproving its claims, while religion has nothing to add to science." - J.A.Coyne

  11. #401
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I think the author is actually engaging in what-about-ism there: "You're dismissing the artificial object hypothesis because's it's so outrageous? What about invisible, untouchable dark matter? What about ten or twelve odd invisible dimensions? We hypothesize all kinds of outrageous things, that's no reason to dismiss this hypothesis." I don't really see the point of arguing it could be or can't be an artificial object - the discussion should be whether or not it's worth the expense required to go look at it, because those questions need more data to be answered. I think the author's argument to spend some effort to find other extra-solar objects is reasonable, however.
    We only have invisible untouchable dark matter or extra dimensions in our theories because of certain observations we haven't been able to fit into theories any other way, despite theorists bending over backwards to get rid of them.

    Oumuamua, on the other hand, is the other way around: people are so in love with the alien probe hypothesis that they're bending over backwards to make it work, and giving it the tiniest benefit of the doubt. When 'Oumuamua is aliens' has been attacked with the same rigour dark matter has and survived, we'll talk. But I'm pretty sure if you subjected it to that level of attack it would be reduced to a smoking hole in the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by BalticSailor View Post
    Even if the object was artificial, its presence in Solar system doesn't have to be intentional. I mean, our Voyager probes might eventually wind up at another star system, after all. Therefore, the reason the craft appears inefficient or ill-suited for any particular purpose could be that it doesn't have any purpose.
    Up against the 'sky must be full of alien probes or else ginormous co-incidence' objection that was supposed to cast doubt on Oumuamua being an natural object in the first place.
    Last edited by Steely Glint; 12-21-2018 at 11:50 AM.
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  12. #402
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    We only have invisible untouchable dark matter or extra dimensions in our theories because of certain observations we haven't been able to fit into theories any other way, despite theorists bending over backwards to get rid of them.
    Not quite backwards. Given that no evidence for dark matter has been found, despite a lot of looking, the possibility that our theory of gravity needs revision is being increasingly entertained.

    Oumuamua, on the other hand, is the other way around: people are so in love with the alien probe hypothesis that they're bending over backwards to make it work, and giving it the tiniest benefit of the doubt.
    Not quite backwards. That object is very odd, unlike anything observed before. That's a fact. Observational data seems to align well with what a solar sail would be expected to look like. That's all anyone serious has said, as far as I know. And that only to grab popular attention, presumably to drum up support for a mission to investigate it.

    My thinking is that if it were a solar sail, an interstellar vehicle, why in the world is it so small? I'd always thought bigger is better with a sail.

    When 'Oumuamua is aliens' has been attacked with the same rigour dark matter has and survived, we'll talk. But I'm pretty sure if you subjected it to that level of attack it would be reduced to a smoking hole in the ground.
    At least with 'Oumuamua, there's something to look at. With dark matter, it's a big fucking guess. "Something is producing more gravity than should be there, based on what we can see. Matter produces gravity, so it must be matter we can't see -- dark matter." Wow. Rigorous theorizing.


    You know, maybe these two things are related. The universe's missing matter mystery is really that most of the stars in the universe are behind Dyson shells so efficient they are capturing even the infrared energy physicists say should leak out. And that means the universe is positively FILLED with interstellar probe junk, and it's rather a miracle this is the first time we've encountered such an object. Two birds, one stone, mystery solved. Next question, please.
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  13. #403
    If it looks unusual, it is alien.
    If it presents a behavior, it is alien.
    If it is barely visible, it is alien.
    That's the poor logic of Harvard.

    Once I watched a shiny static metallic 40 meter long ellipsoid, about 2 miles awayin a very clear day, behaving in ways that challenge what I know about aerodynamics, in a no fly zone due to dangerous winds. It rotated around vertical axis and moved in a straight line for a mile, and then it disappeared in a split second, as if it was an edited movie. It was what you would call a UFO. There were other people with me, and visibility was totally clear, and it was too close, so I know I did not imagine it.

    I realized some things:
    * UFO theorists pile lots of speculative statements to fill knowledge gaps. Then they start to make deductions based on them and the result is a complex tale of alien life. But if these statements are false, you had only a scifi house of cards.
    * I am unable to say anything about the object. I just can say it did not use aerodynamics to fly. I can only say no man made object matches what I watched. If it was alien or not, manned ot not, or if it came from space, under the sea or onder Earth surface, I cannot tell. I realized how big the house of cards would be if I dare to make assumptions.
    * I came to try to figure out ways to reverse engineer that UFO. May be I am not able to build it, but I came to very interesting conclusions on the principles it may have to use to exist like that. The resulting ideas were quite interesting, if you combine them with what I know about aerospace. I still need to work on them a bit more.
    * It is a UFO. Unidientified because I do not know what it is. Flying because it was flying. Object, because it was an object. So yes, it is a UFO. But if it is an alien spacecraft or not, I cannot tell.
    * After that sighting Oumuamua looks so "non-alien", just a UFO theorist at Harvard trying to build a house of cards.
    * I can only say what I watched. Anything else is a house of cards. I will not pile a house of cards on top of what I watched. UFO "documentaries" are usually a house of cards, designed to sell stuff to people who want fake tales about aliens to be true. I can understand the economic incentive to lie of UFO stuff producers. But when Harvard scientist engages in such stupid behavior, I can only have a cringing feeling.

    So if we try to make the conversation more interesting, how would you design your own UFO to match the behavior of sightings? What technologies would you need to develop? That is a more interesting conversation than to think that an unusual piece of stone is an alien ship or an alien God.
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  14. #404
    Congrats to China for it's landing on the far side of the Moon. And the first color pics of Ultima Thule are in:

    https://www.space.com/42878-ultima-t...lor-photo.html
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  15. #405
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Congrats to China for it's landing on the far side of the Moon. And the first color pics of Ultima Thule are in:

    https://www.space.com/42878-ultima-t...lor-photo.html
    The moon landing was fake!!! China sent a probe to Hollywood!! As you may bet, I am kidding. Congrats to China. Quite an achievement.
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  16. #406
    Well, this sucks. Considering we can't know for sure without looking if there's something major we don't know to put into a model, at least one of these worlds should to be investigated. But this work is a wet blanket.


    Ocean Moons, Promising Targets in Search for Life, Could Be Dead Inside

    For more than two decades, scientists have wondered whether extraterrestrial life may be flourishing deep below the icy coatings boasted by moons in our outer solar system.

    Spacecraft like the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn have stumbled on evidence that some of their moons hide global oceans, warmed by the pull of the giant planet they orbit. And oceanic explorers much closer to home have discovered dynamic communities living in darkness around geologic features on the ocean floor. Combine the two and it's easy to be carried away with dreams of alien seafloors teeming with microbes. But new research is looking deeper, into the rock itself, and suggesting that these worlds may be dead inside — not just biologically, but geologically as well.

    "We were wondering, what would it look like if you were in a submarine and you were able to fly over the surface of the ocean floor on [Jupiter's moon] Europa," lead author Paul Byrne, a planetary geologist at North Carolina State University told Space.com last month at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union in Washington.

    These are the seafloors where astrobiologists have hoped to find heated, mineral-packed seawater spitting out into the ocean, like hydrothermal vents and black smokers on Earth. In our oceans, those features support bustling communities centered on microbes ("crawlies," as Byrne calls them) that can feed themselves on chemicals produced where hot rock and seawater continuously mix. If similar structures are found on alien ocean worlds, the prospect of finding life on worlds far from the sun becomes just a little more plausible.

    "I was hoping we could characterize what the chain of volcanoes would look like, what the rift zones would look like — and then we were like, 'Well, I don't think they're going to be there,'" Byrne said.


    Rock solid

    To reach that conclusion, the team focused on the rock itself, determining how much force would be necessary to break the rock in two ways we see on Earth: normal faults, which occur when rock is pulled apart, and thrust faults, which occur when rock is pushed together and which require more force to produce. The more force required to break rock, the less geological activity is happening — and that means less of the interactions between fresh rock and alien seawater that could theoretically support life.

    Byrne and his colleagues focused on four ocean worlds: Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede and Saturn's Enceladus and Titan. For each of these worlds, the team calculated the strength of the rock. While there are plenty of questions we can't yet answer about these worlds, it turns out that rock strength calculations — which are commonly made on Earth for mining operations — are pretty feasible.

    Those calculations are based on the thickness of the cold, solid rock layer, which rests on top of a warmer, mushy layer that can't break. An analogy may help. "Think of like a Milky Way bar or a Mars bar, it's where the chocolate and caramel touch," Byrne said. "That depth, you can treat that as the thickness of the brittle, rigid layer." The thicker it is, the harder it is to break.

    Then the team added other values, like the body's gravity at a set depth and the weight of water and ice on top of the moon's rocky surface. Even when they included a range of plausible values for unknown inputs, the final calculations were in the same general range for each moon. [Photos: Enceladus, Saturn's Cold, Bright Moon]

    Byrne said those initial results, which he was presenting at the conference, suggest that the rock is so strong that there's no force we know of on these moons powerful enough to regularly crack it. That's because of the sheer weight of the water and ice sitting above the rock. "When it actually comes to understanding how strong the rock is, it's pretty strong, and it's pretty strong because even though the gravity's pretty low there's a lot of water on top of it," Byrne said.

    Each moon the team studied showed a different calculated rock strength, but the results aren't particularly promising for geological showstoppers or would-be alien life. "For Europa, it seems really, really hard to make any fractures or faults, and then once you look at Titan and Ganymede, these numbers are stupid high, really, nothing's happening at all on those worlds," Byrne said.

    Enceladus' rock strength numbers aren't as grim, since this moon is much smaller than the other three, which reduces the weight of the water and ice above its rocky surface. The picture also looks a little different at Enceladus because its rocky core is more porous. If those pores happen to line up, they could carry water deep into the moon. "It's within the realms of plausibility that Enceladus might actually be wet and soggy all the way through," Byrne said.

    And unlike for the other moons, scientists do have evidence suggesting that rock and water are interacting at Enceladus, thanks to Cassini's flight through seawater plumes shooting through the icy crust and into space, which identified organic compounds. "That's quite encouraging," Byrne said. "It's hard to explain that it's not rock and water touching."


    Billiard ball worlds

    If the rock at all these seafloors is too strong to be broken regularly, Byrne said, it's difficult to imagine much could be happening down there. On Earth, two major factors shaping the seafloor are soil washing off the continents and the bodies of sea creatures sinking to decay, and neither seems likely on these ocean worlds. Spacecraft haven't seen scars left behind by any impacts that seem large enough to plausibly make a recent dent on the seafloor. And based on his calculations, the rock is too strong to allow the moons to shrink like the planet Mercury or to sport volcanic chains or rift zones.

    All that means the submarine ride suddenly looks awfully boring. "Basically, it becomes a list of things there won't be," Byrne said. "It'll look like a billiard ball, it'll be a weird smooth planet. It'll be a new type of rocky world in our solar system." [Photos of Ganymede, Jupiter's Largest Moon]

    He emphasized that these aren't final results. The team is still seeing how other scientists respond to the calculations, and the research isn't published yet. And it will likely be decades before scientists could gather the data they might need to really test the idea — which would require seismometers on these alien seafloors. Humans are just now beginning to get their first good seismometer data from another planet, thanks to the InSight lander on Mars.

    Byrne is philosophical about his team's calculations and how dramatically they seem to undermine what scientists have expected of these worlds. "If we're wrong, fine, that's how science works, that's grand, we'll take it, we'll be happy about it," he said.

    In fact, he said he's a little sad about his own team's findings. "It would be great if we found interesting stuff, because these worlds are cool and maybe there's life there," Byrne said. "But if we're right, it means we do need to reconsider these worlds as habitable destinations or destinations for exploring habitability."
    https://www.space.com/42989-ocean-mo...adline+Feed%29
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  17. #407
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Well, this sucks. Considering we can't know for sure without looking if there's something major we don't know to put into a model, at least one of these worlds should to be investigated. But this work is a wet blanket.

    https://www.space.com/42989-ocean-mo...adline+Feed%29
    Water is tricky. Diving 200 meters creates a pressure equal to a column of 200 meters of water. Going to another planet to dive 200 meters is just silly.
    Freedom - When people learn to embrace criticism about politicians, since politicians are just employees like you and me.

  18. #408
    Blue Origin's (Jeff Bezos') vision.... has anyone else noticed how much the New Shepard rocket looks like a dildo?

    Link:

    https://www.space.com/43247-blue-ori...adline+Feed%29
    The Rules
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    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  19. #409
    Pretty much all rockets are phallic, for obvious reasons.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  20. #410
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Pretty much all rockets are phallic, for obvious reasons.
    I didn't say phallic. In it's proportions and bulging, that one's especially like a dildo. I wouldn't be surprised to see a vibrating scale model available on some weird nerd sex toy site.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  21. #411
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Blue Origin's (Jeff Bezos') vision.... has anyone else noticed how much the New Shepard rocket looks like a dildo?

    Link:

    https://www.space.com/43247-blue-ori...adline+Feed%29
    Since day one. It's one of the most dildo-like rockets ever.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  22. #412
    I for one appreciate all the detail they put into the rocket's glans.

  23. #413
    It's actually just a representation of Bezos's head.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  24. #414
    Rockets have big fairings to allow more room for payload.
    Rockets are like big torpedos.
    Freedom - When people learn to embrace criticism about politicians, since politicians are just employees like you and me.

  25. #415
    RIP Opportunity.
    The Rules
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  26. #416
    Okay, here we go. First Crew Dragon launch (unmanned) tomorrow morning, 2:49AM. It's been a long road but soon (-sh) the US won't be reliant on Russian rockets to get to the ISS.

    https://www.space.com/17933-nasa-tel...-space-tv.html


    And then there's this:

    https://www.space.com/senate-bill-se...e-station.html

    A bill to extend ISS funding to 2030, along with making "permanent human settlement of space a national goal."
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  27. #417
    It really annoys me that the ISS isn't bigger and cooler.

    At least get a torus on there or something, ffs.
    Genie let out of the bottle, it is now the witching hour
    Murderers, you're murderers, we are not the same as you
    When the walls bend with your breathing
    They will suck you down to the other side, with the shadows blue and red
    Your alarm bells; they should be ringing
    This is the gloaming

  28. #418
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It really annoys me that the ISS isn't bigger and cooler.

    At least get a torus on there or something, ffs.
    Dude. There's a big component of luck that the ISS is up there at all.
    The Rules
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  29. #419
    I thought this guy made some good points. And for the record, no, I can't imagine we are the smartest, though if we actually are, that would explain the Fermi Paradox.

    The link to the original is:

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...-cosmic-block/


    Are We Really the Smartest Kid on the Cosmic Block?
    It’s unlikely, and if we keep thinking otherwise, we might be missing some important clues about the existence of extraterrestrial life

    It is unclear how many intelligent civilizations have arisen in the Milky Way galaxy so far, but if some have, a pressing question comes to mind: were they or are they more intelligent than we are?


    When reading the morning newspaper, it is difficult to avoid the thought that our own intelligence bar is not particularly high nor difficult to surpass. We fight among ourselves in “lose-lose” situations; we do not promote long-term solutions over short-term fixes; and we have been broadcasting our existence to the galaxy with radio waves for over a century without worrying whether about whether there are any predators or competitors in outer space. (If it’s the latter, they might have been ignoring us because we appear so incompetent.)

    If other civilizations do exist, one key in becoming aware of them is whether we are intelligent enough to adequately interpret their signals or to identify a piece of their technology if it should appear in our solar system. One fact is clear: if we assign a zero prior probability for such evidence coming our way, as some scientists did in the case of ‘Oumuamua by invoking the principle “it’s never aliens,” we will indeed never find any. We will be like ostriches burying our heads in the sand.

    In fact, this attitude may be one sign that our intelligence isn’t very impressive—that the human race as a whole suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which those with mediocre abilities insist that they’re unusually talented or smart.


    How can our civilization mature? The same way kids do: by leaving home, going out into the neighborhood, meeting others and comparing notes with them. In other words, we can develop a balanced perspective on our current technological accomplishments by engaging in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Since our own technological development accelerates exponentially with an e-folding time of a few years, it is difficult to imagine what a much more advanced technology crafted by a civilization that had lived for a cosmic timescale—billions of such e-folding times—would look like.

    As natural as this suggestion to search might seem, however it is evident that SETI faces a hostile mainstream culture in astronomy. The simple proposal to consider the possibility that ‘Oumumua is technological debris as an explanation for its unusual properties, for example was met with controversy on social media.

    True, SETI carries non-scientific baggage related to unrealistic aspects of the science fiction literature and unsubstantiated reports about unidentified flying objects (UFOs)—something SETI researchers sometimes refer to as the “giggle factor.” But at the same time, it would be a strategic mistake for observers to restrict the interpretation of data from their telescopes and not search for “other kids in our neighborhood” just because of this baggage. The existence of extraterrestrial intelligence has nothing to do with the credibility of science fiction stories of UFO reports. The problem with adopting this wrong attitude is that it delays scientific progress. Grant applicants are frequently asked to forecast the scientific discoveries they will make if their application is approved—but by bracketing the range of possibilities in advance, we might never discover the unexpected. Instead we cultivate a scientific culture that tends to replicate what we already know.

    History teaches us that this is a mistake. The search for extrasolar planets encountered mainstream resistance in its early days. Observing proposals to search for low-hanging fruits, such as “hot Jupiters”—which are easiest to detect—were rejected by conservative committees of telescope-time allocation that argued that such planets should not exist in nature based on what we know about the solar system. But discovery forged ahead as some observers dared to challenge this prejudice, demonstrating that hot Jupiters are abundant. There was 40-year delay, however, given that the first theoretical proposal to do such a search was made by Otto Struve as early as in 1952.

    Hence, an obvious obstacle to identifying our neighbors is the tendency to limit our imagination to what we already know. But this should not necessarily remain the case in the future. What we imagine for extraterrestrial life should not be solely defined by the natural chemical and geological processes that took place spontaneously on Earth. We could, for example produce synthetic life in the laboratory under a broader range of conditions than those with which we are familiar. Metaphorically, we could bake new kinds of cakes using the same ingredients, expanding the book of recipes handed to us by Mother Earth.

    Realizing that life can exist under new conditions will improve our forecasts for where to search for it in space and how to interpret our findings, in just the same way that the laws of physics—which were first revealed in laboratory experiments—allowed astrophysicists to study the universe billions of light years away.

    An important survival skill in the company of unknown neighbors is to listen before speaking out. Given our sloppy behavior in transmitting signals to outer space without restraint, we can only hope that we have not become the laughingstock of our galactic neighborhood by now. But even if we have, we can still get our act together and do better in the future. In order to know how to behave, we should find out first who is on our street by searching with our best telescopes for unusual electromagnetic flashes, industrial pollution of planetary atmospheres, artificial light or heat, artificial space debris or something completely unexpected.

    Fortunately, we possess instruments that are sensitive enough to find out not only whether we have neighbors but also whether they have noticed us already.
    The Rules
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  30. #420
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    It's not that I think it's never aliens. It's just unlikely to be aliens, so you should prove it is and not use it for any unexplained phenomena. Saying we don't understand Oumumua so it's probably aliens or we don't understand a star's light emissions so it's probably aliens is a bit of a cheap argument because you can just assign any skill to the aliens to explain anything. And yeah scientists will be critical because that's how science work, you're supposed to challenge everything until it's proven.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

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