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Just Released: Cassini Mission Extended Two Years

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posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 11:21 AM
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Nasa is extending the Cassini mission by another two years:


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA is extending the international Cassini-Huygens mission by two years. The historic spacecraft's stunning discoveries and images have revolutionized our knowledge of Saturn and its moons.

Cassini's mission originally had been scheduled to end in July 2008. The newly-announced two-year extension will include 60 additional orbits of Saturn and more flybys of its exotic moons. These will include 26 flybys of Titan, seven of Enceladus, and one each of Dione, Rhea and Helene. The extension also includes studies of Saturn's rings, its complex magnetosphere, and the planet itself.

"This extension is not only exciting for the science community, but for the world to continue to share in unlocking Saturn's secrets," said Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "New discoveries are the hallmarks of its success, along with the breathtaking images beamed back to Earth that are simply mesmerizing."


Nasa Press Release




Link to Cassini page.

Good news considering talk of Nasa budget cuts. More great photos and images for ATS-er's to ponder for at least a couple of years.




posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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Also great to hear that they aren't "sinking" 72 pounds of plutonium into Saturn's atmosphere in late August 2008, as was planned. Could this have been the real "niburu" binary star, turning Saturn into a sun (could be possible if the initial reaction could be kicked off with enough fissionable material) for the colonization of Mars, I have read such? Let's hope they continue the extended mission as you have said. We don't need to be causing fission reactions anywhere in space! However, they will need a closer energy source for Mars? Hmmmm???????



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by percievedreality
 


You can't turn a gas giant into a star by dropping a few measily pounds of fissile material into it. Stars undergo fusion, not fission. Those are polar opposite processes. Elements good for fission are useless for fusion reactions and vice versa. There simply isn't enough hydrogen/helium in Saturn for it to be a star of any sort, so no matter how much uranium and plutonium you throw it, nothing will change. Shoemaker-levy 9 should have proven that - it unleashed far more energy than any nuclear warhead we have (or even all of them, I think) onto a gas giant much more massive and hydrogen-filled than Saturn, yet nothing happened.

[edit on 15-4-2008 by ngchunter]



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by ngchunter
reply to post by percievedreality
 


Shoemaker-levy 9 should have proven that - it unleashed far more energy than any nuclear warhead we have (or even all of them, I think) onto a gas giant much more massive and hydrogen-filled than Saturn, yet nothing happened.

[edit on 15-4-2008 by ngchunter]


Shoemaker-levy 9 proved nothing in that context as it contained no fissionable material! You are correct that the estimated force of the impact was larger than all the nuclear weapons on earth combined (about 750 times), about 6 million megatons of TNT! But it is not all about brute force, more about enviromental conditions needed to start fission/fusion reactions. Also you are correct that Saturn is indeed about 85% the size of Jupiter, both of which are abundant in Hydrogen and Helium, the two main gases of their atmospheres. NASA dumped about 40 lbs of plutinum into Jupiter with another probe and nothing happened. (larger planet mass/smaller primary)

Your arguments about fission and fusion being complete opposites and not relating to each other is not correct. Keep in mind that a "primary" is the technical term for the fission bomb trigger (72 lbs of fissionable plutonium in this case) of a thermonuclear or fusion bomb, which is used to compress, heat and ignite the fusion fuel in the thermonuclear secondary (Saturn's abundance of hydrogen and helium in this case). Once again recall that, the prime energy producer in the sun is the fusion of hydrogen to helium, both of which are the main gaseous elements comprising the atmospheres of both Saturn and Jupiter.

Just some arguments, as I do believe it is possible to turn a gas giant into a star by initiating the correct trigger! I will not dismiss the above and write off the concept. You may not agree and thus have labeled it "a few measily pounds" but in reality, 72 pounds is quite a bit of fissionable material, more than enough for 5.25 of the Hiroshima bomb! I was just happy to see that Cassini is being planned for further research use and not being dumped into Saturn this summer!



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 02:49 PM
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Thanks for posting percievedreality and ngchunter. I certainly cannot add to the fission/fussion discussion, way above my head.

But I think the fact that Cassini has been extended, the Hubble will be given another 5 years at least after the next service mission and the Mars Rovers appear to be safe for another year is encouraging.



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by percievedreality

Originally posted by ngchunter
reply to post by percievedreality
 


Shoemaker-levy 9 should have proven that - it unleashed far more energy than any nuclear warhead we have (or even all of them, I think) onto a gas giant much more massive and hydrogen-filled than Saturn, yet nothing happened.

[edit on 15-4-2008 by ngchunter]


Shoemaker-levy 9 proved nothing in that context as it contained no fissionable material!
Fissionable material is not necessary or useful to a fusion reaction. The energy FROM a fission reaction can be useful to trigger a fusion reaction, but fissionable material itself is not the key, energy is.



Your arguments about fission and fusion being complete opposites and not relating to each other is not correct.
As far as one being fuel for the other, they are quite opposite. Fission and fusion reactions move in "opposite" directions across the energy gradient of the periodic table, with iron being the essentially "inert slump" in the middle. Uranium/plutonium fusion costs energy, it cannot give off more energy than is put in. Hydrogen/helium fusion releases energy. The opposite is true for the fission of each.



Keep in mind that a "primary" is the technical term for the fission bomb trigger (72 lbs of fissionable plutonium in this case) of a thermonuclear or fusion bomb, which is used to compress, heat and ignite the fusion fuel in the thermonuclear secondary (Saturn's abundance of hydrogen and helium in this case). Once again recall that, the prime energy producer in the sun is the fusion of hydrogen to helium, both of which are the main gaseous elements comprising the atmospheres of both Saturn and Jupiter.
Fission is not necessary to start fusion, however. That is not how fusion starts in stars, in fact. It can be used to start fusion a carefully controlled bomb, but this requires the hydrogen inside to be heated and pressurized to insane levels. We use fission to start fusion bombs because it is a ready source of portable energy, not because it is the only method. This is why my shoemaker levy-9 example is perfect: it's an example of more energy than every one of our bombs, yet it's still not enough to produce sustained fusion in a gas giant as large as jupiter. The key to starting fusion is to overcome the initial energy barrier. In stars this initial energy is provided by gravitational contraction and heating, which naturally implies a minimum mass for fusion to start. In bombs, this is provided by fission, but the presence of the fissionable material itself is not the real "key" per se. Furthermore, the 72lbs of plutonium-238 in cassini is not even weapon's grade material.



Just some arguments, as I do believe it is possible to turn a gas giant into a star by initiating the correct trigger!
The "trigger" would have to be able to heat and compress a significant portion of the planet to very high levels. There is no possible way for any amount of fissible material that we could muster to do this. Even shoemaker-levy 9 could not do this.


I will not dismiss the above and write off the concept. You may not agree and thus have labeled it "a few measily pounds" but in reality, 72 pounds is quite a bit of fissionable material, more than enough for 5.25 of the Hiroshima bomb!

LMAO, right, because 12% Pu239 is good for making bombs, right? No, you can have all the 12% Pu239 you want, it's no good for making a bomb. You'd need >90% Pu239 for a bomb.


I was just happy to see that Cassini is being planned for further research use and not being dumped into Saturn this summer!
If it were dumped into Saturn tomorrow nothing would happen.

[edit on 15-4-2008 by ngchunter]



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by percievedreality
Also great to hear that they aren't "sinking" 72 pounds of plutonium into Saturn's atmosphere in late August 2008, as was planned. Could this have been the real "niburu" binary star, turning Saturn into a sun


The lack of basic science of these forums is truley startling! Do you honestly believe that 72 pounds of Plutonium could do what nature herself failed to do?


Originally posted by percievedreality
We don't need to be causing fission reactions anywhere in space! However, they will need a closer energy source for Mars? Hmmmm???????

That is not going to happen!!! You will only get proper steller fusion is stars where the mass is SUBSTANTIALLY greater then the mass of Jupiter or Saturn! I think you'll find the colonisation of Mars a long long way away. Spacetravel is very expensive and I would imagine we are grounded here on Earth for many more years yet!



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 08:38 AM
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Cassini mission has revealed so many stunning information and gave us lots of incredible images of Saturn and its moons and reading such a news makes me so happy that they are going to serve us further. Lets hope for more exciting discoveries by Cassini; Go On... long live Cassini.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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You betcha, Enceladus


This is awesome news


The amount of information we've gathered from this mission thus far is way beyond priceless, and to think we have another two years to go !!


For such a small investment too...Nice one NASA and the ESA


Peace

EDIT -- Nice OP too, Hsur


[edit on 16-4-2008 by Rilence]



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 09:38 AM
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On a side note, not related to Cassini....

NASA is rejuvinating interest in the moon as well, robotic missions and another manned mision. They are attempting to rebuild a new team of specialists. But of course, it always boils down to the funding.


Lunar Science Community Needs Rebuilding, Researchers Say

GOLDEN, Colo. - NASA's plan to return to the Moon - first by robotic missions scheduled to start this year, followed by the replanting of human footprints there by 2020 - will require a new cadre of lunar research and exploration specialists.

"We need a lunar scientist surge," Taylor told SPACE.com. "We have to increase the numbers because we have too much to do for the number of people now engaged," he said.


~see full article~

It wasn't long ago that I was feeling somewhat discouraged about NASA and it's future direction, I still am a little, but news of the Cassini extension, Hubble repair misisons, lunar interest as well as other nasa endeavors puts it in better prospective.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 10:39 AM
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In response from an earlier post from me....

Originally posted by timelike
The lack of basic science of these forums is truley startling!



Originally posted by timelike
I think you'll find the colonisation of Mars a long long way away. Spacetravel is very expensive and I would imagine we are grounded here on Earth for many more years yet!


Right. FYI, I was an honor student in chemistry, biology, and physics during my formal schooling. The lack of understanding the true state of our scientific knowledge and accomplishment is really startling.... you honestly think you know your above quote to be the reality of the CURRENT situation?

Just because you do not know (or believe) that space travel is readily available and used and that the colonization of Mars is already underway doesn't mean it is not! For you and I, and 99.9% of the rest of the humans on this planet are not being told the truth of what is going on. Just my 2 cents....call me crazy if you like, but I like to keep an open mind.....while it appears you do not just "trusting" and "accepting" what you are told is possible and real.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:28 AM
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Very well then percievedreality: You're crazy.

Any exposure to the sciences seems to have had little or no effect. It seems to me your mind is far from open! You've already decided, despite evidence to the contrary, that the colonisation of Mars has started you've been lied to, there is some great consipracy afoot which only you and a couple of "chosen ones" know about. I'm sorry but there's loads of other people all saying similar and contradictory things. Which conspiracy theory to believe to day eh?

I am more than happy to accept the notion iof ET life, and even ET life visiting the Earth, but in the real world we require a little bit of something called evidence, and until that turns up then I'm afraid you join the very long que of people who like flights of fancy and wild speculations. So, if that's your definition of open minded, then I'm quite happy to be by your definition, closed minded!



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by timelike
Very well then percievedreality: You're crazy.

No problem. You know how many people called great explorers, philosophers, scientists, and others willing to explore the supposed known, crazy? At least you aren't burning me at the stake!


Originally posted by timelike
You've already decided, despite evidence to the contrary, that the colonisation of Mars has started you've been lied to, there is some great consipracy afoot which only you and a couple of "chosen ones" know about.


I never said this was fact. I stated that I believe that this is a possibility. You see I leave the door open to this possibility while you have shut it. Why? You tell me. FYI, not only "me" and "chosen ones" know about this, there are plenty of people out there who also have their suspicions about such things.


Originally posted by timelike
I am more than happy to accept the notion iof ET life, and even ET life visiting the Earth, but in the real world we require a little bit of something called evidence, and until that turns up then I'm afraid you join the very long que of people who like flights of fancy and wild speculations. So, if that's your definition of open minded, then I'm quite happy to be by your definition, closed minded!


Okay, would you go as far as to accept the notion that we ourselves are ET life that were placed here on Earth with the help of other ETs, most likely coming over from Mars? In terms of evidence, it is all around us timelike, with new examples coming out everyday! However, I suspect you are also quickly dismissive of that also, it's all CG of black ops, right? Not to mention the symbolism woven into many many things...such as sci-fi movies and the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Athen Olympic games. Read the following link.... am I crazy because I read this article and pretty much think it is the truth? www.goroadachi.com...



posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by percievedreality
You know how many people called great explorers, philosophers, scientists, and others willing to explore the supposed known, crazy? At least you aren't burning me at the stake!

Not wishing to sound rude, but one of the first things in a crank's argument (and I'm saying you're a crank) is that they claim to be like the great persecuted explorers, scientists etc
Always always happens!!!

Of course, the real great scientists, like Gallileo, Einstien etc hade a huge body of evidence on their side and made real testable predictions. Of course that is something that you won't have, because there is no evidence to support your conclusions; that Mars is being colonised or that aliens are here in force.


Originally posted by timelike
You've already decided, despite evidence to the contrary, that the colonisation of Mars has started you've been lied to, there is some great consipracy afoot which only you and a couple of "chosen ones" know about.



Originally posted by percievedreality
I never said this was fact. I stated that I believe that this is a possibility.


Actually you do:

Originally posted by percievedreality
Just because you do not know (or believe) that space travel is readily available and used and that the colonization of Mars is already underway doesn't mean it is not! For you and I, and 99.9% of the rest of the humans on this planet are not being told the truth of what is going on.

Sounds more like a statement of fact rather than suggesting a possibility.


Originally posted by percievedreality
You see I leave the door open to this possibility while you have shut it. Why? You tell me.


How is the door shut? Just because I don't support your highly imaginative and wildly speculative conjectures? If there is life on Mars great stuff, but I don't think there is, and that oppinion will only be changed by tangible proof.


Originally posted by percievedreality
FYI, not only "me" and "chosen ones" know about this, there are plenty of people out there who also have their suspicions about such things.


Ah yes. Suspcions. They used to be able to burn witches with those...when reason flees and evidence is no longer required, we are free to suspect whatever and whoever we wish...


Originally posted by percievedreality
Okay, would you go as far as to accept the notion that we ourselves are ET life that were placed here on Earth with the help of other ETs, most likely coming over from Mars?

No because there's nothing to support that!!! I would dearly love there to be advanced life on Mars, but the conditions and lack of proof simply do not support that, and no matter how much we may want to believe in something, that simply does not alter the facts!


Originally posted by percievedreality
In terms of evidence, it is all around us timelike, with new examples coming out everyday! However, I suspect you are also quickly dismissive of that also, it's all CG of black ops, right?

Where where where!!!? What you see as aliens or a suggested cover up, I'm afraid I don't see at all. I'm afraid there is a lot of seeing "faces in the clouds" when it comes to Mars. People seem to lose all sense of reality.

Take that incident a few months back with the supposed "figure" walking down the hillside. The fact that it was only an inch high and a couple of feet away from the lander didn't inhibit the true believers at all! I don't say it's all CG and black ops because I see nothing that has been covered up!


Originally posted by percievedreality
Not to mention the symbolism woven into many many things...such as sci-fi movies and the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Athen Olympic games.

Not wishing to be rude again, but you're sounding desperate to believe now! Symbolism, sci-fi etc I don't see how any of this is relevent. Of course there is sybolism in man made things- we put them there- it is just that: science fiction!!!

It is, by our very nature, part of us to see patterns in things, that is how the human brain models the physical world. It is also very clear that the human mind is great at seeing patters in things that aren't there...


Originally posted by percievedreality
... am I crazy because I read this article and pretty much think it is the truth?

Well...yes. Is it rational to read an article like that which supplies no proper evidence just more vague conspiracy theories and conjecture and take it at face value? You agree with it of course because you believe it! A rational mind would surley say, "well it's another argument but as yet, nothing to support it..."

I mean, just read it. It is classic conspiracy theory stuff. You have the standard format:

Take the basis of a good scifi flick (2001, Stargate) suggest that these aren't just "scifi ideas" and in fact they're in some way the truth and naturally, we have been lied to or a cover up is in place and hence no evidence. Next, sprinkle in some good old fashioned ancient culture references to support your ideas and then finally "conclude" with your big idea!!!

There are thousands of crank arguments that all run along this template. So yes, I guess to support such an argument without using your critical faculties is crazy, after all that is the definition of the word isn't it?





[edit on 19-4-2008 by timelike]



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