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NASAs $100,000 mistake

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posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 01:23 AM
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Most nights its possible to look skyward with a pair of cheap binoculars and see a $100,000 mistake circling the Earth. The glowing object, an orbiting NASA tool bag, was lost last month by an astronaut during a routine spacewalk.


source

I thought they were trained for stuff like this


[edit on 24-12-2008 by SuperSlovak]



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 01:52 AM
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Why cant they just go get it?

Seems reasonable to me...they have space SUITES on the space STATION yes?

Jesus H. Why can't any of these rocket scientist use common freakin sense?

Like that Mars rover that died out because of the dust, then came back to life when wind blew it clean...anybody think to put a damn FAN over the solar panel? God Almighty, I hate our "smart" people...

[edit on 24-12-2008 by midnightbrigade]



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 01:55 AM
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No they have to leave it there, its a sign. A sign that says.."Here floats 100,000 dollars worth of taxpayer money that could have been put to something actually worth 100,000 dollars, but its there so you can come up with more UFO stories....NASA"



Cheers!!!!



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by RFBurns
 


hehehehe

somehow that makes so much sense





posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 03:37 AM
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Originally posted by midnightbrigade
Like that Mars rover that died out because of the dust, then came back to life when wind blew it clean...anybody think to put a damn FAN over the solar panel? God Almighty, I hate our "smart" people...


Dear friend, do you think that it is easy to pack a rover with a bag as though it is a car which has a radiator in built, rovers have to be made into specific shape and size and weight and all instrument compactly packed to enable the launching rocket to accomodate it, and further, when there is a dust storm or martian winter, the rover will enter safe-mode and all instruments are switched off to reduce power consumption, and will communicate only once in a day or so, by sending a radio signal to earth or any probe orbiting it, and you know that fans need a lot of power to run. Thus draining the batteries even faster


Adding fans will only increase weight and interfere with the instruments.



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 03:54 AM
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And what the obama team doesnt realise is that though the same equipment costs less for a certain quality of work, they think that it would be the same in case of space, but that is wrong, the equipment have to withstand the extremes of temperature and be able to function normally in free fall conditions and also, it must work under less power and run on batteries, because the station doesnt have any plug points that the equipments can be inserted to obtain power.


That expense is drawing serious scrutiny from the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.


And do the administration, know anything about space exploration at all?

Space is a risky place, they only care about money spent and not care about the risks the astronauts take for national pride, and improvement of science and technology as we know it.



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 05:02 AM
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You are telling me, that they couldn't pack a 1.2 volt fan, about the same size as the one in your computer on to a rover?

Don't we MAKE these things? You are saying we can't DESIGN a rover with this in mind? Are you daft?


Tell ya what, screw the fan...how about a windshield wiper that that's pneumatically operated? We can make a compressor that is about the same size as a 5 shot CO2 cartridge. (That's about two inches long and about an inch wide). I've seen them. We land on the surface with full solar ability..we charge the compressor...then when it gets dusty, a little wiper blade slides gently across the surface of the solar panel.

Is that out of the realm of possibility?

For NASA...and it seems you, Yes



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 05:53 AM
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Do you think that such a small fan will be able to cool such a complex machine?

First of all, rovers have their own cryogenic cooling system, and I was telling the fan for your question on blowing the dust off the panels, and you think that the small fan will have enough power to blow all the dust off the panels?


And regarding your wiper theory, first of all, there is no space even for the batteries and that is somehow fixed by the engineering team, and as mentioned earlier, the wipers have to obtain power from the battery, that power will be used for critical purposes alone when it is safe-mode.


[edit on 24/12/08 by peacejet]



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by midnightbrigade
Why cant they just go get it?

Seems reasonable to me...they have space SUITES on the space STATION yes?

There's a reason why astronauts must tether themselves firmly to the station at all times. Losing a tool bag is one thing, losing an astronaut is quite another. What do you want them to do? Jump after it and hope their emergency SAFER thrusters have enough fuel to bring them AND the tool bag back to the station safely? That's suicidal.

[edit on 24-12-2008 by ngchunter]



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by midnightbrigade
Why cant they just go get it?

Seems reasonable to me...they have space SUITES on the space STATION yes?


What??? It would probably cost twice what the tool kit is worth to even get the risk assessment done by ground control
- they don't ever want to do anything unscheduled up there - they probably have an allocated time slot to scratch their behind
.


100 grand is a drop in the ocean for NASA - space aint cheap, it can join the couple of cameras and all the other junk up there.




posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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NASA seems to be a great place to loose money... This mistake.... Forgetting to put a lens in the Hubble.... Impacting a lander into Mars...

I hope it's not my tax paying money going into these...



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 10:23 AM
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The guy made a mistake. They are under extreme pressure being out there. He forgot to tether the bag down. Cut him some slack, he is floating in space where the slightest misstep might have dire consequences for him.



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by Jkd Up
 


They didn't forget a lens... the lens (or was it a mirror) was made incorrectly - and it was something in the order of nano meters - the lens was an ingenious solution that saved the whole project... so money well spent - the hubble is a valuble asset that was either gonna be scraped or brought back to earth for a fix - either way THAT would of been a waste of money.

reply to post by jd140
 


That guy was a woman



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


Hard to tell by watching the video, guess I should have read the article. Okay for those who read my comment, replace guy with gal, him with her and he with she.



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by jd140
 


Yhea those outfits are not exactly flattering



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by midnightbrigade
Why cant they just go get it?

Seems reasonable to me...they have space SUITES on the space STATION yes?

Jesus H. Why can't any of these rocket scientist use common freakin sense?

Like that Mars rover that died out because of the dust, then came back to life when wind blew it clean...anybody think to put a damn FAN over the solar panel? God Almighty, I hate our "smart" people...

[edit on 24-12-2008 by midnightbrigade]

Wow, I don't even know where to begin. Clearly you should be in charge instead of doing whatever it is that you do
. What do you do anyway? Given that you "hate smart people" you clearly must not partake in self-loathing. That's good for you I suppose.

I'll start with the obvious: when smart people find a problem to be difficult, it probably is. As a non-expert you should realize that you know less than them and defer judgement until you understand the problem. You do not.

Do you think you can just swim around in space? Real space isn't like BSG or Star Wars. First of all, while they have suits on the shuttle and ISS, they don't have the ability to fly around with them. NASA had such capability with the now-retired MMU but didn't find it useful enough to warrant the size and cost. It was replaced with a much smaller version called SAFR which is only to be used if an astronaut becomes untethered from the ISS or shuttle.

As for the Mars lander, of course scientists and engineers had accounted for degrading solar arrays as material accumulated on them. It was designed to last as long as it needed to plus what engineers call Phi, or a factor of safety. Accumulated dust only became an issue when it exceeded its expected mission duration several fold.

[edit on 24-12-2008 by Credulity Kills]



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by Jkd Up
This mistake.... Forgetting to put a lens in the Hubble.... Impacting a lander into Mars...

Rocket science is HARD - much harder than anything you'll ever be capable of.



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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For the guy who hates smart people - well, you don't have to worry much about people hating you.

By the age of 12, most have figured out that except maybe for the guy wgo we are told was born on this date, all human beings are fallible. We drop things, trip over things, forget things, and make miscalculations.

Those with greater knowledge and experience are expected to do so somewhat less. Still, no baseball player has batted 1000 yet.


Mike F



posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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The "wiper" idea was in fact considered in the initial designs of all 3 rovers and the Phoenix probe as well.

The problem wasnt that the wiper required a motor to work and would draw energy from the batteries. The problem was that when it was tested on the prototypes, the wiper not only wiped away the dust, but it also scratched the surface of the solar cells due to the dust particles, and over several tests, the solar pannel surfaces ended up diffusing the sunlight enough to degrade the efficency of the solar pannels.

It did not have anything to do with room or drawing energy from the batteries. The rovers and the probe draw energy mostly from the pannels if they are putting out their highest efficiency as well as the batteries at the same time. The batteries are only used by themselves when either the sun is blocked by the dust storms, clouds or during the night when the rovers and probes are in sleep mode, and when in sleep mode, they draw very little energy, just enough to keep the circutry from freezing.

The fan idea was also considered. Putting a fan on a movable arm that would run along the length and width of the solar pannels. However the problem with that was there would have to be a fair amount of airflow to effectively blow away the dust. Such a fan would have either required an elaborate duct work setup to both wings of solar pannels on a pivoting arm that moved across the whole surfaces, and the fan would have to be filtered so that it did not end up just blowing more dust onto the pannels and becoming clogged itself, both the duct work and the fan blades and the filter in front of the fan. Not very practical and would have ended up becoming totally useless after a very short time.

Letting the natural wind on Mars was the best choice, and on many occasions, the wind not only would cover the solar pannels with dust, it would remove the dust as well. So the decision was made to let nature do its thing.



HO HO HO!!!!


jra

posted on Dec, 24 2008 @ 06:42 PM
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I think the word "accident" would be more appropriate than "mistake". Surely you've all had accidents, yes? It happens to every one, even highly trained Astronauts.

midnightbrigade: How much would the wiper, the compressor and all assosiated parts weigh? How much power would it all consume? What happens if and when it breaks down? Then you're lugging around a bunch of dead weight. The two rovers were originally intended to be used for 90 days. The amount of dust the panels would have collected durring those 90 days would have been negligable. So adding a fan or a wiper is pointless and a waste of weight and power. Plus a wiper would probably scratch up the panels.

However, those smart people that you hate, did think about adding wipers (and other cleaning options). www.newscientist.com...




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