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the asinine cretin

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  1. That may be so. Mars sample return is the major goal of the current planetary decadal survey doc and formulating a plan for the 2018 launch opportunity is what this meeting is all about. I think there is a chance. The sample return space shuttle that lands like a harrier jet isn't going to be chosen, that's for sure. It'll be one of the small-scale, low cost missions. And some participation in ExoMars is not completely ruled out. Fingers crossed
  2. Damn. You know, that's what really sucks about these talks so far; a deluge of awesome concepts and partially developed systems, and no certainty that any of them will actually be fulfilled. I'm fairly confident that there will be a Mars sample return mission of some kind in this decade though.
  3. The presentation was made yesterday and it's about a 2018 MER MSR mission, not MSL. Verbatim from the slide: Updated EDL System Enables Precision Landing - Reduces MER landing ellipse from 100 km x 20 km -> 12 km x 10 km. (Within one CRISM image.) - New, larger heat shield fitted with thrusters for guided entry... Basically, this is achieved by the incorporation of four RCS thrusters from MSL heritage. Heat shield redesign similar to Viking in that the heat shield is the component that carries those thrusters. Now I have to say that this is not what the presenta
  4. I'm watching the Mars Concepts 2012 presentations and 2.5 hours into session 1 of day 3 there is a slide which says that the current MER landing ellipse is 12 km x 10 km. Apparently the "modern" MER hardware has a much improved heat shield and thrusters for guided entry. Kind of cool. I'm pretty much willing to bet that the MER legacy will be utilized in meeting the MSR goal of the decadal survey. As far as Mars One (a project I can't stand, incidentally), I'm guessing they're assuming SpaceX will meet their goals, including the "Red Dragon" project, and have a craft even more capable of p
  5. apurvmj, The Solar sail wiki article is pretty good. Edit to add:
  6. Interstellar solar sail/light sail concepts typically involve immense lasers that are basically sci-fi for now. There are currently active projects studying the feasibility of interplanetary solar sails. I assume the solar sail concept is what you're referring to.
  7. You can do that with url mapping. The specifics depend on your web server or application framework.
  8. Thanks D H. This is a tangent, but I think things like FMARS sound like a lot of fun. Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station I suspect that the Desert Rats have even more fun. Look at some of those toys. Desert Research and Technology Studies NASA D-RATS Website
  9. When reading the alleged words of Christ in the NT it seems his worldview had a lot to do with demonic forces, the divine will, prophetic texts and visions, and the centrality of faith. Nothing suggestive of a scientific curiosity or thought process comes to mind. But I'll be the first to say that I'm no scripture scholar.
  10. I actually do agree. There are far more questions than answers. And just asserting that there are no new technology requirements won't make everything fall into place. From the superficial stuff I've read on their website thus far, I'm thinking that even if they managed to launch all of these things to Mars and send four pioneers to Mars, it might end up being a highly publicized disaster for the entire world to watch that would set back human space exploration. I think of the heroic age of antarctic exploration and imagine that someone had the idea to send four people on an expedition dee
  11. "We do not require development and launch of a nuclear reactor." - Mars One "The Mars One base will be powered by solar panels. This is possible because we do not require the production of fuel for a return journey. Many of the other plans propose the use of a nuclear reactor, which would have to be small enough to be launched all the way to Mars. Such a nuclear reactor does not exist yet and a great deal of time and money will have to be poured into the idea before it will. Moreover, seeking permission to launch a nuclear reactor – even with a great track record for the launcher – can
  12. Plenty of live webcasts going on for those who can't observe. http://www.ustream.tv/nasaedge I've been experiencing lag on NASA Edge, but not with the following. http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus/
  13. A 2003 Decadal Survey document classified the MSL as a "medium cost mission" and estimated it would require a budget in the $325 - 650 million range. I can't help but chuckle. Edit: And based on the wiki page the official MSL budget was still under 1 billion in 2008. And I think this is why those Mars One people are trying to do everything by partnering directly with private entities like SpaceX, presumably avoiding the vampirish onion skin of middle men and bureaucracy. Yeah, and I don't mean that as a practical suggestion, just a bleak social/cultural commentary. There are so many
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