The Official Space Thread! Water on the moon CONFIRMED

Apr 2, 2009
2,147
The Google Lunar X Prize obviously hasn't drawn quite the same number of competitors as some of the more Earthbound X Prizes, but it looks like things are starting to heat up a little bit, with Paragon Space Development recently teaming up with Odyssey Moon in an effort to deploy the first greenhouse on the surface of moon. Specifically, the team is hoping to grow a Brassica plant (a member of the mustard family) in a pressurized greenhouse like the one picture above, and possibly even see the plant re-seed itself within a single Lunar day (or 14 Earth days), which just so happens to coincide with the average growth period for the plant on Earth. Of course, that would only be one small part of the X Prize mission, which first and foremost requires teams to safely land a craft, send some live video back to Earth, travel at least 500 meters, send some more video, and carry a payload. So, still a little ways off, but don't let that stop you from checking out the (autoplaying) video after the break, in which Paragon's Taber MacCallum (a Biosphere veteran himself) explains the project to the folks at Engineering TV.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/27/researchers-tout-plans-for-moon-greenhouse-silent-running-seque/

i love space. i'd love to see the private sector get into space asap
 
There is definitely other life. Maybe be not in our solar system. I don't believe in parallel universes. But if you think of how many solar systems there are, you know that there has to be another planet like Earth.
 
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Apr 2, 2009
2,147
NASA Tests Internet in Space

July 7, 2009 -- The many paths a message can take through the Internet make that network robust and efficient -- and the envy of those whose job it is to design communications schemes for the far-flung spacecraft leaving Earth each year. After more than a decade of development, NASA is in a rush to have a communications network ready by 2011 that can efficiently carry data between Earth and the multiple probes, rovers, orbiters and spacecraft exploring the solar system -- effectively binding them together to form an interplanetary Internet. Tests performed on the International Space Station last May were the second of three tryouts of the network's key technologies, called Delay Tolerant Networking, or DTN, protocols.

The DTN protocols will extend the terrestrial Internet into space by overcoming a number of obstacles, including the extraordinary length of time it takes packets to move between separate hops in a deep-space network, the intermittent nature of network connections, and bit-scrambling solar radiation.

"The communication delays are huge, and they are variable, because the planets are in orbit around the sun," says Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet's TCP/IP protocol and a key member of a group of computer scientists who began working on DTN in 1998. On Earth, packets move from source to destination in milliseconds. By contrast, a one-way trip from Earth to Mars takes a minimum of 8 minutes. The constant motion of celestial bodies means that packets have to pause and wait for antennas to align as they hop from planet to probe to spacecraft.

So sending communications in space is very different from doing so on Earth, where the stable topology of the Internet is taken for granted.

"What we have to do instead is to tell all the nodes that these are the changes that are going to occur," says Scott Burleigh, a software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., and one of the original developers of DTN. "You are going to be able to communicate from A to B at this data rate starting at 12:30 and ending at 3:30, and then you are not going to be able to communicate on that link anymore... until next Tuesday."

An initial test of DTN in space last October was successful. The code was loaded on a comet-studying spacecraft called Deep Impact as that probe headed out for a flyby of Comet Hartley 2. "We turned on the software on the spacecraft and on about a dozen nodes on Earth and just left it running, completely automatic for about a month," Burleigh says. During the test about 300 images were transmitted over distances that stretched up to 24 million kilometers. Although a couple of bugs were found, no packets were dropped, and no bits got corrupted. The software even survived the unintentional reboot of one of the Earth-based antennas. "The protocols underneath it were able to recover the data and actually get stuff through," says Keith Scott, a principal engineer at Mitre Corp., in Reston, Va., who has been working on DTN with Burleigh and others.

A key to DTN is a technique called "store and forward." Basically, every node hangs onto the data it receives until it can safely pass it on. On Earth, the data would simply get dumped if there was a problem and be retransmitted by the source.

The second test, conducted by Kevin Gifford at the Payload Operations Control Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, used computers on board the ISS to send images to Earth.

For a third test, scheduled for early October and involving the Deep Impact spacecraft, engineers will introduce a security protocol as well as a new file-transfer protocol. After that, DTN will be "pretty much ready for deep-space research," says Jay Wyatt, the NASA program manager who has been coordinating the project. At that point, the researchers are hoping other space agencies will try it also.

Mitre's Scott chairs a working group at the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, an international organization that recommends standards for spacecraft communications. They are considering adopting DTN. Then, mission by mission, a network would grow, weaving an interconnected Web between the planets, the space station and spacecraft.

kind of a long read..but very cool
 

thunda123

Premium Supporter
Does anyone else think it's incredibly amazing that we landed on the moon when we did with the technology we had at that time? It seems crazy to land on the moon right now with the technology we have.

I can't imagine being the first astronauts into space wondering if we'd ever make it to where we're going or if we'd ever get back to earth.:eek: That's some serious trust.
 
Apr 2, 2009
2,147
Does anyone else think it's incredibly amazing that we landed on the moon when we did with the technology we had at that time? It seems crazy to land on the moon right now with the technology we have.

I can't imagine being the first astronauts into space wondering if we'd ever make it to where we're going or if we'd ever get back to earth.:eek: That's some serious trust.

with the problems they have the past 15 years or so, it does seem quite crazy that 40 years ago we were able to land on the moon. makes me wonder how fast we'd get to mars if somebody else was there to race us
 

thunda123

Premium Supporter
Oh, and I definitely believe there are other worlds like ours out there with people just like us. Why wouldn't there be? No matter if you look at it from a scientific or religious view...why would we be the only ones. However, I don't know if I believe in real alien beings though. But, who knows.

In my opinion, the other worlds would also have their own solar systems etc. Our knowledge about space is finite, but can you imagine an end to space? We can see pretty far out there right now without even a trace of an end to space in site. And why would it end? It's just that our brains and comprehension are trained with "limits". We always have a "beginning" and "end" in mind when we talk about things (end of career, end of life, etc). When in fact there may be no beginning and no end. According to science (until proven with newer technologies), matter cannot be created or destroyed, which means only one thing...it can be organized. If it's never created or destroyed then where did it come from? It seems like every year, "we are just beginning to understand the very basics of science/space." Every year we understand more and more but it's still in it's infancy.

enough rambling, I don't even know what I'm talking about.:hilarious:
 

mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI
our understanding of science is so limited its not even funny. there are too many things left to be explained and too many things left to be discovered. anyone who is confident in the knowledge of science in its current form is deceiving themselves. thats not a knock on anything, just the simple truth. the great thing about science is that it is a never ending quest to discover the truth.
 

thunda123

Premium Supporter
our understanding of science is so limited its not even funny. there are too many things left to be explained and too many things left to be discovered. anyone who is confident in the knowledge of science in its current form is deceiving themselves. thats not a knock on anything, just the simple truth. the great thing about science is that it is a never ending quest to discover the truth.

yeah, the key to your statements is: "a never ending quest to discover the truth." I've heard many scientists say that's the reason they love science....they get to ask all the questions they want and get to spend countless years seeking the answers even though most of them don't find them. But, they provide stepping stones to others who get closer to seeking the answers or are led in a different direction. They love the challenge of trying to solve the "mysteries" or "puzzles".
 

mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI
yeah, the key to your statements is: "a never ending quest to discover the truth." I've heard many scientists say that's the reason they love science....they get to ask all the questions they want and get to spend countless years seeking the answers even though most of them don't find them. But, they provide stepping stones to others who get closer to seeking the answers or are led in a different direction. They love the challenge of trying to solve the "mysteries" or "puzzles".

yup. i did some research work at college, and that was pretty exciting at times. i was doing pain paradigm experiments that had never been done before, and my results set up a whole new set of ideas and things to test out for the future. it was pretty cool. and that was a pretty simple experiment, i cant imagine the excitement for people who are working on substantial things.

unfortunately, theres a bunch of boring crap involved with research as well, which is why im glad im not gonna be doing that for my life. but for people who can get over all the boring crap of researching, kudos to them.
 

thunda123

Premium Supporter
yup. i did some research work at college, and that was pretty exciting at times. i was doing pain paradigm experiments that had never been done before, and my results set up a whole new set of ideas and things to test out for the future. it was pretty cool. and that was a pretty simple experiment, i cant imagine the excitement for people who are working on substantial things.

unfortunately, theres a bunch of boring crap involved with research as well, which is why im glad im not gonna be doing that for my life. but for people who can get over all the boring crap of researching, kudos to them.

pain paradigm? what exactly is that?
 
Apr 2, 2009
2,147
504x_neil-face_01.jpg


awesome never released picture