Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Is NASA On Life Support?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 951-975 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Apr 21, 2010 1:43:47 PM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is beaming back stunning new images of the sun, revealing our own star as never seen before. Even veteran solar physicists say they are amazed by the data.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/21apr_firstlight/

Posted on Apr 13, 2010 1:11:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2010 1:11:51 PM PDT
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/science/13tier.html

NASA, WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM. BUT IT CAN BE FIXED. (Ideas to "fix" NASA, from converting some research centers to an academic model (like JPL). To setting concrete, do-able exploration goals, and get out of the 'Shuttle Mode'.)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2010 2:18:11 PM PDT
Doug says:
Yep, Borat and his gang of zombie goons has ruined the Present, now he will go about ruining the Future.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 8:11:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2010 8:13:48 AM PDT
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2011475072_spacefuture30.html

PRIVATIZED SPACEFLIGHT COULD LAUNCH INDUSTRY, OR SEE THE U.S. ECLIPSED BY RIVALS
("... critics claim that without an exploration program to keep NASA's goals in focus, the agency's research will devolve into a "science fair", whose funding eventually will be gutted by Congress without fear of political repercussions.")

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2010 9:56:34 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
"Gosh, where have I heard that before?!?"

Little voices you channel in your head? Or from your alien handlers? In this thread or some other you've....

Why Marilyn! It's an opinion you yourself have voiced right here! How astute! How perceptive! Such wondrous insight! :o

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 9:25:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2010 9:27:16 AM PDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1016100820100310

OBAMA FACING UPRISING OVER NEW NASA STRATEGY (Job losses and a Lost Vision. Also "...decision to kill Constellation program ... has prompted soul-searching on whether the US is prepared to cede a pre-eminent space role to Russia and China." Gosh, where have I heard that before?!?)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2010 11:01:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2010 5:09:55 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Bob,

" I would think the Van Allen radiation belts protect you while in low Earth orbit, but I know their distance fluctuates so maybe you do. I don't remember the Space Station having special shielding, though, again, maybe it does."

The Van Allen belts are a danger with powerful protons and electrons. The ISS orbits very low in the Inner Belt and has very limited shielding (aluminium backed with layers of kevlar and nextel as impact protection); the radiation dosage is considered relatively safe, but in a higher orbit and/or longer duration stays more shielding would be required.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 3:00:20 PM PST
Interesting. Thanks, Martin.

Question: Do you need shielding in Earth orbit for inflatable habs? I would think the Van Allen radiation belts protect you while in low Earth orbit, but I know their distance fluctuates so maybe you do. I don't remember the Space Station having special shielding, though, again, maybe it does. Do you know?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2010 2:29:59 PM PST
Doug says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2010 1:08:18 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Bob,

"I guess if the LEM could have the thickness of 2 layers of tin foil, an inflatable habitat should work."

The LEM was only occupied for a few days. For any longer period it wouldn't be healthy.

Relying on metal for radiation shielding is a seriously bad idea: for example, aluminium shielding can actually increase the danger as secondary charged particles generated by cosmic ray impacts behind the shield - a tank of liquid hydrogen would be more help because hydrogen wouldn't 'fragment' on impact. Having layers of material, such as aluminium and various types of plastic can significantly reduce beta particles such as electrons, and various forms of hydrogen-rich plastics can help against protons (this is a factor for 'inflatable hotels' where foam and layers of other material provide some radiation shielding).

"I wonder if they're going to work with that company that is building an inflatable hotel and has launched a test version?"

It looks to be a return to the TransHab concept from which the Bigelow Aerospace modules were derived.

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/station/transhab/index.html

The only information I can find on the latest NASA strategy suggests this: 'Lightweight/Inflatable Modules: Inflatable modules can be larger, lighter, and potentially less expensive for future use than the rigid modules currently used by the International Space Station (ISS). Working closely with industry and international partners who have already demonstrated a number of capabilities and interest in this arena, and building on previous ESMD investments, NASA will pursue a demonstration of lightweight/inflatable modules for eventual in-space habitation, transportation, or even surface habitation needs. The demonstration could involve tests of a variety of systems, including closed-loop life support, radiation shielding, thermal control, communications, and interfaces between the module and external systems. Use of the ISS as the testbed for this technology is an option being considered to potentially benefit both programs.'

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/428837main_NASA_FY_2011_Congressional_Justificaton_Budget_Book_Rev-01_BOOKMARKED.pdf

The full Office of Management Budget for NASA is very interesting:

* $369 million for a new agency-wide technology development and test program aimed at increasing the capabilities and reducing the cost of future NASA, other government, and commercial space activities.

* $183 million to extend operations of the ISS past its previously planned retirement date of 2016. NASA will deploy new research facilities to conduct scientific research and test technologies in space. New capabilities could include a centrifuge to support research into human physiology, inflatable space habitats, and a program to continuously upgrade Space Station capabilities.

* $600 million to complete the final five shuttle missions, allowing for a safe and orderly retirement of the Space Shuttle program even if its schedule slips into Fiscal Year 2011.

* $1.2 billion for transformative research in exploration technology that will involve NASA, private industry, and academia, sparking spin-off technologies and potentially entire new industries.

* $150 million to accelerate the development of new satellites for Earth Science priorities.

* $170 million to develop and fly a replacement of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a mission to identify global carbon sources and sinks that was lost when its launch vehicle failed in 2009.

* $500 million to contract with industry to provide astronaut transportation to the ISS, reducing the sole reliance on foreign crew transports and catalyzing new businesses and significant new jobs.

* $3.2 billion for science research grants and dozens of missions and telescopes studying the planets and stars - including new missions such as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, missions to study the Moon, and two Mars exploration missions.

* $14 million ($420 million over five years) for a mission to the Sun, flying through its outer atmosphere to better understand how it is heated and how it ejects the stream of charged particles known as the solar wind.

* Increase funding to detect asteroids that could potentially pose a hazard to the Earth.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_nasa/

Looks like NASA may well undergo a renaissance.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 12:24:04 PM PST
I guess if the LEM could have the thickness of 2 layers of tin foil, an inflatable habitat should work. I wonder if they're going to work with that company that is building an inflatable hotel and has launched a test version? Thanks for the interesting link, Martin.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 10:12:52 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
The White House announced a change in direction for NASA on 1 February. Instead of the planned crewed missions to the moon, the agency intends to pour money into research and development.

The outline listed technologies on NASA's wish list but provided few details. Now NASA has fleshed out its plans in a detailed budget proposal posted on its website on 22 February. One section notes that balloon-like habitats "can be larger, lighter, and potentially less expensive" than traditional ones made of rigid metal walls. They could be used as space stations, or eventually as moon bases. NASA may send inflatable structures to the International Space Station to test their mettle - including their ability to shield against space radiation.

The document also reveals that the agency plans to restart the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. Until it was closed by budget cutbacks in 2007, the institute funded research into potentially revolutionary technologies, including space elevators and antimatter harvesting. "Its cancellation was very short-sighted," says John Cramer of the University of Washington in Seattle.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18566-nasa-sets-sights-on-inflatable-space-stations.html

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2010 7:35:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2010 7:37:26 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"I guess we need a super-microbe, which can absorb radioactive substances, and then chemically render it inert."

Such microbes are already being researched: Judy Wall at the University of Missouri is investigating sulfate-reducing bacteria that may convert toxic forms of radioactive metals to inert substances; for example uranium to uranite. Unfortunately these bacteria only work in a limited temperature range and at specific levels of oxygen.

The snag, however, is that whilst the heavy metal is rendered non-toxic and is less likely to be absorbed into the food chain, it is still radioactive.

Uranite (mostly UO2), pitchblende, is highly radioactive.

It isn't possible, chemically, to remove the radioactivity. It is only possible to concentrate it, reuse it or lock it away until it decays.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 6:49:55 AM PST
CivWarBob -

Yes, providing "incentives" for hunters to go after an invasive, non-native species is certainly central to the idea of a public-assisted eradication problem. Florida's success is probably more about that $5/foot of python, offered by the private businessman. (For instance, lots of us recycle cans. Some may be genuinely doing it for the betterment of the planet. Most of us do it for the recycling pay-outs.)

Walter -

You're right. I stand corrected. No one wants those radioactive microbes loose in the environment. ( This "toxic absorption problem" is also of huge concern right now with our ocean fish, and the increasing levels of mercury found in them when caught.)

I guess we need a super-microbe, which can absorb radioactive substances, and then chemically render it inert. (If such a super-microbe can be found.)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 9:47:56 PM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
RE: "...but there wouldn't be a problem if the engineered-microbes escaped from the lab."

As M. Helsdon has already mentioned, the nuclear waste doesn't go away when the microbes eat it, it just becomes more concentrated and therefore easier to handle. But then you'd have a bunch of radioactive microbes.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 9:40:20 PM PST
To Gregory Mays:
OK. Thanks for the information.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 8:14:05 PM PST
Doug says:
Yucca seems to me to be a temporary solution, and not a very good one at that,,, to a long term problem. The potential for disaster appears to be very great. This is one waste material that just doesn't seem to fit into a "landfill".
I'm sure someone will finally come up with a Better Idea, but other than a cheap way to deconstruct it, I have no suggestions as to what that Better Idea might be.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 7:57:37 PM PST
To CivWar64:
RE: "The #1 option the USA was pursuing was burying the waste under Yucca Mountain, but apparently the Obama administration nixed that last year."

Apparently the Obama administration tried to "defund" the Yucca Mountain site, but that was blocked by Congress.

"In July 2009 the United States House of Representatives voted 388 to 30 to not defund the Yucca Mountain repository in the fiscal year 2010 budget."

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 2:14:26 PM PST
Doug says:
GAAAAAAAAAAAA~!~!~!~!~!~!~! ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 2:11:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2010 2:13:58 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"I will bet that the Weiland-Yutani Corp could figure it out...."

Reference LV-426 Internecivus Raptus (Colonial Marines unofficial designation 'Xenomorph') -- Homo Sapiens Sapiens Interaction Study: documentary Aliens.

Conclusion: No.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 1:50:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2010 1:53:07 PM PST
Doug says:
heat reclaim from spent fuel rods,,,,,duhh,,,, ok,,,,,.....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 1:46:55 PM PST
Doug says:
I will bet that the Weiland-Yutani Corp could figure it out....

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 12:06:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2010 12:06:16 PM PST
Hi Marilyn,

Not sure how well the hunting does as an incentive, but given humanity's past, the best way to get rid of them would be to make them a delicacy somehow (ala shark fin soup). Or maybe a 'sexual enhancement' supplement (rhino horns, gorilla hands, tiger p*n*s, etc.).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 11:28:19 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"With all the computer programs out there crunching the data, you'd think someone would have a program for just such "Anticipating Consequences"."

Determining how an organism transplanted from one ecology to another will adapt, and what its survival will mean for that ecology requires a very detailed understanding not only of its life cycle and capabilities, but pretty much every other organism present. Living biosystems are incredibly complex and even an expert in the field can overlook certain factors. Human expert knowledge proceeds with caution; a "program" couldn't make any sort of assessment.

Modifying or creating a biosystem from scratch is incredibly difficult. This probably belongs in the 'Race To Space: Exploration, Commercial or Tourist Driven?' thread but creating such a biosystem would be a major consideration in creating a colony, either as an orbital habitat such as an O'Neill colony or as a domed or underground colony on a planet or moon.

For example, the Earth-based Biosphere 2, which didn't even have to cope with a different gravity or solar input suffered numerous problems. The fog desert suffered badly from condensation; the trees in several areas suffered from a lack of light and wind; CO2 levels "fluctuated wildly"; oxygen levels fell and caused the 'crew' to suffer sleep apnea and fatigue; the human 'crew' divided into factions with friends coming to see each other as enemies; almost all of the vertebrate species (except the human 'crew') and all of the pollinating insects died; pests, especially cockroaches and ants, thrived.

Now imagine this in a space colony distant from the friendly environment of Earth. The crew factionalism could ultimately have led to conflict and the delicate and damaged artificial biosphere totally wrecked...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2010 10:47:12 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Doug,

"Storage water tanks -- water gets hot -- waste heat -- WASTED HEAT?? Heat that can be USED. If the rods sit in this bath that they continually loose heat and radiation to, until they finally become inert, why can't this heat be concentrated in much the same way waste heat from our homes is concentrated by an air conditioner compressor?"

They become thermally inert; they do not cease to be highly radioactive.

"Heat equals energy and there MUST be a way to reclaim this heat in a useful way."

I believe I have already answered that question.
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  99
Total posts:  1309
Initial post:  Sep 19, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 15, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 6 customers

Search Customer Discussions