Mars Science Laboratory Page 8

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  • Fake_Blood 10 Aug 2012 12:33:17 4,206 posts
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    Oil would be great as it would imply plant life a couple of million years ago.
  • muttler 10 Aug 2012 12:58:04 4,026 posts
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    If there's one resource that we end up raping out of space, it's rare earth minerals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_earth_mineral). There was this documentary that almost all the known sources of rare earth minerals, essential for modern technologies like mobile phones, are located in China, and western/american companies fear what would happen if China suddenly upped the price or restricted the supply.

    So they're seriously looking at mining asteroids and returning the ore, or towing / propelling asteroids back to earth.
  • Bremenacht 10 Aug 2012 13:08:46 18,220 posts
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    Yes. Lots of potentially valuable materials up there. The Chinese have already twigged that. Maybe Obama knows it too, and has an eye to the long-term commercialisation of solar system resources (before the Chinese do it).

    Coming soon: unobtainium based semi-conductor gates.
  • Khanivor 10 Aug 2012 13:33:46 40,735 posts
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    Probably be cheaper to restart rare Earth production in the us than colonize Mars to get them.
  • muttler 10 Aug 2012 13:57:24 4,026 posts
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    Ah yes, apparently Rare Earth Minerals arent actually rare, but they dont often appear in large enough deposits that are safe to mine, and China produces about 90% of the worlds supply, because of less stringent labour laws lol.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/08/business/china-rare-earth/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    I cant remember much of that documentary, it did say that the US are up for mining asteroids for REE though.
  • glaeken 10 Aug 2012 13:59:52 11,171 posts
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    The Asteroid belt is where it's at for all your space based mineral needs.

    No significant gravity well at the other end. So you only have to get out of Earth's gravity well. You then scoot out there grab an asteroid put it into an Earth orbit and then break it up into chunks you can dump into a shallow ocean somewhere.

    All we need to do is figure out the whole getting out of our gravity well cheaply bit and we are done.

    Edited by glaeken at 14:00:18 10-08-2012
  • Ged42 10 Aug 2012 14:03:30 7,730 posts
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    glaeken wrote:

    All we need to do is figure out the whole getting out of our gravity well cheaply bit and we are done.
    Space elevators!
  • Khanivor 10 Aug 2012 14:08:50 40,735 posts
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    A few months ago a private start-up was in the news for planning on starting asteroid mining in the next 10 years or so. I want to buy stock in their IPO. Gonna be big money made from that. Maybe not right away but it is the future.

    Double bonus of finding the right one ot provide ample resources to build the motherfucking space elevator.
  • glaeken 10 Aug 2012 14:09:45 11,171 posts
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    @Ged42 Yeah once you have your fully functioning space elevator its all great. Of course you have to build the thing first which I would imagine is going to be somewhat costly.

    I believe they do think itís theoretically possibly now though. For a long time the issue was there was no material that met the physical properties that would be required of the cable but I seem to remember them thinking carbon Nano tubes would actually work. I don't know how seriously anyone is really looking at the concept though.

    As for asteroid belt mining I remember reading something somewhere about how it could easily upset the economics of certain mineral values. Imagine for instance locating a solid gold asteroid a few miles across and what they would do to gold values. Of course that's at the extreme end of the concept.

    Edited by glaeken at 14:12:46 10-08-2012
  • mal 10 Aug 2012 15:02:36 22,525 posts
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    Personally I'm keeping my eye on Skylon. I like the idea of using conventional jets to get to the upper atmosphere then converting those jet engines into rockets and going the rest of the way.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • glaeken 10 Aug 2012 15:18:36 11,171 posts
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    I still remember seeing the original for that on Nation wide. As the article mentions it is an evolution of an idea first pursued by British Aerospace and Rolls Royce in the 1980s. At the rate they are going I am not sure I will live to see it.
  • Ryze 10 Aug 2012 16:26:36 3,124 posts
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    Old, but I was looking at this one this morning. Thought I'd share it.
  • X201 10 Aug 2012 16:28:39 15,370 posts
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    Have there been and conspiracy nuts spouting cobblers about this yet?
  • Fake_Blood 10 Aug 2012 16:31:50 4,206 posts
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    Skycrane was made to deliver chemtrails to mars.
  • Ryze 10 Aug 2012 16:32:54 3,124 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    megastar wrote:
    sport wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Fab4 wrote:
    Would be cool if they could terraform it remotely and then have the humans rock up.
    We can't even keep our own planet under control, let alone terraforming Mars.
    Imagine if Curiosity finds oil /o\
    That would be fantastic! Imagine the money that would be invested? we'd have men on the surface of Mars within 10 years if we found oil!
    I doubt it. What good is oil all the way out there. Going there to get it and then bring it back would be stupid expensive. There's oil reserves here in earth we're not tapping into because the cost of extracting it is too high.
    The value of finding oil out there wouldn't be in bringing it to Earth. The value would be that it's a hydrocarbon. It would mean:

    - There WAS organic life in the past, most likely

    - There'd now be more fuel than sunlight over on Mars.

    - We could send over equipment with combustion engines or 'hybrid electric' devices in the long term to work continually

    - Burning the oil over there, would release greenhouse gases, and begin the long, slow process of terraforming the the planet

    - We'd have a long term fuel supply to complement the frozen water supply on Mars, spurring a manned mission and development of the infrastructure necessary to exploit it

    We can only dream, eh?

    Edited by Ryze at 17:14:48 10-08-2012
  • Fake_Blood 12 Aug 2012 08:03:37 4,206 posts
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    It's quiet on the martian front, a little too quiet...
    TADA

    Basically, there flashing firmware up there.
    There's two pc up there, and they are still running the EDL (Entry Descend and Landing) software, which is pretty useless once you're on the ground. The software for Mars surface operations was transmitted to MSL during flight to Mars, so it's not like they are flashing stuff live from earth. There's two pc modules , and it takes about two days per module. The new software (they are going from version 9 to version 10) has obstacle avoidance and is made for driving around.

    Hopefully we'll see some driving next week, but they still have to unstow the arm and check out all the tools on there.
  • ecureuil 12 Aug 2012 16:37:26 76,802 posts
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    HD photo of the wheel on martian soil.

    And an interesting comment to go with it.
  • wobbly_Bob 12 Aug 2012 17:01:41 1,747 posts
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    Cool shot, I know it's only gravel but it blows my mind every time we to think thats another planet. Cool info about the tyre marks, too.
  • Fab4 12 Aug 2012 17:23:18 6,057 posts
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    wobbly_Bob wrote:
    Cool shot, I know it's only gravel but it blows my mind every time we to think thats another planet. Cool info about the tyre marks, too.
    That's exactly how I feel. I'm thinking "It looks like a rocky desert." Then my brain kicks in and screams "But its Mars!!! Its fucking Mars!!!" And then my mind just races away about what they might find :)
  • Ged42 12 Aug 2012 17:48:09 7,730 posts
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    Loving the resolution on that camera.

    Though I just got a very strange look from the missus for grinning at a close up image of a load of pebbles.
  • wobbly_Bob 13 Aug 2012 18:27:11 1,747 posts
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    360 degree panarama - it took awhile to load on my connection, so you might have to be patient. Once it's loaded you can pan around with the mouse and zoom in and out.
  • Psychotext 14 Aug 2012 14:37:11 54,171 posts
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    This one arguably better, stitched together without the gaps: http://www.360cities.net/image/curiosity-rover-martian-solar-day-2#1688.28,32.38,70.0

    Very, very cool.
  • Fab4 14 Aug 2012 15:18:28 6,057 posts
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    So bleak, and so beautiful.
  • glaeken 14 Aug 2012 16:27:05 11,171 posts
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    That's the best thing they have shown off so far. Rather nice.
  • Khanivor 14 Aug 2012 16:28:10 40,735 posts
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    Looks bloody lonely up there.
  • Ka-blamo 14 Aug 2012 19:59:26 7,349 posts
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    A good panorama

    ^same, but no borders

    Edited by Ka-blamo at 20:02:25 14-08-2012
  • Bremenacht 14 Aug 2012 23:28:30 18,220 posts
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    Satellite picture shows Mars Rover below
  • DaM 15 Aug 2012 10:17:13 13,139 posts
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    Ka-blamo wrote:
    A good panorama

    ^same, but no borders
    Same thing but works excellently on an iPad, using the accelerometers.
  • StarchildHypocrethes 15 Aug 2012 10:44:44 25,825 posts
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    That's so cool.
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