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Mars rover says: 'good evening gale crater!'

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Hilux SSRG

    Hilux SSRG

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    W1zzard, you seem to know a good bit about this topic. Out of curiosity, where did NASA get the plutonium? Spent nuclear fuel rods?
     
  2. mlee49

    mlee49

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    Mathragh, Hilux SSRG and HossHuge say thanks.
  3. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Department of Energy. DoE likely bought it from Russia. DoE is trying to secure funding from Congress to manufacture Pu-238 in the USA again but their requests have been denied three years in a row.

    The most efficient way to get pure Pu-238 is by bombarding U-238 (most common form of uranium on Earth) with deuterons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
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  4. Drone

    Drone

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    Now you can explore a new giant mosaic of Gale Crater, landing site for NASA's Curiosity rover, built mostly using THEMIS images taken before the landing. Use your browser to zoom around the mosaic, which shows details as small as 60 feet across.

    You can do this at: http://jmars.mars.asu.edu/maps/gale/gale.html

    This page also includes a link to download a .PNG copy of the whole image. (325 MB filesize, 56K users beware rofl :D)

    And a couple of new images here
    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2692914&postcount=50
     
  5. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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  6. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    We should have sent the asimo robot up with the rover! :toast:
     
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  7. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    Plutonium can not be mined on earth because it has all decayed due to its relatively short half-life compared to the age of the solar system.

    Pu is created as waste product in most nuclear reactors, and can then be separated relatively easy (chemistry). In contrast separating U-235 from U-238 is extremely complicated because both are identical to chemistry, so physics is needed, usually by exploiting the slightly different atomic weight.

    Producing Pu was the main reason why the US built nuclear reactors during WW2.
     
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  8. DannibusX

    DannibusX

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    Spirit and Opportunity were funded for a 90 day mission back in 2003. They lost contact with Spirit in 2010 and Opportunity is still rolling around checking shit out to this very day.

    If they meet their goal of 2 years, then the mission can be touted as a success, if the mission lasts longer then they will get the funding to extend it.
     
  9. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Um, Pu-238 has a relatively short half-life (87.7 years) but some varients of plutonium, like Pu-244, have a half-life of 80 million years meaning it can be found in nature in trace amounts.


    No, it cannot. By weight, Pu-238 only makes up between 1-2% of spent nuclear fuel. It is also combined with all the other by products of nuclear fission which compose of varying levels of elements from zinc and up. Spent nuclear fuel is a hodgepodge of elements and very radioactive/dangerous.

    Separating U-235 from U-238 is simple, but expensive, using centrifuges. The heavier U-238 ends up on the outside of the centrifuge and the lighter U-235 ends up on the inside. This is why so many countries have been able to get significant enough quantities of U-235 to do something with it--it just takes money and a little ingenuity.


    Hanford B Reactor created Pu-239 that was used in the "Trinty" atomic test and "Fat Man" atomic bomb. It created Pu-239 by bombarding U-238 with neutrons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
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  10. micropage7

    micropage7

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  11. XNine

    XNine CaseLabs Rep

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    What I found most impressive (not that the entire venture isn't, but...) was the landing/deployment sequence this rover had to accomplish in order to safely land. Prior to this, it was essentially a giant marshmallow falling to the ground and rolling to a stop. This was so amazingly designed and executed. I wish they would do an actual real life demo of the deployment on earth so we could truly appreciate it.
     
  12. Drone

    Drone

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    Martian gravity is 38% of that on Earth and the atmospheric density is 1% of that on Earth, therefore so-called "landing" is much easier there than here. Plus no problems with overheating.
     
  13. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Not to mention the cost of accelerating a large object to tens of thousands of miles per hour. Just watch their computer simulation of the landing. That's the closest you're going to get.
     
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  14. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Some unfortunate news from the Mars Rover Curiosity.

    In it's effort to find signs of life on the red planet, it actually landed on a Martian cat.

    :twitch:
     
  15. Drone

    Drone

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    H82LUZ73 and Norton say thanks.
  16. Irony

    Irony

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    I almost said "what mods are you using?"

    Too much skyrim...


    I think it's pretty awesome they have rovers on mars; and they finally made one big enough to do something with. They've all been rather small before, but this one's SUVish. Go four-wheelin on mars. :roll:
     
  17. evulmunk33

    evulmunk33 BitFenix Rep

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    do you guys know if there are plans for curiosity to drive by the rocketsled and parachute etc and take pics? that would be awesome haha :D

    would make sense for nasa to inspect the parts maybe?

    PS: im surprised nasa uses passive cooling WITHOUT HEATPIPES on their nuclear battery
    ts ts ts... im sure our guys here at CM would have been more than happy to help them out with that... :D
    could have helped them to reduce the size and weight of the cooling array a lot...
     
  18. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    I think it is too far away. Curiosity is heading the other way to find signs of life. It could go there once it accomplishes its primary mission.

    I'm sure NASA has footage of the various components after they were detached/discarded so they can improve upon it in future craft.
     
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  19. Drone

    Drone

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    Next step is sending Doom space marines. UAC where are you ...
     
  20. VulkanBros

    VulkanBros

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    Then you know this site: http://shotdeadinthehead.com/

    They have an awful collection :laugh:
     
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  21. Drone

    Drone

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    New image:

    [​IMG]

    The blast marks can be seen in the middle of the image.
     
  22. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    nice now i feel better, cuz i found new place better than my country time to move in
     
  23. gopal

    gopal

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    The last image is better then the others
     
  24. Irony

    Irony

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  25. Drone

    Drone

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    Actually now I'm waiting for some video game about this. Maybe a simulator or something. I think that'd be a good idea.
     

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