The Astronomy Thread

Cybsled

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Building underground is a huge undertaking and also takes a lot of time.

Probably a lot easier to just cover your habitat with a layer of soil.

You're right, which is why an ideal situation would be to find caves/lava tubes large enough to house a base.
 
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Kharzette

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They should just classify the cargo and throw in some of those truck sized reactors and not tell anyone that doesn't need to know. :D
 

Cybsled

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Interesting that it basically just flies at the ground and stops when it can’t go any further. Little more crude than I thought, although given the weight considerations, a simple solution like this was probably their best option
 

Sterling

El Presidente
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so the thing cant really fly because of the atmosphere, did they know this beforehand? how much was this mission?
I mean they of course knew about the atmosphere. The helicopter was really an engineering experiment that was really more of a value add than being a major component. Testing some tech on the side basically.
 
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Sterling

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Oh, i thought flying a drone on mars was their main objective, cuz thats kinda pointless.
It's more exploratory. If they can get a little helicopter to work on Mars in it's less than 1 percent atmospheric density, future missions can be much more interesting and far reaching.
 
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Cybsled

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so the thing cant really fly because of the atmosphere, did they know this beforehand? how much was this mission?

It can fly, that is the whole point of the thing as a proof of concept (try to fly in an extremely thin atmosphere). They also indicated that the design is scalable to a point where it could ultimately hold around 5 or 10 kg of instrument payload on a larger version.

Showing you can have a flying drone on Mars is huge. Things you could do with it:

1) Explore areas the rovers can't reach safely
2) Examine areas a rover flat out couldn't reach (sides of cliffs, canyons, etc)
3) Recover samples and bring them back to a launch platform (the current rover is gathering samples for eventual return to Earth). If you could get drones to grab the samples from where they drop, that would actually make such a mission a bit "easier" to do.
4) Potentially cover a greater area than a rover in less time, allowing you to survey a much larger area of the planet
5) Potentially assist future astronauts in scouting/surveying

The tech is different, but they mentioned the mission to Titan that will involve a flying drone that will explore that moon (Titan will be "easier" because the atmosphere is super thick and it has even less gravity than Mars). Flying on another moon or planet is a massive step up for exploration.

Anyways, mission overall expected to cost 2.7B. Which is less than the lunar lander budget I believe. They are packing a lot of important stuff in this mission. Biggest things are the heli drone proof of concept, an experiment to try to create fuel from the atmosphere (this one is EXTREMELY important to Space X's future Mars plans), and the ability to try to identify and collect signs of life on Mars (fossilized or otherwise).

I'd rather they spend money on important stuff like this vs. being almost 200B over budget on shit like the F-35 program.
 
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Furry

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nasa can be so retarded at times, but man do I like when they do something cool, and they definitely come through a lot.

I hope they don't fuck up the james webb launch in a few months.
 
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1987

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nasa can be so retarded at times, but man do I like when they do something cool, and they definitely come through a lot.

I hope they don't fuck up the james webb launch in a few months.
Is it still on the arianne 5?