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(Guardian)   Titan has become Jan Brady. "Well all I hear all day long at NASA is how great Mars is at this, or how wonderful Mars is at that. Mars, Mars, Marsǃ"   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 44
    More: Sad, NASA  
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1793 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Aug 2012 at 4:43 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-23 04:44:19 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org
upload.wikimedia.org
upload.wikimedia.org
upload.wikimedia.org

Landing on Titan - View from Huygens on 14 January 2005

In June 2010, scientists analysing data from the Cassini-Huygens mission reported anomalies in the atmosphere near the surface which could be consistent with the presence of methane-producing organisms, but may alternatively be due to non-living chemical or meteorological processes. The Cassini-Huygens mission was not equipped to provide direct evidence for biology or complex organics.

/Get your ass to Titan!
 
2012-08-23 04:51:11 PM  
i'm just happy NASA is getting any funding....
 
2012-08-23 04:52:05 PM  
Subby should have tried to use "Martian, Martian, Martian"

/sounds more like Marcia
 
2012-08-23 04:55:02 PM  
Meh, who cares. It is not like space exploration ever balanced the budget.
 
2012-08-23 04:55:30 PM  
FTFA: The TiME mission would have floated on the methane sea of Saturn's moon Titan, showing us this truly alien place. Photograph: European Space Agency

Photograph?
 
2012-08-23 05:02:50 PM  
Did Martian get a broken nose, too?

JC
 
2012-08-23 05:08:17 PM  
Titan would definitely be a better object to study, but Mars has the advantage of being a hell of a lot closer to us most of the time. That's good not only for delivery, but communication.
 
2012-08-23 05:28:49 PM  

Bhruic: Titan would definitely be a better object to study, but Mars has the advantage of being a hell of a lot closer to us most of the time.

Or, all the time. Saturn at its closest is still nearly four times as far as Mars at its farthest from Earth.
 
2012-08-23 05:32:54 PM  
I must say, I am starting to get a bit underwhelmed with Curiosity. The landing was spectacular, and I watched it live. Seeing the rover come alive as it goes through its tests is thrilling. But the pictures -- they're all a bit "more of the same" of the stuff that Spirit and Opportunity have been beaming to us for years.

It's kind of like taking a vacation to Hawaii every year. Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but at some point you'd kinda like to go to Europe, 'cept Dad won't let you.
 
2012-08-23 05:55:39 PM  

flaminio: I must say, I am starting to get a bit underwhelmed with Curiosity. The landing was spectacular, and I watched it live. Seeing the rover come alive as it goes through its tests is thrilling. But the pictures -- they're all a bit "more of the same" of the stuff that Spirit and Opportunity have been beaming to us for years.

It's kind of like taking a vacation to Hawaii every year. Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but at some point you'd kinda like to go to Europe, 'cept Dad won't let you.


You should give Curiosity time, they've barely begun taking pictures or video.
 
2012-08-23 06:00:42 PM  

Jonny Ninja: FTFA: The TiME mission would have floated on the methane sea of Saturn's moon Titan, showing us this truly alien place. Photograph: European Space Agency

Photograph?


S'what I came here to note. Apparently, ESA has been busy!
 
2012-08-23 06:18:41 PM  

flaminio: But the pictures -- they're all a bit "more of the same" of the stuff that Spirit and Opportunity have been beaming to us for years.


Or even Viking.

img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk
 
2012-08-23 06:30:59 PM  

Jonny Ninja: FTFA: The TiME mission would have floated on the methane sea of Saturn's moon Titan, showing us this truly alien place. Photograph: European Space Agency

Photograph?


Hah. Hmm, as far as the ESA's involvement I think its because of this (In which TIME was sometimes thought to possibly be part of):

Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) was a joint NASA/ESA proposal for an exploration of Saturn and its moons Titan and Enceladus,[1] where many complex phenomena were revealed by the Cassini-Huygens mission. With an estimated NASA cost of $2.5 Billion (FY07), TSSM is proposed to launch in 2020, get gravity assists from Earth and Venus, and arrive at the Saturn system in 2029. The 4-year prime mission would include a two-year Saturn tour, a 2-month Titan aero-sampling phase, and a 20-month Titan orbit phase.
 
2012-08-23 07:01:35 PM  
 
2012-08-23 07:08:31 PM  
In b4 QA
 
2012-08-23 07:09:14 PM  

LDM90: In b4 QA


Oh nevermind
 
2012-08-23 07:11:45 PM  
I agree that Mars is getting a disproportionate amount of space exploration funding, but I don't think Titan is the place to go. Europa or Enceladus is where we might find life now. Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.
 
2012-08-23 07:33:58 PM  

LDM90: In b4 QA


LOL u totes stupid bro

meet u on mrs? LOL
 
2012-08-23 07:40:08 PM  
flaminio: I must say, I am starting to get a bit underwhelmed with Curiosity. The landing was spectacular, and I watched it live. Seeing the rover come alive as it goes through its tests is thrilling. But the pictures -- they're all a bit "more of the same" of the stuff that Spirit and Opportunity have been beaming to us for years.

It's kind of like taking a vacation to Hawaii every year. Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but at some point you'd kinda like to go to Europe, 'cept Dad won't let you....
While still excited about Curiosity, I can understand you point. We have been here several times and DO need to start touching down other places.
 
2012-08-23 07:55:12 PM  
Fund 4-5 missions for $10 Bil, using money saved from long term military ground operations over seas. Money to big business (Lockheed, Boeing and General Dynamic) win for Right, less war win for Left, jobs and science win for both sides.
 
2012-08-23 09:07:28 PM  

Prussian_Roulette: I agree that Mars is getting a disproportionate amount of space exploration funding, but I don't think Titan is the place to go. Europa or Enceladus is where we might find life now. Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.


You're saying that like it wouldn't fundamentally shift our understanding of the universe. I think the main reason why Mars is getting all of the attention is a return on investment, we know we can learn a lot about Mars and send very sophisticated equipment there in a short amount of time and potentially reap great rewards for our efforts. Also if we do find fossils on the surface of Mars I can guarantee that the NASA budget would more than double overnight, then we can start exploring everything.
 
2012-08-23 09:22:44 PM  
Thought I'd mention that Mars isn't really "easy." 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.
I'd like to know more about Titan though. It's my favorite of our system's worlds... Other than this one of course.
 
2012-08-23 09:25:57 PM  

Prussian_Roulette: I agree that Mars is getting a disproportionate amount of space exploration funding, but I don't think Titan is the place to go. Europa or Enceladus is where we might find life now. Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.


Didn't you get the message?

All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace.
 
2012-08-23 09:36:13 PM  

cheetahsaresexy: Thought I'd mention that Mars isn't really "easy." 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.
I'd like to know more about Titan though. It's my favorite of our system's worlds... Other than this one of course.


True, but most of those were early missions by the Soviet Union. Many more NASA missions, particularly the more recent ones, have succeeded.
 
2012-08-23 09:44:54 PM  

cheetahsaresexy: 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.


Citation needed.

And by 'we', do you mean the US or the world? Because the Soviets and Russians really drag down the success rate. I'm almost sure they've never had a completely successful mission since the 60s, and have never had a successful landing ever.
 
2012-08-23 09:58:37 PM  

Erix: cheetahsaresexy: Thought I'd mention that Mars isn't really "easy." 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.
I'd like to know more about Titan though. It's my favorite of our system's worlds... Other than this one of course.

True, but most of those were early missions by the Soviet Union. Many more NASA missions, particularly the more recent ones, have succeeded.


Meant humanity as a whole. I think we either go forth exploring together or we're not going to get there at all. So yes, I'm dragging the stats down.
 
2012-08-23 10:43:17 PM  

Baron Harkonnen: cheetahsaresexy: 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.

Citation needed.

And by 'we', do you mean the US or the world? Because the Soviets and Russians really drag down the success rate. I'm almost sure they've never had a completely successful mission since the 60s, and have never had a successful landing ever.


Actually Russia's last successful mission to Mars was in 1971. Mars 3, successful orbiter and the first successful landing on Mars. Not a successful mission for the lander though, since it ceased transmission within 15 seconds of landing. You're correct though, context is needed when looking at the Mars success rate. Especially when 6 of Russia's 19 attempts have been launch failures. US meanwhile has had 14 successful Mars missions of 20 attempts.

Keep in mind that's 14 completely successful missions to Russia's 4 partially successful missions (They having no completely successful missions that did as they were designed). What's worse, Russia hasn't even been able to reproduce those partially successful missions. Their last two Mars missions failing to even leave low earth orbit. Even worse, they haven't left low earth orbit with any spacecraft since 1988.

Getting to Mars isn't easy necessarily, but NASA has a pretty good track record. Especially when it comes to landing, 7 successes out of 8 tries.
 
2012-08-23 11:34:33 PM  

Prussian_Roulette: I don't think Titan is the place to go. Europa or Enceladus is where we might find life now.


Europa is a good choice, but I would suspect Enceladus is too small. However, I don't see why you're down on Titan. Titan is big, has an atmosphere, weather and all sorts of odd dynamic processes going on. I think we'd be well-served going back to Titan.
 
2012-08-23 11:41:40 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: flaminio: But the pictures -- they're all a bit "more of the same" of the stuff that Spirit and Opportunity have been beaming to us for years.

Or even Viking.

[img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk image 284x475]


Excellent book. As are all of Hogans.
 
2012-08-23 11:42:22 PM  
Complain, complain, complain!

"Mars gets the 'Notice Me' Solar orbit, and I'm stuck out here by Saturn where I get hardly any insolation!"

"Mars is a cold desert with a really thin atmosphere, a dead core and no magnetic field or crustal motility but gets attention because of dry riverbeds and transient polar caps of water ice, while I've got a thick, luxurious atmosphere, crustal motion due to a massive subsurface water layer, a warm core and OCEANS of liquid methane on my surface and I don't get ANY!"

"All the really dreamy planetary exploration missions go to Mars and go on and on for years, and all I get is a couple of fly-bys and one ugly little lander that couldn't even send back half its data and only lasted two hours before it gave up!"

Well, if Titan (or should I say Titania, amirite?) is so worthy of our exploration, why doesn't it move closer to where the EARTH IS?? OH! OOOHHHHHHHHH!

/Yeah, I know, started off Brady, went all Kinison. Sorry, it got away from me.
 
2012-08-23 11:59:54 PM  

Grotesk: Complain, complain, complain!

"Mars gets the 'Notice Me' Solar orbit, and I'm stuck out here by Saturn where I get hardly any insolation!"

"Mars is a cold desert with a really thin atmosphere, a dead core and no magnetic field or crustal motility but gets attention because of dry riverbeds and transient polar caps of water ice, while I've got a thick, luxurious atmosphere, crustal motion due to a massive subsurface water layer, a warm core and OCEANS of liquid methane on my surface and I don't get ANY!"

"All the really dreamy planetary exploration missions go to Mars and go on and on for years, and all I get is a couple of fly-bys and one ugly little lander that couldn't even send back half its data and only lasted two hours before it gave up!"

Well, if Titan (or should I say Titania, amirite?) is so worthy of our exploration, why doesn't it move closer to where the EARTH IS?? OH! OOOHHHHHHHHH!

/Yeah, I know, started off Brady, went all Kinison. Sorry, it got away from me.


10 for effort, 8 for execution.
 
2012-08-24 06:02:24 AM  
"Mars gets the 'Notice Me' Solar orbit, and I'm stuck out here by Saturn where I get hardly any insolation!"

Mars is the slut who lives on the corner, while Titan is the hottie who lives on the other side of town.
Mars gets more action because she's more convenient.
 
2012-08-24 08:22:39 AM  
Well damn, Titan, if you want more attention, quit being so distant and cold.

And let's face it, Mars just has a bigger and rounder...circumference.
 
2012-08-24 08:30:29 AM  

Prussian_Roulette: Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.


Here's the difference: Titan's extra atmospheric methane is suspected to come from a giant ocean under its surface. That giant ocean is under an estimated 50km of solid ice. I'm not quite sure how landing there will do us much good. At least on Mars, especially where they landed, there's exposed strata from millions of years. They can examine a geologic history right in front of their eyes. And yes, maybe fossils. Wouldn't that change everything? You can bet you ass there would suddenly be more funding for trips to places like Titan if we find the bones of some ancient Mars thingy staring back at us. Okay, it isn't likely... but wait to go to Titan until there's new technology to get us past that ice.
 
2012-08-24 09:34:37 AM  

Baron Harkonnen: cheetahsaresexy: 2/3 of the missions we've sent haven't gotten there or have failed.

Citation needed.

And by 'we', do you mean the US or the world? Because the Soviets and Russians really drag down the success rate. I'm almost sure they've never had a completely successful mission since the 60s, and have never had a successful landing ever.


The USSR landed successfully on Venus, and it took thirteen(IIRC) pictures before the pressure crushed it.

If Titan's too far, why not take closer looks at Venus? Sure, it's a not-quite-a-gas-giant planet, but hell, we can put some stuff in orbit and science the shiat out of it.
 
2012-08-24 01:02:16 PM  

Prussian_Roulette: I agree that Mars is getting a disproportionate amount of space exploration funding, but I don't think Titan is the place to go. Europa or Enceladus is where we might find life now. Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.


stores.mommamadethis.net

First of all, I agree with you insofar as Europa and Enceladus being excellent targets for future missions, but Titan is by far a more appealing choice because:

1) Titan is closer.
2) Titan is easier to explore without massively complex methods of "getting the goods" (drilling miles-thick layers of ice would be unnecessary)
3)Titan has much more Earth-like planetary processes currently taking place (complex atmosphere, active weather, geological features similar to Earth, a methane-based environment mirroring the effects of water on Earth.

So when you look outside the box of "follow the water", then Titan is probably the most important potential target for space exploration.

But you gotta be kidding me with your fossil comment. A discovery like that would shake the very foundations of the human belief system and science in general. And yet you treat it as mundane? Jesus H Christ.
 
2012-08-24 01:03:15 PM  

WinoRhino: Prussian_Roulette: Sounds better than the best-case scenario of finding billion year-old fossils in a dried-out Martian riverbed.

Here's the difference: Titan's extra atmospheric methane is suspected to come from a giant ocean under its surface. That giant ocean is under an estimated 50km of solid ice. I'm not quite sure how landing there will do us much good. At least on Mars, especially where they landed, there's exposed strata from millions of years. They can examine a geologic history right in front of their eyes. And yes, maybe fossils. Wouldn't that change everything? You can bet you ass there would suddenly be more funding for trips to places like Titan if we find the bones of some ancient Mars thingy staring back at us. Okay, it isn't likely... but wait to go to Titan until there's new technology to get us past that ice.


I think you're confusing Titan with Europa.
 
2012-08-24 03:32:40 PM  
Eshman



... But you gotta be kidding me with your fossil comment. A discovery like that would shake the very foundations of the human belief system and science in general. And yet you treat it as mundane? Jesus H Christ.
When /IF it ever happens yes it will be an amazing find.

Will it be the Earth Shattering event you (and many others) seem to believe?

Not a chance.

You will remember that Armstrong and co. were quarantined upon their return for fear of some space bug. We (society) has been ready for that (life elsewhere) for decades.
 
2012-08-24 03:51:12 PM  
Jack and Deputy Andy have it under control.
 
2012-08-24 04:28:42 PM  

OnlyM3: Eshman

Will it be the Earth Shattering event you (and many others) seem to believe?

Not a chance.



Maybe with your purview as an individual interested in space exploration, but I assure you, finding a fossil on Mars would be a big freaking deal to most people.

OnlyM3: You will remember that Armstrong and co. were quarantined upon their return for fear of some space bug. We (society) has been ready for that (life elsewhere) for decades.


Um, what?
 
2012-08-24 04:33:29 PM  
The discovery of fossils on mars would not be earth shattering if it's single celled life. Even living single celled organisms would not shake the fondation of anything. The discovery of bones aka complex life would be another matter. With that th George that earth was seeded with life from Mars becomes much more likely. Either that or complex life is more common than we assume. It would be a big deal.
 
2012-08-24 05:21:21 PM  

never trust a bunny: The discovery of fossils on mars would not be earth shattering if it's single celled life. Even living single celled organisms would not shake the fondation of anything. The discovery of bones aka complex life would be another matter. With that th George that earth was seeded with life from Mars becomes much more likely. Either that or complex life is more common than we assume. It would be a big deal.


I guess I should have clarified; complex fossils are what I had in mind. In regards to single-cell orgs, you're probably right. Back when they thought fossils were found in that meteor way back when, barely anyone gave a shiat.
 
2012-08-24 11:11:03 PM  

Eshman: OnlyM3: Eshman

Will it be the Earth Shattering event you (and many others) seem to believe?

Not a chance.



Maybe with your purview as an individual interested in space exploration, but I assure you, finding a fossil on Mars would be a big freaking deal to most people.

OnlyM3: You will remember that Armstrong and co. were quarantined upon their return for fear of some space bug. We (society) has been ready for that (life elsewhere) for decades.

Um, what?


This.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Quarantine_Facility

">
 
2012-08-24 11:12:22 PM  
Meh, should of previewed first.

Mobile Quarantine Facility

upload.wikimedia.org
 
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