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(MSNBC)   "Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions"   (msnbc.msn.com) divider line 32
    More: Cool, xenon, blue-green, morning, Dwarf Planet Ceres, blue-green pillar, asteroid belt, ion engines, thrusts  
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4822 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Aug 2012 at 8:12 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



32 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-08-30 07:56:38 PM  
Up your nose Asimov!
 
2012-08-30 07:58:36 PM  
 
2012-08-30 08:31:55 PM  
But advanced ion propulsion is beyond even our capabilities. It'd be a miracle if they had developed it.
 
2012-08-30 08:49:12 PM  
That's what she said.
 
2012-08-30 08:53:54 PM  

Nem Wan: But advanced ion propulsion is beyond even our capabilities. It'd be a miracle if they had developed it.


What is brain?
 
2012-08-30 08:56:46 PM  
I'm sad this mission isn't getting more press. Is it the Rube Goldberg festival of the Curiosity landing? (Also VERY cool, but we could hit Mars with our eyes closed, comparatively.) This rig has achieved orbit of a billiard ball, and is off soon to do that with a softball in a few years...
 
2012-08-30 09:06:30 PM  
S-I-E fighter?
 
2012-08-30 09:12:53 PM  
They're turning into poets.
 
2012-08-30 09:15:01 PM  

Kittypie070: They're turning into poets.


They always were.
 
2012-08-30 09:21:28 PM  

Nem Wan: But advanced ion propulsion is beyond even our capabilities. It'd be a miracle if they had developed it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Space_1

Launched on 24 October 1998, Deep Space 1 was the first spacecraft to use Ion powered rocketry, in contrast to the traditional chemical powered rockets.

Although ion engines had been developed at NASA since the late 1950s, with the exception of the SERT missions in the 1960s, the technology had not been demonstrated in flight. This lack of a performance history in space meant that despite the potential savings in propellant mass, the technology was considered too experimental to be used for high-cost missions. Furthermore, unforeseen side effects of ion propulsion might in some way interfere with typical scientific experiments, such as fields and particle measurements. Therfore it was a primary mission of the Deep Space 1 demonstration to show long duration use of an ion thruster on a science mission.[2]

The NSTAR electrostatic ion thruster, developed at NASA Glenn, achieves a specific impulse of one to three thousand seconds. This is an order of magnitude higher than traditional space propulsion methods, resulting in a mass savings of approximately half. This leads to much cheaper launch vehicles. Although the engine produces just 92 millinewtons (0.331 ounce-force) thrust at maximum power (2,100W on DS1), the craft achieved high speeds because ion engines thrust continuously for long periods.[2] The next spacecraft to use NSTAR engines was the Dawn spacecraft, with three redundant units.[3]
 
2012-08-30 09:22:30 PM  

sno man: I'm sad this mission isn't getting more press. Is it the Rube Goldberg festival of the Curiosity landing? (Also VERY cool, but we could hit Mars with our eyes closed, comparatively.) This rig has achieved orbit of a billiard ball, and is off soon to do that with a softball in a few years...


Just about anything space-related short of First Contact is going to play second fiddle to news from Mars. Which is too bad, because right now what's going on in the asteroid belt is far more important for our future in space than the process of nursing a new car through its break-in period.

Dawn Mission home page

/subby
 
2012-08-30 09:24:58 PM  
Vesta and Ceres? Sweet!
 
2012-08-30 09:36:51 PM  
Haven't read Marooned in 30+ years, thank you.
 
2012-08-30 09:47:37 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: sno man: I'm sad this mission isn't getting more press. Is it the Rube Goldberg festival of the Curiosity landing? (Also VERY cool, but we could hit Mars with our eyes closed, comparatively.) This rig has achieved orbit of a billiard ball, and is off soon to do that with a softball in a few years...

Just about anything space-related short of First Contact is going to play second fiddle to news from Mars. Which is too bad, because right now what's going on in the asteroid belt is far more important for our future in space than the process of nursing a new car through its break-in period.

Dawn Mission home page

/subby


Truth.
Mars is cool, there may well be some cool finds there... but this is finding out way more about the history of the solar system around two different rocks that there is no hope of finding any hint of life on, but way more about everything else about the nature of at least this solar system...
 
2012-08-30 09:53:36 PM  

sno man: common sense is an oxymoron: sno man: I'm sad this mission isn't getting more press. Is it the Rube Goldberg festival of the Curiosity landing? (Also VERY cool, but we could hit Mars with our eyes closed, comparatively.) This rig has achieved orbit of a billiard ball, and is off soon to do that with a softball in a few years...

Just about anything space-related short of First Contact is going to play second fiddle to news from Mars. Which is too bad, because right now what's going on in the asteroid belt is far more important for our future in space than the process of nursing a new car through its break-in period.

Dawn Mission home page

/subby

Truth.
Mars is cool, there may well be some cool finds there... but this is finding out way more about the history of the solar system around two different rocks that there is no hope of finding any hint of life on, but way more about everything else about the nature of at least this solar system...


Indeed. One of Dawn's findings is that Vesta may be the last surviving protoplanet.
 
2012-08-30 10:04:44 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: sno man: common sense is an oxymoron: sno man: I'm sad this mission isn't getting more press. Is it the Rube Goldberg festival of the Curiosity landing? (Also VERY cool, but we could hit Mars with our eyes closed, comparatively.) This rig has achieved orbit of a billiard ball, and is off soon to do that with a softball in a few years...

Just about anything space-related short of First Contact is going to play second fiddle to news from Mars. Which is too bad, because right now what's going on in the asteroid belt is far more important for our future in space than the process of nursing a new car through its break-in period.

Dawn Mission home page

/subby

Truth.
Mars is cool, there may well be some cool finds there... but this is finding out way more about the history of the solar system around two different rocks that there is no hope of finding any hint of life on, but way more about everything else about the nature of at least this solar system...

Indeed. One of Dawn's findings is that Vesta may be the last surviving protoplanet.


With a crater about the size of half the rock... (!)
Space is cool. All things space are cool...
 
2012-08-30 10:32:06 PM  

RoyBatty: Link

thank you :)
 
2012-08-30 10:58:21 PM  
*cough*

*choke*

I'M SORRY

We're taking off from an asteroid?!?
 
2012-08-30 11:04:27 PM  
"It'll never work. Your overthrusters are shiat!"
 
2012-08-30 11:12:40 PM  

GypsyJoker: "It'll never work. Your overthrusters are shiat!"


One more word out of you, Bigbooty...
 
2012-08-30 11:17:09 PM  
Nothing is more exciting than artists' imaginings, data models with no key to read the colors, and an article full of nothing anyone who's passed 5th grade science class doesn't already know.

Freakin science journalism.
 
2012-08-31 12:25:52 AM  
In 20 years, with a little luck, space out to NEO and maybe further will be about as accessible as the high arctic. In other words expensive, difficult and insanely profitable if you can find a way to make a go of it. I can't wait to see what happens.

Sadly, this article was not a good reflection of the awesomeness of what it purported to explain.

Cheers.
 
2012-08-31 12:37:17 AM  
Wait wait wait wait........So we've had this craft powered by ion freaking engines parked at a freaking asteroid for the last year and half, that's now heading to Ceres? Using ion freaking engines? And I found out about it now? So why is the world is getting such a hard-on over the freaking Chinese finally putting a couple guys in orbit?
 
2012-08-31 01:11:21 AM  

limboslam: Wait wait wait wait........So we've had this craft powered by ion freaking engines parked at a freaking asteroid for the last year and half, that's now heading to Ceres? Using ion freaking engines? And I found out about it now?


Well, to be fair, those American Idol reruns weren't going to watch themselves.

You might also be interested in the spaceships currently orbiting Saturn, taking pictures of the moon landing sites, or chasing comets.

common sense is an oxymoron: One more word out of you, Bigbooty...


Big-boo-TAY! TAY!
 
2012-08-31 01:34:24 AM  
Vesta is interesting, but Ceres is what kicks off the gold rush of 2015. The thing is mostly water. More than all the fresh water on Earth, in a convenient ball with very low gravity. Who knows, maybe there's xenon up there too. But just abundant water in low g would be enough.
 
2012-08-31 06:54:13 AM  

sno man: All things space are cool...


The Sun is not cool. Quite the reverse, in fact.
 
2012-08-31 08:34:06 AM  
$400M. A small price to pay for such awesomeness.
 
2012-08-31 09:57:21 AM  
Dawn is spiraling away from Vesta as gently as it arrived last year. The spacecraft uses super-efficient ion propulsion, which generates thrust by ionizing ripping electrons off of xenon atoms with electricity and flinging them away with a bigass electromagnet.

FTFAwesome
 
2012-08-31 10:53:57 AM  
Photo from the Hubble of Dawn's departure:

aheinakroon.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-08-31 02:34:29 PM  
Vesta is interesting, but Ceres is what kicks off the gold rush of 2015. The thing is mostly water. More than all the fresh water on Earth, in a convenient ball with very low gravity. Who knows, maybe there's xenon up there too. But just abundant water in low g would be enough.

For someone that likes space but isn't a nut about it. Why would this be of imporatance, other than the fact that we wouldn't have to haul such a heavy and non-compressible item with when we leave orbit?
 
2012-08-31 03:04:25 PM  
CSB:

In college, I met four guys who got their Ph.D.s in ion space propulsion at my school. They've educated me on the concepts and shown me around the ISP lab several times. They had huge vacuum chambers where they conducted the experiments, and impressive instrumentation. I've seen pictures of successful experiments, and it's really quite awesome. They also had a cabinet stocked with research-grade bourbon. You know, for the late nights.
 
2012-08-31 06:04:06 PM  
limboslam:

Wait wait wait wait........So we've had this craft powered by ion freaking engines parked at a freaking asteroid for the last year and half, that's now heading to Ceres? Using ion freaking engines? And I found out about it now? So why is the world is getting such a hard-on over the freaking Chinese finally putting a couple guys in orbit?

Not to sound all natty-boh-swilling, fixie-bike-riding, skinny-jeans wearing hipster about it, but I really *was* into the Deep Space 1 probe before it was even launched. They even had a setup where you could get real-time messages via email when the auto navigation system kicked in, which I forwarded to my phone. That led to things like this while having lunch with clients:

*BEEP*

"Hang on... I have a message from outer space coming in!" 

Why yes... I *am* easily amused.
 
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