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(Guardian)   NASA spacecraft discovers possible evidence of alien life on one of Saturn's moons -- then promptly runs out of fuel. See, guys, this is why you fill up *before* the needle hits E   ( theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Fail, life, Jupiter, Water, hydrogen gas, Cassini, icy surface chemical, microbial life, Prof Andrew Coates  
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4099 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Apr 2017 at 1:52 PM (26 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-04-16 12:09:39 PM  
It's not evidence of alien life. It's possible evidence of a process that could possibly support life.
 
2017-04-16 12:23:35 PM  

ArkAngel: It's not evidence of alien life. It's possible evidence of a process that could possibly support life.


What this dude said

Lotsa working up about what could be nothing
 
2017-04-16 12:25:57 PM  

cman: ArkAngel: It's not evidence of alien life. It's possible evidence of a process that could possibly support life.

What this dude said

Lotsa working up about what could be nothing


Yep.  It's certainly a thread worth running to ground, but it's hardly world shattering news.  We're looking.  We should keep looking.
 
2017-04-16 12:27:17 PM  
WAS this on enchilada?
 
2017-04-16 12:42:15 PM  
It would be like a candy store for microbes

Perhaps the next mission should include a dental drill.
 
2017-04-16 01:10:40 PM  

Chris Ween: WAS this on enchilada?


That would explain why I feel like hell right now.
 
2017-04-16 01:24:29 PM  
"In the fissures of the Earth's oceans, a process called serpentinisation produces hydrogen when salty water reacts with hot rocks. This is what allows microbes, which use hydrogen as a source of chemical energy, to thrive in the ocean depths"
 
2017-04-16 01:26:32 PM  

Curate's Keg: "In the fissures of the Earth's oceans, a process called serpentinisation produces hydrogen when salty water reacts with hot rocks. This is what allows microbes, which use hydrogen as a source of chemical energy, to thrive in the ocean depths"


"Serpentisation" produces asbestos type materials. That Enceladus life better watch out for mesothelioma.
 
2017-04-16 01:50:43 PM  
It's not like NASA didn't know down to the millisecond how much fuel they had left, and it's not like they weren't planning on crashing Cassini into Saturn on purpose.
 
2017-04-16 02:04:49 PM  
If it is proved there is no life there, could some be introduced?
Maybe when we are gone in a hundred years life will take root and thrive on a new planet.
 
2017-04-16 02:07:56 PM  

cman: Lotsa working up about what could be nothing


FTA: it has all of the ingredients for life, which is why scientists are so jazzed about the discovery

Those scientists are jazzed, man. Jazzed.
 
2017-04-16 02:10:32 PM  

Curate's Keg: Curate's Keg: "In the fissures of the Earth's oceans, a process called serpentinisation produces hydrogen when salty water reacts with hot rocks. This is what allows microbes, which use hydrogen as a source of chemical energy, to thrive in the ocean depths"

"Serpentisation" produces asbestos type materials. That Enceladus life better watch out for mesothelioma.


Yup. Next thing you know, it will be covered up in lawyers.
 
2017-04-16 02:20:32 PM  
Since the primary mission was completed in 2008, I hardly think running out of fuel 9 years later counts as a fail subby.
 
2017-04-16 02:46:08 PM  

Sugarbombs: It would be like a candy store for microbes

Perhaps the next mission should include a dental drill.


img.fark.net
 
2017-04-16 02:54:48 PM  

sithon: If it is proved there is no life there, could some be introduced?
Maybe when we are gone in a hundred years life will take root and thrive on a new planet.


That's pretty much my feeling. We should be shooting rockets full of extremophiles into every sphere with a million to one chance of supporting life in the system just to see what happens. We should be raining mars with genesis torpedoes full of andean and atacama soil microbes. Colonialism for the 21st century. We should also introduce polar bears to antarctica for fun.
 
2017-04-16 02:57:36 PM  
The hydrogen may be coming from Saturn. Ever think of that NASA?
 
2017-04-16 02:58:43 PM  

Spectrum: The hydrogen may be coming from Saturn. Ever think of that NASA?


I'm sure NASA never thought of that, guy on the internet.
 
2017-04-16 03:09:02 PM  
"Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.
 
2017-04-16 03:10:44 PM  

sithon: If it is proved there is no life there, could some be introduced?


There may not be any Earth life that could survive there.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpentinite#Serpentinization_on_Encela​d​us
A model suggests that the ocean on Enceladus has an alkaline pH of 11-12.[6]

That high pH is around ammonia solution and lye.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaliphile
Alkaliphiles are a class of extremophilic microbes capable of survival in alkaline (pH roughly 8.5-11) environments, growing optimally around a pH of 10.

An octopus wouldn't be able to survive on Enceladus.
 
2017-04-16 03:15:17 PM  
dumbmitter is dumb
 
2017-04-16 03:35:08 PM  
E---Enough to get there
F---Found a farkard to fill the tank
 
2017-04-16 04:39:33 PM  

2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.


OK, intelligent life
;)
 
2017-04-16 04:39:47 PM  
However, the discovery of an available food source poses a new puzzle: why, if something is alive on Enceladus, is it not consuming all the available fuel? The surplus of hydrogen could be an indication of the absence of life, or of a very inactive microbe lurking in the ocean's depths.

Lazy writer.  Do they not understand the planet that they, themselves, live on..?!?

Earth has not consumed all its available 'fuel'..  Clearly, humans are very inactive and lurking in the depths..
 
2017-04-16 04:41:21 PM  
First paragraph of the story:

Could there be life in our own solar system?

Gee, I dunno. Check the third rock from the sun.
 
2017-04-16 04:48:26 PM  
This is not bad timing.  This is great timing, on NASA's part.  Just as this mission ends, they find a reason Congress should authorize another mission.
 
2017-04-16 04:52:21 PM  

2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.


Damn, left my browser window open too long. *tips hat*
 
2017-04-16 05:09:31 PM  

2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.


Life? Yes. Intelligent life... jury's still out on that one.
 
2017-04-16 05:46:28 PM  
The discovery is why the mission has to end this way.
They aren't entirely sure how much fuel is left in the tanks but they know it's very low. If they lose control then the satellite could land somewhere they don't want and contaminate an otherwise prestine environment. So it's better to burn it up.

/The odds of life are low and the odds of contamination are lower.
/but we may only get one shot at learning if a second instance of life started in our home system.
 
2017-04-16 06:44:01 PM  
It costs just the same to keep it full as empty.
 
2017-04-16 06:56:29 PM  
NotARocketScientist: Since the primary mission was completed in 2008, I hardly think running out of fuel 9 years later counts as a fail subby.

7 years transit plus 13 years at Saturn frequently changing orbit on a is really good.  Fail would be an improvement for Subby.
 
2017-04-16 07:19:26 PM  

luckyeddie: 2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.

OK, intelligent life
;)


Speak for yourself! I eat ALL my crayons, just like Mother told me to. I eat the purple crayon first, because I'm a genius. Sheesh...
 
2017-04-16 07:24:08 PM  
Send sea monkeys
 
2017-04-17 02:47:39 AM  
I remember when Cassini was launched, a bunch of raving anti-nuke protestors were all over the media saying the probe would be a death-dealing doomstar for Eathicans because it was powered by RTG's and if the launch failed, everyone would be doomed, dooooomed, I say..... they wanted a halt to using RTG's on any space probes, which is ridiculous.
 
2017-04-17 08:04:35 AM  

Any Pie Left: I remember when Cassini was launched, a bunch of raving anti-nuke protestors were all over the media saying the probe would be a death-dealing doomstar for Eathicans because it was powered by RTG's and if the launch failed, everyone would be doomed, dooooomed, I say..... they wanted a halt to using RTG's on any space probes, which is ridiculous.


Yep.  Fringiest of the fringe.  Of course, that was 1997.  By the time New Horizons was launched just 9 years later with the same model of RTG on it, the Causeheads had moved on to protesting Iraq.
 
2017-04-17 09:02:17 AM  
I thought this was old news. I remember reading about this a couple years ago.
 
2017-04-17 09:06:22 AM  
Why can't they have a plug in slot left open on these probes for future refueling? Could do the same for space telescopes as well.
 
2017-04-17 09:14:02 AM  

RedVentrue: Why can't they have a plug in slot left open on these probes for future refueling? Could do the same for space telescopes as well.


Problem is transporting the fuel.
For an orbital satellite it's less of an issue. But for a deep space probe it would take years to reach. The original probe is obsolete by then so you might as well launch a new probe for the payload cost.
 
2017-04-17 09:25:50 AM  

way south: RedVentrue: Why can't they have a plug in slot left open on these probes for future refueling? Could do the same for space telescopes as well.

Problem is transporting the fuel.
For an orbital satellite it's less of an issue. But for a deep space probe it would take years to reach. The original probe is obsolete by then so you might as well launch a new probe for the payload cost.


I'm thinking we could design the probe to make future upgrades/ refueling as simple as rendezvous, dock, and go. Send up a care package every few years and not waste the original probe.
 
2017-04-17 09:48:14 AM  

RedVentrue: way south: RedVentrue: Why can't they have a plug in slot left open on these probes for future refueling? Could do the same for space telescopes as well.

Problem is transporting the fuel.
For an orbital satellite it's less of an issue. But for a deep space probe it would take years to reach. The original probe is obsolete by then so you might as well launch a new probe for the payload cost.

I'm thinking we could design the probe to make future upgrades/ refueling as simple as rendezvous, dock, and go. Send up a care package every few years and not waste the original probe.


It  would be many times faster and cheaper to just send a new probe. And that new probe won't be 20 years old.  For the love of Pete, a docking module would add quite a bit of mass which means you will have to remove science instruments or require vastly more fuel. The extra mass would probably require an even longer than 7 years to get to Saturn.  The mission will be far more complicated and thus far more likely to fail.   As the probe carried 20 years worth of fuel, what is the point or need? Especially since the probe will eventually fail. It camera will get more bad pixels and has moving parts which will eventually fail with no mechanic around.
 
2017-04-17 11:40:25 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: RedVentrue: way south: RedVentrue: Why can't they have a plug in slot left open on these probes for future refueling? Could do the same for space telescopes as well.

Problem is transporting the fuel.
For an orbital satellite it's less of an issue. But for a deep space probe it would take years to reach. The original probe is obsolete by then so you might as well launch a new probe for the payload cost.

I'm thinking we could design the probe to make future upgrades/ refueling as simple as rendezvous, dock, and go. Send up a care package every few years and not waste the original probe.

It  would be many times faster and cheaper to just send a new probe. And that new probe won't be 20 years old.  For the love of Pete, a docking module would add quite a bit of mass which means you will have to remove science instruments or require vastly more fuel. The extra mass would probably require an even longer than 7 years to get to Saturn.  The mission will be far more complicated and thus far more likely to fail.   As the probe carried 20 years worth of fuel, what is the point or need? Especially since the probe will eventually fail. It camera will get more bad pixels and has moving parts which will eventually fail with no mechanic around.


I can see your point.
 
2017-04-17 12:14:56 PM  

2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.


Intelligent life?

/sometimes I wonder...
 
2017-04-17 12:16:10 PM  

Skyd1v: 2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.

Intelligent life?

/sometimes I wonder...


Kegovitch: 2wolves: "Could there be life in our own solar system?"

Third rock from the sun says yes.

Life? Yes. Intelligent life... jury's still out on that one.


I really need to start reading the whole thread first...
 
2017-04-17 02:23:45 PM  
Should have put more than 5 bucks in.
content8.flixster.com
Too bad they didn't have any liquid Schwartz.
 
2017-04-17 05:58:06 PM  
Cassini's grand finale :

NASA at Saturn: Cassini's Grand Finale
Youtube xrGAQCq9BMU
 
2017-04-17 08:05:08 PM  

Philonius: Cassini's grand finale :

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/xrGAQCq9BMU - 480x270]


That would have been way cooler if it wasn't all CGI.
 
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