Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Wired)   NASA's Mars Rover will be powered by US-made plutonium from the Oak Ridge Lab in Tennessee. Those inferior furriner atoms and electrons and heat decay and particles and whatnot just won't do   (wired.com) divider line
    More: Interesting  
•       •       •

320 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Jul 2020 at 9:37 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



12 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-07-29 9:19:15 AM  
Insert Oak Ridge Boys joke here.
i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2020-07-29 9:46:40 AM  
From the thread on Perseverance, I found it interesting all previous launches with an RTG required specific approval by the president but under new guidelines the NASA Administrator can approve the launch.
 
2020-07-29 10:11:00 AM  
If you'd asked me five years ago, I'd have said there was nobody I trusted more than the US government to deal with plutonium. Not for any political reasons, but because career government scientists are Serious PeopleTM

These days I'd trust the local PTA more.
 
2020-07-29 10:28:35 AM  

johnny_vegas: From the thread on Perseverance, I found it interesting all previous launches with an RTG required specific approval by the president but under new guidelines the NASA Administrator can approve the launch.


That's where it should be.

We've been launching RTG's into space for 59 years now, first launch of a US RTG was in 1961:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems​_​for_Nuclear_Auxiliary_Power#SNAP-3

All of the previous exploration missions that used them, like Pioneer 10/11, Viking 1/2, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, etc. have gone fine.   Requiring presidential approval, which is always given anyway, is merely unnecessary paperwork.

And we have lost RTG's before with no hazard.  The RTG's from the Apollo 13 lunar module re-entered and now lie near the Tonga trench.  Surveys found no evidence of Plutonium being released, and we're really good at finding that kind of stuff because of monitoring nuclear tests.

They're designed to be safe even if subjected to re-entry.
 
2020-07-29 10:37:03 AM  

dittybopper: johnny_vegas: From the thread on Perseverance, I found it interesting all previous launches with an RTG required specific approval by the president but under new guidelines the NASA Administrator can approve the launch.

That's where it should be.

We've been launching RTG's into space for 59 years now, first launch of a US RTG was in 1961:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_​for_Nuclear_Auxiliary_Power#SNAP-3

All of the previous exploration missions that used them, like Pioneer 10/11, Viking 1/2, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, etc. have gone fine.   Requiring presidential approval, which is always given anyway, is merely unnecessary paperwork.

And we have lost RTG's before with no hazard.  The RTG's from the Apollo 13 lunar module re-entered and now lie near the Tonga trench.  Surveys found no evidence of Plutonium being released, and we're really good at finding that kind of stuff because of monitoring nuclear tests.

They're designed to be safe even if subjected to re-entry.


*shrug* I just said I found it interesting

More on the subject here
 
2020-07-29 12:05:04 PM  

PirateKing: If you'd asked me five years ago, I'd have said there was nobody I trusted more than the US government to deal with plutonium. Not for any political reasons, but because career government scientists are Serious PeopleTM

These days I'd trust the local PTA more.


Yeah they were real pros ...

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was to a large degree to blame for a series of accidents in 2004 that resulted in five workers inhaling radioactive plutonium and revealed "the need for significant improvement in (the lab's) nuclear safety culture,"  -- This Old Article from 2006

And that's just one. I believe everyone on earth born prior to 1968 (?) has a small amount of plutonium in their body from a failed satellite launch that blew up in the atmosphere scattering the craft's plutonium load across the globe.

/ It doesn't take much -- also while searching on the WWW I ran across far too many headlines with subjects like "The Health Benefits of Plutonium"
// Russia's really trying very hard to troll the world to death.
 
2020-07-29 12:07:07 PM  
argh forgot to link article -- here it is from 2006

/ Again that's just ONE! Ffs we nearly lost Arkansas in an accident but that was a a Titan missile mishap.
 
2020-07-29 12:37:19 PM  

johnny_vegas: From the thread on Perseverance, I found it interesting all previous launches with an RTG required specific approval by the president but under new guidelines the NASA Administrator can approve the launch.


You really do not want Trump on the critical path of anything...
 
2020-07-29 12:42:48 PM  
Here is a really cool tour of the production facility where they make the pellets that go into RTGs

How to make Plutonium
Youtube -sh5XZo5wRE
 
2020-07-29 1:30:53 PM  
Before clicking - Aren't we running out of plutonium fuel for space missions?

Click

Oh, cool. We are making more and even automating the process.
 
2020-07-29 2:31:44 PM  

CrazyCurt: And that's just one. I believe everyone on earth born prior to 1968 (?) has a small amount of plutonium in their body from a failed satellite launch that blew up in the atmosphere scattering the craft's plutonium load across the globe.


Uranium.  And it's from all the asplosions over the years.

A positive result for a Uranium bioassay (238 I believe) is something above 1 (can't remember off the top of my head).  There's trace amounts of a shiat-load of radioactive material in your body but generally not enough to show up on a bioassay.

What's a bioassay Dave?

(horribly abbreviated here)  If you inhale/injest/absorb/inject/etc. a radioactive particle, it is going to go to a particular area of the body (like anything).  It has a standard "retention" meaning how long it will stay in your body.  The length of time it is in your body will expose you to radiation that will be considered organ dose (TODE) which will essentially roll up to "whole body" dose.  And remember, dose is essentially a high-engery particle smacking into your DNA (for mRem)

For instance, if you sucked down some Tritium, it's going straight to your kidneys.  If you drink a bunch of beer, water, whatever, you can flush it *but* we can calculate your exposure while it is still in your system by measuring how much is in your urine and noting the amount of days since exposure.  Combine that with some static values (like the retention factor) and we can derive a dose in mRem.

I've *never* seen a site not err on the conservative side of things.  What I mean is that they will give a bioassay to someone and run the exposure *way* back (often to the time of the last bioassay) regardless of when they were actually exposed.  For instance, they may use *six* months or greater even if the person was exposed only two days ago.  I wouldn't doubt something similar was done with the guys in the article (may have been days, however).  Still, they didn't get over the allowed amount of dose for the year.  A dumb/bad mistake to be sure but they should be fine.
 
2020-07-30 12:31:32 AM  

CrazyCurt: PirateKing: If you'd asked me five years ago, I'd have said there was nobody I trusted more than the US government to deal with plutonium. Not for any political reasons, but because career government scientists are Serious PeopleTM

These days I'd trust the local PTA more.

Yeah they were real pros ...

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was to a large degree to blame for a series of accidents in 2004 that resulted in five workers inhaling radioactive plutonium and revealed "the need for significant improvement in (the lab's) nuclear safety culture,"  -- This Old Article from 2006

And that's just one. I believe everyone on earth born prior to 1968 (?) has a small amount of plutonium in their body from a failed satellite launch that blew up in the atmosphere scattering the craft's plutonium load across the globe.

/ It doesn't take much -- also while searching on the WWW I ran across far too many headlines with subjects like "The Health Benefits of Plutonium"
// Russia's really trying very hard to troll the world to death.


Are you saying I'm already in the IPPU?
 
Displayed 12 of 12 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.