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Narwhal's Triumphant Return [Spaceflight & Exploration] Thread

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Ha, it was a contact binary after all!

    ElvenshaeAbsoluteZeroZilla360Seal
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    It's red!

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    edited January 2
    And they're stressing there are higher-resolution images - and images at better lighting angles for shadows/contrast - incoming still.

    Also I love how they just threw up their hands over the question of what to call the two lobes.

    Zibblsnrt on
    Elvenshae
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Current thinking is that it's red because of "irradiation of exotic ices."

    Which is fuckin' metal.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    I wonder what the view would be like standing right on the neck of Ultima Thule?

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    Honk
  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Augh, that was taken from 50,000 kilometers out.

    The point-blank images are going to be something else.

    AbsoluteZeroElvenshaeRchanen
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    I wonder what the view would be like standing right on the neck of Ultima Thule?

    Well, the slope there is high enough that you'll start rolling, so ... bouncy?

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    Eeee! They are going to propose to NASA a flyby of yet another Kuiper Belt object since New Horizons has plenty of fuel and is in perfect health.

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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    The fact that the neck is apparently the brightest point interests me greatly.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
    Elvenshae
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    The fact that the neck is apparently the brightest point interests me greatly.

    They mentioned that it's consistent with having a bunch of powdery debris laying around, likely from the initial contact.

    Also, it's been confirmed that Ultima Thule is not, in fact, a snowman - it's BB-8. :D

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    It's incredible to think that those rocks impacted each other at about 2-3km per hour they think

    So at one point they were orbiting each other within the distance you could have played a game of catch from one to the other for a few minutes

    ElvenshaeAbsoluteZeroCommunistCowHonkMild Confusion
  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Or a few decades, given the pace of things that far out.

    Zilla360AbsoluteZero
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    One of the audience members asked about whether they were planning to keep the Ultima Thule name, given the Nazi connotations of the latter one.

    The scientists' response was basically, "Fuck the Nazis, they can't have our cool name."

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    I like that (1) that came up, (2) Stern was expecting it to come up and (3) he was prepared for it.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Given that it's a contact binary, it's really fortuitous to have a two word as well!

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited January 2
    Solar wrote: »
    It's incredible to think that those rocks impacted each other at about 2-3km per hour they think

    So at one point they were orbiting each other within the distance you could have played a game of catch from one to the other for a few minutes

    I think the quote they used was something like, "Slow enough - and Ultima and Thule are already dirty enough - that you wouldn't even call insurance if they were cars."

    Car analogies: Even rocket scientists use them!

    Elvenshae on
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  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Loving all the Ultima Thule coverage, Space Thread! :D

    China has made an announcement of their own earlier this morning, however, to insert themselves back into the space exploration conversation:

    China's Chang'e 4 has successfully touched down on the far side of the moon!

    Apologies for the CNN link, but here's the money shot we're all interested in, via the Associated Press:

    190103150840-01-china-moon-landing-exlarge-169.jpg


    The first image from the far side of the moon! :D

    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    CNN cropped the crap out of the full image, possibly as part of their congenital inability to report on anything scientific without screwing it up somehow.

    The CNSA's logo is science-fiction as all hell.

    BeNarwhal
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I love the lander bits at the top of the photo that look like it could be a spaceship far above, making the overlay look potentially like a HUD booting up.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • ElbasunuElbasunu Registered User regular
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    I enjoyed Stern's stressing the importance of STEAM and not just STEM at today's New Horizons conference in terms of the visuals some of the grad students in the project are putting together to communicate stuff about Ultima Thule.

    BeNarwhalGennenalyse Rueben
  • SnicketysnickSnicketysnick The Greatest Hype Man in WesterosRegistered User regular
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    CNN cropped the crap out of the full image, possibly as part of their congenital inability to report on anything scientific without screwing it up somehow.

    The CNSA's logo is stolen directly from Star Fleet and the United Federation of Planets

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  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    Why are all these photos tinged red?

    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Why are all these photos tinged red?

    A lens screen in an effort to protect the lens from direct exposure to sunlight, and failure (or not bothering to) include color-correction filters behind that

    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited January 4
    I love that rover. Bits and bobs everywhere and oversized solar arrays sticking out the sides where they take up less chassis surface area... Far more Kerbal than NASA's designs, even if in my heart I know it can't hold a candle to Curiosity with it's lasers and robotic selfie stick and Johnny 5 style rotating multitool, I'm just pretty sure I have the same rover abandoned on Minmus or Ike.

    Hevach on
    BeNarwhalRchanenAimElvenshae
  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Not a deep-space planetoid encounter, nor the far side of the moon, but the first Crew Dragon vertical on the pad with a Falcon 9 underneath it is still pretty neat!

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    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
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  • Gennenalyse RuebenGennenalyse Rueben Registered User regular
    Something that was only lightly touched on in that CNN article on Chang'e 4: one of the experiments on-board is seeing how plants grow on the Moon. This hasn't actually been done before, all plant growing experiments have been in orbital stations. Possibly even just the ISS?

    So for the first time there are Earth plants growing on a world that isn't Earth.

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  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Something that was only lightly touched on in that CNN article on Chang'e 4: one of the experiments on-board is seeing how plants grow on the Moon. This hasn't actually been done before, all plant growing experiments have been in orbital stations. Possibly even just the ISS?

    So for the first time there are Earth plants growing on a world that isn't Earth.

    Yep! I believe it's only been done on the ISS previously, though record-keeping for what they got up to on Mir is not exactly ... robust :P

    Things kinda got wild in the later years

    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited January 4
    BeNarwhal wrote: »
    Something that was only lightly touched on in that CNN article on Chang'e 4: one of the experiments on-board is seeing how plants grow on the Moon. This hasn't actually been done before, all plant growing experiments have been in orbital stations. Possibly even just the ISS?

    So for the first time there are Earth plants growing on a world that isn't Earth.

    Yep! I believe it's only been done on the ISS previously, though record-keeping for what they got up to on Mir is not exactly ... robust :P

    Things kinda got wild in the later years

    Not really. :P We have records of the mini-greenhouse (really, really mini) operated on Salyut 7. Plants were grown on Skylab.

    Mir had an entire greenhouse (really, really mini) sub-module, SVET, aboard the Kristall module. Multiple Kosmos satellites (a joint Eastern Bloc program, some involved capitalist nations too) carried plants, including corn, which technically grew...though not very much...along with tiny salamanders and similar creatures.

    Growing stuff in orbit is old news :lol: On another terrestrial body though? I've never heard of any of the Soviet landers doing that, despite even returning tiny samples, nor the Apollo missions. It's a big deal.

    EDIT: Ah, here's the article I was looking for--the Salyut mission cosmonauts really liked their plants, to the point of including them in the TV broadcasts back to Earth. originally they were part of the scientific program, but the space agency realized that growing the plants was actually very good for morale, and the cosmonauts joked that they spoiled the plants with "too much water." And yes, they even got permission to eat some of them (onions).

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Something that was only lightly touched on in that CNN article on Chang'e 4: one of the experiments on-board is seeing how plants grow on the Moon. This hasn't actually been done before, all plant growing experiments have been in orbital stations. Possibly even just the ISS?

    So for the first time there are Earth plants growing on a world that isn't Earth.

    If I remember correctly there's a half-dozen animal and plant species in the biosphere experiment, so it will be the first complex flora and fauna to grow offworld.

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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Does this mean the Chinese will have officially colonized the moon?

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Does this mean the Chinese will have officially colonized the moon?

    With silkworms, but yes! :P

    As long as they outlast the last moon astronauts, who were on the surface for a few days!

    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Does this mean the Chinese will have officially colonized the moon?

    No. Though if the lander's compartments breach they will have--in a very limited sense--begun teraforming it.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    AresProphet
  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    BeNarwhal wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Does this mean the Chinese will have officially colonized the moon?

    With silkworms, but yes! :P

    As long as they outlast the last moon astronauts, who were on the surface for a few days!

    Coming soon, Ms MIN Lunar Silk fall fashions

    5gsowHm.png
    BeNarwhalZilla360Elvenshae
  • BeNarwhalBeNarwhal The Work Left Unfinished Registered User regular
    Syngyne wrote: »
    BeNarwhal wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Does this mean the Chinese will have officially colonized the moon?

    With silkworms, but yes! :P

    As long as they outlast the last moon astronauts, who were on the surface for a few days!

    Coming soon, Ms MIN Lunar Silk fall fashions

    I don't know if I mentioned it here - I certainly mentioned it in [chat] - but a plot point of Andy Weir's Artemis is the value of [REDACTED] that can only be manufactured on the Moon, which is part of the reason they establish a moonbase / city in the first place

    This is the future I want, and I'm fine with it being Moonsilk! :P

    He/Him
    Narwhal, you should make "Sometimes while someone is explaining something to me, I am thinking about rockets" your signature
    Zilla360BrodyRchanenSyngyneGennenalyse RuebenElvenshae
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