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   NASA's Curiosity to gain sibling by 2020, hopes to be the best big brother/sister a robot can be

06 Dec 2012 12:34 AM   |   1836 clicks   |   National Geographic
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Fiction Fan     
They're going to name it Hugh Downs.

06 Dec 2012 12:35 AM
ArmednHammered     
Just as a heads up, neither one of you is ever coming home...EVER!
welcome to fark.jpg!!!11!!

06 Dec 2012 12:41 AM
gaspode     
Hah they are already finding money for another one? Someone isn't telling us everything they are finding then... A few months ago it was a struggle to pay for THIS one, all of a sudden you can do it all again?

06 Dec 2012 12:52 AM
Now That's What I Call a Taco!     
NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

06 Dec 2012 12:54 AM
Ehcks     

ArmednHammered: Just as a heads up, neither one of you is ever coming home...EVER!
welcome to fark.jpg!!!11!!


I blame you for this.

06 Dec 2012 12:54 AM
zerkalo     
L'il Brudder?

06 Dec 2012 12:57 AM
GungFu     
I know it's perhaps not the new sexy but why not have permanent rovers on the moon?

It would be cool as fark to see them trundle about on what would be real-time from Earth.

You can even sponsor them and have races and shiat, y'know.

Well, it's my idea and I like it, so there.

06 Dec 2012 01:09 AM
UsikFark     

Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.


The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.

06 Dec 2012 01:10 AM
UsikFark     

UsikFark: Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.


*thermo-electric generator, I mean.

06 Dec 2012 01:12 AM
shroom    [TotalFark]  

Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.


In principle, yes.

As a practical matter, the MSL/Curiosity landing system won't really work on any planet or solor system object other than Mars. Add much more atmosphere, and the drag would cause the thing the burn up in re-entry (as it would on earth). Less atmosphere, and the parachute system won't work.

Even if the rover itself could be landed, most other places you could go would present their own problems: Too hot (Venus, Mercury - although near the polar regions might be hospitable), too much gravity (again, Venus, or any of the outer planets), too little gravity (Martian moons), etc. Mars is kind of the sweet spot for exploration: low-ish gravity, low-pressure atmosphere, mild climate, low delta-V trajectory from earth.

Actually, the moons of Jupiter are probably the best target to get to with a Curiosity-like vehicle. As far as we know, that's also the next most likely place to find conditions suitable for life outside Mars.

06 Dec 2012 01:15 AM
Mixolydian Master     

UsikFark: Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure, sulfuric acid atmosphere content and 800 MPH winds. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.


FTFY

The Russians have been to Venus a handful of times and nothing has survived longer than 45 minutes.

06 Dec 2012 01:16 AM
UsikFark     

Mixolydian Master: UsikFark: Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure, sulfuric acid atmosphere content and 800 MPH winds. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.

FTFY

The Russians have been to Venus a handful of times and nothing has survived longer than 45 minutes.


Most farkers only last a few seconds. Good on those Russians for hittin' the Venus!

06 Dec 2012 01:22 AM
ExcaliburPrime111     

gaspode: Hah they are already finding money for another one? Someone isn't telling us everything they are finding then... A few months ago it was a struggle to pay for THIS one, all of a sudden you can do it all again?


Part of the reason they can afford it is that they are going to use the current design as the basic template and just do some tweaks. They're also going to scavenge all the extra parts from the current rover to use for the 2020 version. I believe that NASA spent some $2.5 billion on the current rover, but they only anticipate spending $1.5 billion on the next one, because of all the savings from using a similar template and reusing parts.

As for the suggestion regarding sending a rover everywhere, there are some problems with that:

1. Cost: NASA has a small budget and it is being squeezed already. Building and sending these rovers is not cheap.

2. Too many design changes would be needed to send the rovers to radically different gravity, atmosphere, and temperature conditions. It would not be a simple retrofit of this design, but rather would require starting at square one.

3. No point: The current (and possibly 2020) missions have a specific purpose in mind. Find evidence that Mars could have supported water (looks likely) and the future mission might be about finding evidence of life (either currently existing, or in the past.) Sending a rover to a random asteroid or to Venus, even if it is technically feasible, might be relatively pointless.

06 Dec 2012 01:26 AM
Baron Harkonnen     
I was really hoping that the sample return mission would just be one or two missions. Three seems like it would just take forever. The Falcon 9 heavy will be able to carry huge amounts of cargo into space, more than the space shuttle even. Let's fund the science and get it done.

06 Dec 2012 01:31 AM
ElLoco     

gaspode: Hah they are already finding money for another one? Someone isn't telling us everything they are finding then... A few months ago it was a struggle to pay for THIS one, all of a sudden you can do it all again?


The money will come more easily this time since they've proven that they can make that Rube Goldberg landing actually work. Being the cynic that I am, I fully expect the corporate world to start pitching in heavily on funding (or even working on the projects themselves) very soon if Curiosity discovers some mineral/bacteria/metal/etc that can be exploited in some fashion for a profit. I guarantee that if something is worth a mint up there, we'll have mining operations on that rock before the end of the century. NASA already has sponsored competitions for robotic mining designs with the prime sponsors being Caterpillar and Newmont Mining Corp. I honestly believe that if they find a million-year-old version of Cold Fusion for Dummies 'out there' somewhere... the first place it gets sent after it hits Earth's atmosphere won't be to MIT or Caltech, but to a patent attorney.

As soon as I think our priorities on this planet may start to get straightened out, someone always comes along and proves to me that our priorities will never be straightened out.

Eh. Progress. What can you do, I guess.

06 Dec 2012 01:54 AM
phrawgh     

ElLoco: gaspode: Hah they are already finding money for another one? Someone isn't telling us everything they are finding then... A few months ago it was a struggle to pay for THIS one, all of a sudden you can do it all again?

The money will come more easily this time since they've proven that they can make that Rube Goldberg landing actually work. Being the cynic that I am, I fully expect the corporate world to start pitching in heavily on funding (or even working on the projects themselves) very soon if Curiosity discovers some mineral/bacteria/metal/etc that can be exploited in some fashion for a profit. I guarantee that if something is worth a mint up there, we'll have mining operations on that rock before the end of the century. NASA already has sponsored competitions for robotic mining designs with the prime sponsors being Caterpillar and Newmont Mining Corp. I honestly believe that if they find a million-year-old version of Cold Fusion for Dummies 'out there' somewhere... the first place it gets sent after it hits Earth's atmosphere won't be to MIT or Caltech, but to a patent attorney.

As soon as I think our priorities on this planet may start to get straightened out, someone always comes along and proves to me that our priorities will never be straightened out.

Eh. Progress. What can you do, I guess.




We have the technology...

06 Dec 2012 02:01 AM
Smirky the Wonder Chimp     

UsikFark: Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.


I'd like to see an upgraded version dropped on Titan, too. Extra-large RTG to run plenty of heating elements to keep sensitive equipment from dying in -180c temperatures and a core sampling drill for getting samples for analysis from a few meters down beneath the surface. Since I'm just wishing, I'd like to see one dropped on Triton as well and one for each of Jupiter's moons, along with a melt probe/robot minisub for Europa. Drop a lander with a melt probe/sub on Europa, too. And just to push it over the top into Crazyland, follow it up with a sample return from each target. If they can somehow build a Venus surface rover that can tolerate the balmy local climate, then Venus gets one too.

Also, I'd really like a pony. I probably stand a better chance of getting the pony. :(

06 Dec 2012 02:04 AM
Smirky the Wonder Chimp     

Smirky the Wonder Chimp: UsikFark: Now That's What I Call a Taco!: NASA should seek to make affordable replicas of Curiosity to send to every feasible rock in the solar system.

Discuss.

The rover is designed for martian gravity and temperature. Good on them for using a thermometric generator this time, freeing it from the martian sun and dust. Still, landing this on Venus would require adjustments for the extreme heat and pressure. Maybe we could land one on the dark side of Mercury.

I'd like to see an upgraded version dropped on Titan, too. Extra-large RTG to run plenty of heating elements to keep sensitive equipment from dying in -180c temperatures and a core sampling drill for getting samples for analysis from a few meters down beneath the surface. Since I'm just wishing, I'd like to see one dropped on Triton as well and one for each of Jupiter's moons, along with a melt probe/robot minisub for Europa. Drop a lander with a melt probe/sub on Europa, too. And just to push it over the top into Crazyland, follow it up with a sample return from each target. If they can somehow build a Venus surface rover that can tolerate the balmy local climate, then Venus gets one too.

Also, I'd really like a pony. I probably stand a better chance of getting the pony. :(


Fixed that for me. Braining is hard, yo.

06 Dec 2012 02:05 AM
Smirky the Wonder Chimp     
fark. Just change one of those Europas out for Enceladus. I'm outtta here.

06 Dec 2012 02:06 AM
Voodoo_Stu     
On the Xbox 360 there was a free Kineckt game about Curiosity. It had some neat educational bits on how it landed, what its mission was etc. IIRC, at one point it described a part of the landing stage where the saucer section would angle itself so as to get lift or 'fly' (their words). Curiosity itself was just over 8 feet, and its mission was to seek out some dirt or something that might have some microbes (or other small life or something, I'm no biologist; I don't remember the name of what they were looking for) and zap it with a laser to analyze it as a gas.

The point of that rambling is this: We sent a flying saucer to Mars with an eight-foot robot designed to find life and vaporize it. I just thought that was cool.

06 Dec 2012 02:07 AM
LDM90     
Cool, I hope it finds possible evidence of water. Or rocks.

06 Dec 2012 03:36 AM
NeoBad     
Better yet, let's send MEN to Mars

06 Dec 2012 04:32 AM
Theory Of Null     
I'm ready to see some different planets and moons.

06 Dec 2012 04:47 AM
way south     

NeoBad: Better yet, let's send MEN to Mars


Their outlier date was to send men some time by the 2020's, 2030's ish, before constellation was cancelled in favor of "it's not constellation".
Assuming its going to take at least ten to fifteen years of prep work, and their next big project is just another rover.,. It seems we are in for a wait.

/Truth may be that the Government no longer knows how to explore.
/this is bad news, for the American empire.

06 Dec 2012 05:48 AM
Onkel Buck     
The company I work for is developing the force and torque sensor for the robotic arm that will be used on the sibling. So I'm getting kicks, punches, and noogies out of these replies.

06 Dec 2012 07:13 AM
enderthexenocide     

ArmednHammered: Just as a heads up, neither one of you is ever coming home...EVER!
welcome to fark.jpg!!!11!!


i'm sure that in 50 or 60 years, when we've finally sent people to explore/colonize mars, they will track down and find all the rovers and robots we've sent there over the years, to be returned to earth and placed in a museum. so they will come home eventually.

06 Dec 2012 07:42 AM
hitlersbrain     
"Still just red dust?"

"Yep."

06 Dec 2012 07:58 AM
ManRay     
Not fast enough.

06 Dec 2012 08:24 AM
doczoidberg     
What would happen if someone were to dump a dead body on Mars?

Would it decompose???

Hey, I'm just asking questions here!

06 Dec 2012 09:03 AM
LoneDoggie     
3.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size


First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?
Wanna take a ride?

06 Dec 2012 09:30 AM
Fiction Fan     
i'm sure that in 50 or 60 years, when we've finally sent people to explore/colonize mars, they will track down and find all the rovers and robots we've sent there over the years, to be returned to earth and placed in a museum. so they will come home eventually.

Better yet, let's send MEN to Mars


tosic.comView Full Size

Get your ahss to Mahrz.

06 Dec 2012 09:41 AM
traylor     
How I would do it:
1. Nuke the site from orbit. Seriously.
2. A few minutes / hours later collect samples from orbit with a simple fly-by.
3. Return to Earf.

Cheaper AND more fun.

06 Dec 2012 09:46 AM
Maul555     
I want to see under the Europa ice sheets....

06 Dec 2012 11:41 AM
ObscureNameHere     
Boring but.... how about we get a functioning Moon base up and running first? Then using it as a base of operations one could construct massive low-G ships to go elsewhere in the solar system without needing to machinery to achieve Earth G escape velocity.

Also, would you rather test new extra-planetary life support technology:
a) 3 days from Earth?
b) Six months from Earth?

06 Dec 2012 12:24 PM
Altourus     

Ehcks: ArmednHammered: Just as a heads up, neither one of you is ever coming home...EVER!
welcome to fark.jpg!!!11!!

I blame you for this.


pretty sure those rovers will find a home when colonization happens :P well if

06 Dec 2012 01:15 PM
ObscureNameHere     

enderthexenocide: ArmednHammered: Just as a heads up, neither one of you is ever coming home...EVER!
welcome to fark.jpg!!!11!!

i'm sure that in 50 or 60 years, when we've finally sent people to explore/colonize mars, they will track down and find all the rovers and robots we've sent there over the years, to be returned to earth and placed in a museum. so they will come home eventually.


Why would the Martians part with their artifacts? It is an important part of Red Pride.

/FREEDOM FOR MARS! TERRANS GO HOME!

06 Dec 2012 02:23 PM
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