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Author Topic: "missle" into the moon  (Read 1620 times)

nycatexas

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"missle" into the moon
« on: April 22, 2006, 02:33:12 AM »
Did anyone else see the news report a couple of weeks ago about how NASA is going to launch a missle type object at the moon where it will penetrate the moon's surface and then supposedly be retrieved so the "scientists" can find out if there is any water in/on the moon? Is anyone else disturbed by this?

For one thing, I kind of think instead of looking for water what they really are doing is military/nuclear testing. This is not based on anything except my almost total mistrust of the govt, esp. Bush Admin.  Do you think this statement could make me a target of future federal wiretaps?   :evil:  :wink:

Secondly, and bear in mind I definitely am not a scientist, but doesn't it just seem like a bad idea to send an object hurdling hundreds/thousands (?) of miles an hour into the surface of our moon which controls the ebb and tide of the water we know exists - our OCEANS?? 

Why after 60 or more years of denying there are aliens and UFO's is the govt. wasting billions and billions of dollars to prove life DOES exist beyond earth's boundaries? I think NASA should be completely shut down, what is the point? I love the beautiful pictures of stars being formed and all the other fascinating photos from outer space, but give me a break - shouldn't we be worried about EARTH and the life forms we DO know about?

Also, speaking of photos - why is it that we can have graphic, brilliantly clear photos of things way out in the galaxy, but video cameras in banks and convenience stores can't capture an image five feet away that a criminal's own mother would recognize?

Offline Harlan

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2006, 09:59:25 AM »
At the risk of feeding the trolls, I'll bite...

Did anyone else see the news report a couple of weeks ago about how NASA is going to launch a missle type object at the moon where it will penetrate the moon's surface and then supposedly be retrieved so the "scientists" can find out if there is any water in/on the moon? Is anyone else disturbed by this?

For one thing, I kind of think instead of looking for water what they really are doing is military/nuclear testing.

Right, they're going to let a stage of the spacecraft whose mission has ended crash into a crater on the moon. The collision (no explosion, just impact) will cause a giant cloud of dust to fly up, which will then be observed by instruments on the other part of the spacecraft, and by telescopes on Earth. Telescopes are remarkably good at telling what elements dust is made of just by looking at it. In this case, what it'll tell us is whether there's ice in the permanently-shaded craters near the moon's South pole. Which would be very useful if we wanted to start a permanent base on the moon.

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This is not based on anything except my almost total mistrust of the govt, esp. Bush Admin.  Do you think this statement could make me a target of future federal wiretaps?   :evil:  :wink:

I suspect they have a circular file on you, yes...

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Secondly, and bear in mind I definitely am not a scientist, but doesn't it just seem like a bad idea to send an object hurdling hundreds/thousands (?) of miles an hour into the surface of our moon which controls the ebb and tide of the water we know exists - our OCEANS?? 

The mass of the moon is about 7 x 10^23 kg, and the upper stage they're going to crash is about 1 x 10^3 kg. So the moon is 7 x 10^20 times larger. It'll have as much impact on the moon's orbit as a mote of dust would have if it crashed into you.

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Why after 60 or more years of denying there are aliens and UFO's is the govt. wasting billions and billions of dollars to prove life DOES exist beyond earth's boundaries? I think NASA should be completely shut down, what is the point? I love the beautiful pictures of stars being formed and all the other fascinating photos from outer space, but give me a break - shouldn't we be worried about EARTH and the life forms we DO know about?

There was a paper in Science yesterday about the geology of Mars. Thanks to a series of probes and rovers, we now know that there were three major phases in Mars' geology, a wet basic phase, a damp acidic phase, and the current dry boring phase. If we want to learn about the stability of climate and the origin of life on our planet, it helps to have another data point. Mars is going quite a good job at that, and over the next 10 or 15 years there will be rovers that will specifically go looking at rocks formed from that earliest phase to see about whether microbial life could have (or did) form on Mars. You want to cancel that???

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Also, speaking of photos - why is it that we can have graphic, brilliantly clear photos of things way out in the galaxy, but video cameras in banks and convenience stores can't capture an image five feet away that a criminal's own mother would recognize?

:) Those big telescopes cost hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, and are mantained and calibrated by an army of well-trained PhDs. Surveillance cameras cost $30 at radio shack and are not maintained or calibrated. You get what you pay for.

nycatexas

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2006, 12:37:24 PM »
Yeah, I bet all the Katrina victims, U.S. soldiers without enough protective body armor, the Senior citizens who have to choose between food or buying medicine and all the other downtrodden in this country are holding their breath waiting to find out if microbes of some ancient life form are on Mars.....and everyone who earns the minimum wage will probably be more than willing to sacrifice their own meager existence so a permanant base can be set up on the moon. Maybe that would be a good place to send all the war/AIDS/drug orphans. Oh, wait, that would mean funding a lunar daycare center.....no money in the budget for that!

Don't get me wrong, all of the stuff you wrote is very interesting and I am not trying to offend the "scientist" in you, I just think there are a lot more pressing issues on THIS planet that need to be addressed before we start trying to screw up the rest of the solar system.

Offline megc

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2006, 02:34:30 PM »

This is the image that immediately came to mind when I read the initial post.

JustDesserts

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2006, 02:45:56 PM »
Meg, that's awesome.

Hankhernandez

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 03:41:58 PM »
Good one megc. Jules Verne would have been proud.
 :-D

Offline megc

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2006, 04:06:40 PM »
Thanks, JD and Hank.   I saw that film years ago in a film history class, while getting my degree at CalArts in CA.  Indeed, Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) tips its hat to both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

nycatexas

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Re: "missle" into the moon
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 01:49:16 AM »
 :-) :-)


 

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