An unofficial group of NASA employees and veterans are spending their off-hours considering how to send a human crew to an asteroid. They're eyeing possible near-Earth objects as landing points, not the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The "Asteroid Underground" crew is analyzing all the details, from the tech needs to the trajectories to the scientific potential of such a journey. From Air & Space Magazine:
The group also wrestled with the problem of communicating with a spacecraft more than two million miles from home. “At even a near-Earth asteroid, you’re 10 voice-seconds away,” says (NASA engineering Dave) Korsmeyer. “You’re not really conversing with Earth at that point. The whole nature of the interaction becomes like the old ship-to-shore communications, a fancy telegraph, a voicemail. Not in real-time.”
An asteroid-bound crew would therefore need to “bring mission control on board,” says Korsmeyer, in the form of highly automated decision-making software. “When something bad happens, which tends to happen quickly, the crew and systems will have to manage it on their own. This is something humanity hasn’t done yet. But that makes it the best of all possible testing grounds for Mars, which, without an asteroid mission, will be like jumping into the deep end without practicing in the shallow end.” In comparison, “the moon is like the baby pool. I don’t mean to minimize that–Apollo 13 showed us you can drown there too.” But, he says, an asteroid “would really be someplace fabulously new. You’re talking 2.5 million miles, more than 10 times the distance between Earth and the moon. You’d be so far away you could cover up Earth with your finger. It would be no more than a beautiful, pale blue star.”
I’ve mentioned it online before, but here we go: Two years ago, my wife and I decided to leave our rented home behind and move into a 40-foot RV. We spend our spring and summer in Alberta, Canada where she has a job for six months of the year working as an addictions counselor. The […]
Androkavo tests some of the cheap eBay solder against the brand-name stuff; it gets there in the end, but it’s surely not the advertized 60/40 alloy and needs to be close to 400° before it behaves itself.
MIT Tech Review's Antonio Regalado rounds up the year's stupidest, worst moments in tech, from the guy who created his own CRISPR-based gene therapy to beef up his muscles and injected it to Donald Trump's Twitter feed to the FCC's Net Neutrality catastrophe. Of course, Juicero rates a mention.
The human eye is a powerful thing, but it’s not so great at seeing in the dark or around tight spaces, which is partially why most of us struggle with unplugging drains, cleaning under the fridge, and other hard-to-reach jobs. This 1080p HD Waterproof WiFi Wireless Endoscopic Camera, however, gives you the flexibility necessary to get […]
Macs are undeniably some of the most versatile computers on the market, but they can do so much more than what their stock apps allow. For those looking to get the most out of their Mac hardware, the Pay What You Want 2018 Super Mac Bundle features 10 of the industry’s top apps, including photo editors and […]
Salesforce has reinvented the way companies manage customer information, close deals, and ultimately drive revenue, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the more valuable skills you can list on your resume today. In fact, according to research from Burning Glass, this platform is now the 7th most in-demand software skill, beating out […]