New Horizons Probe

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New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:07 am

As some of you may have figured out by my inclusion of an Oort Cloud Object in my previous game, I am quite fascinated by those mysterious celestial bodies that hide in the frozen fringes of the solar system. Well, we recently got to take a good close look at a few of those objects, as the New Horizons space probe passed by Pluto and its moons, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.  The quality of photos that the probe has beamed back to us Terrans some billions of miles away are astounding.

So what does Pluto look like? Take a look at a picture of Pluto's atmosphere. Even though it's about one hundredth as strong as Earth, it's still clearly obvious for what it is.







And what about its surface features? Well, let's wander over to the Cthulu range of mountains, with its methane snow. Yes, I said methane snow. And yes, that mountain range is called "Cthulu"! I love it.



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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:38 pm

Yep. Pluto has Cthulian mountains and Charon has the Mordor Macula. It's like these geological features are being named by mega-nerds or something to that effect.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:25 pm

This is another interesting discovery. It's taken nerds in lab coats well over a hundred years, but as of a few weeks ago, all the predictions of Einstein's Theory of Relativity have been verified. Yes, a new instrument array(LIGO) has give scientists the first detectable evidence of gravitational waves occurring in the universe. And what are gravitational waves, you ask? Well, in laymen's terms, they are warps in the gravitational fields of two massive celestial objects (mostly stars) that orbit around each other fairly quickly. Anything more than that would require a scientist to explain, but fortunately we have PBS Space Time to grease those rusty traps we call our portals of understanding.

This first video was made before the official discovery. It gives a primer on what gravitational waves are.



And this is the followup video done after the discovery made national headlines.

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:51 am

The Son of Dior wrote:Yep. Pluto has Cthulian mountains and Charon has the Mordor Macula. It's like these geological features are being named by mega-nerds or something to that effect.


You couldn't be more right. Remember this post? http://cwrpg.forumotion.com/t43p25-science-and-stuff#749

I think I was the only one to vote, as practically everything I voted for is now a place name somewhere in the Plutonian system. Twisted Evil





And this is the followup video done after the discovery made national headlines.

Mind. Blown.

An entire new spectrum? Will this do to science, technology, and society what electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum have done?
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:58 pm

An entire new spectrum? Will this do to science, technology, and society what electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum have done?

I agree with you and the dude in the video. Even though this news came and went very quickly in the news cycle (I blame you 2016 election), I believe this could be the most important discovery we've made in this 21st century. If all this is true, the physical discovery of gravitational waves could trump humans landing on Mars or making cloud colonies on Venus.

What? Cloud cities on Venus. You heard me right. Here's a wonderful video on that.

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:27 pm

If you can't tell, this is an indirect plug for the Youtube channel PBS Space Time. I really enjoyed this video as well. It goes over some of the known options for interstellar travel now ranging from the very real and possible (that's right, we could do them starting tommorrow if we wanted to) to the stuff that is only possible in the realms of science fiction pulp pages. So, here you go. Ahead Warp factor 1. Engage.

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:36 am

Hopelessly optimistic. Let's say that the world stops all wars etc and unites under one common goal. Rather than sending a probe to a planet with little tangible benefit, why not do something useful, like cure every disease known to man? Sending a probe to the stars is a noble goal, but if Earth as a whole accomplishes one task, I think that that might not be the most important one.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Agent Tash on Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:40 am

Your majesty, please tell me why we should bankroll that fool Columbus when we have so much poverty here in Spain to attend to?
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:39 pm

our majesty, please tell me why we should bankroll that fool Columbus when we have so much poverty here in Spain to attend to?

You may be on to something there, Milamber. If anything will get us to the stars more quickly, it will be the greed of people wanting something out there that can't readily get down here on terra firma. What are we waiting for mankind? There's a universe full of stuff to plunder.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:46 pm

Sending a probe to the stars is a noble goal, but if Earth as a whole accomplishes one task, I think that that might not be the most important one.

But what are we going to do with all the nuclear devices we have lying around anyway? Let's put them to a noble use and utilize them as fodder to get us to the stars. Sure it means creating radioactivity in space, but space already has the microwave radiation, so a little more wouldn't hurt. I say its a win win for us.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:26 am

Milamber wrote:Your majesty, please tell me why we should bankroll that fool Columbus when we have so much poverty here in Spain to attend to?

Are you implying there's slaves and/or spices in the Alpha Centauri system?
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:28 pm

Are you implying there's slaves and/or spices in the Alpha Centauri system?

You better believe it. Space slaves, space tobacco, space potatoes, space rum, space sugar, space molasses. The Centauri won't know what hit them.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:20 am

The Son of Dior wrote:But what are we going to do with all the nuclear devices we have lying around anyway?


Use them for the purpose they were designed for. Twisted Evil
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Agent Tash on Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:29 am

Saule wrote:Are you implying there's slaves and/or spices in the Alpha Centauri system?

Ha, that's misdirection. The analogy is Spain didn't really know what it was going to find, and certainly became rich with what he did find. In fact I think every European nation that launched explorations to the New World gained significant economic benefit from doing so, though not every expedition was beneficial. Additionally you were arguing from the Nirvana Fallacy, which is creating a false dichotomy by proposing an obviously advantageous but implausible alternative and suggesting we have to choose between them (cure all the world illnesses).

Also, I will argue that major exploration missions like this can ONLY be undertaken by governments. Such missions are very expensive, and have high amounts of risk involved. The exact amount of risk, and the amount of benefits cannot be precisely known in advance. Companies are profit driven, and so when considering a new project, always weigh risk versus reward first. Generally speaking, it is irrational for a company to undertake high cost, high risk projects with un-quantified benefits or profits. That's just bad business.

A government will take the first big step, financing an expedition across an ocean or sending a manned ship into orbit. After this private enterprise will (hopefully) follow, because now many of the variables are known. Space X to make orbital vessels or the East India company to establish trade routes.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:35 pm

Use them for the purpose they were designed for. Twisted Evil

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:17 am

Milamber wrote:Ha, that's misdirection.

Maybe, but you know that that's not my point. Also, I wasn't presenting a "false dichotomy". What I propose is certainly arguable, but is the other side of the coin of the theoretical argument of getting across interstellar distances anyway. If the idea is to unite the world, end warfare, and then bend the economy of the entire world to research and design a craft capable of interstellar travel, then it is merely speculation that those labors would produce any fruits. If such an idea can be theorized, then it would also be entirely possible to bend the entire economy of the planet to cure disease. Maybe not all of them could be cured anyway, but a cure could most likely be found for a great majority of them.

I agree that only governments have the financial ability to undertake the initial phases of space travel. Even the private companies that have stepped into the picture are only doing it on the governments behalf: it's not private individuals that are actually the end users of nearly all of these endeavors. However, I am still unconvinced that the Constitution allows the Federal Government the right to tax its people and spend that money on space exploration. Unless it can be shown where the government has been specifically delegated that power, then it does not have that power. (See the 10th amendment.)
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:59 am

If the idea is to unite the world, end warfare, and then bend the economy of the entire world to research and design a craft capable of interstellar travel, then it is merely speculation that those labors would produce any fruits.

No, I don't think creating a New World Order is absolutely necessary to make interstellar happen. During the golden age of exploration, the countries of Europe were hardly united; in fact most of them were in stiff competition ready to financially betray and back stab just about anyone who attempted something contrary to their conquest. For something similar to happen in the future, sufficient technology and the corporate greed would be all you need to get you to your destination. As is the case, those dollar signs in the heavens will be enough to get us to the stars and beyond one day.

As for the road to Utopia, I think planting the seeds of interstellar travel is a good goal to work toward; although, getting human collective to stop spending billions of dollars on pet toys, fantasy sports, and prescription medication might be a good first move too.
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Casey on Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:16 am

The Son of Dior wrote:No, I don't think creating a New World Order is absolutely necessary to make interstellar happen.


Maybe, but I don't think that any single nation-state currently in existence has the ability to create a vessel capable of interstellar travel within the lifespan of the next few generations.


The Son of Dior wrote:During the golden age of exploration, the countries of Europe were hardly united; in fact most of them were in stiff competition ready to financially betray and back stab just about anyone who attempted  something contrary to their conquest. For something similar to happen in the future, sufficient technology and the corporate greed would be all you need to get you to your destination. As is the case, those dollar signs in the heavens will be enough to get us to the stars and beyond one day.

Apples and oranges. I don't think that there is any substance in the universe that would make interstellar travel profitable using any of those methods outlined in the video. The early explorers grew rich on trade - slaves, tobacco, etc. In fact, the early settlement of Jamestown was only able to survive because of their production of tobacco. What economic benefit would these early spacefarers bring back with them that would recoup the expense of sending them there in the first place?


The Son of Dior wrote:As for the road to Utopia, I think planting the seeds of interstellar travel is a good goal to work toward; although, getting human collective to stop spending billions of dollars on pet toys, fantasy sports, and prescription medication might be a good first move too.

So what do you propose? An entire society living in Soviet style tenement buildings, staring at the walls, eating cabbage soup as all of the nation's economic output goes to space exploration?
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:46 pm

What economic benefit would these early spacefarers bring back with them that would recoup the expense of sending them there in the first place?

NEO (Near Earth Objects) asteroid and moon mining readily comes to mind. I know there's more speculation than fact on this issue, but I prefer to believe there is profit to be found in mining the stars.

An entire society living in Soviet style tenement buildings

I don't really believe in a present or even near-future New World Order either. If it happens, it will be in the far far future long after you and I have turned to dust. At present, such a thing is impossible given the economic and cultural differences within our societies. If there's ever going to be any change around here..
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by grumpit on Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:30 am

I am just going to leave this here.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35482427

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:55 am

I am just going to leave this here.

Thank-you, Alex. My only question is this: Are you being supportive of the space mining movement or cynical since the article features Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries and economies in Europe next to Dr. Franken-Lichtenstein?
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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by grumpit on Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:03 am

I do not see why a private corporation would need the funding of a government or all the resources of of the world for this. If Google, Mircosoft or Exxon Mobile wanted to develop space travel or were looking to do near earth mining then they would have no trouble having the money and or resources to do so on their own.

I could clearly see a path forward for Exxon Mobile to shift from oil to rare earth mining in space for its future.

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Re: New Horizons Probe

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:51 am

Exxon Mobile to shift from oil to rare earth mining in space for its future.

I'm all for that. The title of "The Company" is still up for grabs.
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