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Old 01-16-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
The Spaceman
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Default What Are The Russkies REALLY Up To?

I'm finding the whole "Phobos-Grunt" story a little hard to believe. Let's look at the facts here:

1. The story is that Russia was sending a 15-ton lander to Phobos. Our next Mars lander, Phoenix weighs under 800 pounds. I know they aren't as sophisticated as us, but even if you take out fuel, the Grunt is still an order of magnitude larger than Phoenix.

2. Phobos itself is a stupid little rock, 22 x 28 kilometers in diameter, whirling around Mars so fast it's orbital speed exceeds the Martian rotation. It got smacked by something so hard, it's deformed with a huge crater that looks like a giant popped zit. It might have water...but so what?

3. Russia isn't exactly a hotbed of pure science lately. Their last mission of this type was 1996.

My personal opinion is that this spacecraft is actually a giant orbiting nuclear weapons platform, that was disabled by our super-secret Air Force X-37B spaceplane.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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What in the H E Double Hockey Sticks are you talking about Kenneth?
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Gosh Buzz, have you been on an Italian cruise all week?

Phobos-Grunt: Toxic Russian space probe caught on video going BACKWARDS | Mail Online

Failed Russian Mars probe may crash Sunday - Technology & science - Space - Space.com - msnbc.com
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:04 AM   #4
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The excellent Kyle Smith of the New York Post says it's all a conspiracy!

"Scientific American pointed out two years ago that scientists were slightly uncomfortable about the payload placed on the probe by a California outfit called the Planetary Society, a pro-space-exploration group, which worked with the Russians to load up Phobos-Grunt with the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE). This is a group of samples from Earth that was meant to fly to the Martian moon and back, to test how well life forms from one planet survive relocation across space. Oh, and by “life forms,” Scientific American explained, the Planetary Society means super-bacteria, including radiation-resistant strains and “extremophiles” designed to survive the toughest environments in the galaxy."

And now that bacteria soup is plunging into the Indian Ocean. We're doomed!

As far as doubting the Russian ability to put 15 tons on Phobos, remember that they'll cut corners and try wacky, risky sh!t. They probably just duct-taped four Soyuz rockets together.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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Speaking of Phobos, a short story that I re-read every year is Theodore Sturgeon's The Man Who Lost the Sea. It's so beautifully written I read it out loud. Check it out.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schizuki View Post
Speaking of Phobos, a short story that I re-read every year is Theodore Sturgeon's The Man Who Lost the Sea. It's so beautifully written I read it out loud. Check it out.
Sounds like a "Golden Age" story from the '40's or '50's. I loved that stuff, I guess none of it will survive the future, outside a very narrow audience. Or maybe it will be required "classic" reading for kids attending Marsport High.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spaceman View Post
Sounds like a "Golden Age" story from the '40's or '50's. I loved that stuff, I guess none of it will survive the future, outside a very narrow audience.
Have you read short sci-fi lately? Yawn... Even when the old writers were corny or naive, at least they were interesting.

(I have to admit, though, the rare new gems blow me away. There's a recent one called Second Person, Present Tense by Daryl Gregory that's also on my regular re-read list. It made me lose sleep wondering who it really is occupying my skull.)
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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I can't wait to see the Disney-fied version of "John Carter."

Methinks someone should tie a generator to Burroughs' casket now. It'll be spinning soon...
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