Stranded Phobos-Grunt Mars probe send...

Stranded Phobos-Grunt Mars probe sends 'first sign of life' signal

There are 13 comments on the National Post story from Nov 23, 2011, titled Stranded Phobos-Grunt Mars probe sends 'first sign of life' signal. In it, National Post reports that:

Contact has finally been made with Russia's Phobos-Grunt Mars spacecraft more than two weeks after being stranded in orbit.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at National Post.

cleet taurus

Australia

#1 Nov 23, 2011
What a decieving story title! This second rate russian chink probe fails after takeoff and it's "signs of life" over a martian moon, are that is working because it's solar panels deployed successfully and can transmit, most likely useless data.

“REFUSE ALL IMITATIONS!!”

Since: Jan 11

Australia

#2 Nov 23, 2011
Now at least they can get a fix on its position. What a pity the American Space Shuttle program has ceased. Imagine if they could send a Shuttle up to retrieve it unharmed, and bring it back to hand over for another try at sending it to Phobos.
KJR

Citrus Heights, CA

#3 Nov 24, 2011
That's a good idea because the space shuttle is the only vehicle to date, capable of carrying such a large payload like a probe. Imagine how much NASA could charge for providing such a service to the international space community.

They could very well become the premier "tow truck operators" in space:)

“REFUSE ALL IMITATIONS!!”

Since: Jan 11

Australia

#4 Nov 24, 2011
KJR wrote:
That's a good idea because the space shuttle is the only vehicle to date, capable of carrying such a large payload like a probe. Imagine how much NASA could charge for providing such a service to the international space community.
They could very well become the premier "tow truck operators" in space:)
I surely cannot be the only one who has thought of it. But even if America wanted to, it would take too long to recall key base personnel laid off and for them to bring a Shuttle out of mothballs and prepare it. The Probe's orbit would surely have decayed by then and it would have reentered and burned. It's really too bad.

Best hope for future 'Tow Trucks' now probably lies with some of the promising private operators quickly gaining credibility in the field.:)
KJR

Citrus Heights, CA

#5 Nov 24, 2011
NASA is already in the best position for providing such a "heavy-duty" service, if there proves to be a need for it in the future. Afterall, we all know that they can sure use the money.:)

The reuse of equipment and re-creation of jobs would surely benefit the economy. I think it is a good idea that America has turned over operations, for the transportation of supplies, civillians, and even astronauts; to the promising private sector.

“REFUSE ALL IMITATIONS!!”

Since: Jan 11

Australia

#6 Nov 24, 2011
KJR wrote:
NASA is already in the best position for providing such a "heavy-duty" service, if there proves to be a need for it in the future. Afterall, we all know that they can sure use the money.:)
The reuse of equipment and re-creation of jobs would surely benefit the economy. I think it is a good idea that America has turned over operations, for the transportation of supplies, civillians, and even astronauts; to the promising private sector.
Yes the division of roles you seem to suggest makes sense. To the best of my memory no shuttle has yet returned something the size and weight of a probe back to Earth. But if any craft has a chance of doing that it would have to be something like the Shuttle.

So far (aside from a few modest discarded items from the ISS) shuttles have handled reentry and landing while empty of cargo. Perhaps that is all they can handle. Perhaps the same weight of cargo that is not a problem on the outward journey would on reentry magnify all the stresses that Shuttles encounter? Otherwise they could have brought back items like Hubble long ago for upgrading and servicing. So far, taking things aloft other than crew seems always to have been a one-way trip.

Or has it been more a matter of cost effectiveness? Is the return trip to Space more costly than probes themselves?
cleet taurus

Australia

#7 Nov 24, 2011
Seriously? What are you pair smoking?

Why in the cosmos would you send a manned space shuttle to mars, just to pick up an unmanned probe?

Like Burke and Wills calling a taxi because their camel broke down, or Scott of the Antarctic calling in an air drop of supplies and some snowmobiles.

???

“REFUSE ALL IMITATIONS!!”

Since: Jan 11

Australia

#8 Nov 24, 2011
cleet taurus wrote:
Seriously? What are you pair smoking?
Why in the cosmos would you send a manned space shuttle to mars, just to pick up an unmanned probe?
Like Burke and Wills calling a taxi because their camel broke down, or Scott of the Antarctic calling in an air drop of supplies and some snowmobiles.
???
Didn't you know? GRUNT did not make it to Phobos. It's still stranded in Earth orbit. Have another toke.
cleet taurus

Australia

#9 Nov 24, 2011
The ADELAIDEAN wrote:
<quoted text>
Didn't you know? GRUNT did not make it to Phobos. It's still stranded in Earth orbit. Have another toke.
Oh snap! Pass the bong.
KJR

Citrus Heights, CA

#10 Nov 25, 2011
The ADELAIDEAN wrote:
<quoted text>
To the best of my memory no shuttle has yet returned something the size and weight of a probe back to Earth. But if any craft has a chance of doing that it would have to be something like the Shuttle.
So far (aside from a few modest discarded items from the ISS) shuttles have handled reentry and landing while empty of cargo. Perhaps that is all they can handle. Perhaps the same weight of cargo that is not a problem on the outward journey would on reentry magnify all the stresses that Shuttles encounter? Otherwise they could have brought back items like Hubble long ago for upgrading and servicing. So far, taking things aloft other than crew seems always to have been a one-way trip.
Or has it been more a matter of cost effectiveness? Is the return trip to Space more costly than probes themselves?
One of the purposes of the Space Transportation System(STS) was to retrieve and bring back to Earth, aging or malfunctioning satellites and probes. I too do not recall a mission in which this particular operation/service was ever executed. Maybe NASA felt that the ingenious design of the Shuttle's cargo/passenger system, was not sturdy enough to overcome the dangers associated with a full cargo bay, upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

I think alot of it has to do with cost effectiveness. Regardless of whether it's a probe or an Astronaut, the trip into space onboard the space shuttle, cost us taxpayers roughly 450 million plus dollars a pop. Is that worth the price for a craft that never(due mainly to structural flaws) reached its full potential?
KJR

Citrus Heights, CA

#11 Nov 25, 2011
cleet taurus wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh snap! Pass the bong.
No problem, alot of people were deceived by this story's title.
Sabata

Cranbourne, Australia

#12 Nov 25, 2011
cleet taurus wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh snap! Pass the bong.
you are not a professor in space science
why talk too much lol

“REFUSE ALL IMITATIONS!!”

Since: Jan 11

Australia

#13 Nov 25, 2011
KJR wrote:
<quoted text>
One of the purposes of the Space Transportation System(STS) was to retrieve and bring back to Earth, aging or malfunctioning satellites and probes. I too do not recall a mission in which this particular operation/service was ever executed. Maybe NASA felt that the ingenious design of the Shuttle's cargo/passenger system, was not sturdy enough to overcome the dangers associated with a full cargo bay, upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.
That is what makes the Shuttle unique as a carrier system. Always before it, earthbound conveyances face the same ambient conditions on their outward journeys as on their return journeys. A cargo freighter ploughs through much the same ocean on its return trip as on its outward trip. Road, rail and air transport similarly. But a Shuttle being thrust aloft on a rocket encounters thinner air and less buffeting the higher it goes, even though it's accelerating all the way. Contrast that with the return when it is detached and reliant only on itself, using increasingly abrasive atmosphere as its only braking. A totally different ball game from the outward trip. Little wonder that weight of a full load would impose new demands that had not occurred on the way aloft.

With little prior experience, perhaps the Shuttle's designers underestimated the stark contrast in carrying conditions between journey up to orbit and return down from it.

It's all trade-offs. Earlier a space capsule containing 3 Astronaughts had its descent slowed dramatically in the final stages by huge parachutes. By contrast a Shuttle has to keep up a high rate of speed all the way for its aerodynamics to allow controlled glide and landing. And no designer of gliders would envisage something like the Shuttle in his worst nightmare! Its aerodynamics are only marginally better than a brick.
KJR wrote:
I think alot of it has to do with cost effectiveness. Regardless of whether it's a probe or an Astronaut, the trip into space onboard the space shuttle, cost us taxpayers roughly 450 million plus dollars a pop. Is that worth the price for a craft that never(due mainly to structural flaws) reached its full potential?
Despite the high financial cost, I believe another factor will limit orbital space flight sooner than foreseen. That factor is a swarming debris field in orbit already that we have been adding to steadily for 50 years. Achieving orbit is becoming increasingly hazardous and could reach a level where it's no longer worth the cost to try. As an emerging business model I believe orbital salvage and debris removal has a great future.

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