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Subdeacon Joe

They Found Snoopy?

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A Long-Lost Apollo Capsule Adrift in Space May Have Been Found After 50 Years

Two months before the Apollo 11 mission landed on the Moon for the first time, another NASA capsule snuck tantalisingly close - only to become lost for decades.

The Apollo 10 mission was supposed to be a "dry-run", in which all operations except the actual lunar landing were performed. With two popular cartoon characters as the mission's mascots, the command module was dubbed "Charlie Brown" and the lunar module "Snoopy" - thus named because it was destined to "snoop around" the Moon's surface from a close-by orbit.

While Charlie got to return home, Snoopy never did. Instead, the lunar module was jettisoned off into an orbit around the Sun, the only once-crewed US spacecraft to never be seen again.

Like a needle in a cosmic haystack, the odds of spotting the capsule were roughly 235 million to one. Fifty years later, on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, astronomers are "98 percent convinced" they've done exactly that.

14SCI APOLLO10c superJumboSnoopy, viewed from Charlie Brown. (NASA/JCL)

Led by amateur astronomer Nick Howes, who is a fellow at the Royal Astronomical Society, the search has been going on since 2011.

At that point, forty years after the mission, Snoopy's last known movements and orbital information had long been influenced by the Sun, Earth, and Moon's gravity. This means that astronomers, volunteers and students had to sift through terabytes of telescope data across a vast search field.

Even now, after all this work, Howes and his colleagues can't say for certain if the object they've identified is really NASA's long-lost capsule. Although this time, the odds appear to be in their favour.

 

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Interesting, Thanks!

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Right now a small Borg vessel is realizing they have been discovered and have summoned the Collective...We are Doomed!

 

 

Image result for peanuts we are doomed

 

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I have to wonder what sort of wondrous accomplishment this really amounts too.  Derelict old spacecraft with no real use other than a radar target, floating aimlessly through the emptiness of space.  

 

Sorta like a fisherman at sea, suddenly finding a small tin toy floating around on a shingle.  Picks it up and says ... Wow, lookit dat .... then tosses it back to continue floating around in the ocean.  Big Deal.

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Maybe should rename it "The Flying Dutchman"!  Depending on where it is, maybe it could be recovered and examined to see what that much time in space has done to it!

Ad Luna! Ad Ares! Ad Astra!  (To the Moon! To Mars! To the Stars!) :)

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I have to wonder at how much we actually spent on the space program when we were able to waste entire Apollo Moon rockets and lunar modules on "dry runs" that did little more than prove that this stuff actually worked. The Russians would've done it on the first try, and if it failed... well, poor Igor and Ivan get to be Glorious Heroes of the Fatherland and have their faces printed on Rubles for the next 50 years.

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"Glorious Heroes of the Fatherland "

 

Is Holy Mother Russia. 

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1 hour ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

I have to wonder at how much we actually spent on the space program when we were able to waste entire Apollo Moon rockets and lunar modules on "dry runs" that did little more than prove that this stuff actually worked. The Russians would've done it on the first try, and if it failed... well, poor Igor and Ivan get to be Glorious Heroes of the Fatherland and have their faces printed on Rubles for the next 50 years.

Not rubles,  statues at least 20 meters high.

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5 hours ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

I have to wonder at how much we actually spent on the space program when we were able to waste entire Apollo Moon rockets and lunar modules on "dry runs" that did little more than prove that this stuff actually worked. The Russians would've done it on the first try, and if it failed... well, poor Igor and Ivan get to be Glorious Heroes of the Fatherland and have their faces printed on Rubles for the next 50 years.

In the first place, the money put into the Apollo program was spent right here on Earth! It paid the wages of the scientists, engineers, their families and in a ripple fashion.  For every dollar spent directly on Apollo, it is estimated that between nine and thirteen dollars were pumped into the American economy.  Those so-called "dry runs" were testing of the hardware and procedures on an incremental basis that made the next steps possible. 

 

In point of fact, the Soviets blew up several of their N-1 boosters, in one instance with significant loss of life around the launch pad!  They lost several cosmonauts most probably because they didn't test enough! We lost three great men in the Apollo 1 on-pad fire, mainly because we didn't analyze and test enough before attempting the "plugs-out" test.  The fact is that the technology simply didn't exist (until recently) where you could recover the first stage boosters is simply a matter of progress.

 

I don't know how old you are, or whether you recall the conditions of the Cold War, that influenced Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to go for the program to send Americans to the Moon.  The advances in technology that resulted directly and indirectly from Apollo are things we take for granted nowadays: miniature computers, material science advances, and a whole lot more.  NASA is not allowed, by Congress, to lobby for itself, so most folks don't know about such things.  You can go to www.nasa.gov and look at their "spinoff" section.  It's there; all you have to do is look.

 

Why go back to the Moon with humans?  Because, if we are to go to Mars and beyond, we need to learn how to survive long-term at reduced gravity and to protect against solar and cosmic radiation, as well as developing resources to be found on the Moon.  We (or the Chinese or Russians or others) will go to the Moon and beyond because it is in human nature to explore...to see what's "on the other side of the hill"!  To paraphrase Einstein, "If you don't learn, you die!"

Ad Luna! Ad Ares! Ad Astra!  (To the Moon! To Mars! To the Stars!)

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1 hour ago, Trailrider #896 said:

In the first place, the money put into the Apollo program was spent right here on Earth! It paid the wages of the scientists, engineers, their families and in a ripple fashion.  For every dollar spent directly on Apollo, it is estimated that between nine and thirteen dollars were pumped into the American economy.  Those so-called "dry runs" were testing of the hardware and procedures on an incremental basis that made the next steps possible. 

 

Exactly. the money spent created jobs and advanced our society in way that are hard for most people to understand.

 

Before anyone complains about NASA ask yourself which is better return on investment.

 

The entire chain of jobs that comes from government funded research.

or

The government giving people the the same amount of money for doing nothing?

 

BTW Conservative estimates are that the rate of return for money spend during the space race was well in excess of 25% with some credible estimates putting it at 33%.

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Velcro. I remember seeing a variety show (Maybe Art Linkletter?) where a new product allowed people to anchor to a surface with hook and loop technology. It was on black and white TV.

 

Imis

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646 said:

Velcro. I remember seeing a variety show (Maybe Art Linkletter?) where a new product allowed people to anchor to a surface with hook and loop technology. It was on black and white TV.

 

Imis

Velcro!  NASA puts it into space helmets so that a space walker can scratch his nose if the need arises.

Edited by Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984
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16 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Why go back to the Moon with humans?  Because, if we are to go to Mars and beyond, we need to learn how to survive long-term at reduced gravity and to protect against solar and cosmic radiation, as well as developing resources to be found on the Moon.  We (or the Chinese or Russians or others) will go to the Moon and beyond because it is in human nature to explore...to see what's "on the other side of the hill"!  To paraphrase Einstein, "If you don't learn, you die!"

Ad Luna! Ad Ares! Ad Astra!  (To the Moon! To Mars! To the Stars!)

 

I agree we need to perfect our ability to go to the moon and back before taking on Mars. We haven't even perfected reusable spacecraft yet.

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10 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Velcro!  NASA puts it into space helmets so that a space walker can scratch his nose if the need arises.

NASA did use Velcro(R) at various places in the space program... However, the basic principle of loop-and-hook material was discovered and invented by a Swiss man, who was picking cockleburs off his dog!  Likewise, Tang(R) was NOT invented by NASA, but was simply an available product they used because it is easily stored in its solid form, and reconstituted handily under zero-g conditions, in sealed pouches. 

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Remember Apollo had a 16 bit noun verb computer. Still made it there and back.

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They also carried early versions of (IIRC) HP programmable hand-held pocket calculators with their flight programs installed, in case the Primary Navigation Computer (PNC) should fail!  I never had a reason to buy one, but the pocket calculator I paid about $15 is pretty sophisticated compared to the first Sharp ELSI-8 I bought in 1969 to do simple arithmetic for some of my post-grad college classes. The darn thing used reverse polish notation and didn't even do square roots! It was supposed to be "portable" and was...after I made a leather belt pouch for it to hang on the other side of my pants from my log-log deci-trig slide rule!

Even later, when the Shuttle was flying, their computers, by IBM became so obsolete that IBM offered to give NASA new computers, free, just so they didn't have to maintain the originals!

The technology has advanced so fast that it makes me dizzy just to think about it.  And, yet we have software programming that is so complex, and some designers so obtuse that we can have things like the B737-MAX occur! :angry:

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