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posted by cmn32480 on Friday January 01 2016, @01:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the is-dark-matter-like-dark-energon dept.

The Conversation has a story about five key findings from 15 years of the International Space Station:

1. The fragility of the human body — there is considerable loss of strength and bone mass without intervention. Mitigating this is key to making it possible to have manned trips to mars.

2. Interplanetary contamination — spores of Bacillus subtilis were exposed to space upon the ISS (but shielded from solar UV radiation). "The space vacuum and temperature extremes alone were not enough to kill them off."

3. Growing crystals for medicine — "Crystals in a microgravity environment may be grown to much larger sizes than on Earth, enabling easier analysis of their micro-structure. Protein crystals grown on the ISS are being used in the development of new drugs for diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cancer."

4. Cosmic rays and dark matter — early results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) support the theory that a halo of dark matter surrounds the Milky Way.

5. Efficient combustion — flames burn more efficiently in space with much less soot produced. Understanding this may lead to more efficient combustion in vehicles.


Original Submission

Related Stories

NASA and "American Girl" Collaborate on Luciana Doll 16 comments

NASA is collaborating with a Mattel subsidiary to create Luciana, a character who wants to become the first human to step on Mars:

NASA is collaborating with a well-known doll and book company to inspire children to dream big and reach for the stars. Through a Space Act Agreement, NASA partnered with American Girl to share the excitement of space with the public, and in particular, inspire young girls to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

[...] American Girl is known for their series of dolls created to encourage girls to think about who they want to be when they grow up. The focus of the collaboration is the Girl of the Year doll for 2018, an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut named Luciana who wants to be the first person to put boots on Mars. As NASA's human spaceflight focus shifts to deep space, including a return to the Moon, and ultimately, Mars, the collaboration with American Girl is timely.

The partnership with American Girl affords NASA an opportunity to educate through Luciana's story the value of learning from mistakes, teamwork and remaining goal-oriented even through challenging moments. Luciana's experiences may be familiar for many of the Women@NASA, including astronauts like Megan, who have overcome obstacles to pursue their dreams.

You can buy Luciana and whisper to her about all of the frightening health effects of long-term space travel outside the comfort of the Van Allen belts.

Remember that women are lighter and less metabolically active than men, which could translate into significant mass savings for a Mars-bound crewed spacecraft.

Also at Engadget and ABC.


Original Submission

Trump Administration Plans to End Support for the ISS by 2025 37 comments

A draft budget proposal would end support for the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025. The U.S. was previously committed to operating at the ISS until 2024:

The Trump administration is preparing to end support for the International Space Station program by 2025, according to a draft budget proposal reviewed by The Verge. Without the ISS, American astronauts could be grounded on Earth for years with no destination in space until NASA develops new vehicles for its deep space travel plans.

The draft may change before an official budget request is released on February 12th. However, two people familiar with the matter have confirmed to The Verge that the directive will be in the final proposal. We reached out to NASA for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Also at the Wall Street Journal.

Related: Five Key Findings From 15 Years of the International Space Station
Congress Ponders the Fate of the ISS after 2024
NASA Eyeing Mini Space Station in Lunar Orbit as Stepping Stone to Mars
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station
Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
Can the International Space Station be Saved? Should It be Saved?


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @01:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @01:17AM (#283228)

    Their claims of the trillion in losses to their are completely ludicrous,
    and the they found been magically met? All that half and web that most
    perceived it as bullshit, because it's hydraulics to make it so. it's
    temporarily blame comcast!

    -- [soylentnews.org]
    OriginalOwner_

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Friday January 01 2016, @01:53AM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 01 2016, @01:53AM (#283235) Journal

    I like #3, but for #1, how about an artificial gravity module?

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    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 01 2016, @02:30AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 01 2016, @02:30AM (#283246) Homepage Journal

      Well, I sat here trying to think of some reply to that. I had something going along the lines of patents, and decided to google gravity patents. Then I did anti-gravity. Geez, you ain't going to believe it, but the patent trolls are all over this.

      https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts#safe=off&tbm=pts&q=anti-gravity [google.com]

      Obviously, not one of those damned fools have built anything, or they'd have sold it for zillions by now. Put antigravity under you favorite easy chair or recliner, and travel anywhere. You don't need pavement, don't need tires every 18 months, just keep the batteries charged, and float where you want. All I see are patent trolls, staking a claim against anyone who does invent an anti-gravity unit.

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 1) by Some call me Tim on Friday January 01 2016, @06:10AM

      by Some call me Tim (5819) on Friday January 01 2016, @06:10AM (#283292)

      An artificial gravity ring is much easier to build in from the start. I can envision an add on that would attach to an airlock but it would be a pain in the a$$ to do. You'd have to attach it at the nadir airlock to avoid the solar panels and have a pass through airlock so as not to lose the one at nadir. I really don't understand why the ISS wasn't a wheel design from the start. You get gravity areas for occupant health and micro gravity areas for research.

      --
      Questioning science is how you do science!
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 01 2016, @06:31AM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 01 2016, @06:31AM (#283298) Journal

        From the link I posted: [wikipedia.org]

        NASA has never attempted to build a rotating wheel space station, for several reasons. First, such a station would be very difficult to construct, given the limited lifting capability available to the United States and other spacefaring nations. Assembling such a station and pressurizing it would present formidable obstacles, which, though not beyond NASA's technical capability, would be beyond available budgets. Second, NASA considers the present space station, the ISS, to be valuable as a zero gravity laboratory, and its current microgravity environment was a conscious choice.

        However NASA have explored plans for a Nautilus X centrifuge demonstration project. If flown, this would add a centrifuge sleep quarters module to the ISS. This makes it possible to experiment with artificial gravity without destroying the usefulness of the ISS for zero g experiments. It could lead to deep space missions under full g in centrifuge sleeping quarters following the same approach.

        Russia plans to detach some of its ISS modules in the 2020s to make a new space station [wikipedia.org]. However with $150 billion sunk into ISS there will be calls to keep it alive. One way to do that is to put an ion engine [wikipedia.org] on it to help stabilize the orbit at a lower cost:

        In early 2009, the earliest possible launch date was reported as 2012.[25] As of April 2014, its launch was anticipated to be in 2016.[26] The reason for the delays in the project were attributed to funding; and in June 2014, Franklin Chang-Diaz stated that the project would be unlikely to proceed unless Ad Astra were to receive Space Act Agreement (SAA) funds from NASA.

        Since the available power from the ISS is less than 200 kW, the ISS VASIMR will include a trickle-charged battery system allowing for 15 min pulses of thrust. Testing of the engine on the ISS is valuable because it orbits at a relatively low altitude and experiences fairly high levels of atmospheric drag, making periodic boosts of altitude necessary. Currently, altitude reboosting by chemical rockets fulfills this requirement. The VASIMR test on the ISS may lead to a capability of maintaining the ISS, or a similar space station, in a stable orbit at 1/20th of the approximately $210 million/year present estimated cost.

        If ISS can persist as a platform indefinitely due to lower ongoing costs, and lower launch costs (due to SpaceX and other new players) for replacement modules, maybe a ring module can be added. One way to lower module costs would be to use inflatable modules [wikipedia.org]. Possibly applicable to a rotating ring, and definitely a way to provide more volume on the ISS for less money. Laser systems can be used to deorbit space debris.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 1) by Some call me Tim on Friday January 01 2016, @06:49AM

          by Some call me Tim (5819) on Friday January 01 2016, @06:49AM (#283304)

          Not sure what I did, but 90% of my previous comment vanished. I'll blame the beer. I like the idea of the inflated modules for a ring, far less mass to move which means less energy to maintain orbit and the same for rotation. They really need a small reactor for power to get rid of the solar panels. Those things are in the way of expansion and need to go if NASA has any plans of keeping the station beyond 2020.

          --
          Questioning science is how you do science!
      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Friday January 01 2016, @03:55PM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Friday January 01 2016, @03:55PM (#283399)

        Doesn't even have to be a wheel. Just a stick spinning along its center would do, with gravity increasing the further away from the center you get. Conservation of angular momentum really doesn't care about the shape of the spinning object. Of course there would be changes in rotation as people/equipment are moved closer to/further from the center but this can be easily compensated by pumping fuel/water supplies in the opposite direction, etc. Plus if the station weighs a few orders of magnitude more than what you're trying to move, such changes in velocity would be minimal anyway and might not need to be compensated at all.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @01:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @01:56AM (#283236)

    Is there any evidence that protein crystals grown in earth vs microgravity are the same?

    Also, I didn't realize it before but what is meant by a "halo of dark matter" is a spheroid of invisible stuff added surrounding the galaxy to make the results of equations using gravity match observations. Each galaxy gets a unique spheroid. Sounds just like epicycles.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday January 01 2016, @02:00AM

      by Bot (3902) on Friday January 01 2016, @02:00AM (#283237) Journal

      > Sounds just like epicycles
      DON'T YOU DARE!
      #darkmattermatters

      --
      Account abandoned.
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 01 2016, @02:32AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 01 2016, @02:32AM (#283247) Homepage Journal

        TWEEEET!!!! You, out of the water. There will be no microaggressions in the pool!

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:50AM (#283255)

      If you're so smart that you think you can do a Copernicus to Einstein's Ptolemy, by all means, publish your theory that does not include dark matter and dark energy. Be sure that your theory accounts for all of the known data, because your theory has to agree with the data at least as well as the Lambda-CDM model. All attempts at modifying gravity so far to account for all of the known cosmological data have produced unwieldy contraptions that look even more like deferents and epicycles than Lambda-CDM, and some of them still require some form of dark matter! Astrophysicists and cosmologists did not postulate dark matter just to be cute. It's the simplest hypothesis that fits all the available data. If you have a better hypothesis, please publish your paper, and let's see how well it stands up. I'm not holding my breath.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:21AM (#283279)

        It's the simplest hypothesis that fits all the available data.

        No. The simplest theory is this:

        God did it.

        Throwing in magic invisible stuff so the prevailing equations that were invented before discovering the invisible stuff keep working after observations have proved them wrong is more absurd than just claiming god did everything.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @12:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @12:55PM (#283360)

        It could be right, still sounds like epicycles though.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @03:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @03:53PM (#283397)

        This is a misconception. Modern physicists do not agree that DM/DE exist as actual physical elements of reality, only that the universe behaves as if they do.

        It's the simplest hypothesis that fits all the available data.

        No, that is a presumption, a hypothesis is the model which explains a given effect.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:33AM (#283283)

      Of course they are epicycles, but just like quantum mechanics, don't tell the physicist emperors they are not wearing any clothes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @04:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @04:08PM (#283402)

      The crystals grown in space is one of the biggest disingenuous arguments to come out of NASA ever. It has been known for DECADES [spaceref.com] that this is all bullshit, and it is very sad to see that it still lives and thrives:

      The International Space Station is an orbiting laboratory for the study of a microgravity environment. There are two quite separate justifications for a microgravity laboratory: One is to examine the biomedical effects of extended human exposure to microgravity; the other is to determine whether microgravity offers any advantage in manufacturing. There had been speculation that certain manufacturing processes that are difficult or impossible on Earth might be easier in microgravity. For most manufacturing processes, however, gravity is simply not an important variable. Gravitational forces are generally far too weak compared to interatomic forces to have much effect.

      A possible exception was thought to be the growth of molecular crystals, specifically protein crystals. The structure of protein molecules is of enormous importance in modern medical research. Protein crystals make it possible to employ standard X-ray crystallographic techniques to unravel the structure of the protein molecule. It had been speculated that better protein crystals might be grown in zero gravity. Unlike the interatomic forces within a molecule, molecules are bound to each other by relatively weak forces; the sort of forces that hold water droplets on your windshield. Gravity, it was supposed, might therefore be important in the growth of protein crystals.

      Indeed, in the days following the Columbia tragedy, NASA repeatedly cited protein crystal growth as an example of important microgravity research being conducted on the shuttle. NASA knew better. It was 20 years ago that a protein crystal was first grown on Space Lab 1. NASA boasted that the lysozyme crystal was 1,000 times as large as one grown in the same apparatus on Earth. However, the apparatus was not designed to operate in Earth gravity. The space-grown crystal was, in fact, no larger than lysozyme crystals grown by standard techniques on Earth.

      But the myth was born. In 1992, a team of Americans that had done protein crystal studies on Mir, commented in Nature (26 Nov 92) that microgravity had led to no significant breakthrough in protein crystal growth. Every protein that crystalizes in space also crystallizes right here on Earth. Nevertheless, in 1997, Larry DeLucas, a University of Alabama at Birmingham chemist and a former astronaut, testified before the Space Subcommittee of the House that a protein structure, determined from a crystal grown on the Shuttle, was essential to development of a new flu medication that was in clinical trials. It simply was not true. Two years later Science magazine (25 June 99) revealed that the crystal had been grown not in space but in Australia. Meanwhile, the American Society for Cell Biology, which includes the biologists most involved in protein crystallography, called in 1998 for the cancellation of the space-based program, stating that:

        "No serious contributions to knowledge of protein structure or to drug discovery or design have yet been made in space." ASCB, July 9, 1998
      Hoping to regain some credibility, an embarrassed NASA turned to the National Academy of Sciences to review biotechnology plans for the Space Station. On March 1, 2000, the National Research Council, the research arm of the Academy, released their study. It concluded that:

        "The enormous investment in protein crystal growth on the Shuttle and Mir has not led to a single unique scientific result." NRC, 1 March 2000
      It might be supposed that at this point programs in space-grown protein crystals would be terminated. It was a shock to open the press kit for STS-107 following the Columbia accident, and discover that the final flight of Columbia carried a commercial protein crystal growth experiment for the Center for Biophysical Science and Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Director of the Center is Lawrence J. DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D. If I go to the NASA web site and look for research planned for the ISS, I once again find protein crystal growth under the direction of the Center for Biophysical Science and Engineering and Dr. Lawrence J. DeLucas.

      Micro-gravity is of micro-importance

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 01 2016, @02:08AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 01 2016, @02:08AM (#283238) Journal

    Is that all we've gotten out of 15 years?

    Surely the engineering and construction experience must be worth something. Probably way more than any of the "science" done on board.

    You look at pictures of the interior [geek.com] these days, and its a total shambles. Wires and patch cables running everywhere, notes taped to everything. I get claustrophobia just looking at it.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday January 01 2016, @02:19AM

      by c0lo (156) on Friday January 01 2016, @02:19AM (#283244) Journal

      Is that all we've gotten out of 15 years?

      Well, the more interesting stuff... they done it all the way back n 1968 [youtube.com]

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by isostatic on Friday January 01 2016, @02:20AM

      by isostatic (365) on Friday January 01 2016, @02:20AM (#283245) Journal

      Do you not run a 15 year old equipment room? If mine was half that neat I'd be singing!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:41AM (#283254)

      Training, budgeting, engineering, manufacturing, quality control, mission control, launches, communications, resupply, dealing with emergencies. And providing career paths for aeronautical engineers and astronauts in the USA.

      Skill within any demanding skill is use it or lose it - now we can barely remember how we got to the moon. Continued practice is vital, and that costs lots of money.

    • (Score: 2) by TheLink on Friday January 01 2016, @03:26AM

      by TheLink (332) on Friday January 01 2016, @03:26AM (#283263) Journal

      Yeah if those 5 are really the key findings the ISS is I'd say it's a very very expensive way of achieving "science fair" quality results. The burning with less soot could just be the lack of convection causing stuff to stay hot more easily- no updraft.

      If you ask me the most interesting and ground breaking experiment the ISS did was space tourism. And the NASA were against it.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 01 2016, @05:31AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 01 2016, @05:31AM (#283282)

        Just being there, actually doing that, and maintaining the political, financial, logistical supply chain to keep it going is a huge achievement. Yeah, rocket science is cool and all, but it's actually kind of the easy part.

        Put another way, what have we learned from the CVN-75 Harry S. Truman, 8th Nimitz class aircraft carrier in the fleet (of 10), after 17 years in service? I'm not saying nothing, and I'm not saying that aircraft carriers are redundant and useless in international politics, but: the ISS also serves a role in international relations, and is operating in a unique environment that does teach things you can't learn elsewhere - and, overall, the ISS is costing less money and creating / occupying fewer U.S. jobs than the super carrier fleet, probably a small fraction of a single ship, when you consider the entire logistics tail.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday January 01 2016, @06:17AM

        by anubi (2828) on Friday January 01 2016, @06:17AM (#283295) Journal

        The burning with less soot could just be the lack of convection causing stuff to stay hot more easily- no updraft.

        Puzzling, isn't it?

        I thought maybe stuff would not burn past the initial flareup because nothing was pushing the spent reactants out of the way.

        This is precisely the kind of weird stuff that orbiting zero-gravity space labs are supposed to foster the investigation of.

        My belief is that space will become the ultimate "clean room" for building perfect microcircuit structures to atomic precision. When I say that, I mean building circuits atom by atom just as a building is made block by block. Maybe one day we will understand DNA well enough we can build some analogues that construct whatever nanodevices we dream up - a 3D printer operating at the atomic level.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Friday January 01 2016, @05:25AM

      by Tork (3914) on Friday January 01 2016, @05:25AM (#283280)
      It looks a lot cooler at red alert.
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 1) by Some call me Tim on Friday January 01 2016, @06:33AM

      by Some call me Tim (5819) on Friday January 01 2016, @06:33AM (#283300)

      Try to understand that they're dealing with an ever changing environment. That equipment might change every time a re-supply mission comes up. That means having cables available to connect various experiments to power and monitoring gear as well as control and telemetry. All of that stuff is standard knowledge on the ground and the experiments are built to connect to what is available. That looks pretty clean, everything is Ty-wrapped out of the way, extra cables are protected and stowed in the over-head. For as little space as they have, that's not bad at all.

      --
      Questioning science is how you do science!
  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday January 01 2016, @02:35AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday January 01 2016, @02:35AM (#283249)

    Not surprised. Back when I had a house I went nuts for gardening. It surprised the hell out of me how sensitive plants were to their environment, being used to pulling weeds for the parental units. FWIW, a weed is a plant that grows where you don't want it to.

    If plants, which have no way to compensate for too much/too little {pick something}, why should I be surprised humans are also pretty picky about their environment? Granted, when it's cold I can {turn on the heater | get a blanket | wear a coat | get a cat to sleep in my lap}, and when warm I can {turn on the air | wear shorts | tell the cat to fark off}. But we humans actually have a pretty narrow range of environmental conditions we can live in, let alone be comfortable in.

    --
    The Word Of the Day (WOD) is finicky. As in, "sharks avoid the sewage discharge pipe because they make their finicky".
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday January 01 2016, @09:27AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Friday January 01 2016, @09:27AM (#283336)

      That's why we need to upload.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @06:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @06:17PM (#283441)

        I'm not sure uploaded food is as nutritious as the real one.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 01 2016, @02:40AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 01 2016, @02:40AM (#283252) Homepage Journal

    Can men and women make wild passionate love all night long without injuring each other?

    Do you recover from a hangover more or less quickly than in gravity?

    How does gravity affect your enjoyment of a joint?

    And, what happens if you succeed in dropping something heavy on your toe? Are you effectively nailed in place if you can't find leverage to move that heavy item?

    And, where does that damned leprachaun keep his gold if there's no water vapor to produce a rainbow?

    How does space brewed beer compare to the various beers available on earth?

    There are so many truly important things to worry about, why is anyone worried about contaminating the universe with earth bacteria? Let the universe fend for itself.

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday January 01 2016, @03:20AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 01 2016, @03:20AM (#283261) Journal

      Japanese Firm to Mature Whisky in Space [soylentnews.org]
      Ardbeg reveals results of 'space whisky' experiment [bbc.com]
      Beer In Space: 11-Year-Old's Tiny Brewery Will Fly to Space Station [space.com]

      However,

      Sex Banned Aboard International Space Station: NASA Commander [huffingtonpost.com]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_space [wikipedia.org]

      The adult entertainment production company Private Media Group has filmed a movie called The Uranus Experiment: Part Two where the zero-gravity intercourse scene was accomplished by flying an airplane to an altitude of 11,000 feet (3350 meters) and then doing a steep dive. The filming process was particularly difficult from a technical and logistical standpoint. Budget constraints allowed only for one 20-second shot, featuring the actors Sylvia Saint and Nick Lang.[34] Berth Milton, Jr, president and CEO of Private Media Group, says "You would not want to be afraid of flying, that's for sure!"

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @07:26AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @07:26AM (#283314)

      why is anyone worried about contaminating the universe with earth bacteria?

      because if you want to answer the question "Are we alone in the Universe?", it's kind of imperative to not have anything from your planet touching the samples you wish to analyze

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 01 2016, @10:46AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 01 2016, @10:46AM (#283346) Homepage Journal

        Not sure if you missed the point - man doesn't WANT to be alone. He wants to bring the girls along! That was the whole point of the missing rib and the talking snake and all the rest of that Garden of Eden story. If we've got women to play with, we don't really give a damn about anything else.

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Friday January 01 2016, @10:57AM

        by deimtee (3272) on Friday January 01 2016, @10:57AM (#283349) Journal

        If you want to know if life started anywhere else then yeah, that's important. But I will consider us as alone in the universe until some E.T. species is capable of saying "get your zarking bacteria out of here, this is our planet".

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Friday January 01 2016, @10:54AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday January 01 2016, @10:54AM (#283347) Homepage

    6. Ants can't sort tiny screws in space.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @02:10PM (#283379)

    so you can take a "large" diameter PVC pipe ~40 cm diameter, stuff-in a woods-light fluorescence light-rod (UV-A/B) ~40 watt.
    now connect a 12V-0.5A PC fan to the front of the pipe and voila you got a killer for air-born viruses and bacteria and "smelly molecules".

    extra points if you can "somehow" paint/coat the PVC pipe interior with white color paint.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_light#Clinical_use [wikipedia.org]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_dioxide#Photocatalyst [wikipedia.org]

    note: simply painting your room with titanium-dioxid containing paint you can just sit the black-light anywhere in the room.

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday January 01 2016, @02:30PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday January 01 2016, @02:30PM (#283384) Journal

    #5 read to me like, "By Jove! We've discovered new ways to make the steam engine more efficient than ever!" Weird to use a space station to prop up a hopelessly antiquated technology back on Earth.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Friday January 01 2016, @10:05PM

      by rts008 (3001) on Friday January 01 2016, @10:05PM (#283493)

      Yeah, that one struck me as well.

      Like IBM's chip R & D teams proposing new ways to make an abacus more accurate, or something...WTF?!?!?

      That mode of thinking is what's going to doom us all.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @04:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @04:56PM (#283414)

    1. This was well known from Skylab and Mir.

    2. Apart from the specific strain, this was well known from Skylab and Mir and is the reason that interplanetary probe landers are "sterilized" before launch.

    3. Complete bullshit [soylentnews.org].

    4. The entire reason this experiment was put on in the first place was that Dan Goldin sold the ISS as a world-class science platform, then it was pointed out in many forums, including testimonies to Congress, that the ISS is not a worthwhile platform as a science lab (the science justification was rejected by over 80 scientific societies), he found that he needed a flagship science project to put on it [nature.com]. Hence, the ISS needs to be built because we have the AMS (and the AMS needs to be built because we will have this ISS in space). As for whether these preliminary results add any new knowledge, I haven't looked into it yet, but my gut would say "no" in keeping with the ISS track record of scientific results.

    5. Nothing new here that wasn't known from combustion experiments on Skylab and Mir.

    On its merits as a science platform, the ISS is indefensible. And it is infuriating to see NASA roll this same bullshit out over and over to the point that when you repeatably and consistently tout the same hyperbole, and you know it is hyperbole, you are basically lying by intent.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01 2016, @05:11PM (#283420)

      but but ... the alzaseltzer tablet in falling spheroid of di-hydrogen-oxid movie was AMAZING!

      srsly tho ... we're do you actually GO to SEE the scientific output of ISS? like do they have a document server like CERN?
      it is all good and well to imprint the "blue marble - tiny rock" insight onto some (lucky) brains (of astronauts) but unless
      they place these guys and gals onto some mecca equivalent place where they can preach the message to the masses,
      then the message will not reach enough people and will most certainly peter-out in a few years or so ...

      it'd like to see some mini-subs in spheroids of water trying to slowly propel themselves out of the water (sphere) and see what happens (can they actually "drive out" of the sphere or will the surface tension cling to them?)

      how does pumping liquids from one container to another in free fall work? might be important to understand if refueling a zer0-gravity tug moving/operating between earth and moon or earth and mars or those special french-sounding named points works?

      can living beings inside a drum falling in circular orbit violate newtons law? can they "row" the drum/ship to a higher orbit by "throw" a massive object (2 ton rod) back and forward in the right ..errr... beat inside the drum?

      can we get a wifi AP on the ISS that we can point our wifi antennas at? just because ^_^ (password:iss)

  • (Score: 1) by gOnZo on Saturday January 02 2016, @03:17PM

    by gOnZo (5184) on Saturday January 02 2016, @03:17PM (#283693)

    I'm wondering if the bone/muscle loss mechanism(s) are still in play when the astronaut is in suspended animation / deep sleep?
    Does it slow down significantly?
    Would an astronaut wake with a spine like a jellyfish?