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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @10:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the how-many-astronauts-does-it-take dept.

Three astronauts on Thursday landed back on Earth after nearly six months aboard the International Space Station.

A Russian Soyuz capsule with NASA's Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergey Ryazanskiy and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency descended under a red-and-white parachute and landed on schedule at 2:37 p.m. local time (0837 GMT; 3:37 a.m. EST) on the vast steppes outside of a remote town in Kazakhstan.

The three were extracted from the capsule within 20 minutes and appeared to be in good condition.

Bresnik, Ryazansky and Nespoli spent 139 days aboard the orbiting space laboratory. The trio who arrived at the station in July contributed to hundreds of scientific experiments aboard the ISS and performed several spacewalks.

They left Alexander Misurkin, commander of the crew, and two Americans, Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei, in charge.

Do you think astronauts on the ISS play a drinking game where they try to land toilet bombs on earth-bound targets? I would.


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  • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Friday December 15 2017, @11:00PM (1 child)

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:00PM (#610530)

    I don't know why but for a second I read that headline as "Space Capsule With 3 Apollo Astronauts Returns to Earth".

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:16AM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:16AM (#610563) Homepage Journal

      We're going beyond Apollo. Restoring American leadership in space. Refocusing America's space program on human exploration and discovery. The directive I signed Monday is one small, but GIANT step toward returning American astronauts to the Moon, for the first time since 1972. For long term exploration and use. And I suspect we'll be finding other places to land in addition to the Moon. This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps, one day, to many worlds beyond. To reclaim America's proud destiny in space, and space has to do with SO MANY applications, including a military application. And we're going to increase it many-fold. Because our military has to be PERFECTO. #MAGA [twitter.com]

  • (Score: 2) by srobert on Friday December 15 2017, @11:07PM

    by srobert (4803) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:07PM (#610534)

    Is Bresnik under investigation now for colluding with Russians?

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by wonkey_monkey on Friday December 15 2017, @11:08PM (10 children)

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:08PM (#610535) Homepage

    Do you think astronauts on the ISS play a drinking game where they try to land toilet bombs on earth-bound targets? I would.

    You can't just drop things out of orbit.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @11:18PM (7 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:18PM (#610539) Journal
      Err, true, but I assume these guys are smart enough to figure out how to eject them into a decaying orbit. That's not what makes this impossible.

      They would be vaporised on re-entry, however, which should do a very good job of that.

      When these things drop from planes they approximate terminal velocity and don't go past it. In Earth's atmosphere, we're talking maybe 3-400 mph. At that point atmospheric resistance and gravity basically balance out and they no longer accelerate.

      Things entering from orbit, however, do not obey this. They can get going many, many times that fast *before* hitting the atmosphere. When this happens, atmospheric resistance never gets a chance to balance - it produces a ton of heat very quickly.

      And when you heat up ice very quickly you tend to get a steam explosion.

      The only way you get a toilet bomb back to earth from orbit without that happening would be to stick it in a freezer. Then heatshield the freezer thoroughly. At which point it's no longer a *toilet* bomb, it's effectively a real bomb, delivered at hypersonic speeds.

      Yeah, that'd be a bit too far for this gag, so I think we're safe on that score.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 2) by unauthorized on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:34AM (6 children)

        by unauthorized (3776) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:34AM (#610572)

        Everything in LEO is in a decaying orbit because there there is a bit of atmosphere up there, the only reason that the ISS stays up is that it occasionally uses it's thrusters to maintain it's orbit. That said, you can't actually eject things to make them fall, in space the only way to move things is to expel matter in the opposite direction of your desired motion. If you shoot a cannonball out of a cannon located on the ISS, the ball will just settle into an orbit that is very similar to the ISS, at least until orbital decay causes it to diverge significantly.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:57AM (5 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:57AM (#610667)

          To clarify a little further - no matter how fast you launch something all you'll accomplish is to put it in a new new orbit that still intersects your own at that point. Unless you can somehow impart a several km/s speed difference to drop it below orbital speed (or alternately boost it beyond escape velocity), the most likely thing you'll end up hitting is yourself at some point in the future.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:29AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:29AM (#610672)

            Looking down from the ecliptic, draw your orbit around the earth. Work out how fast you are travelling in that orbit. Fire a connonball in the reverse direction to your orbit, at your orbital speed. It is effectively stationary with respect to earth and, from the point of view of earth, will fall straight down. Not much of an orbit there, hey.

            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:14AM

              by Immerman (3985) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:14AM (#610851)

              Certainly. However, very few cannons fire projectiles at ~8 km/s, which is orbital speed in low orbit.

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:18PM (2 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:18PM (#610752) Journal
            "Unless you can somehow impart a several km/s speed difference to drop it below orbital speed "

            Exactly.

            And that's something that's not all that hard to do. The biggest problem is that when you fire a projectile off in one direction the entire station will accelerate in the other direction. As long as it's a relatively small object at a relatively low speed the change will be negligible, but depending on just how much the projectile weighs and how much velocity is required it might be a big deal. But in no way is it true to say it can't be done.

            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:21AM (1 child)

              by Immerman (3985) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:21AM (#610853)

              Not *incredibly* difficult, in theory, but there's not a whole lot of devices out there for firing projectiles at Mach 24 (~8km/s), which is approximately Low Earth Orbit orbital speed. In fact, that's basically the entire purpose of massive rockets like the Falcon. Altitude is only responsible for about 5-10% of orbital energy, the rest is the insane speeds things travel at.

              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:22AM

                by Arik (4543) on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:22AM (#610957) Journal
                Hah, I was waiting for someone to catch that.

                Yeah, that was a case of should have hit preview again, I lost an edit.

                Actually firing something at that velocity is still far from trivial. But it's not actually required to do the job.

                There are a couple of possible ways around it. One, of course, is to strap a rocket on the thing and fire it later. Still would need quite a powerful rocket, at least in proportion to the mass of the projectile, but clearly not all of the necessary deceleration has to come at the start. So we can add these things together, at least, the initial velocity, and some later impulse as well.

                But neither is going to easily add up to the full amount we want if we're thinking of it as fully kicking it out of orbit, countering the orbital velocity and bringing it to a standstill. But our goal is just to see it fall to earth, and to do that we don't need to make it stop on a dime. It would be sufficient just to nudge it into a more eccentric orbit, if that results in a perigee a little lower in the atmosphere, where drag can do the rest.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:32AM (1 child)

      by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:32AM (#610568)

      Yeah, but you could hang them outside ISS and time a good sneeze into a one way tube. Or feel a fart coming on, everyone gets 15 seconds to pick a target, the astronaut farts, and someone wins. (be sure to wipe the tube before the next sneeze, I hear there's lots of microbes up there. BTW, anyone thought of ordering Lysol with their next Hot Pockets order?)

      The point is, it doesn't take much to change the orbit of a 1 lb turd and I know if I was up there I would get hours of entertainment out of this kind of game.

      It will burn up in the atmosphere, you say? Challenge accepted!

      log onto Vons.com
      order 3 lb peanuts
      order 3 lb canned corn
      order 3 lb refried beans
      click "next day shipping"
      provide credit card info
      wait

      --
      The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
      • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:25PM

        by wonkey_monkey (279) on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:25PM (#610694) Homepage

        The point is, it doesn't take much to change the orbit of a 1 lb turd

        Actually the point is that, yes, it does.

        --
        systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @11:38PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @11:38PM (#610549)

    We've been doing the same old same old low earth orbit bit for decades. Up, down, round and around.

    It's boring. Except when somebody dies, then it's sensationalism on crack.

    Now if said space capsule returned with three Martians, or Elvis Presley, maybe it would be news.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:26AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:26AM (#610581) Homepage Journal

      !!!!!111!OMG PONIES1

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:04AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:04AM (#610608)

      A little review:

      2003 - STS-107 - Foam damages Columbia's wing
      Shuttle disintegrated during reentry
      7 astronauts dead

      1986 - STS-51-L - O-rings used outside their design specs
      Main fuel tank detonated on assent. Challenger is destroyed
      8 astronauts dead (including 1 teacher)

      1971 - Soyuz 11 - On reentry, the capsule's atmosphere is vented to space through an open valve
      3 cosmonauts dead

      1970 - Apollo 13 - An oxygen tank, damaged by North American (later Rockwell) personnel during production, explodes on the way to the moon.
      The crew trundles into the LEM to save resources.
      Needing a gravity boost from the moon to get home, the crew continues to the moon, swings around Luna, and are recovered alive.

      1967 - Soyuz 1 - A spacecraft with 203 known defects [npr.org] is launched to coincide with a historic anniversary.
      Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who knew the mission would be fatal, curses the engineers as he plummets to Earth.
      His body liquefies when the capsule impacts the ground.

      1967 - Apollo 1 - A spark ignites the interior of the capsule, with its 100 percent oxygen atmosphere.
      3 astronauts dead

      1957 - "Muttnik" - Laika ("Barker"), a mongrel dog, dies in a Soviet spacecraft when the environmental system fails and the capsule overheats.
      (The creature would have run out of air anyway.)

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:07AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:07AM (#610678)

        A little reminder:

        The Apollo missions were not LEO carousel rides.

        Apollo 1 never got off the ground.

        All of the cited events were received with attendant media hysteria.

        So your point is...?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @06:33PM (#610754)
  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:48AM (4 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:48AM (#610574)

    Spend a few months in orbit, return to Earth, and you have to be carried to the ambulance. Kinda puts a wet blanket on living on the moon, let alone going to Mars.

    My understanding is these folks work out while in orbit, but still can't walk when they come home.

    Makes you wonder what other insidious effects living in space has on your body. The Kelly twins gave some disturbing results, sad to say.

    --
    The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:12AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:12AM (#610576) Journal

      Spend a few months in orbit, return to Earth, and you have to be carried to the ambulance. Kinda puts a wet blanket on living on the moon, let alone going to Mars.

      I'm not sure microgravity is comparable to 0.1654g (the Moon has the highest gravity of any known satellite in the solar system except Io [wikipedia.org] at 0.183g).

      We could have gotten a moon like Enceladus that only has about 1/15 of the Moon's gravity (but maybe a greater chance of containing life?).

      Mars is a special case because it has 0.376g but a much longer travel time to get there than the Moon.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:22AM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:22AM (#610594)

        I'm not sure microgravity is comparable to 0.1654g

        We won't know until we try. I'm 59, send me and see what happens.

        / pray for the firefighter that died fighting the Thomas fire.
        // my son and son in law are firefighters
        /// I'll bet one or both of them them knew the guy

        --
        The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:27AM (1 child)

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:27AM (#610582) Homepage Journal

      I expect most people think that zero G has no ill effects but really it does. Were we to go to mars upon their return the astronauts would be mutants.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:50AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:50AM (#610587) Journal

        Were we to go to mars upon their return the astronauts would be mutants.

        By that standard, we're already horribly mutated bacteria. The concern is a bit late.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:22PM (#610693)

    3 Ass-tro-nots went back to living with their families after spending months inside a NASA facility here on earth, locked away from the public (they could still meet their families from time to time when they were brought to the facility). Check for yourself and then decide if space is all they say it is and if they ever lied about anything. NASA never left Low Earth Orbit and we're told "we" went to a moon. Nobody went to the moon. Low Earth Orbit might even be a hoax.

    Spacewalk [youtube.com]

    Quite an elaborate hoax, the ISS and "space capsules" whatever the F that means.

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