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Rosetta Probe Orbits Comet
8/6/2014

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European Space Agency's Rosetta Probe. (Source: ESA)
European Space Agency's Rosetta Probe.
(Source: ESA)

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kfield
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Shape of comet
kfield   9/15/2014 2:41:38 PM
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The comet really does look like a rubber duck!

Bill_Jaffa
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Re: Water vapor
Bill_Jaffa   8/12/2014 8:47:25 AM
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"In space, no one can hear you scream"--and there is no thermal conduction or convection, only radiation, to get rid of heat.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Water vapor
MeasurementBlues   8/11/2014 11:48:32 PM
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Susan,

See my reply to Jessica right below this comment.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Water vapor
MeasurementBlues   8/11/2014 11:47:14 PM
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Jessica,

Electronics in space is completely different. Ten yeas ago, I visited General Dynamics in Scotsdale and wrote an article called "There's no place like space." One thing you wouldn't expect is that in space, electronics can get very hot.

Hot? But isn't space very cold?

Yes, but there's no air to carry away heat from electronics and thus you need large heat sinks. That's especially true when the electronics are facing the sun.

So what to I remember about that trip? I went to a Diamondbacks game where I thanked the person in the team store for sending Curt Schilling to Boston. Six months later, the Curse of the Bambino was broken.

Wnderer
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Giant Space Moonshiners
Wnderer   8/7/2014 5:09:47 PM
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The comet looks like part of broken jug to me. The little part is the mouth and neck and the big part looks like it broke of the container.

Jessica Lipsky
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Re: Water vapor
Jessica Lipsky   8/7/2014 11:57:24 AM
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Two cups a second seems like a lot to me, even on a large surface! Apparently that amount could fill an olympic-sized swimming pool in short order.

 

You bring up an interesting point about condensation on electronics - I hadn't thought about that - but I imagine if they designed the lander for an icy surface with ash-like or snow-like particles, it could probably handle a bit of condensation. 

Jessica Lipsky
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Re: Water vapor
Jessica Lipsky   8/7/2014 11:57:24 AM
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Two cups a second seems like a lot to me, even on a large surface! Apparently that amount could fill an olympic-sized swimming pool in short order.

 

You bring up an interesting point about condensation on electronics - I hadn't thought about that - but I imagine if they designed the lander for an icy surface with ash-like or snow-like particles, it could probably handle a bit of condensation. 

David Ashton
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Re: Water vapor
David Ashton   8/7/2014 5:49:35 AM
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@Susan...two cups a second on something 2 miles long is almost nothing.  They say it will get to a few thousand times that....still not a lot over that size, though I guess if you got condensation on the electronics it might cause problems.  I read somewhere that the tail of a comet is still better than most vacuums on earth...anyone with more knowledge care to comment?

Susan Rambo
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Water vapor
Susan Rambo   8/6/2014 11:20:09 PM
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Wow. This is very exciting and will be an amazing feat. I wonder if the probe can stay latched on when the comet gets closer to the sun. I was wondering out loud to a space buff / amateur astronomer about how the electronics can withstand all the water vapor from the comet. He said "how does a submarine work....they have ways to protect the electronics." It would be interesting to know how they took the vapor into account during design and what will happen with this whole project. I can't wait. (Geez, it's our first comet cam?)

David Ashton
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Great article
David Ashton   8/6/2014 8:04:03 PM
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Nice article Jessica.   I always lament how little has happened on the moon since Apollo, but stories like this show how much is going on in space.

On projects that take this long I wonder if the designers wish thay had today's technology once the probe gets to its destination.  That said, the old technology does amazingly well - look at the Pioneers and Voyagers.

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