Space probe ejected a camera to take these selfies

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/12/space-probe-ejected-a-camera-to-take-these-selfies.html

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“Feeling cute, might check out Olympus Mons later IDK”

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They couldnt have just taken pictures of the probe before it left?

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So did it eject and get only 2 good pics? Why not push it out more slowly and not flipping around?

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I guess they don’t have space selfie sticks?

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Oh… you would think an retractable small fish eye would have been both cheaper and less weight… Maybe it couldn’t extend far enough to get the whole thing in the shot.

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Ugh, why do space probes always make that stupid duckface when they take selfies?

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I like how the CNSA logo looks very much like Star Trek’s Starfleet logo set in a circle made of the United Federation of Planets’ wreath.

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How about a tether to reel it back in for reuse?

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the tether would probably just cause the camera to swing around wildly at the end of its line and probably wrap itself around delicate equipment.

they can’t even really deploy it slowly to avoid that because the force to get it out would have to account for the weight of the tether. so they’d have to slowly slowly offset the ejection, which would be complicated and chaotic ( mathwise. ) maybe if the camera had it’s own propulsion, but then… why the tether?

tethers in zero-g and without any sort of stabilizing drag force are probably verrry complicated to get working right

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If fly fishermen can do it, I would think rocket scientists could.

But point well taken about snagging delicate equipment.

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I think Star Trek set such a standard with that Starfleet logo, actual aerospace agencies are just going to gravitate inevitably toward it.

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This is the correct take.

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Olympus? That’s lame. Nikon Mons. That’s what real voyagers see.

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Someday that camera will snap a pic of a red Tesla…

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And it’ll be the last photo it takes.

I read somewhere that during the Apollo 11 mission, the Soviets tried to upstage the Americans with their own unmanned landing. A semi-official phone call between US and Soviet mission control ensured that there was no risk of a collision in lunar orbit.

And there is a lot of stuff orbiting Mars at the moment…

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I think they might have had an issue testing it in advance. This is also why taking a lot of pics (“spray and pray”) is not a bad strategy.

Let’s be honest, though. Making the thing retractable is just yet another thing that can go wrong. Depending on what they did, ejecting the camera is probably reasonably safe (i.e., if it fails the most likely scenario is no selfie and not retracting arm breaks critical instrument). Ejecting the camera also lowers their mass a wee bit, and depending on what they did I suspect the hardware required to eject was lighter than a retractable arm or tether or whatever would have been.

More importantly, it meant that after they satisfied management with the ability to take a selfie they could get on with doing the important shit.

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"At last! Proof I exist!"

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Chinese junk observed orbiting Mars.

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