Tiny satellite that spews out tiny sensors onto planet's surface


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Well, that’s humanity in a nutshell: the act that defines our first contact? Littering.


These cubesats are already causing littering problems in earth orbit.


It’s full of satellites!


It’s only litter if there’s somebody up there objecting. I haven’t even heard anybody objecting to Alan Shepard’s golf balls, which is a much more local problem. Why aren’t people outraged?


if a cubesat falls on Europa and nobody’s around, does that make it litter?

it fell completely silently, guys.


Has anyone else seen Fast, Cheap & Out of Control?

Aside from having a hardcore naked mole rat enthusiast, it gets its title from the robotics guy’s concept for a decentralized robotic exploration mechanism based on large numbers of relatively disposable agents. I think his were bigger and more mechanical; because this was 1997; but the concept sounds quite similar in many respects.


They should put pins out the corners of the chips to absorb the brunt of the impact from landing. Might be a cheap way to improve their odds of survival. I of course know NASA reads all my posts here so good luck guys.



* not even cute lil cubesats.


What about little inflatable shells? Put the chip into a little balloon, inflate on deployment. Slowly leak gas to deflate after landing, if the shell won’t burst on impact.

Could be realized as an on-board gas generator, a pellet of pyro substance deposited directly on an igniter. Or ignited from outside as part of the ejection sequence.


Screw trying to find the thinnest spot of ice!
Deploy these babies instead and make the thinnest spot of ice!


It’s actually not that bad idea.


Besides the instructions from the obelisk, I don’t think that we have any cluster bomb treaties with Europa.


Oh shit, a dead squid! Cover your mouth!


Plus, orbital imaging of whatever floats to the surface after Mankind’s Most Inspiring Dynamite Fishing Trip counts as ‘searching for extraterrestrial life’ and is probably way easier than space transporting a submersible.


Good news! We discovered there was life on Europa!
Bad news! “was.”


could be the basis of a complementary $10 million mission to inform the big 2020 effort, expected to cost $2 billion.

Actually quite a good ROI, considering what the ISS cost.


It’s the same group of assholes who count golf courses as “open space.”

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