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


#1

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#2

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


#3

These cubesats are already causing littering problems in earth orbit.


#4

It’s full of satellites!


#5

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?


#6

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

it fell completely silently, guys.


#7

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.


#8

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.


#9

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS—EXCEPT EUROPA ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE*.

* not even cute lil cubesats.


#10

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.


#11

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


#12

It’s actually not that bad idea.


#13

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


#14

Oh shit, a dead squid! Cover your mouth!


#15

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.


#16

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


#17

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.


#18

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


#19

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