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back to article Dawn on its way to the asteroid belt

Dawn, NASA's mission to the asteroid belt, has at last launched successfully. At the time of writing, NASA mission managers were still waiting for the Delta II's second and third stages to fire, but so far it is all looking good. Lift Off! Image credit: NASA Lift Off! Image credit: NASA Dawn was originally slated to depart …

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Anonymous Coward

Conspiricy

"Dawn's goal is to work out what processes were involved in the formation of Vesta and Ceres"

No it's not, Dawn's goal is to find resources in space for when the resources of earth are gone! mmmm fresh water! It will be the new Oil

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Pedantic

"Ceres, officially a dwarf planet and the largest body in the asteroid belt, like Pluto"

Pluto isn't in the asteroid belt!

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The true story?

"It is also possible that it has frozen poles."

So, really the Yanks sent a load of Polish up as cheap labour to mine the asteroids and they have found that the people aren't as productive as here on Earth.

It's either send up some coats to keep them warm (and therefore productive) or they should have just sent the British up to begin with.... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Asteroids on earth

"...roughly five per cent of all asteroids we find on Earth".

Perhaps the writer meant to say "...of all meteorites whose source bodies were classified as asteroids...". If asteroids were really to be found intact on Earth in such numbers, it would be not unlike living in the middle of a Yes album cover painting.

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The real conspiracy

Since Ceres has more water on it than the Earth, the clear goal is to bring it all to the Earth and drown the land - rendering the Earth a water planet. The obvious conclusion is that the Global Lizard Alliance that controls NASA via the US government are amphibians.

More pedantically, the Earth can't run out of water, or indeed almost any natural resource - we simply move it from one form to another. We never destroy or lose it. The only thing that makes it hard to recover is the energy needed. That includes water. Enough energy and you want for nothing else. That is why, like the new black - which is, well, black; the new energy, will be - energy. Find a source of energy in space that is cost effective to bring back to Earth and you have it made. Not that we don't already know about one that is more cost effective and powerful than any possible source we could find on any planet.

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I've played Asteroids, so I know

I hope they have someone with a quick trigger finger at the controls if they hope to go on to Pluto. It's dangerous out there.

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200,000 miles of rock

Since when is a 'mile' a standard for measuring mass or volume?

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Anonymous Coward

Poles to dig for water - NASA official

"water ice roughly 40km below its surface"

Hells bells. Those poles have a lot of digging to do. Rather them than me.

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@francis

resources = matter = energy.

good point though but i'd say more accurately all we are doing is following the second law of thermodynamics.

ie the earth is quite well sorted at the moment with carbon in the ground as coal and oil in specific places and marble in one place and slate in another etc etc. and all we're doing is messing it all up into one big errr mess i suppose.

at which point we'll all be at equilibrium and in a low energy state.

at this point we'll be wishing we made more solar panels and other such things to catch external sources of energy.

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give one up for 'ole Joe

"when the resources of earth are gone! mmmm fresh water! "

When the revolution comes and it all goes Mad-Max, I guess you'll be buying your fresh water from me then; cheap rates, but remember if you don't pay up it's the Thunderdome or Gulag for you!

Ah, the arcane knowledge and ancient wisdom of... distillation.

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"But first it will stop off at Vesta"

Let us hope it does not become marooned off Vesta.*

*many thanks Dr Asimov.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

"Dawn is on its way to study Ceres, officially a dwarf planet and the largest body in the asteroid belt, like Pluto, which it will reach in 2015."

No, Dawn will never reach Pluto. That's the job of the New Horizons probe. Pluto is also not in the asteroid belt, as was pointed out in an earlier comment. Maybe that would make more sense, if we chop that monster of a sentence into two parts:

Dawn is on its way to study Ceres, which it will reach in 2015.

Ceres is officially a dwarf planet and the largest body in the asteroid belt.

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to make a sensible combination of those two sentences.

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@ Lucy Sheriff

"At the time of writing, NASA mission managers were still waiting for the Delta II's second and third stages to fire, but so far it is all looking good."

Damn, you can type fast! I figure the time between 1st and 2nd stage burn is in the order of 50 seconds, during which time you got this article written and posted.

Respect.

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Re "Dawn is on its way to study Ceres"

You leave our Lucy alone.

It made perfect sense to me, the comma after Pluto puts the reference back to Ceres in the first part of the sentence.

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Anonymous Coward

BS

Vesta is a load of crap. I'm going back to Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

The water may be there

... but who says it's fresh ?

related activity - define fresh, regarding water that's been floating around in a highly irradiated environment for eons.

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