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back to article US Martian nuke-truck launches without a hitch, but...

The rig is up. NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission launched successfully and precisely on schedule – at 10:02am Eastern time on Saturday morning (3:02pm UTC), but within minutes ran into telemetry problems. The MSL spacecraft, which carries within it NASA's big-as-a-Mini-Cooper, nuclear-powered, experiment-stuffed …

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Joke

Well duh!

Since it's both Yankee and Ruskie space vehicles affected, it's *obviously* some kind of new Chinese ueber-astro-cyberweapon being tested out on the Imperialist running dogs and traitors to socialism...

Either that or the ESA are really desperate to make themselves look good.

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Another IBM Power chip on its way to mars

IBM once told me they have a monopoly in the processor market on Mars, so I had was curious if "Curiosity" is also Power chip based and it looks like it is. Cool looking rover, hopefully it wont go splat like some other missions.

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Coat

@"Since it's both Yankee and Ruskie space vehicles affected"

@"it's *obviously* some kind of new Chinese ueber-astro-cyberweapon"

That's just what Blofeld wants you to think. SPECTRE are operating out of a base in an extinct volcano and I'm on my way to infiltrate the base which I will of course destroy in heroic style.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go now, as I'm due to go to some kind of marriage ceremony. Apparently it will provide me with a good cover story. I just hope they haven't picked a fugly one for me.

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I think that Windriver's VxWorks RTOS has more or less captured the entire Martian market too.

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Black Helicopters

WindRiver = Intel

Intel bought WindRiver a while back. So IBM might have the processors, but Intel has the software!

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Nuclear-powered Mini Cooper?

WANT

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Anonymous Coward

You want a nuclear powered Mini Cooper?

Deary me, I hate to think what the wife-cheating points-passing climate secretary would have to say about that....

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Happy

Luckily, I don't have to care what he thinks-- I'm several thousand miles outside his jurisdiction.

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It's a pity that it couldn't have grabbed Fobos-Grunt by the scruff of its neck and taken it along.

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Childcatcher

Two Mars missions that lose telemetry?

Is this the first evidence that proves our Galactic Overlords dont really want us hurling nuclear powered vehicles at their planet/moon(s)?

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Anonymous Coward

All these worlds are yours, except Mars. Attempt no landings there. All these worlds are yours, except Mars. Attempt no landings th [/TRANSMISSION ENDS]

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I'll always upvote a Space Odyssey reference!

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I can only conclude that the writer of this article is rather less than whole-heartedly in favour of space exploration. The headline and introduction might have been couched to make it clear that the mission itself is not at risk, rather than attracting the reader's attention with the intimation of a possible complete mission failure. And the jibe at Fobos-Grunt is simply mean-spirited. Can you not see that their success is the world's success, their failure the world's loss? Any Russian harbouring distrust or fear of the West reading this piece could be forgiven for considering their opinion confirmed. You are doing no one but yourself any favours with this onanistic little piece.

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Grunt

I had the impression that the last paragraph was a reminder at how many points of failure there still are between here and Mars for ours.

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Alert

Haul down that jibe, brace those spankers....

Oh my, speaking of brittle hardware! Here they mentioned the first-stage engines were Russian which brought a smile and 'cool' to my lips, and that has no credit with you at all? As far as clear "the mission itself is not at risk" the note at bottom explains the article was written initially while success was very much up in the air. All in all, sounds like your name is Putin and you thought you heard a "boo!"

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Megaphone

Ahhhhh! Motherland!!!!

Comrades! The new plan is:

Январь: Plan nuclear rocket

Февраль: Build nuclear rocket

Март: Test nuclear rocket

Апрель: Launch nuclear rocket

Май: Coast to Mars

Июнь: Mars arrival!!

Июль: Let robot have beer at lonely Phobos Inn while waiting for American Pigdogs to arrrive.

Август: Curiosity finally trundles in. NASDAROVYE!

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I conclude...

... that the writer of this article is whole-heartedly in favour of space exploration. And that El Reg is whole-heartedly in favour of page clicks.

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Paris Hilton

Were we supposed to take some stance on this "issue" ?

"... article is whole-heartedly in favour of space exploration..."

Paris, coz she knows what stance she'll be taking.

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Disgusting

This supposed IT angle news story was obviously just an excuse for the prurient editors at the Reg to publish pictures of naked rocket engines.

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Pint

Another one

And there goes my keyboard again! I should not read the comments and drink coffee.

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You could be right (can't be bothered to measure) but if you look at the pics the rocket is clearly top-heavy. Big bulbous payload on top of a skinny little stick rocket.

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Could be worse

It could be worse, it could be the opposite and then during launch Austin Power quotes galore.

"No, sir. He got away in that rocket that looks like a huge--"

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Windows

Bit like..

..the Chinese "Long March", launched sucessfully recently?

Oh, right.

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International rocketry - a sign of our advances

I find it interesting and optimistic that the launch vehicle was an 'American' Atlas, powered by a 'Russian' rocket engine. Even better, this level of cooperation among nations is no longer news. No doubt there were components large and small built by companies in many countries. Who could have imagined 20 or 30 years ago, that such a thing could be built? Despite all the doom-and-gloom that pervades (and will probably always pervade) the media about how terrible things are, we have come a long way. My favorite throw-away line: "Progress occurs."

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Mushroom

The fun bit is that this rocket is primarily used for US government payloads.

Yes, Russian engines used to launch American spy sats....

Mind you, Russian strategic missile subs use GPS for navigation....

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Happy

GPS underwater

ELF GPS? This one must especially suit the Underwater Pacific Satellite Group.

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and yet

Employment at any US rocket maker is restricted to US citizens only for security reasons - United Launch Alliance have a special exemption from Nafta to stop those damn Canadians working there

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Vic
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Re: GPS underwater

> ELF GPS?

Special-forces divers from a number of nations use GPS underwater.

They have small antennae on long wires which are sent to the surface on an inflatable buoy. The team gets a fix, then cuts away the antenna.

There was a marvellous article in one of the dive rags a few years back about exactly this subject. It involved a trip out with the French Foreign Legion, IIRC.

Vic.

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What type of Mini Cooper?

The traditional awesome Cooper or the god-awful BMW Cooper which is larger than most small cars I'm surprised they can call it a Mini?

(Seriously, those things are bigger than my K11 Nissan Micra!)

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Happy

Indeed they are... but a great drive

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Those are micro cars, not a mini car.

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Joke

Pure brit

not german shit

as they say in....

oh hang on

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Devil

Re: those are micro cars, not a mini car.

There is a nano somewhere too...

(spawn of satan icon, coz it looks like a car, if squit your eyes a little).

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Coat

Curiosity

Any cats in Gale's?

Hide in my pocket, you furry tubby.

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Unhappy

'Mom'? Who (or what) is this 'Mom'?

You acknowledged dad's advice but why no mention of mum?

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Anonymous Coward

Fobos-Grunt repair mission

Just a thought, but how hard would it be to set up a Soyuz launch with NASA's robot astronaut + equipment and spare batteries, with enough fuel to get to the F-G, do the repairs then detach from F-G and head for the ISS.

Remote initialise the engines on F-G once docked to the ISS to take F-G into lunar orbit and voila.

One somewhat salvaged mission with a spectacular success for NASA.

Ought to be doable, the engines on the Soyuz have more than enough endurance and they can add an extra resupply to the ISS for good measure.

AC/DC

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Windows

I'm not quite fo the opininion..

..that schoolchildren should be allowed to comment on the intricasies of rocket science...

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Nice idea, but; I think that robonaut is not actaully built for vacuum use (where it would be good to save the risk of a real human astronaut; but step by step!), and so couldn't actually work on FG.

Another possible problem is that I think that there is only 1 fully built robonaut, and it is now on the ISS?

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Awesome

Awesome article. Thanks!

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Yay!!!!!

Extreme engineering....

Would have been nice to have two on the way. Time to share knowledge and people as well as bits and pieces.

£24.7 million insurance for the Russian one.. That's $38.2 million dollars.

Let's see. Kent and his bunch of wankers at Phorm have burned $189.2 million dollars to date achieving fuck all. No... seriously. At least Russia got it off the launch pad and into orbit. Kent can't even get it up.... repeatedly.

$189.2M/$38.2M

That's 5 Mars missions!!!11*@*!!!!

Makes you wonder what else Institutional Investors are burning your PensionCash™ on when they could be funding Mars missions.

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Meh

Don't worry

Those few telemetry dropouts are merely a symptom of the Martian Cyber Defense Force's successful insertion of Stuxnet into the system.

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Faster than Light Travel ...... Imagine it, and IT Delivers Virtually Live Picture Streams

Hi. How very encouraging that Man has finally appeared to take account that

Mars is a novel and noble and easily nobbled Nobel and virulent environment with digital binary control protocols to master navigate/caress conscientiously. And as for hostiles, IT is a silent grave.

ESA are remarkably silent on Roscosmos and NASA funding successes for currency spending excesses on fiat engine regeneration with highly radioactive fuelled systems, although perhaps the Mini Cooper component is their sterling stealth pay lode.

Congratulations MSL ...... The drinks are on us with an open bar whenever you arrive, spent and alive and ready to jive and rumble, rock and roll ..... http://youtu.be/neoUi4poCXI

And Noordwijk would wish it be known that they would not endorse or encourage any of their sort of actions from the marital home, because of the insane risks inherent in space travel and celestial body exploration probing discoveries with curious tools.

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Go

Was cool to watch in person

It went absolutely straight up, as opposed to the long curve of a Shuttle launch, and it was noticeably hauling ass too. You could see it until the solids dropped off, then the main liquid-fueled engine exhaust was invisible.

Anyway, I didn't see much more telemetry dropouts than I've seen with some other launches, plus we got to see the separation video live, as the MSL sprung away from the Centaur. That was way cool.

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Windows

Gene - you lucky bugger!

Bet the sound was staggering also.

Wish I'd been there.

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Standard units

What's with all this "feet, metres, pounds of thrust" malarky? No one on the Reg can understand a word of what you mean! Please rephrase using standard units, ta.

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Paris Hilton

What is the El Reg unit of thrust (I guess Paris would know).

Incidentally, why is there not a permanent table of BSr units? (British Standard, sub. cat. Register)

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Coat

The unit of thrust must surely be the Grunt.

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