back to article Mars to go offline for a month as vast nuclear furnace gets in the way

Spacecraft exploring and orbiting Mars will be left alone for the next month as the red planet slips behind our nearest star for a bit of a spring break. The Sun will block radio signals for a month or so, something familiar to old hands such as Mars Express, which has been happily orbiting Mars for almost a decade. It is, …

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Silver badge

We need a relay

In earth orbit but 60 degrees before or behind us. That will let us keep in touch when the sun is in the way.

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Mushroom

Re: We need a relay

Or better yet, the Earth needs to pimp-slap the sun, call it a ho, and tell it to move out of the way.

At least then the sun will have a reason to explode in the next few billion years.

Nuclear fire, because that's pretty much what it is.

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Megaphone

Re: We need a relay

Surely the easiest way is just to move the orbit of the Earth (or Mars, if you're lazy) so it's perpendicular to the current orbital plane. Blackouts will still occur, but much less often.

While we're at it, we could re-spin the Earth putting the North Pole closer to Alaska, and thus moving blighty to warmer climes. It's been snowing all f*cking day. In f*cking April, for f*cking f*cks sake!

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Alien

Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be a sun-shattering kaboom!

Now where did I put my Illudium Q -36 Explosive Space Modulator?

But this time to blow up the Sun, as it spoils the view of Earth (and possibly Venus).

<-- As close as this place gets to Marvin the Martian...

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Re: We need a relay

How about something in Solar Polar orbit. Isn't something doing that today?

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Thumb Up

Re: We need a relay

Exactly what I was thinking!

as we explore the solar system we need a network of relay satellites and of high speed transfer preferably!

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Silver badge

Re: We need a relay

Or a hyperspace bypass !

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Mushroom

Re: Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be a sun-shattering kaboom!

Since the dawn of time mankind has wanted to destroy the Sun!!

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Headmaster

Re: We need a relay

>Nuclear fire, because that's pretty much what it is.

Yes total energy wise nothing we can do can touch it but but at the core of some of our tens of megaton nukes (when set off) the energy density is billions of times greater than any region in the Sun. Still what the sun lacks in energy density it makes up for in mass what with it having well over %99 of the mass in the solar system and all.

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Silver badge

Re: We need a relay

"and of high speed transfer preferably!"

<scotty>Ye cannae change the laws of physics!</scotty>

Speed of light in a vacuum and all that...

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Re: We need a relay

Good idea.

If two repeaters traveled round the sun in the earth's orbit keeping station with us at plus and minus pi / 2 then the whole solar system would be forever in communication. No one would ever miss an installment.

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Silver badge

Re: We need a relay

Hell yeah. Full-fat Lithium-Deuterium provides a higher density than the exceedingly rare fusion reactions in an even highly-compressed mix of simple hydrogen, juiced with some catalytic carbon and nitrogen.

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Re: We need a relay

That's been thought of, of course. They'd have to be big to pick up the very weak signals and they would cost a lot of money to build and to regularly replace. I don't think that will be afforded until there are humans on Mars.

There have been tests of delay-tolerant networking protocols on the ISS. Further info at

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/07/dtn_node/

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/730.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplanetary_Internet

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Happy

Re: We need a relay

I think you'll find it was called Venus Equalateral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Equilateral) proposed in the early 1940s.

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Re: We need a relay

"It's been snowing all f*cking day. In f*cking April, for f*cking f*cks sake!"

I remember a picture on the front page of a British newspaper in 1978 or so, of a snow-covered cricket ground somewhere in England the day before. The date on the newspaper? Some time in July. The day's play was, of course, cancelled.

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Devil

Re: We need a relay

No, we use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension cord.

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Facepalm

Re: We need a relay

Dont get all the excitement myself. Snow is caused by a collision of warm and cold weather systems so you would therefore expect it to snow at the start of a winter period and at the end of one. Plus I believe its more likely to snow in March than December and since March was only last week whats the big deal.

Guess it makes for cheap, gap filling news stories though, versus the expensive smuggling a reporter into North Korea investigative journalism type stuff. Anyway off topic.. :)

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Pint

Re: We need a relay

Absolutely perfect idea.

Wiki: "The Sun–Earth [Lagrangian points] L4 and L5 points lie 60° ahead of and 60° behind the Earth as it orbits the Sun."

Easy-peasy.

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Speed of light in a vacuum and all that...

Judging by how much effort I have to put into the cleaning, the speed of light is definitely not present in my vacuum.

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Happy

Re: We need a relay

You do realise that we're directly in the firing line if a hyperspace bypass is approved - with "love and kisses" by Zaphod Beeblebrox?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be a sun-shattering kaboom!

Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 century!

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MrT
Bronze badge

One month later...

"Curiosity control: Rover reports full system functionality is restored"

"Command to move error: motors functional and responding: telemetry indicates no-go"

.

<self-portrait later shows rover on bricks with all wheels missing: chassis tagged with "Ulla, suckers..." and "Watch the skies...">

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jai
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Re: One month later...

+1 for "Ulla suckers!" lol

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Stop

Security issues

Have they allowed for a man-in-the-middle attack by some Solarian version of Alice or Bob ? We might never get control of Curiosty back.

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Unhappy

where is it?

"when the big shiny ball of fiery goodness has moved out of the way"

I wish that big shiny ball of fiery goodness would show itself here; I'm sick of the snow!

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Trollface

Re: where is it?

Hahaha. 30 C and not a cloud in the sky here. Of course you won't hear me bragging here in a few months when it gets 45+ C.

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Re: where is it?

Downvote. Jealousy and no other reason. I have to have the central heating on AND 3 layers of jackets to get to those temps.

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Alien

So we regain contact with Curiousity in one month

And it's on the other side of Mars, has another 20,000 miles on the odometer and new spinners and a paint job!!

The work of MTV (Mars Television) Pimp My Ride?

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Boffin

Ok, but why the picture of Solar Orbiter? You can't talk to that anyway, we haven't finished building it yet.

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Joke

Simple solution...

Just communicate with mars at night. Isn't that the proper way to do it?

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Thumb Up

Re: Simple solution...

Since, as some studies have it, the universe supposedly curves back on itself in higher-dimensional space your idea most likely has some merit. However, there is the small matter of the several dozen billion years required for the signal to wrap around, and Mars will be back in contact in a month anyway!

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Anonymous Coward

Nuclear power

Gets in the way all the time. Must ban it. It is no good.

What, you say that it is solar power? That's OK. Never mind.

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