What the holy hell is this article doing under "Science"??? Suggest moving it to a new category called "whackjobs"
"As to Mars - it is a planet that does not like earthlings. Only 30 per cent of Soviet-Russian launches to Mars were successful, the Americans have had 50 per cent success, while all attempts by Japan and Europe have failed so far" - Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity may have …
Personally, I think we're all in a 'Truman Show'-esque experiment where Mars and everything else further out aren't really there at all. It's just a giant spherical rear-screen projector. All of the previous missions to Mars had either been rigged by the overseers to return false information, or were sabotaged to discourage us from going there ourselves. Wouldn't want up puncturing the screen would they?
This would also explain why we can't see any dark matter out there, you can't rear-project black onto the screen.
Asimov (I think, anyway) wrote a short story on that - a set of astronauts are sent out to the moon, and upon getting round to the dark side, find it's made of wooden scaffolding and paper (one of them having spent a fair bit of the mission saying "wouldn't it be weird if it was all just made to fool us..."). Upon said crew member getting a little "worked up", they are amazed to find ground crew opening up the hatch - discovering it was all a psychological experiment, they never actually left the Earth, and they weren't meant to last long enough to get round the back of the moon...
medvedevedev, punish scientists pushing the outer edges of space exploration? guys who manage to knock something together using nothing more than some runner bean canes and bailing twine?
i've seen more complex bits of pipe in a plumbers offcuts box than go into the russian space program. Roscosomos, sponsered by Wicks builders merchants.
way to inspire! well done. if that is the case, then i predict all future sciencey projects will be measured against the following criteria.
explore space? no.
cure cancer? no.
anything for the betterment of mankind? no.
write fart app? yes!
Okay, so RT.com somewhat earlier featured heavy-to-digest fare about how comet Elenin is "behaving oddly" and clearly some sort INTERPLANETARY CRAFT intent on RENDEZVOUS (possibly with the ultimate goal of CAUSING DISASTER). I'm not saying RT.com is shite, actually it often is saying things that are political 3rd rails to "western media pundits" but like El Reg, they may let the loon out. HAARP? HAR HAR!
Apart from that, this looks just like the Beagle fuckup. I suggest looking into correct project, configuration and build management (also financing, hiring practices, and correct application of the better-faster-cheaper-choose-at-most-two mantra).
This will probably lead to greater success than threatening unnamed individuals with a visit by SMERSH. No need to keep up the hardcore.
Seriously disappointed/alarmed by Medvedev's response to this - whatever happened to waiting to see what happened and standing behind your team? Guess that's not his management style.
In an entirely connected note, I remember reading a throwaway comment somewhere about the pay levels for Russians working in aerospace. Basically, the claim was that after getting educated to post-doctorate levels and joining the industry, one could look forward to earning rather less than someone working in a mobile phone shop... Can anyone with a bit of knowledge here comment?
My favorite point is that he goes out of his way to say he won't treat them as bad as Stalin would. "I will never give a man 100 lashes", with an unspoken "though maybe 99 lashes on 6-7 occasions - but never 100!" When you feel it necessary to bring up the fact you won't pull a Stalin, you have magnificiently telegraphed that you still plan to commit genocide on the scientists' ethic group.
Fair point, but I'd have thought any such effect would be minuscule and tend to cancel out as the satellite orbits. I've not seen any proposals to break out of earth orbit using solar sails (which would be vastly bigger than any solar panel array). You get your spacecraft to escape velocity first then deploy the sails.
"I've not seen any proposals to break out of earth orbit using solar sails (which would be vastly bigger than any solar panel array). You get your spacecraft to escape velocity first then deploy the sails."
True, but maybe there is a genuine unknown effect going on here. At least, I hope there is, for the Russian scientists' sake ...
The shipboard computer of Phobos-Grunt has the all new GPP feature (genuine people personality) and is offended about being given such a silly name, and is moping in orbit. Meanwhile the telemetry system is angry about what the mission control computer said about its software, and is no longer on speaking terms with mission control. Mission control is offended that Phobos-Grunt did want to talk to the Aussies, but not to mother Russia. None want to work before someone else has apologised.
The lesson we learn from this is that the last thing you want is computers with human-like intelligence.
> "I am not suggesting putting them up against the wall like under Josef
> Vissarionovich (Stalin), but seriously punish either financially or, if the
> fault is obvious, it could be a disciplinary or even criminal punishment,"
If I were a Russian space scientist, I might now consider packing a suitcase and getting on the next plane to Pasadena. Do you think that quote would be enough to get you asylum on the grounds of well-founded fear of persecution?
"Only 30 per cent of Soviet-Russian launches to Mars were successful, the Americans have had 50 per cent success, while all attempts by Japan and Europe have failed so far"
Whether the Soviet/Russian success rate is even that high must be debatable.
Mars 1M A and B - trapped in Earth orbit.
Mars 1962A and B exploded during launch,
Mars 1 died in interplanetary space (but set a communications distance record).
Zond 1964A failed on launch.
Zond 2 died in interplanetary space.
Mars 1969A, Mars 1969B and Kosmos 419 all failed on launch.
Mars 2 and 3 both orbiters achieved their objective. Mars 2's lander crashed, Mars 3's landed and transmitted data for 15 seconds - the data is probably corrupt.
Mars 4 failed to make Martian orbit and flew by the planet,
Mars 5 a major success achieving orbit but failed in 9 days.
Mars 6 reached Mars but failed during the landing.
Mars 7 ejected the lander prematurely and missed the planet.
Fobos 1 died in interplanetary space.
Fobos 2 entered orbit, returned some imagery and was then commanded to turn away from the Earth - oops! Lander was not deployed.
Mars 96 failed on launch.
Fobos-Grunt failed to leave Earth orbit.
Meanwhile, Europe has put a very successful orbiter around Mars. If they'd like to check their receipts they'll see it was fired there by a Roscosmos Soyuz-Fregat. The Beagle 2 lander failed during descent to the Martian surface.
Very glad to see this. I'd been thinking that this was intended by the Russians since the 3rd or 4th day.
Why did the Russians do it? Elementary, my dear Watson.
The Russians, who are the builders of the Iranian reactor at Bushehr, and who could time the last stages of the the Iranian project to coincide with the window of travel to to Mars, are very aware of Israel's threat to that program. Remember Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007.
So up goes Phobos-Grunt, and who really know what it contains?
When it could not get out of Low Earth Orbit, it was predicted to come right down. Then it's life in LEO got extended until today it may stay up until mid-February. Soon it will be longer than that. Sometimes it hears signals sometimes it doesn't. Who knows what the Russians are capable of doing with their signals?
Israel is most worried of all. With P-G orbiting the earth 16 times a day and never really too far away from Dimona, Ben Gurion Airport and suburban Tel Aviv, The Israelis must be having second thoughts about a sneak attack on Bushehr.
Especially, if Putin warned them in private about doing so.
Tom Clancy, phone home.
Just in case anyone didn't know saccharomyces cerevisiae = yeast. The russians are obviously trying to kill us with a yeast infection directed from space. Either that or they're trying to brew beer up there.
I think this "conspiracy theory" doesn't even make good satire.
The name of the probe makes me laugh anyway and your post made me laugh even more.
Back when I was a nipper we used to refer to the straining noises emenating from the toilet as grunts. As in "Where's dad?" "He's upstairs having a grunt." So in our house "a grunt" became slang for "a shit". Now re-read your post from my (rather unique) POV.
"But those of a suspicious mindset think the project aims to manipulate the ionosphere in order to cause massive disasters."
I love the idea that you could manipulate the ionosphere to cause an earthquake. That's stretching things even for the average conspiracy theorist.
"the powerful electromagnetic radiation of those sites may have affected the control system of the interplanetary probe".
But somehow not the countless other craft that pass over the array? Even more so it appears from what I have read that the Russians are saying the systems are communicating normally, but for some reason they haven't yet worked out the rockets didn't fire. So he's now claiming that HAARP can be targetted so accurately that it can take out a tiny little bit of a control system without affecting other parts of the craft? Like, wow!
However the youtube video makes even those leaps of faith look mild by comparison. Never mind the three possible theories. I love the fact that the commentator suggests that "some of these bacteria are linked to anthrax, and others to cancer, AIDS and Crohn's disease" without offering any evidence for this or indeed how these bacteria are linked to these diseases. Certainly AIDS is not caused by bacteria so quite how these bacteria could be "linked to" AIDS is beyond me.
Conspiracy theorists need to learn that people would take them more seriously if they talked something approaching sense.
So, how do the conspiracy theorists react to the news that the bacteria in the container and the container were provided by the US Space Society, a non profit group of advocates that want to see America colonize Mars, and also want to invite the Russians and Chinese along?
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