back to article There's oil in that thar … Chinese space probe?

China has announced the successful launch of its SJ-10 probe, which ascended into the heavens atop a Long March 2-D rocket overnight and will one day return to Earth. China's always happy to talk up its retrievable space technology, as it's successfully recovered 25 missions in recent years. That capability means China is …

  1. LaeMing Silver badge
    Trollface

    Cheap shot.

    "What could possibly go wrong when sending oil into space at 500 times sea level pressure?"

    The US military will try to 'liberate' it?

    1. joeW

      Re: Cheap shot.

      They'll give that satellite more democracy than it knows what to do with!

      1. PleebSmasher
        Joke

        Re: Cheap shot.

        "They'll give that satellite more democracy than it knows what to do with!"

        You mean it will vote for Trump?

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: Cheap shot.

          It is 'High Energy' after all...

  2. PaulAb

    Another idea.

    Why not carry out the same experiment with a Politician or two, and see what oozes out of them.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Another idea.

      It will be very similar - oil or grease.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Another idea.

      You want a rain of shit?

      1. Oengus Silver badge

        Re: Another idea.

        It doesn't matter how hard you squeeze a politician - you can't get anything out of them.

        1. Crisp Silver badge

          Re: Another idea.

          That's why we need to perform the experiment Oengus. To see if we can get anything useful out of them with higher pressures.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Another idea.

            Alternatively, send up the politician and "forget" to retrieve the mission

            We dropped the payload in the Mariana Trench.

            Whoops, butterfingers

  3. Captain DaFt

    Geez

    First they sent seeds and small animals to space to see what effect it had on them, and now they're sending pressurised oil...

    Are they trying to create a B grade fifties Sci-Fi flic scenario in real life or what?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small particiles don't drop

    When a mixed size bunch of particles (call Corn Flakes) in the article are shaken the large ones move to the top and the small ones separate to the bottom, it is because of the size of the particle not gravity. The small one can more easily fit between the big ones and this provides for the separation effect.

    B.Eng

    1. Mike Shepherd

      Re: Small particiles (sic) don't drop

      So, Mister B.Eng, how do you decide (without gravity), which is "top" and "bottom"?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Small particiles (sic) don't drop

        "how do you decide (without gravity), which is "top" and "bottom"?"

        Considering that the article states they want to compare with what happens to oil underground, I'm not sure what relevance microgravity has in relation to effects on pressurised oil in the first place. Underground oil is always subject to gravity unless it falls down a very deep hole.

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Small particiles (sic) don't drop

        'how do you decide (without gravity), which is "top" and "bottom"?'

        Oh really! You stencil it on before you send it into space of course!

        I don't know, some people!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Small particiles don't drop

      "B.Eng"

      Not Civil I hope.

      1. Phil W

        Re: Small particiles don't drop

        "Not Civil I Hope"

        Oh I don't know, it's probably better than uncivil engineering.

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: Small particiles don't drop

          Good Call.

          Osama had an uncivil degree in engineering...

  5. Alister Silver badge

    Interesting, Diesel engines compress air until the fuel oil explodes...

    TFA didn't say whether the containers were vacuum flasks or not, could be fun...

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      With diesel engines

      Air gets compressed adiabatically, so it heats up. Then the fuel gets vaporised by injection, and it combusts on contact with the compressed, hot air.

      Just compressing 0.0017 milliJub of oil in a vessel capable of withstanding 103.95 kiloNorris per nanoWales, so quite likely rather thick-walled, and without any additional oxygen present, will not cause anything combustion-like to happen.

      1. Alister Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: With diesel engines

        compressing 0.0017 milliJub of oil in a vessel capable of withstanding 103.95 kiloNorris per nanoWales,

        I wish I had more than one of these to give you...

  6. smartypants

    With this endless ingenuity...

    ... the total theoretical amount of carbon that the human race will be able to release into the atmosphere continues to go up... And all the evidence suggests we will release it.

    The best place for this stuff is where it already is. When are we going to break the chain of incentives that stimulate its release? Never, I suspect.

  7. phuzz Silver badge

    Does anyone know anything about the actual design of this probe? The best I've been able to find is a couple of pictures, which show something that doesn't look like it's descended from anything the Soviet space program cooked up.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It does have a certain look.. like maybe from a James Bond movie.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Oh, that is soooo James Bond, you're spot on. You just can't see the joints in the artists impression where the front end opens up like a sharks and eats the other satellites..

  8. Unep Eurobats
    Mushroom

    Be afraid. Be very afraid

    ...when the offspring of the space-irradiated mice and the mutated fruit fly/rat hybrid discover how to weaponise the pressurised oil.

    I certainly won't be travelling to Inner Mongolia any time soon.

  9. Cuddles Silver badge
    Coat

    Odd location choice

    "That location makes the mission doubly important, as it is the spot China has chosen for its planned manned Lunar missions to land."

    Shouldn't manned Moon missions land, you know, on the Moon?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Odd location choice

      If the Nevada Desert was OK for NASA and Tenerife for James Bond, then Inner Mongolia should be fine for the Chinese.

      Must say I am a bit worried about the potential fruity flying rat hybrids escaping from Mongolia with their ultra high pressure flame throwers though.

  10. ravenviz

    RE: early-stage development of mouse embryos in microgravity

    eek!

    1. ravenviz
      Boffin

      Re: RE: early-stage development of mouse embryos in microgravity

      These creatures you call mice you see are not quite as they appear...

      - Slartibartfast

  11. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Cornflakes settle the way they do by turbulent particle sorting when the box is shaken, not by "gravity". Left alone the small cornflakes will stay put.

    How does this "heavy on top" theory stack against petrologocal theories that account for magma flows using conventional views on comparative material densities?

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "

      Cornflakes settle the way they do by turbulent particle sorting when the box is shaken, not by "gravity". Left alone the small cornflakes will stay put.

      "

      Both shaking and gravity are necessary wrt separating the cornflakes. You could shake a box of cornflakes all you like in zero gravity and there will be no separation. Molecules are constantly being shaken at any temperature above 0 deg K. Perhaps look up "Brownian motion".

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Of *course* gravity is required. It just *isn't* the fiucking mechanism that sorts cornflakes.

        My *point* being that liquid oil's position in the vertical geo table *should* be governed by comparative density and do the exact opposite of what the article is claiming, or vulcanism theory is falsified.

        Christ on a bike.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Trollface

          Re: Bah!

          Yes, he rode into Jerusalem in a triumph, side car obviously

  12. JJKing Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: Another idea

    It doesn't matter how hard you squeeze a politician - you can't get anything out of them.

    However if you apply zero pressure to them, they do release copious amounts of hot air and bovine excreta.

    1. Snafu1

      Re: Another idea

      Correction: The excreta requires minimal pressure; the heated air requires none

  13. Chris 239

    Doesn't the reentry and landing rather shake them?

    So retreiving anything useful is difficult?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's not fuel oil compressed..

    it's *cooking* oil! they're planning on opening the first Szechuan place in orbit!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: it's not fuel oil compressed..

      To be followed soon by curry sellers, fast-food joints, and possibly a pub at some point. Sounds like a great way to encourage space travel.

    2. Likkie

      Re: it's not fuel oil compressed..

      "it's *cooking* oil! they're planning on opening the first Szechuan place in orbit!"

      YAY, The people travelling on Virgin Galactic are finally gonna have somewhere to go!

  15. jake Silver badge

    "Pressurising oil in weightlessness"

    That's not a weightless environment, that's microgravity.

    And "deep underground" ain't microgravity.

    This stinks of the worst kind of graft ...

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "The “Soret” mission shares space with an experiment studying “early-stage development of mouse embryos in microgravity to shed light on human reproduction in space” ..."

    If they want to shed light on human reproduction in space - tell them to call me, I've got plenty of ideas.

    (I've read 53 Things to Do in Zero Gravity, you know.)

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