back to article Canada has lunar dreams as Germany worries about what lies beneath

Rebooting robots, lunar robot arms and a rocky path to Martian drilling joy. It's last week in Space. While the world had its eyes on SpaceX’s new Dragon spacecraft, or was getting ready to light the candles on Apollo 9’s 50th birthday cake, Israel was casting a worried look at its Beresheet lander, as it continued its way …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Actually

    Rather than a drunk trying to say Brexit, Beresheet sounds more like the result of ursine activity in the woods

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Actually

      And self-hammering sounds like how the drunk got into that state.

  2. STOP_FORTH

    JAXA video missing

    Hey Reg, your space round-up is missing a video of a bullet being fired into an asteroid.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    As controllers unclenched their sphincters,

    Did Dabsy ghost write this news article?

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: As controllers unclenched their sphincters,

      Agreed I got suspicious at the use of the word "penetrometer", but everyone knows how advanced the Germans are in this particular field

  4. Alister Silver badge

    The team then rebooted the robot over 30 times,

    I have to say, that was a ballsy move, considering you can't just ring the local support guy to go and kick it if it all goes horribly wrong...

    Al.

    1. STOP_FORTH

      That is booting, not rebooting!

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Alien

      Shh! We don't like to talk about the local support guy on Mars...

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Alien

        Yes they do like their own voice to much, although its kind of annoying they have to say who's voice it is every time.

        1. Alister Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @Captain Scarlet

          The previous comment was just the perfect opening for you, wasn't it...

          :)

          1. STOP_FORTH

            They know we can hear them!

          2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
            Pint

            Yes I always feel I have to post for anything related to Mars for obviously reasons.

            1. Semtex451 Silver badge

              SuperMarioNation or somesuch

            2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Alien

              Well the chances of that are a million to one, well that's what he said

      2. JJKing Bronze badge
        Coat

        A different kind of Mars bar.

        He is always going on about how great the benefits are there. Personally I do not think it appropriate to be Mars debating on company time.

        Thanks folks, I am here till Friday.....oh wait, it is Friday. Bugger!

    3. Caver_Dave
      Alien

      Service Calls

      I used to work for a company that supplied kit that went up on rockets to ..err.. places.

      On support calls to that company the email signature always included the line "No on-site investigations will be offered for off-planet destinations."

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Service Calls

        On support calls to that company the email signature always included the line "No on-site investigations will be offered for off-planet destinations."

        That would put me off applying, right there...

  5. 0laf Silver badge

    I wonder what the plan C is for NASA if the drill is in fact landed on top of a bloody great big slab of rock?

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Mark it on the chart as 'Reached bedrock - job done'?

      1. Paul Herber

        Hit bedrock

        I this was the first house being built on Mars you can bet Building Control would want you to go down another 3 feet before pouring concerete - just in case.

  6. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Conclusive proof...

    > [...] German boffins reckon the thing got between 18 and 50 cm down [then] “the mole seems to have hit a stone"

    So barely a spade's depth down and it's jammed on a rock already -- conclusive proof that digging on Mars is exactly like digging in my back garden.

    1. CountCadaver

      Re: Conclusive proof...

      Seems evidence of previous life, that or the average UK builder "just dump all the rubbish from building in the garden lad, and stick a couple inches of soil over the top"

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Conclusive proof...

        I'll raise your' Average UK builder' with an average Spanish builder who, in addition to the buried rubbish, will leave beer bottles, wine bottles and beer cans in the walls.

        You would be amazed at how many.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          Re: Conclusive proof...

          That's Spanish insulation. Remove that and you will no longer be up to code...

          1. JJKing Bronze badge
            Pirate

            Re: Conclusive proof...

            Ahhhhh, nobdy expects the Spanish Insulation. Our 2 main weapons are.......

  7. John Robson Silver badge

    Extend perigee?

    Doesn't one burn at perigee to extend apogee - which is what you need to get out towards the lunar SOI (Yes simplistic two body modelling rules ;) )

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Extend perigee?

      Yes exactly. One burns the rocket when deepest in the gravity well, but the object is to raise the height of the farthest point in the orbit: the apogee. At some point in this particular scheme the apogee becomes the aposelene and then the process has to work in reverse to set up a parking orbit around the moon, from which the landing can be initiated. In a gravity well, kinetic energy is an important quantity, so you add velocity where your velocity is already high to take advantage of the velocity squared relation.

      So text correction please, O appropriately named Mr. Speed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DOOM - The Moon mission

    Let me guess, if it makes it to the moon they will take credit for the mission (although they are just hitching a ride to a landing, nothing extraordinary in that).

    If it fails then NASA and SpaceX will be to blame.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DOOM - The Moon mission

      "Let me guess, if it makes it to the moon they will take credit for the mission (although they are just hitching a ride to a landing, nothing extraordinary in that)."

      Right - like the Apollo spacecraft system (CM, SM, LM) wasn't extraordinary because it just hitched a ride on a Saturn V. Okay, that job was some orders of magnitude harder, but still: Beresheet is a combined spacecraft and lunar lander: of course it's got to hitch a ride on something to get into orbit. Doesn't mean it's not impressive just because its developers didn't also develop a launcher.

      The Beresheet spacecraft is now operating in Earth orbit using its own rocket engine to travel to lunar orbit, and then - with luck - will use the same engine to perform a landing. I know I couldn't design anything to do that.

      Even if the spacecraft just achieves lunar orbit and goes splat on landing, I'd say it'd still be an extraordinary achievement taking everything into account. It takes a lot of engineering to turn an idea like "Let's build a craft to travel from LEO to land on the moon" into actual hardware which works, especially if you've got no prior experience and a very tight budget as in this case.

      Yes I know they're using a modified existing engine design (originally developed by Royal Ordnance and now made by Nammo at the former Rocket Propulsion Establishment in Westcott) and I expect lots of other more or less off-the-shelf parts - it's still a cleverly done bit of kit worthy of a lot of respect even at this stage of the mission.

  9. AIBailey
    WTF?

    Heyyyyyyy...

    What's going on with that picture from the Israel lander? I can clearly see the string holding up the "Earth".*

    * - Other small scale planet models are also available.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Heyyyyyyy...

      Just wait until they stage Beresheet's landing on the lunar soundstage. "Hey! Isn't that Apollo 11??"

  10. Haefen

    Canada has to pay for it's miliatry protection

    Canada has to pay for it's military "protection" by the USA in many ways.

    Often it's by giving political support for whatever international venture the USA thinks needs the appearance of a coalition, or by arresting those thinking that visiting Canada would be safer than visiting the USA.

    But the USA also demands money, so Canada buys almost exclusively American military equipment, even if the equipment isn't suitable or Canada could design and build it's own. And Canada has to fund various projects including NASA projects.

    Of all the forms of payments Canada makes our Space Program has the most public support and gives many Canadians pride and hope, regardless of naming conventions, so I think it's the best of all the choices.

    Personally I would have called it Space Hook or The Justin Grabber or maybe The Hadfield Reach Around but the name doesn't really matter. Just being there reminds Canadians of their many space firsts.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

      Canada has to pay for it's military "protection" by the USA in many ways.

      Given the geography, the only country likely to invade Canada is the USA, so that's rather a protection racket. "Nice country you've got here, be a shame if it got broken."

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

        But the presence of the US protects Canada from Cuban invasion.

        America has been bravely living under the imminent threat of Cuba for decades

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

        "Given the geography, the only country likely to invade Canada is the USA,"

        Russia's not all that far away from Canada, you know.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

          "Russia's not all that far away from Canada, you know."

          Washington DC?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

          Eh? How does a modest geographical remark like that get a thumb down?

        3. A.P. Veening

          Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

          "Russia's not all that far away from Canada, you know."

          Last time I looked, Alaska (USA) was in between.

          1. Haefen

            Re: Canada and Russia border

            Look again, as far as those Canadians aware of Canada's claims Russia is too close for comfort.

            The water between us has proven to not be much of a barrier when it comes to Russian incursions into areas claimed by Canada. So much so that at one time the Russians had better ocean floor topography of some of our key water ways, far better than the Canadian military.

            We've been assured that is no longer the case but that's what our government claimed before.

            BTW: Canada also had and deployed nuclear weapons against the Russians. I'll leave out the search terms but if someone is interested, and has a few hours, those incidents and the lies told to Canadians at the time makes for an interesting story.

      3. CountCadaver

        Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

        There's a reason the US has so many military bases close to the Canadian border, mainly as they for years were paranoid that Canada might invade, backed by the rest of the Empire.

        They even drew up a plan to invade Canada, using colour code names blue for themselves and red for us in the UK, whilst not naming us directly. At the time they considered the plan, they reckoned they would have get it over and done quickly as "red will rapidly reinforce" and at the time we had one of the top militaries in the world and there was a strong potential Blue might not have come off too well if we'd chucked the whole empire at them.....

        It always beggars belief that we chose to not to give the 13 colonies 1 or 2 MPs each to stave off an independence drive, 26 vs 650, or even why we didn't abandon this sodden cold island in favour of North America or even Australia.....the mind boggles.....for starters you'd stick yourself nice and far away from your main threats at the time (France, Holy Roman Empire, Spain) and gain a vast amount of land and resources

        1. Haefen

          Re: USA military bases along Canadian border

          The USA has invaded Canada, repeatedly.

          The threat of yet another invasion was one of the two main reasons for the northern British Colonies to Confederate. The other was reciprocity, to avoid economic domination by the USA.

          But Confederation would have never happened if Britain had not made it clear they wanted nothing to do with Canada and would not come to our defense should the USA invade again.

          Shoulda, coulda. even at the time there were those who suggested that the British North American possessions should be kept and secured but India was more profitable and was considered far less likely to want independence.

          As a result Britain gave up the many and increasingly valuable resources contained in what is today Canada.

          I'm sure the USA appreciates that, Which is a good thing because it appears most Canadians don't. Heck we pay made in USA prices, in USD, for our own resources and products and can't see why anyone would consider that a problem.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Canada has to pay for it's miliatry protection

      They should consider a wall...

      Where's the tangerine icon?

  11. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    My self-hammering mole has started burrowing in

    A line from the missing 1960s film, Carry on Spaceman, as delivered by Sid James.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: My self-hammering mole has started burrowing in

      Moley, moley, moley, mole! (Austin Powers)

  12. password1234567890

    Agree that the Canadarm3 moniker lacks a certain je ne sais pas. I propose colouring the arm gold and going with "bra d'or" instead, the golden arm for the francophobes. I suppose for my fellow insecure about our identity Canadians we could call it like a film sequel: Canadarm: bra d'or. It's gotta be better than Smarmy McSpaceArm, no?

    Side note: there was a strong ale in Canada back in the day called Brador but the fact that you could get hammered on 2/3 as many shouldn't be too much of an issue in the current discussion (that I'm no doubt having with myself).

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Propertius

    "...a drunk trying to say Brexit"

    *Cough*. It's the first word in the Bible, just so you know.

  15. arctic_haze Silver badge

    It's nice to see more and more countries having their Moon programs

    It may mean that I may live to see human beings visit again our natural satellite. Yes, I'm old enough to remember Armstrong walking on the Moon.

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