Why the hell are we going to Mercury?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by dsdsds, Aug 3, 2004.

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  1. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

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    Almost 1/2 billion dollars is being spent to send a spacecraft to observe a 700° planet. link. Why?
     
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  3. Communist Hamster Cricetulus griseus leninus Valued Senior Member

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    Because we know hardly anything about it. Only 1 spaceprobe has been there before. Yes, 1. We need to know more.
     
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  5. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

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    We know there's no life on Mercury. We're pretty sure it never has and ever will contain life. Will knowledge of Mercury help us understand how planets/solar systems are formed, which will help us in our search for other systems? I think Murcury is pretty insignificant and I would've preferred more probes sent to jupiter and its moons
     
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  7. Communist Hamster Cricetulus griseus leninus Valued Senior Member

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    It may be insignificant, but that's not the point. We need to know more! We may find something we totally didn't expect there.
     
  8. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt it. It's just an overheated rock. I'd vote for Jupiter's moons too.
     
  9. crazy151drinker Registered Senior Member

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    A 700 degree rock with suspected ice caps

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  10. Pete It's not rocket surgery Moderator

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    It's a planet, it merits exploration.

    The Dutch didn't bother exploring Australia because it appeared useless...
     
  11. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    the study of mercury could help reveal how the solar system formed and how solar system form in general, allowing us a better understand of how life formed and forms.

    The price tag of this mission is equivalent to every American buying one cup of coffee, so ya I think its totally worth it.

    Noon apex temps of ~673K (400C or 752F) midnight temps of 103K (-170C or -274F)

    Here is a good fact sheet on it:
    http://www.nineplanets.org/mercury.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2004
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    To understand as much as we can brings us closer to understanding everything.
     
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    The vast majority of Americans believe that it's worth spending money on basic science research, even if it doesn't have any practical benefit.
     
  14. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, I'm all for science and learning but there are choices to be made with any budget. All I'm saying is that I'm surprised Mercury isn't lower on the priority list.
     
  15. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    It is useless to me

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    anyways... I think that a lot more valuable data could be gotten from other places in our solar system, others than Mercury
     
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    dsdsds,

    This was a once in a 30 year opportunity when Mercury, Venus and Earth will be in such a alignment as to allow a gravity assist mission to get to mercury. If it were not done now we would have to wait several decades to do it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2004
  17. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    ah, I see
     
  18. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

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    The Americans are going to Mercury. American taxpayers paid for it. Nobody else. Since I'm Canadian I don't care because none of my money was wasted.
     
  19. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Mercury must have been low on the priority list, one probe and since then we've had all the jupiter and mars missions.
     
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    for those that liked this mission (or did not) check out some of the other missions in operation or/and development:
    http://spacescience.nasa.gov/missions/

    how about sending a space probe to the sun?

    how about one to pluto?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2004
  21. Closet Philosopher Off to Laurentian University Registered Senior Member

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    I think soil composition ans sub-surface scans on Mercury might be interesting.
     
  22. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  23. blackholesun Registered Senior Member

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