OMG, we just nuked Saturn! (18 Sep, 2017)

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OMG, we just nuked Saturn! (18 Sep, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:43 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0918.shtml

There is no life on Saturn -- so it's okay to effectively drop a dirty nuke on it... right?

Of course the chances of life existing in Saturn's hydrogen/helium atmosphere is pretty remote and the effect of a mere 32Kg of radioactive plutonium being smeared across its face would likely be immeasurably small -- but what if we are wrong?

Should we be a little more concerned about the after-effects of our planetary exploration activities?

Are you surprised that scientists believe earth-based life could still be viable after spending 20 years in the harsh vacuum and radiation of interplanetary space onboard the Cassini probe?
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Re: OMG, we just nuked Saturn! (18 Sep, 2017)

Postby roygbiv » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:08 pm

I think we should be very concerned about the after-effects of our planetary exploration activities. Not so much us but perhaps in years to come our descendants may have a huge problem.
Staying on the science fiction theme they may encounter a Vogon Constructor Fleet experience as related by Douglas Adams in 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" :

“There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.”

:roll:

Seriously, we need to think these things through when we undergo our space exploration projects
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Re: OMG, we just nuked Saturn! (18 Sep, 2017)

Postby Weasel » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:54 am

"I think" that people who don't work for NASA need to stop freaking out.

Best thing for that probe was to burn it up, vs leaving it floating around out there full of plutonium and microbes with the risk of running into it again or it smashing into a moon that is far more likely to support/have life than Saturn it self. This is the cost of sending stuff that far out into the solar system, craft powered with RTGs as there is not enough sunlight out there to be useful.
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Re: OMG, we just nuked Saturn! (18 Sep, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:34 am

Can't they just use a ZPM? (LOL).
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