View Poll Results: Now Pluto is not a planet, should the New Horizons mission be scrapped

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Thread: Now Pluto is not a planet, should the New Horizons mission be scrapped?

  1. #1
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    Now Pluto is not a planet, should the New Horizons mission be scrapped?

    I realise that Pluto's new status is being discussed here since I started that thread, but in light of this post, it seems that there is a view point that perhaps NH should be scrubbed to save money.

    This thread is to discuss the NH mission in light of what the IAU have come up with.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    ... it seems that there is a view point that perhaps NH should be scrubbed to save money...
    It doesn't seem that way to me... have you heard otherwise? Or is this a single opinion?

  3. #3
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    The money's been spent. New Horizons is on its way, and the label assigned to Pluto doesn't in any way diminish the significance of the mission nor the science that will be returned.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    I realise that Pluto's new status is being discussed here since I started that thread, but in light of this post, it seems that there is a view point that perhaps NH should be scrubbed to save money.

    This thread is to discuss the NH mission in light of what the IAU have come up with.
    How exactly would it save money? The probe's been built and launched. Most of the cost has already been realized. NH can't be re-tasked for a different mission so it's going to arrive at Pluto in 2015 whether we want it to or not.

    In any event, I don't think the IAU pronouncement changes anything. Pluto and the other Kuiper Belt Objects are facinating targets in their own right, despite what we may call them. There is a great deal to be learned about the early Solar System and its evolution from these objects.

    Personally, I don't think it matters, but another way to view NH is to bill it as the first probe into a whole new class of objects instead of a Johnny-come-lately probe to the last of the classical planets.

  5. #5
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    Taken from here

    It looks like saner and wiser heads are in control at NASA for the moment

    NASA's New Horizons probe is in the midst of a 9˝-year journey to study Pluto and other icy mini-worlds, and NASA's Paul Hertz said Thursday's decision would have no effect on the mission. “We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized,” he said.
    Would any politician be able to pull the plug, saying that the cost of retrieving the data could be better spent and get away with it?

    I thought it was great finally getting a mission out there after Grand Tours was scaled back and renamed Voyager, but one always expects some bump in the celestial road will get in the way.

  6. #6
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    How come we must explain you on a yearly basis that plugging NH after launch is the most silly thing to do, also financially speaking?

    Ever since prior to launch you seem practically unable to form a sentence containing "New Horizons" that does not include a form of the verb "to scrub". Do you have an issue with this mission in particular?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Do you have an issue with this mission in particular?
    No, I want this to succeed, but sometimes when you want something, you sometimes get into the frame of mind where you expect that at any minute somebody will deny you what you want.

  8. #8
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    Personally, i'd scrap it and transfer the science money to Ares/Orion. Just for spite.

  9. #9
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    That would be a better use of the money. But Griffin has enough enemies right now.
    I'd just tell his enemies to launch their own missions if they hate LV development so very much.

    They will help you eat the LV cake--they just won't help you bake it without pouting.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Taken from here

    It looks like saner and wiser heads are in control at NASA for the moment
    Why do you think that NASA even considered it? There is only one reason that NASA was quoted in the article... Because a reporter hounded them after finding any related pluto information they came up with.
    I really find it dissapointing that Nasa had to respond to such a question.

  11. #11
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    .

    using a strict rule... can we call "planet" an hot-rock like Mercury or a ball of gases like Jupiter?

    if we use the TRUE idea we have of a "planet" (like Earth) there are:

    - one REAL planet (Earth)

    - a few "possible" planets (Mars and some Jupiter/Saturn moons) but only after "terraforming" them

    - many (unknown) REAL planets (like Earth) that runs around other stars...

    .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaetanomarano View Post
    .

    using a strict rule... can we call "planet" an hot-rock like Mercury or a ball of gases like Jupiter?

    if we use the TRUE idea we have of a "planet" (like Earth) there are:

    - one REAL planet (Earth)

    - a few "possible" planets (Mars and some Jupiter/Saturn moons) but only after "terraforming" them

    - many (unknown) REAL planets (like Earth) that runs around other stars...

    .
    What strict rule is that?
    The original definition (which we will equate with rule) is "Wanderer". Basically an object visible in the sky that doesn't go around with the rest of the objects. From the ground, the Earth doesn't wander, so it can't be a planet.
    We are talking thousands of years of unknowns, refinements, and misinformation. So ANY definition is going to be wrong to some sizeable portion of the population.

  13. #13
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    What a ludicrous notion, scrapping New Horizons is. With hindsight, would you have scrapped Cassini? Voyager? Gallileo? This mission will reveal very significant scientific information about our outer Solar System. The Kuiper Belt covers a vast area, I for one reckon it will be immensly diverse. There's only one way to find out and that is to go and take a look at it.

    I would like to see Pluto and Charon's surfaces, see how they look and get an idea of how they formed, etc. All of this is exciting science waiting to be discussed. You can be sure that when the first pictures come through, the Bautforum will be hammered with messages!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    What strict rule is that?
    not the rule used by astronomers (that is correct, and I don't want to change...) but the "rule" we think a real planet must be... not too big, not too small, not too hot, not too cold, not without (or with a lethal) atmosphere, that turns on itself to have day and night, etc... a place where there is (or may born) the life... under this point of view, things like Jupiter are "objects" we consider a "planet" only for their dimension and orbit

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Why do you think that NASA even considered it? There is only one reason that NASA was quoted in the article... Because a reporter hounded them after finding any related pluto information they came up with.
    I really find it dissapointing that Nasa had to respond to such a question.

    This is why we need a Day without space--so we can shut all space assets down to teach the ESPN watchers who bash space a real lesson.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakenorrish View Post
    What a ludicrous notion, scrapping New Horizons is.
    I was being mildly facetious...and more than a little irate.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    This thread is to discuss the NH mission in light of what the IAU have come up with.
    NASA votes no to scrapping.

    New Horizons Continuing on to Pluto, Planet or Not

    For the time being, New Horizons is at least the first mission to a dwarf planet -- the new class of objects into which scientists dumped Pluto.
    [...]

    In the meantime, New Horizons' mission remains the same: to unlock one of the solar system's last, great secrets.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  18. #18
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    It doesn't matter if it's considered a planet or not. It's still largely unknown.
    Remember, it also is going to fly by a couple of KBOs.

  19. #19
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    No way!

    Even if Pleuto is not defined as a planet then this is still a priceless opportunity to study a planetesimal/KBO/dwarf planet/Pluton/whatever you want to call it. I've heard Pluto called "the Rosetta Stone of Planetary formation," lets find out what it's all about!

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