How we detected water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 12 Sep 2019 13:48
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I find this amazing.  A 20 year old telescope in orbit finds rain on an exo planet.  There must be other beings out there.  We are not alone!

I WANT TO BELIEVE

How we detected water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time

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  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I've been confident that we are not alone for some time.

There's no other explanation for the out of this world contributions to Railpage from certain members like (redacted), Dangersdan707 and (redacted).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I am of the view that the world should fun at least two long range and long lived space probes to send to two star systems that are relatively close, Alpha Centuri for example and another to study these system up close using real camera's.

I know the distance is huge and the travel time frame beyond even my children's lifespan, but it can be done if we want to do it and we have the technology.  If the Voger's probes with their 1970's hardware can last this long and back then they were hopeful of around 6mth months, just think what could be achieve today.

To get some half decent speed, you basically need a Falcon 9 1st stage rocket fully fulled in orbit to push it over 100,000km/h, likely closer to 200,000km/h. Then carry the equivalent of a fully fueled 2nd stage to provide course control for next 100 - 150 years.

We would also likely need to send repeater probes behind it or build an array in space across the solar system to remain in reasonable contact once it exceeds the Kuiper Belt which is the current expected max range for existing probes before the data rate is reduced to worse than morse code if at all.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
A fully fuelled rocket and a fully fuelled second stage in orbit? That’s a mighty expensive payload you have there...
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

A fully fuelled rocket and a fully fuelled second stage in orbit? That’s a mighty expensive payload you have there...
Aaron
Someone needs to be introduced to Kerbal Space Program.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A fully fuelled rocket and a fully fuelled second stage in orbit? That’s a mighty expensive payload you have there...
Aaron
Yep, I said its big. Lift it up in bits.

NASA's SLS is expected to be canned in next year or so as SpaceX and others can lift up gear in smaller components for a fraction of the $1B/launch price tag for the SLS.

The key to future space travel is stop building the worlds highly engineered and complex machines to operate for less than a few minutes and then be dumped into the ocean if they make it that far. Make it reusable, not just refurbishable (aka Shuttle) and space gets alot cheaper as a Falcon 9 fuel only cost is ~$200k/launch / Falcon Heavy around $550-600k.

SpaceX has optimised the Falcon so most of the expensive bits are returned and landed (I think even Aaron enjoys watching the synchronous parallel parking of the Falcon Heavy side boosters). The outstanding component is the 2nd stage. This is where I think their BFR or revamped smaller version takes over. Its more weight, you need more fuel (cheap), you need a bigger stage 1, who cares, you get it back and provided the engineering is at reusable level not refurbishment level, you are good to go and the overall launch over heads don't care 1t or 100t to go up.

I believe SPaceX's competition is now sitting up and seeing how their 1st stages are now recovered as a matter of routine and the impact its having on price and customer overwhelming acceptance to use a recovered first stage that they are now all looking at reusability. Hence SLS will be canned at some stage as it was mostly a tool to pacify the shuttle OEM providers after the Shuttle was canned and the private sector has proven its capable of filling in the gap.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I know the distance is huge and the travel time frame beyond even my children's lifespan, but it can be done if we want to do it and we have the technology.
RTT_Rules
Hmm, about 17,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri (closest star to the sun) at present speeds.

https://www.space.com/33844-proxima-b-exoplanet-interstellar-mission.html
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Perhaps we could send an exploration ship with all our politicians on board to conduct a feasibility study ...
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Perhaps we could send an exploration ship with all our politicians on board to conduct a feasibility study ...
Donald
Might not give them enough time to get from feasibility studies (there's always more than one) to being shovel ready...
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
A fully fuelled rocket and a fully fuelled second stage in orbit? That’s a mighty expensive payload you have there...
Someone needs to be introduced to Kerbal Space Program.
justapassenger
A fellow kerbal perhaps? The sequel sounds even better Cool
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I've been confident that we are not alone for some time.

There's no other explanation for the out of this world contributions to Railpage from certain members like (redacted), (redacted) and (redacted).
justapassenger
Well, there have been a few but most have seemingly dropped off recently. I think I know who a few of those (redacted)s are. Heheh
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I know the distance is huge and the travel time frame beyond even my children's lifespan, but it can be done if we want to do it and we have the technology.
Hmm, about 17,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri (closest star to the sun) at present speeds.

https://www.space.com/33844-proxima-b-exoplanet-interstellar-mission.html
Graham4405
Need to go 100 times faster, but also need to be able to slow down at the other end as well. A chemical rocket is just the booster to get things going to as fast as 300-500,000km/h and not complicated, you just need a big enough one in orbit to do it moving away from the longterm mentality/approach of everything must be lifted up at once. Its also not the final speed, this will be faster than 10-30,000km/sec. Ion or other engines are needed to go from there. The chemical rocket engine is expended within 1-2h of leaving earth (if that long). Kick that off and then long output long life engine from there.

The hardest part is not so much the propulsion technology, its programming the smarts to control the space craft as by the time you leave the Orit cloud communication time is so slow the space craft must guide itself including entering Alpha Centuri, braking and going into a suitable orbit for safety, science and observation for which the final decision on where and what distance will be based on information collected in the final months of travel. It must then collect the data and send back to earth to be received 5 years later.

The gravity assist braking will likely see the space craft take 5-10 years just to stablise.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I've been confident that we are not alone for some time.

There's no other explanation for the out of this world contributions to Railpage from certain members like (redacted), Dangersdan707 and (redacted).
justapassenger
Well, there have been a few but most have seemingly dropped off recently. I think I know who a few of those (redacted)s are. Heheh
Dangersdan707
Your name was only going to be redacted until you appeared on this thread.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Might need the Warp Drives from the USS Enterprise to get anywhere really.

RTT Rules idea about going places sounds a good script for a science fiction show. What do you mean someone has already made it. What was it called, oh yes I remember now Lost in Space. Danger Will Robertson, extreme danger.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I am of the view that the world should fun at least two long range and long lived space probes to send to two star systems that are relatively close, Alpha Centuri for example and another to study these system up close using real camera's.

I know the distance is huge and the travel time frame beyond even my children's lifespan, but it can be done if we want to do it and we have the technology.  If the Voger's probes with their 1970's hardware can last this long and back then they were hopeful of around 6mth months, just think what could be achieve today.

To get some half decent speed, you basically need a Falcon 9 1st stage rocket fully fulled in orbit to push it over 100,000km/h, likely closer to 200,000km/h. Then carry the equivalent of a fully fueled 2nd stage to provide course control for next 100 - 150 years.

We would also likely need to send repeater probes behind it or build an array in space across the solar system to remain in reasonable contact once it exceeds the Kuiper Belt which is the current expected max range for existing probes before the data rate is reduced to worse than morse code if at all.
RTT_Rules
Ive read somewhere that the thinking is that we will be able to send more effective probes much faster in the future and so doing it now will probably result in an antiquated probe arriving when we know all the answers.

Kind of like sending a 30 cl loco now from Syd to Perth with a bit of a load or wait a few days for 3 NRs to haul a magnitude more freight and still arrive there earlier.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I've been confident that we are not alone for some time.

There's no other explanation for the out of this world contributions to Railpage from certain members like (redacted), Dangersdan707 and (redacted).
Well, there have been a few but most have seemingly dropped off recently. I think I know who a few of those (redacted)s are. Heheh
Your name was only going to be redacted until you appeared on this thread.
justapassenger
The Question on my mind is how do you know the truth about me? Perhaps you're my full time Area 51 agent overseeing me? My disappointment with you REDACTING my name is immeasurable, you should be disappointed and disgusted with yourself Razz. I can't wait to make the one and only mainline Gauge of this planet 5'3 and name it after Harold Clapp.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Seriously, why are "we" spending bulk money on looking for life in places too far away to worry about when we can't even solve the problems of our own planet's human population?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Seriously, why are "we" spending bulk money on looking for life in places too far away to worry about when we can't even solve the problems of our own planet's human population?
Graham4405
Because much of humanity wants to know are we alone, why are we here and how did we get here? Was there a 2nd or more genesis. These days I think most people would believe that the likely hood of life elsewhere is highly probable, so lets find it.

We have explored most of Earth, not alot left to find the only other potentials for life in our solar system hold limited hope of there being life or potential life in the past. ie Mars likely no longer has life, but the question still remains did it once have life before the big impact killed the planet. What about Titan and Ganymede? Exploring the solar system helps answer how we got here, why the planets are the way they are.

Finding life elsewhere may also help better unite humanity and the science used and developed may also help solve some of the issues on Earth.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Because much of humanity wants to know are we alone, why are we here and how did we get here? Was there a 2nd or more genesis. These days I think most people would believe that the likely hood of life elsewhere is highly probable, so lets find it.
RTT_Rules
"We want to know" isn't sufficient reason to spend so much money when there is no way anyone now alive can live long enough to actually meet any beings in such far away places.

We have explored most of Earth
RTT_Rules
Perhaps you meant exploited!

Exploring the solar system helps answer how we got here, why the planets are the way they are.
RTT_Rules
Tell me, what have you learned on these topics since space exploration started?

Finding life elsewhere may also help better unite humanity and the science used and developed may also help solve some of the issues on Earth.
RTT_Rules
And pigs might fly...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Because much of humanity wants to know are we alone, why are we here and how did we get here? Was there a 2nd or more genesis. These days I think most people would believe that the likely hood of life elsewhere is highly probable, so lets find it.
"We want to know" isn't sufficient reason to spend so much money when there is no way anyone now alive can live long enough to actually meet any beings in such far away places.

We have explored most of Earth
Perhaps you meant exploited!

Exploring the solar system helps answer how we got here, why the planets are the way they are.
Tell me, what have you learned on these topics since space exploration started?

Finding life elsewhere may also help better unite humanity and the science used and developed may also help solve some of the issues on Earth.
And pigs might fly...
Graham4405
Graham,
You comments are very Dark Age'ish.

Man kind has been working on sciences that often exceed the lifespan of those working on it.
- Many of the original people involved in Voyager are now dead, yet we are still learning from their data. The early Voyager data from within the solar system rewrote much of what they knew of the outer planets
- The science of heart transplants undertaken in the 60's has taken decades to perfect and the patients from the the first few decades certainly didn't get the benefit today.
- Three generations of scientists have been working on Fusion, yet how many reactors do we have but what have we learnt along the way.
- We have a consultant working with my employer working on a project (his concept) that is likely to take 10 years to be even trialed in full scale, he is 83 years old. There is almost no chance he will see any financial profits from licensing of the industrial outcome.
- They are still learning new science from the Apollo program and there is still one experiment still operating.


As for meeting beings from other beings if we knew they were there. Well that is now, but will be in 25-50 years is unknown. What if we found others and could communicate with them?


They have learnt about the history of the solar system and universe since space exploration started.  For example they now have models that based on a few data points can predict where plants would form in a star system, their size and rotation around the star. I studied Physics in the early 90's, back then they were still a theory, we now have photos of one. 20 years ago we didn't know, only assumed there were planets around other stars. We now know this to be true and often can estimate their size and likely hood of potentially being suitable for life and now we even know there is water on one.


Humanity comes together when either under threat or achieving something great. In 1969, 20% of the worlds population watched the Moonwalk, this despite it was blocked in China, USSR and a number of other countries totaling 20-30% of the worlds population and around 1/3 of the world's population didn't have access to a TV. Plus the religious nuts who felt it placed religion at risk infavour of science. Today, 7B, how many do you think would watch Man walk on Mars? The current estimate is up to 2/3 of the worlds population.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
RTT when we are talking about getting product to orbit we are ALWAYS interested in MASS more so than volume. That is to say the ‘size of the piece’ is largely irrelevant.

Fully fuelled primary and secondary stages are going to be an exceedingly expensive payload irrespective of the number of launches.

I do not routinely watch SpaceX ‘parallel park’ their boosters, largely for the most part because it’s not a routine event. In the system analysis it’s a fairly stupid idea, limiting 30% of payload for additional fuel required to fly rockets back - only someone as dumb as Musk could dream that up, then con investor money to undertake it. This is just another of Musk’s ‘activities’ that generates less than usual interest from me.

NASA has reusable solid fuel motors that were retrievable by nothing more expensive (or payload reducing) than parachutes.

Musk’s idea of reusable of rocket motors or even ‘landing’ them is nothing new to those with an interest in space.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Man kind has been working on sciences that often exceed the lifespan of those working on it.
- Many of the original people involved in Voyager are now dead, yet we are still learning from their data. The early Voyager data from within the solar system rewrote much of what they knew of the outer planets
- The science of heart transplants undertaken in the 60's has taken decades to perfect and the patients from the the first few decades certainly didn't get the benefit today.
- Three generations of scientists have been working on Fusion, yet how many reactors do we have but what have we learnt along the way.
- We have a consultant working with my employer working on a project (his concept) that is likely to take 10 years to be even trialed in full scale, he is 83 years old. There is almost no chance he will see any financial profits from licensing of the industrial outcome.
- They are still learning new science from the Apollo program and there is still one experiment still operating.
RTT_Rules

Your examples are very short term compared to the tens of thousands of years involved in these space projects.

Meanwhile much of Australia is in the grip of a record drought, not to mention health and welfare problems.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
RTT when we are talking about getting product to orbit we are ALWAYS interested in MASS more so than volume. That is to say the ‘size of the piece’ is largely irrelevant.

Fully fuelled primary and secondary stages are going to be an exceedingly expensive payload irrespective of the number of launches.

I do not routinely watch SpaceX ‘parallel park’ their boosters, largely for the most part because it’s not a routine event. In the system analysis it’s a fairly stupid idea, limiting 30% of payload for additional fuel required to fly rockets back - only someone as dumb as Musk could dream that up, then con investor money to undertake it. This is just another of Musk’s ‘activities’ that generates less than usual interest from me.

NASA has reusable solid fuel motors that were retrievable by nothing more expensive (or payload reducing) than parachutes.

Musk’s idea of reusable of rocket motors or even ‘landing’ them is nothing new to those with an interest in space.
Aaron
You don't watch the "parallel Park" rocket boosters because its not a routine event? Yes its only happened 3 times to date, but the engineering to achieve this task of no interest to someone who has interest in space and/or other engineering? Seriously?

Forget the links to Musk or whether you think its viable or not, just the fact that despite decades of saying it was difficult by NASA and others. To their credit the sucess rate of SpaceX landing its boosters exceeds the success rate of launching rockets in the 60's and 70's.

Your comments on why they are doing this at all does sound rather naive. Think about it, what is Musk's No#1 goal, why did he start SPACEX? It wasn't to launch satellites, no he has a strong personal interest to see man walk on Mars and has the bank account to kick it off. If you follow what they are doing, nearly every development they do is aimed at one final goal. How to get man to MArs. Hence as you know you cannot parachute landing to Mars and a powered landing is still the most likely requirement. If you recall NASA abandoned this for Apollo because it was both technically complex and high risk.  So before proposing it for Mars with humans, you have to get the process 100% reliable.

If Mars was left to NASA alone, its unlikely there will be a Mars shot prior to the 2030's. The chances of this being brought forward on the back of the private sector own R&D is improving.

You may also remember that the whole parachuting the SLB (solid Rocket Boosters) into the Atlantic was a complete disastor and NASA only continues the charade because the Shuttle was supposed to be "reusable". Its fairly well known that is was roughly the same price to simply build new SLB from scratch and remember again the spent SLB was nothing more than a steel tube on recovery that had to be stripped down to bare metal and rebuilt. The electronics and sensors were replaced as was even the paint. So commonsense must state that if you want to use the 1st stage again of a wet fuel rocket with all its turbopumps, electronics, hydraulics etc the very last you would do is let it get wet in salt water. You may know that one of the Falcon 9's did a safe aborted landing and ended up in the ocean just off shore and despite it not being damaged, it has been tagged, "likely to be written off".

The recovery of the 1st stage has now lowered the costs such that SPaceX has now lowered their launch cost to include the recycling as standard. SpaceX's competitors are now all chasing their own reusable rockets, each with their own flavor of how to do it, including catching with helicopters.

So back to your first comment. so what if you have to must limit your fuel consumption to 70% for lifting if you get the rocket back. Fuel is cheap, less than $1m for a Falcon Heavy, but the rocket costs around $90m, the 1st stage obviously the bulk of the price. Getting this back for reuse with minimal work will surely lower launch costs. Apollo was $400,000/kg, today they are down to $2500/kg, $1000-1500/kg has been forecast within less than 5 years on the back of re-usability.

SpaceX wasn't the first company to land a rocket under power, but I think you will agree they certainly made it routine.

Maybe take your anti Elon Musk glasses off and just focus on the technology, it seems to be clouding your vision Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Man kind has been working on sciences that often exceed the lifespan of those working on it.
- Many of the original people involved in Voyager are now dead, yet we are still learning from their data. The early Voyager data from within the solar system rewrote much of what they knew of the outer planets
- The science of heart transplants undertaken in the 60's has taken decades to perfect and the patients from the the first few decades certainly didn't get the benefit today.
- Three generations of scientists have been working on Fusion, yet how many reactors do we have but what have we learnt along the way.
- We have a consultant working with my employer working on a project (his concept) that is likely to take 10 years to be even trialed in full scale, he is 83 years old. There is almost no chance he will see any financial profits from licensing of the industrial outcome.
- They are still learning new science from the Apollo program and there is still one experiment still operating.

Your examples are very short term compared to the tens of thousands of years involved in these space projects.

Meanwhile much of Australia is in the grip of a record drought, not to mention health and welfare problems.
Graham4405
Humanity has only been active in space for less than a century, I'm not sure what your "tens of thousands of years" comment is all about?

Those problems existed 100 years ago, they existed 10,000 years ago when the natives were walking here and they will still exist in 100 years.

If we applied your theory to 200 years ago, don't go to Australia, don't explore the Pacific, don't dive to the bottom of the Ocean, don't invest money into planes, cars what ever, we have too many problems in the UK to justify doing anything else.

Graham, have you ever stopped to think what flow on effects to everyday life are from space exploration.
- Google Satellite
- GPS
- Velcro
- Ear thermometers
- Cordless tools
- sprung Shoe insoles
- Smoke Dectors
- tyre grooving

Just to name a few, plus as stated before, far more detailed understanding of the solar system, the objects that exist inside it apart from 8 planets and a few moons....

The Dark Ages finished 600 years ago, religion held us back for nearly 1000 years, we don't need or want to go back to the Dark Ages.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
RTT, I actually said I don’t routinely watch SpaceX landings because they’re not a routine event. They’re just not.

I am sure there is interesting engineering involved, but that doesn’t suggest to me that this is something that deserves lots of my attention. I am away at the moment, and will have to review some numbers on SpaceX when I get home to a decent calculator, computer, internet and am able to look at the numbers in an engineering context.

Lots of interesting engineering and design went into Java, the programming language that famously was going to be ‘compile once, run everywhere’ - and how did that turn out? Today, we mostly use object orientated variants of C.

I think SpaceX is the Java of the transport world.

Interesting concept (though not new), interesting engineering, ‘working’ outcome but probably destined to fail to take over the existing technology. Not because of Musk, but, because of Musk, I am more sure it’s not going to be what he claims it will be.

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