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Comment Re:VASIMR (Score 1) 237

Well I meant rather disposing off the ISS somewhere around Earth where they could scavenge stuff from it at a later date rather then let 450 metric tons of potential material burn up in the atmosphere. So whenever we abandon it we could just attach a big honking tug and put in some graveyard orbit. Hell once we get space tugs operational we should just put all those old satellites and other salvageable space derbies floating around into a big space junkyard. Then maybe the junks mutual gravity will pull all that junk conveniently together and form what could be called a 'junkotroid' for ease of salvage.

Comment Re:VASIMR (Score 1) 237

Didn't they say they were going to actually test this on the ISS itself around 2011-2012 or so? Also would disposing of the ISS in one of the L points for parts and stuff be a good idea? The VASIMR engine should be good around 2016-2020 right, so it shouldn't be that big of a leap I suppose.

Submission + - Desertification a new major threat to Iraq. (

AdmiralLawman writes: "Now-frequent dust storms are just one sign of the man-made damage that has taken the country from Middle East breadbasket to dust bowl, they say. Reporting from Baghdad — You wake up in the morning to find your nostrils clogged. Houses and trees have vanished beneath a choking brown smog. A hot wind blasts fine particles through doors and windows, coating everything in sight and imparting an eerie orange glow."

Submission + - Earth II located, ships to begin boarding soon

Ptahian writes: The first Earth like exoplanet has been located by our European friends at ESO:

The planet was discovered by the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile, which has a special instrument that splits light to find wobbles in different wave lengths. Those wobbles can reveal the existence of other worlds. What they revealed is a planet circling the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. .html

Submission + - Earthlike planet discovered around nearby star

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Astronomers in Europe have announced the discovery of a planet with only 5 times the Earth's mass, orbiting a red dwarf star 20 light years away. It orbits the star so close in that it only takes 13 days to go around... but the star is so cool that the temperature of the planet is between 0 and 40 Celsius — cool enough to allow liquid water to exist! Models indicate the planet is either rocky like the Earth or covered in an ocean. While it's not known if there actually is liquid water on the planet, of course, this is a really big discovery, and indicates that we are getting ever closer to finding another Earth orbiting an alien star."

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!