Now that would be some tricky science.

One thing I’ve noticed about the coverage of that European comet probe? Somebody always has to mention that the comet is moving at the time of the rendezvous. I suppose the writer thinks the scientists did it that way for extra science points or something.

After a ten year journey, European scientists landed a robot on a comet. A moving comet.

They did it that way because Europeans are pansies. American government scientists would have attempted to force the comet to pull over first.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Now that would be some tricky science.

  1. Ben says:

    Technically speaking: If you made a comet stop, would it still be a comet? Wouldn’t it just be an asteroid with a strange past life?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. jabrwok says:

    “stop” relative to what? They *did* make it stop relative to the probe, else they couldn’t have landed the one on the other.

    Making a comet stop in its orbit would mean that, sooner or later, it just drops into the sun.

  3. Bear says:

    “…would have attempted to force the comet to pull over…”

    Then held it for a K9 unit, who would conveniently alert on invisible traces of pot, leading to the civil forfeiture of the comet’s assets. If the comet objected, it would be beaten about the head and shoulders until it complied, whereupon NASA would file DMCA notices to remove the comet-beating videos from YouTube.

  4. Ben says:

    Jabrwok sayeth: “Making a comet stop in its orbit would mean that, sooner or later, it just drops into the sun.”

    Ah but Jabrwok; are you remembering the sun-earth Lagrangian points? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point

  5. jabrwok says:

    Well, yeah, but did that comet go anywhere near those? There are only two that are permanently stable (4 and 5), and space is big:-).

  6. Tennessee Budd says:

    I didn’t expect to be the only one here who’d think of Lagrange points, & I wasn’t. Just proves, Uncle Joel, you’ve got…let’s say a slightly different group of readers here.

To the stake with the heretic!