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science fiction or science fact? quiz on NASA

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science fiction or science fact? quiz on NASA

Postby hubble » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:58 pm

Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Here's a short quiz to test your knowledge of what's real and what isn't in the area of space travel and the search for extraterrestrial life.

Are we alone?

1. We have strong evidence that that our solar system is not the only one; we know there are many other Suns with planets orbiting them.

SCIENCE FACT.

Improved telescopes and detectors have led to the detection of dozens of new planetary systems within the past decade, including several systems containing multiple planets.

One giant leap for bug-kind

2. Some organisms can survive in space without any kind of protective enclosure.

SCIENCE FACT.

In a European Space Agency experiment conducted in 2005, two species of lichen were carried aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket and exposed to the space environment for nearly 15 days. They were then resealed in a capsule and returned to Earth, where they were found in exactly the same shape as before the flight. The lichen survived exposure to the vacuum of space as well as the glaring ultraviolet radiation of the Sun.

Hot real estate

3. Organisms have been found living happily in scalding water with temperatures as high as 235 degrees F.

SCIENCE FACT.

More than 50 heat-loving microorganisms, or hyperthermophiles, have been found thriving at very high temperatures in such locations as hot springs in WyomingÕs Yellowstone National Park and on the walls of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Some of these species multiply best at 221 degrees F, and can reproduce at up to 235 degrees F.

Has E.T. already phoned home?

4. We now have evidence that some form of life exists beyond Earth, at least in primitive form.

SCIENCE FICTION.

While many scientists speculate that extraterrestrial life exists, so far there is no conclusive evidence to prove it. Future missions to Mars, the Jovian moon Europa and future space telescopes such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder will search for definitive answers to this ageless question.

To infinity, and beyond!

5. We currently have the technology necessary to send astronauts to another star system within a reasonable timespan. The only problem is that such a mission would be overwhelmingly expensive.

SCIENCE FICTION.

Even the the unmanned Voyager spacecraft, which left our solar system years ago at a breathtaking 37,000 miles per hour, would take 76,000 years to reach the nearest star. Because the distances involved are so vast, interstellar travel to another star within a practical timescale would require, among other things, the ability the move a vehicle at or near the speed of light. This is beyond the reach of today's spacecraft -- regardless of funding.

Fellowship of the rings

6. All of the gas giant planets in our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) have rings.

SCIENCE FACT.

Saturn's rings are the most pronounced and visible, but they aren't the only ones.

May the force be with you

7. In the "Star Wars" films, the Imperial TIE Fighters are propelled by ion engines (TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine). While these spacecraft are fictional, real ion engines power some of todayÕs spacecraft.

SCIENCE FACT.

Ion propulsion has long been a staple of science fiction novels, but in recent years it has been successfully tested on a number of unmanned spacecraft, most notably NASAÕs Deep Space 1. Launched in 1998, Deep Space 1 rendezvoused with a distant asteroid and then with a comet, proving that ion propulsion could be used for interplanetary travel.

A question of gravity

8. There is no gravity in deep space.

SCIENCE FICTION.

If this were true, the moon would float away from the Earth, and our entire solar system would drift apart. While itÕs true that gravity gets weaker with distance, it can never be escaped completely, no matter how far you travel in space. Astronauts appear to experience "zero-gravity" because they are in continuous free-fall around the Earth.

Beam me up, Scotty!

9. The basic premise of teleportation -- made famous in TVÕs "Star Trek" -- is theoretically sound. In fact, scientists have already ÒteleportedÓ the quantum state of individual atoms from one location to another.

SCIENCE FACT.

As early as the late 1990s, scientists proved they could teleport data using photons, but the photons were absorbed by whatever surface they struck. More recently, physicists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, for the first time teleported individual atoms using the principle of quantum entanglement.

Experts say this technology eventually could enable the invention of superfast "quantum computers." But the bad news, at least for sci-fi fans, is that experts donÕt foresee being able to teleport people in this manner.

Good day, Suns-shine

10. Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home planet in the "Star Wars" films, has two Suns -- what astronomers would call a binary star system. Scientists have discovered recently that planets really can form within such systems.

SCIENCE FACT.

Double-stars, or binary systems, are common in our Milky Way galaxy. Among the more than 100 new planets discovered in recent years, some have been found in binary systems, including16 Cygni B and 55 Cancri A. (But so far, no one has found a habitable planet like Luke Skywalker's Tatooine.)
"Hubble was strong, a gifted athlete,charming, immenseley good looking-
It all seemed too good to be true. It was. For all his gifts, Edwin Hubble was also an inveterate liar."
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:49 pm

Sweet. I got most of them. Although, I must admit, I didn't think binary systems would be able to support planets. Learn something new every day.
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Postby hubble » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:24 pm

i'm kinda excited that someone is talking about it. i always post stuff and no-one pays attention, and i get bored and go away for months.
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:47 pm

Yeah, that would suck.

Hey, did you know that astronauts are getting their own roller coaster? PopSci did an article about a new escape system from the launch tower. It's pretty cool.
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Postby FutureAstronaut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:08 pm

OMG, i read PopSci, too. I saw that. I'd wanna ride it, even if there wasn't an emergency
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:01 pm

FutureAstronaut wrote:OMG, i read PopSci, too. I saw that. I'd wanna ride it, even if there wasn't an emergency

When you get into astronaut training, I bet they will let you ride it. They may call it 'training', but we know better. :lol:
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Postby Ihave5gigsofRAM » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:36 pm

there is no such thing as a fact. Although I don't know why we give classifications like organism. It binds us to how "organisms are living". I think that there could be other things out there that could be the opposite of inanimate (I don't know the word for that) and they just don't function the same way organisms do. As long as they can move on there own power, and have instincts or decision making ability's. And no a computer is not an (opposite of inanimate thingy we will call it a "liv") liv because it ultimately needs instructions from humans.
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Postby 1337haxorz » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:46 pm

nerdia takes a chunk out of the earth makes a biosphere with rockets and cryogenicly freezes our selves for the duration of the space flight to orbit our own sun and solar system with possible alien counterparts?
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:01 pm

1337haxorz wrote:nerdia takes a chunk out of the earth makes a biosphere with rockets and cryogenicly freezes our selves for the duration of the space flight to orbit our own sun and solar system with possible alien counterparts?

Sorry, won't work. In order to create Earth-like gravity, we would have to speed up it's period of rotation. Depending on exactly how big it is, that may cause all the atmosphere to fly off. Unless you plan on covering it somehow. That might work, but the days will still be shorter, and how are you going to get enough material to do that? What about labor and cost? I like the idea, but until I invent machine generated artificial gravity (heehee *snort*), it's a tad unrealistic.
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Postby 1337haxorz » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:02 pm

well we'd have chuck noriss on board ask him to do it DUUUH
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:04 pm

1337haxorz wrote:well we'd have chuck noriss on board ask him to do it DUUUH

Of course! We would ask him to roundhouse kick the mini world to the proper rotation period. Brilliant!
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Postby 1337haxorz » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:08 pm

i cant tell if that was mocking me or pure general chucknorissism
heres a reminder
chuck noriss once had a paper route, there were no survivors.
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Postby Astronut » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:11 pm

1337haxorz wrote:i cant tell if that was mocking me or pure general chucknorissism
heres a reminder
chuck noriss once had a paper route, there were no survivors.

It was a Chuck Norrissism. Very rarely do I get mad enough to mock people.

Here's one:

Chuck Norris counted to infinity. Twice.
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Postby 1337haxorz » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:15 pm

The holes in the O-zone layer arnt from global warming*which dosent exist* its from chuck noriss missing 3 pointers.
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Postby Ihave5gigsofRAM » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:17 pm

OK
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