I wanna build a space probe

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othaderak
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I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 02:15

Really. You know, like the Voyager probe. I figure I could do it for a couple hundred bucks using only a satellite dish, common components and a bored electrical engineer.

Any suggestions on where to start?
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lotek
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby lotek » 27 Aug 2009 03:48

build a rocket first no?
:)

edit: you expose yourself to plenty of stupid jokes with your use of the word "probe" let me tell you that :mrgreen:
Last edited by lotek on 27 Aug 2009 04:16, edited 1 time in total.
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E. LeGuille
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby E. LeGuille » 27 Aug 2009 04:16

Make sure that the CIA doesn't try to track you down for terrorism.

Oh, who am I kidding? What are they going to do? They have enough dealing with Congress right now for... uh... wanting to kill terrorists. And that makes Pelosi mad, because they mad princess look bad. And she says they were liars. So...
:text-threadjacked:
... Sorry.

Seriously, get a basic engineering idea down on paper, as far as what you want it to do. Figure out how to ensure geo-synchronous orbit, and read up on propulsion methods for small rockets.

Or, stick it on a kite and fly it up really, really high, then call the U.S. Government, and tell them your aircraft needs to be registered with the FAA as a delivery system.
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Freakzilla
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2009 08:11

I think you should check the environmental operating ranges of the circuits you intend to use. Those things don't cost millions for no reason (besides government waste).

What's going to happen when a piece of dust hits it at 25,000 mps?
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smugetsu
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby smugetsu » 27 Aug 2009 09:38

I would think the delivery system would be your biggest stumbling block. The parts and materials would be difficult to come by, especially the fuel/engines to reach the altitude you'd need to deliver your probe into space. I think the government would kinda frown on a civilian (I assume you're a civilian) purchasing the materials to build a rocket...since a lot of the same parts could be used to construct a missile.

Having a probe that could transmit a signal strong enough to be received by us here on Earth would cost a fortune, not to mention the equipment necessary to receive the transmissions.

Can I ask a question, though? What type of thing is your probe going to be looking for? Is it going to orbit the Earth or do we need to figure out how to give this thing escape velocity so we can throw it past Saturn?
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Slugger
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Slugger » 27 Aug 2009 10:18

Watch "The Astronaut Farmer."

I'd have to agree that you're biggest hurtle would be delivering it into a stable orbit.

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A Thing of Eternity
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 27 Aug 2009 12:03

It costs something like $10,000US to put a single kilo into orbit, last I checked.
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DuneFishUK
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby DuneFishUK » 27 Aug 2009 13:53

If you build it upside-down you can just drop it into the sky.

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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2009 13:58

Ludichrist speed!
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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 16:34

I'll let someone else, namely an aerospace engineer, figure out how to get it into orbit. Given that I haven't picked a degree yet and still have time to do so, that aerospace engineer could be me.

Here's what I've got so far on how to build a Voyager series probe:

1 parabolic satellite dish, approx. 2-4 m in diameter (pref. C-band)
2-3 (?) printed circuit boards
1 400+ w portable generator
or
3 12 volt car batteries (two for aux. power)
1 soldering gun
1 PC-grade microprocessor
Several GB of solid-state memory
radio broadcaster/receiver array

Steps

1.) Assemble CPU
2.) Attach sattelite dish
3.) Connect power source(s)
4.) Program simple commands into CPU, i.e. radio-frequency ping/response
5.) Ping/response test

Objectives

1.) Acquire and respond to radio signals
2.) Build something cool


That doesn't count the materials I'd need for the equipment housing and insulation, but I think that gives you the general idea.

And yes, I know there are jokes and implications with the word "probe", but I've used them all myself and am therefore immune :P
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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 16:44

smugetsu wrote:Having a probe that could transmit a signal strong enough to be received by us here on Earth would cost a fortune, not to mention the equipment necessary to receive the transmissions.


If this thing ever gets into orbit, that would be a miracle in and of itself. Assuming it did, its orbit would likely be a pretty close one, maybe a couple hundred miles up, where its signals could be sent to the ground and received with a radio telescope. Basically, you'd be able to pick up its signals with a standard satellite dish.

smugetsu wrote:Can I ask a question, though? What type of thing is your probe going to be looking for? Is it going to orbit the Earth or do we need to figure out how to give this thing escape velocity so we can throw it past Saturn?


My main objective is to build something cool. If I could attach a camera and takes pictures of stuff from orbit or something, that'd just be a plus.

Edit: fixed quote tags
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Apjak » 27 Aug 2009 18:45

othaderak wrote:
smugetsu wrote:Having a probe that could transmit a signal strong enough to be received by us here on Earth would cost a fortune, not to mention the equipment necessary to receive the transmissions.


If this thing ever gets into orbit, that would be a miracle in and of itself. Assuming it did, its orbit would likely be a pretty close one, maybe a couple hundred miles up, where its signals could be sent to the ground and received with a radio telescope. Basically, you'd be able to pick up its signals with a standard satellite dish.

smugetsu wrote:Can I ask a question, though? What type of thing is your probe going to be looking for? Is it going to orbit the Earth or do we need to figure out how to give this thing escape velocity so we can throw it past Saturn?


My main objective is to build something cool. If I could attach a camera and takes pictures of stuff from orbit or something, that'd just be a plus.

Edit: fixed quote tags



I vote that we program it for a lunar flyby to get proof of the moon landing, and after word it can float out of the solar system with copies of the FH Dune books, taking the OH message to the rest of the universe. Maybe we can aim it at something Dune apropos.
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2009 18:52

:lol:

When I read the OP I assumed a delivery vehicle.

And if the government frowned on purchasing rocket parts no one would have claimed th X-prize.
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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 19:21

Apjak wrote:I vote that we program it for a lunar flyby to get proof of the moon landing, and after word it can float out of the solar system with copies of the FH Dune books, taking the OH message to the rest of the universe. Maybe we can aim it at something Dune apropos.


I thought about putting an MP3 player on it, kinda like the Pioneer golden disk. Maybe I'll just load it up with Dune audiobooks instead of Earth's musical heritage :P
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2009 19:44

othaderak wrote:
Apjak wrote:I vote that we program it for a lunar flyby to get proof of the moon landing, and after word it can float out of the solar system with copies of the FH Dune books, taking the OH message to the rest of the universe. Maybe we can aim it at something Dune apropos.


I thought about putting an MP3 player on it, kinda like the Pioneer golden disk. Maybe I'll just load it up with Dune audiobooks instead of Earth's musical heritage :P


Just don't put KJA on it, aliens will quaranteen us and we'll never reach the starts.

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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby trang » 27 Aug 2009 20:09

for inspiration:

book....Dean Ing...."The Big Lifters".

Old TV show....."Salvage One"
"Long Live the Fighters", "Dragon.....the other white meat."

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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby Hunchback Jack » 27 Aug 2009 20:10

You could try putting KJA *in* it, but then you'll *never* get the thing into orbit.

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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 20:56

Hunchback Jack wrote:You could try putting KJA *in* it, but then you'll *never* get the thing into orbit.

HBJ


Maybe we can just launch the Jacket into the Sun...
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby SandChigger » 27 Aug 2009 22:38

othaderak wrote:"probe[s]" ... I've used them all myself

To bravely go.... :shock:

But there's the brave lad, admitting it in public! The exploration of outer space should always follow that of inner. :lol:

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E. LeGuille
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby E. LeGuille » 27 Aug 2009 22:51

othaderak wrote:
Hunchback Jack wrote:You could try putting KJA *in* it, but then you'll *never* get the thing into orbit.

HBJ


Maybe we can just launch the Jacket into the Sun...


What is the Jacket everyone refers to? Is it the brown blazer?
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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 27 Aug 2009 22:52

SandChigger wrote:
othaderak wrote:"probe[s]" ... I've used them all myself

To bravely go.... :shock:

But there's the brave lad, admitting it in public! The exploration of outer space should always follow that of inner. :lol:


Mid-quote ellipses: cruise control for quotational hilarity :P

And yes, that blazer is the Jacket. May it die a fiery death in the belly of the Sun!
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E. LeGuille
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby E. LeGuille » 27 Aug 2009 23:03

I don't get it. Someone point it out to me? I'm a preek, I don't want to think.
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby SandChigger » 27 Aug 2009 23:28

That's GOOD. Sarcasm will set you free. :lol:
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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lotek
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby lotek » 28 Aug 2009 04:46

Talking of sarcasm, I'm amazed that no one has yet made even a subtle hint to another kind of famous space probe...
SandChigger wrote:
othaderak wrote:"probe[s]" ... I've used them all myself

To bravely go.... :shock:

But there's the brave lad, admitting it in public! The exploration of outer space should always follow that of inner. :lol:



As for The Jacket well apparently he has only one so Capital Letters Baby!!
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othaderak
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Re: I wanna build a space probe

Postby othaderak » 28 Aug 2009 16:21

lotek wrote:Talking of sarcasm, I'm amazed that no one has yet made even a subtle hint to another kind of famous space probe...


You mean V'Ger, right? :D
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