Environmental damage seen from shuttle

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  • #1
Rabid
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HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- Commander Eileen Collins said astronauts on shuttle Discovery had seen widespread environmental destruction on Earth and warned on Thursday that greater care was needed to protect natural resources.

Her comments came as NASA pondered whether to send astronauts out on an extra space walk to repair additional heat-protection damage on the first shuttle mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster.

Discovery is linked with the international space station and orbiting 220 miles above the Earth.

"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation. It's very widespread in some parts of the world," Collins said in a conversation from space with Japanese officials in Tokyo, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

"We would like to see, from the astronauts' point of view, people take good care of the Earth and replace the resources that have been used," said Collins, who was standing with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi in front of a Japanese flag and holding a colorful fan.

Collins, flying her fourth shuttle mission, said the view from space made clear that Earth's atmosphere must be protected, too.

"The atmosphere almost looks like an eggshell on an egg, it's so very thin," she said. "We know that we don't have much air, we need to protect what we have."

While Collins and Noguchi chatted, NASA officials were deciding whether a torn insulation blanket protecting part of the shuttle surface could rip off and strike a damaging blow to Discovery when it re-enters the atmosphere.

They said it could require another space walk to fix, which would take place on Saturday if needed.

A decision was expected on Thursday afternoon.

Noguchi and astronaut Steve Robinson already have done three space walks, including a landmark walk on Wednesday to remove loose cloth strips protruding from Discovery's belly.

NASA feared the strips could cause dangerous heat damage when the shuttle lands on Monday.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/08/04/shuttle.earth.environment.reut/ [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Smurf
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Same thing we've been telling the world for the last 100 years... Think they'll start listening now? :rolleyes:
 
  • #3
Rabid
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Smurf said:
Same thing we've been telling the world for the last 100 years... Think they'll start listening now? :rolleyes:



Here is a response from Free Republic and there is more where that came from.

WOAH IS THIS TRUE?

I honestly thought someone posted an Onion article. Aren't astronauts smart? I thought you had to be educated? No one educated could make such a ludacris statement based on naked eye visual observation. Well I used to be a fan of space, but now since they are sending up nuttly leg wing weirdo's I think I will stop donating and most likely donate to any organization who is anti-NASA. I want space exploration, not another "zany made up piece of "science" that they can use to justify increasing capitalism crushing taxes and property siezure"
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1456822/posts#comment?q=1
 
  • #4
MaxS
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Those are some sad sick people posting.
 
  • #5
Smurf
369
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MaxS said:
Those are some sad sick people posting.
I'll agree to that, did you see their signatures? What a bunch of dumbasses.

Having said that, I don't really see how they could see enviromental damage from space either. I mean, if that's the case why havn't satellites seen the same stuff and it's only coming out now?
 
  • #6
Pengwuino
Gold Member
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Wait a second, is freerepublic based in Fresno, CA???? I didn't know our city was even mentioned on the internet outside of us being called a pot of mud or a dirty farm city.

And I didn't know you can actually donate to NASA...

and what the hell kinda post is "Typical NASA". What in the world has NASA ever done, said, or thought of that can be considered "typical". Ohh pff, nasa tryen to open up a wormhole through a blackhole using subatomic accelerations through the earth's atmosphere. Typical NASA.

and haha, I had no idea that a majority of the earth's natural resources were visible hundreds of miles above the earth. This is pretty hilarious of course. Soon the liberals will jump on the uninformed bandwagon and think this is some proof that *insert conservative politician* is at fault for all the wolrds problem from the last 200 years or whatever.
 
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  • #7
Smurf
369
3
Pengwuino said:
and what the hell kinda post is "Typical NASA". What in the world has NASA ever done, said, or thought of that can be considered "typical". Ohh pff, nasa tryen to open up a wormhole through a blackhole using subatomic accelerations through the earth's atmosphere. Typical NASA.
:rofl: :rofl: That was my favorite part.
 
  • #8
Pengwuino
Gold Member
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And whats this "Keyword" thing

Keywords: BLAHBLAHBLAH
 
  • #9
Smurf
369
3
Check out this guy:

"Someday I would like to start up a vast array of factories.
Our only product?

Pollution.

24/7/365, my marvelous factories will belch horrible noxious gasses from smokestacks, and PCBs and other carcinogins will be dumped from rusty pipes into pristine rivers. Radiological byproducts will be shipped by the semi-trailer load in leaking barrels, and every morning, my SUV-driving employees will open the spigots on the pressure-tanks filled with greenhouse gasses that have been manufactured overnight.

"Rapicious Industries, Ltd." will someday exist, and I will be it's president.
:rolleyes:
 
  • #10
MaxS
33
0
Pengwuino said:
and haha, I had no idea that a majority of the earth's natural resources were visible hundreds of miles above the earth. This is pretty hilarious of course. Soon the liberals will jump on the uninformed bandwagon and think this is some proof that *insert conservative politician* is at fault for all the wolrds problem from the last 200 years or whatever.

They didn't say anything about a majority of the earth's natural resources. They only mentioned that they could see evidence of erosion and deforestation (and considering how wide spread the deforestation is in the world's rain forests, it is probably quite a prominant thing to see from space if you're looking for it).

The fact that you would draw a connection between this statement and any sort of politics speaks volumes.

Must one be a liberal to admit what they see before their very eyes?
 
  • #11
Pengwuino
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Well when people say something needs to be protected, they normally mean a majority if not all things.

This is just weird though. You'd expect her to say that we need to stop cutting down so many trees... but no, she expands it to every (or a majority of) resource on earth. It doesn't make sense to expand it to a majority if your going to qualify your statement with "We can see the forest is rather screwed up". No ones disputing that we do need to protect the Earth... but this is a rather random statement to say the least when you consider where/who she is and what she used to qualify the statement.
 
  • #13
pattylou
301
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Pengwuino said:
, I had no idea that a majority of the earth's natural resources were visible hundreds of miles above the earth.

I didn't see where they said that in the article.

I saw Collins refer to deforestation, erosion, and the atmosphere. I saw her quoted as saying that people should replace the resources that have been used.

I didn't see her say anything about the "majority" of Earth's reources.

She said nothing about water, oil, biodiversity, arable land, coal, etc etc.

Can you point me to where she said anything about the "majority" of earth's resources?

Thanks Pengwuino!
 
  • #14
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,781
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This is a marketing ploy.

"We need to tell people about the ecology.""
"Boooring. No one reads about ecology."
"People will read anything about the shuttle these days. What if we say it's about the shuttle, but then talk about ecology?"
"What do the two have to do with each other though?"
"Astronauts are smart, right? If an astronaut say's it, it MUST be true!"
"Brilliant!"
 
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  • #15
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Pengwuino said:
and haha, I had no idea that a majority of the earth's natural resources were visible hundreds of miles above the earth. This is pretty hilarious of course. Soon the liberals will jump on the uninformed bandwagon and think this is some proof that *insert conservative politician* is at fault for all the wolrds problem from the last 200 years or whatever.
With a good camera, you can see quite a bit from the Shuttle - it's only about 185 miles up.

http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/photoinfo.pl?PHOTO=STS51G-34-60 [Broken]

http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/photoinfo.pl?PHOTO=STS046-78-26 [Broken]

You can browse an entire library of photographs from the shuttle at NASA's Earth from Space

Of course, that's just typical NASA, though.

Edit: Oh, one more picture. The region where Bin Laden has been hiding out the last couple of years? http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/photoinfo.pl?PHOTO=STS047-88-20 [Broken]
 
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  • #16
The Smoking Man
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BobG said:
Oh, one more picture. The region where Bin Laden has been hiding out the last couple of years? http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/photoinfo.pl?PHOTO=STS047-88-20 [Broken]
Why did I just get a picture in my head of Steven Wright smiling up into the sky for a satellite photo?
 
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  • #17
edward
85
166
Thanks for the links Bob G

There is a lot of terrestrial information that can be detected from space, including gas ,oil, and mineral deposits. (not that using those commodities would protect the atmosphere)

What troubles me is that so many people don't seem to realize just how thin the atmosphere is. They think that if we can fly way up high in an airplane all of that atmosphere must be indestructible.

As most of you realize the atmosphere is thin, very thin considering the size of the planet it surrounds and the number of life forms it supports. That is what the astrounauts were referring to.

If the earth was the size of the average desk, 95% of the atmosphere would be much much thinner than a piece of paper laying on it.
 
  • #18
Rev Prez
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This neatly sums up my view on the matter...

"With the shuttle seemingly falling apart around her, Collins might spend a little time worrying about how she's going to get her crew safely back to terra firma, even if it is badly polluted. Home, sweet home — be it ever so humble." -- http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/smith_murray200508080815.asp [Broken]

Rev Prez
 
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  • #19
Rev Prez
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BobG said:
With a good camera, you can see quite a bit from the Shuttle - it's only about 185 miles up.

So you show us a couple hundred square miles of land that's still mostly green?

Rev Prez
 
  • #20
pattylou
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Didn't take much biology coursework in school, eh?
 
  • #21
loseyourname
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edward said:
Thanks for the links Bob G

There is a lot of terrestrial information that can be detected from space, including gas ,oil, and mineral deposits. (not that using those commodities would protect the atmosphere)

How can you see underground deposits from space? [Note: I'm not disputing your claim (I've never been up there, after all), I'm just asking.]
 
  • #22
edward
85
166
loseyourname said:
How can you see underground deposits from space? [Note: I'm not disputing your claim (I've never been up there, after all), I'm just asking.]

"Space sensors looking beneath the surface"

"Satellite data can map and identify large-scale geological structures related to hydrocarbon and mineral deposits that ground-based surveys may find more difficult to see: satellite radar interferometry can precisely identify surface faults or slight ground motion connected with hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Multi-spectral optical sensors can directly identify different minerals, either valuable in their own right or chemically altered by contact with oil and gas deposits."

http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM9BL3VQUD_economy_0.html
 
  • #23
edward
85
166
Rev Prez said:
So you show us a couple hundred square miles of land that's still mostly green?

Rev Prez

Green doesn't mean trees. And their is a big difference between the two pics.

Maybe this will help it was taken from an airplane.
http://www.planetark.com/envpicstory.cfm/newsid/30901

The earth is losing the equivalent of two football fields of forest every second.
 
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  • #24
loseyourname
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edward said:
"Space sensors looking beneath the surface"

"Satellite data can map and identify large-scale geological structures related to hydrocarbon and mineral deposits that ground-based surveys may find more difficult to see: satellite radar interferometry can precisely identify surface faults or slight ground motion connected with hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Multi-spectral optical sensors can directly identify different minerals, either valuable in their own right or chemically altered by contact with oil and gas deposits."

http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM9BL3VQUD_economy_0.html

I see what you mean. You're not talking about what the astronauts can see. Thanks.
 
  • #25
Rev Prez said:
This neatly sums up my view on the matter...

"With the shuttle seemingly falling apart around her, Collins might spend a little time worrying about how she's going to get her crew safely back to terra firma, even if it is badly polluted. Home, sweet home — be it ever so humble." -- http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/smith_murray200508080815.asp [Broken]

Rev Prez
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-08/09/content_3331277.htm

Just like a woman to be able to multi-task so efficiently.
 
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  • #26
The Smoking Man
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Skyhunter said:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-08/09/content_3331277.htm

Just like a woman to be able to multi-task so efficiently.
I'll bet she's a mom.

Ever seen the back seat of a minivan of a Mom?

Now wonder she can land a brick like the Space Shuttle.

Probably why she can see stuff in the earth most people here can't.

Moms can see EVERYTHING.

Moms are the closest things we have to people with superpowers.
 
  • #27
pattylou
301
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The Smoking Man said:
I'll bet she's a mom.

Ever seen the back seat of a minivan of a Mom?

Now wonder she can land a brick like the Space Shuttle.

Probably why she can see stuff in the earth most people here can't.

Moms can see EVERYTHING.

Moms are the closest things we have to people with superpowers.
Yeah. Big Grin. Big, big grin.

We live in earthquake country and were rudely awakened at about 5:07 this morning by what we thought was a sizable quake of the "boom, boom" variety. Dad ran to check on the kids and I ran to check the news and we found out it was the *shuttle* passing overhead.

Big grin. Things like this are so cool - makes me happy to be American.
 
  • #28
i think people are taking her words too seriously if just because they assume others will. i took her words kind of off handedly, not as a global policy nasa is trying to promote to the world. i hate to think of the reaction some of the people posting here would have if collins said the view from the space shuttle was "good and made her value to opportunity nasa gave her to go into space". would this indicate all environmental conditions are "good" ?

small comments are being taken to apply to more then they were meant to.
 
  • #29
Jimmy Snyder
1,031
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edward said:
If the earth was the size of the average desk, 95% of the atmosphere would be much much thinner than a piece of paper laying on it.
Where did you get this? I did some investigating on the interweb and found the following:

http://mediatheek.thinkquest.nl/~ll125/en/atmos.htm [Broken]

atmos.htm said:
The Troposphere
The Troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere and measures about 7 miles(12 km). It contains over 75 percent of all the atmosphere's gases and vast quantities of water and dust.

Stratosphere:
The Stratosphere extends from the tropopause up to its boundary (the Stratopause), 31 miles(50 km) above the Earth's surface. In this layer there is 19 percent of the atmosphere's gases and it contains little water vapour.
So 94% of the atmosphere is in a layer 31 miles thick.

http://www.lyberty.com/encyc/articles/earth.html

earth.html said:
The equitorial diameter of the Earth (distance from one side of the Earth to the other at the equator) is about 7,926 miles.

So dividing 7926/31, I get a ratio of 260. For your analogy to be correct, a desk would have to have the roughly the same height as the thickness of a 520 page paperback book (2 pages per piece of paper). In other words, the atmosphere is not so thin as your analogy would indicate.

I do not stand by these figures. If someone has more authoritative data, please let us know.

As for that astronaut, I think she sheds much heat and no light on this important topic. What a waste of such a precious resource.
 
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