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Everyone remembers the selfie that the Curiosity rover took on Mars. Despite being possibly the
least scientifically important thing the rover has done, I think that it has more impact that any
other picture taken by the rover. Having the rover in shot gives it context and, because we as
anthropomorphise the hell out of anything, humanises the image.
What I am proposing is that, at great expense and increase in launch weight, that any deep
space probe that makes a close approach to a planet, asteroid or other body, is equipped with a
selfie camera that can be deployed on the end of a stick, cord, or is launched from the probe
(either as a single shot device or a separate sub-assembly that can return). This camera then
takes a pic of the probe against the background of the thing it is flying past.
The probe would get a human moment, might make more people interested in its mission and,
maybe, just maybe, increase funding for space science. I wouldn't be surprised if this has been
discussed deep on the bowels of NASA but I've never come across any mention of it online.
...with composite selfie. [st3f, Jun 24 2019]
Mentioned in my anno. Says DCAM2 was used to verify correct sail deployment by IKAROS [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
YouTube: IKAROS deployment video
Mentioned in my anno. Video about the IKAROS sail deployment process, featuring photos from DCAM2 [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
Mentioned in my anno. Used DCAM3 (numbering continued from IKAROS's) to image SCI's impact with asteroid while Hayabusa2 itself was safely on the other side [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
Wikipedia: Visual Monitoring Camera
Mentioned in my anno. ESA space camera that's apparently easy to integrate into new missions and only produces low-quality images [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
Mentioned in my anno. Two satellite inspection demonstrator satellites [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
A page showing that the two MiTEx satellites were apparently not of the same design
Mentioned in my anno. From what appears to be a space-philatelic website. MiTEx-A and -B images are linked in the reference image column of the "Other (selected) US military satellites" table, at the date 2006-06-21 [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]
||Have the probe deploy a tiny, autonomous camera probe. Then they can photograph one another, and the mini probe can inspect the main probe for damage.
||//or is launched from the probe//
||Not on a stick or a tether; fully autonomous.
||//deployed on the end of a stick, cord, _OR_ is launched from
the probe (either as a single shot device or a separate sub-
assembly that can return)// (emphasis added)
||I love the attention to detail above. :)
||To be fair, although I considered the possibility of a small
probe that launched, snapped and returned, I *didnt*
consider the idea of a companion probe that was
sufficiently powered to spend a significant amount of
mission time separate from the main probe.
||This, however, brings its own problem: whos going to
take the group shot?
||Phhhhwell, that's gonna cost you mate. I mean, for starters
we'll have to get a quantum mechanic on it, and they start at
about fifty quid an hour, and that's before parts and labour.
He's gonna need to strip the whole eigenvalue down before he
can even get to the bits he needs to get to.
Then there's travel time - you say there's a plane involved?
Well, that'll be business class not to mention taxi both ends
there AND back. Frankly, if I were you, I'd just get one of
them sticks and be done with it.
||// I *didnt* consider the idea of a companion probe that was sufficiently powered to spend a significant amount of mission time separate from the main probe. //
||<Smirks, makes offensive gestures at [MB]/>
||// taxi both ends there AND back.//
||Yes, and just try getting on to go south of the plane of the ecliptic after midnight ... better be wearing some good walking shoes.
||<Does that turning-the- winch- to-elevate- the- middle-finger
gesture at [8th]> Clearly, though, [st3f] envisaged a
jettisonable (and that is a word) camera that would relay its
image back to the parent probe.
||// [st3f] envisaged a jettisonable (and that is a word) camera //
||But the idea title clearly states "selfie stick" which is deployable but remains attached, thus the overarching concept is for a dependant rather than autonomous module, Mister Clever Dick.
||<Places tips of thumbs in ears, sticks tongue out, waggles fingers backwards and forwards />
||A person of skill in the art would look beyond the title of
the idea and read the body text. Reading that text, said
POSA would see the phrase "launched from the probe" and
the closely-following phrase "single shot device" and, being
familiar with the common meanings of "launched", "from"
and "shot", would necessarily envisage a device which was
deployed without a means of physical connection to the
parent probe. Said POSA would have his or her
understanding confirmed by the use of the words "single
shot", which imply irretrievable loss of the launched entity.
Moreover, the text uses the phrase "or a separate sub-
assembly that can return". Use of the word "or" clearly
indicates that "can return" is an alternative to a previously
taught element, and the only reasonable such alternative is
a sub-assembly that _cannot_ return. Counsel will be
familiar with the laws of physics, and will therefore
understand that an object "launched" and yet still tethered
to the launching vehicle will, on reaching the extent of the
tether, produce an elastic extension of said tether and will
hence recoil and, in the absence of supervening forces,
return to the launching vehicle. (With the court's
permission, I would like to illustrate this by means of a Fli-
Back paddleball (US patent 1,529,600), an example of which
I have brought with me).
||Thus (and I refer to you to Markman v. Alphurst), a POSA
would inevitably understand that a non-returning, non-
tethered device was envisaged by the inventor. You will
also be aware that, in interpreting claim language, the body
text of the document should be considered foremost as
illuminating on the meanings of the claims; and that whilst
the inventor is permitted to act as his/her own
lexicographer, nevertheless the ordinary meaning of
language should be applied in the absence of any pertinent
definitions supplied by the inventor.
||I can say all of that again wearing my courtroom suit if you
really want me to.
||That would certainly be more seemly than the thigh-length waders, liberty bodice, and leather gimp mask that's all you're wearing at the moment.
||Waders with a bodice... terrible. Shirley a corset would have
been a better match?
||You know that; we know that; everyone else knows that. But will he listen ? Noooo....
||And really ... that handbag, with those earrings ...?Mascara is fine, but not, repeat not, on nostril hairs ...
||// I can say all of that again wearing my courtroom suit if you really want me to.//
||// a selfie camera that [
] is launched from the probe ([
as a single shot device
||Baked: IKAROS's DCAMs [links]
||Hayabusa2 also very recently used a DCAM (presumably of the
same type) [link],
but for hazardous-environment photography rather than
||Also, IIRC, the VMC [link] has been proposed as a fixed-mount
selfie camera for
proposed space missions. And in its original application, it was
used a somewhat
similar way (imaging the secondary spacecraft as it was
deployed from the main
||// I *didnt* consider the idea of a companion probe that was
to spend a significant amount of mission time separate from
the main probe. //
||I bet you also didn't consider that the main probe might also
be of that type, but
that has been baked too, kinda, in the form of satellite-
MiTEx [link] was a mission that launched two satellites to
each other; they were later used to inspect a failed satellite.
(Apparently the two
MiTEx satellites were not of the same design; see [link] and
search for MiTEx on
||// Is it possible (I know it isnt now, Im talking about
forever) to capture the effective wavefront of light forming
a latent image at a particular plane out there in front of
you, without any hardware being at that particular plane out
there (in front of, etc). ? //
||I think that's possible now, actually. Don't iPhones do that?
||No, that's the latest handsets using Android, from LG, Huawei and Samsung. The iPhoneys are the ones you use if you have a table with one leg shorter than the other three.