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Deep Space Probe Selfie Stick

Allows space probe to take a selfie
  [vote for,

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 humans 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.

st3f, Jun 24 2019

Curiosity Rover https://en.wikipedi...i/Curiosity_(rover)
...with composite selfie. [st3f, Jun 24 2019]

Wikipedia: IKAROS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IKAROS
Mentioned in my anno. Says DCAM2 was used to verify correct sail deployment by IKAROS [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]

YouTube: IKAROS deployment video https://www.youtube...watch?v=wUSjggdG9KU
Mentioned in my anno. Video about the IKAROS sail deployment process, featuring photos from DCAM2 [notexactly, Jun 28 2019]

Wikipedia: Hayabusa2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayabusa2
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 https://en.wikipedi...l_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]

Wikipedia: MiTEx https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiTEx
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 http://rammb.cira.c...ger/military-wx.htm
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.
8th of 7, Jun 24 2019

       //or is launched from the probe//
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2019

       // autonomous //   

       Not on a stick or a tether; fully autonomous.
8th of 7, Jun 24 2019

       //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)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2019

       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 *didn’t* 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: who’s going to take the group shot?
st3f, Jun 24 2019

       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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2019

       // I *didn’t* 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.
8th of 7, Jun 24 2019

       <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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2019

       // [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 />
8th of 7, Jun 24 2019

       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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2019

       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.
8th of 7, Jun 24 2019

       Waders with a bodice... terrible. Shirley a corset would have been a better match?
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 25 2019

       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 ...
8th of 7, Jun 25 2019

       // I can say all of that again wearing my courtroom suit if you really want me to.//   

       *raises hand   

       I do
Voice, Jun 28 2019

       // 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 selfies.   

       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 spacecraft).   

       // I *didn’t* consider the idea of a companion probe that was sufficiently powered 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- inspection satellites. MiTEx [link] was a mission that launched two satellites to demonstrate inspecting 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 the page.)   

       // Is it possible (I know it isn’t now, I’m 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?
notexactly, Jun 28 2019

       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.
8th of 7, Jun 28 2019


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