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f13.net General Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: Teleku on December 03, 2010, 11:06:49 AM



Title: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 03, 2010, 11:06:49 AM
So we're always talking about random space topics in lots of scattered threads, and I figured it might actually be a good idea to have one thread to keep all the discussion in.  There are a lot of interesting public and private spaceflight programs coming up, so hopefully this thread will actually get some use.  Looking at threads in both, I'm really not sure what the difference between General Discussion and Serious Business is anymore, so mods can move if need be....

First up, Space-x is getting close to the 2nd Launch of their Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled for December 7th. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jIy1pnVgB-sCS5T7Crd0JxVcHirQ?docId=CNG.fa0914aaf88efbfc94d9b1b4fc7fecae.91) 

The first launch was back in summer, and they had the whole thing streamed over the web live (including a camera on the rocket itself), which was a lot of fun.  Nothing blew up though, so not quite as exciting as the first launch of a brand new model of rocket could be.   :why_so_serious:  This launch has the Dragon capsule on it, which is a space craft they've developed to first deliver cargo to the International Space Station, and then a crewed version that will deliver people.  So its somewhat important this all goes smoothly, as this Dragon Capsule is the only near term solution to having a US craft that can put people in space after the Space Shuttles Retire.

They are, as we speak, streaming the Static Test Fire over the internet right now.  The test itself is set for a little under an hour.  I'm not sure it will really be that exciting, but here it is none the less:
http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php

Second interesting news today, the weird ass secret space shuttle drone the Air Force developed and launched into space earlier this year just touched down today. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11911335)  First unmanned landing of a spacecraft.  From all reports, it looks like everything worked perfectly during its test run.  What ever the fuck its actually suppose to do.  Sooo, go Air Force?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sky on December 03, 2010, 01:45:27 PM
Quote
"I don't know how this could be called weaponisation of space. It's just an updated version of the space shuttle type of activities in space," he said.

"We, the Air Force, have a suite of military missions in space and this new vehicle could potentially help us do those missions better."
:why_so_serious: :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: K9 on December 03, 2010, 02:24:21 PM
I like Russia's plans to build and launch a vessel to collect debris from low earth orbit. Although the fact that they announced this on their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=110670402336550&id=125342950826952) is a bit miffing.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: NowhereMan on December 03, 2010, 06:03:43 PM
That seems passé but wait till they're tweeting from the moon. Man Sarah Palin'll be jealous.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on December 03, 2010, 06:40:57 PM
I like Russia's plans to build and launch a vessel to collect debris from low earth orbit. Although the fact that they announced this on their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=110670402336550&id=125342950826952) is a bit miffing.


A picture of the crew:

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y222/Abagadro/quark16.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on December 03, 2010, 06:57:54 PM
Nice Quark reference.

Yeah, I just dated myself.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sky on December 06, 2010, 09:57:49 AM
I like Russia's plans to build and launch a vessel to collect debris from low earth orbit.
I just wrote a new verse to Space Oddity.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Stormwaltz on December 06, 2010, 01:28:23 PM
I like Russia's plans to build and launch a vessel to collect debris from low earth orbit.

Will they name it DS-12 Toybox (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DakRYsUIiIE)?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on December 06, 2010, 03:56:26 PM
One could make a pretty penny collecting space junk from LEO.  Imagine the collectibility.  Also, imagine how much govt.'s would pay to get back some of the stuff they've left up there.

Anyways, I hope SpaceX does a better job streaming their launch tomorrow, 'cause last time was a serious joke save for Miles O'Brien's coverage, which he threw together in his own time on his own dime.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Obo on December 06, 2010, 05:06:30 PM
There was an issue found with a second stage nozzle, so it's been pushed back to Thursday or Friday, although there has been some rumblings that it may be back to Wednesday now.

Since it's a COTS flight NASA TV should have coverage too.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: K9 on December 06, 2010, 05:20:16 PM
One could make a pretty penny collecting space junk from LEO.  Imagine the collectibility.  Also, imagine how much govt.'s would pay to get back some of the stuff they've left up there.

Is any of it valuable though? As far as I know most of it is screws, tools, frozen poop, bits of broken this and that and dead satellites. I guess the satellites might be worth something, but hardly relative to the cost of collecting it. I think the main aim is just to reduce the amount of dangerous debris which is starting to accumulate up there.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 06, 2010, 05:26:57 PM
The spacex web stream worked pretty good for me last time.  Saw everything clearly.  Could have just been situational to you.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on December 06, 2010, 06:19:40 PM
It would be much more lucrative to take the working satellites and ransom them back.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 06, 2010, 06:22:51 PM
That's probably what the secret Air Force ship is for.   :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 06, 2010, 06:35:48 PM
I think the main aim is just to reduce the amount of dangerous debris which is starting to accumulate up there.

The really dangerous debris is the stuff that is less than 1/2" in size. There is a lot of kinetic energy in an object traveling at orbital velocities, and things like solar arrays and people are delicate things. The big shit is relatively harmless so long as it stays intact as they can track that with radar.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sheepherder on December 06, 2010, 08:57:23 PM
Also, imagine how much govt.'s would pay to get back some of the stuff they've left up there.

Nothing, because anything that's actually a state secret is usually de-orbited into an ocean.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: K9 on December 07, 2010, 01:58:19 PM
I think the main aim is just to reduce the amount of dangerous debris which is starting to accumulate up there.

The really dangerous debris is the stuff that is less than 1/2" in size. There is a lot of kinetic energy in an object traveling at orbital velocities, and things like solar arrays and people are delicate things. The big shit is relatively harmless so long as it stays intact as they can track that with radar.

Well that's what I figured, screws and such.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on December 07, 2010, 08:28:06 PM
But how would you gather all that space junk into a container? Megamaid?  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Obo on December 08, 2010, 07:49:30 AM
First launch attempt for the Falcon 9 is in 15 min. http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php
Quality of the feed is good, the content of the show and tell coverage is a bit... eh...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 08, 2010, 10:06:40 AM
Bah, stupid east coast time, launching the damn thing while I was commuting to work.   :oh_i_see:

Looks like everything has worked perfectly, and the Dragon capsule is in orbit.  They're suppose to test landing and recovering it though, I recall.  Anybody know when that will be?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Obo on December 08, 2010, 10:54:55 AM
It is to do at least two orbits, so three hours after launch is when it is scheduled to deorbit, I don't know if there is to be any video coverage of the splashdown.

This is a good place to keep track of the latest status. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23516.0


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 08, 2010, 10:58:20 AM
Hmm, ok.  That thread says they're going to order the de-orbit around 1:15 EST. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Obo on December 08, 2010, 11:29:33 AM
Video of the launch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-ci9xIgNZM


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 09, 2010, 05:22:30 PM
Well, everything went perfectly for the Falcon 9 launch.  The Dragon spaceship got into space, orbited the earth twice, then splashed down and was recovered successfully.  Apparently it had secret cargo, which they revealed upon recovery (its cheese):
(http://images.spaceref.com/news/2010/spacex.cheese.1.jpg)

(http://images.spaceref.com/news/2010/spacex.cheese.2.jpg)

Apparently the rocket was also carrying a micro satellite for the Army which was put into orbit successfully.

Pretty amazing though, as this is the first time a private company has done this (and only a handful of nation states have managed it as well).  There is hope yet for our space program!

Not a good week for space projects otherwise, however.  Japans probe (http://www.cnbc.com/id/40561379) to Venus managed to overshoot the target and is now heading off to fly around the sun.  They say they'll try again when the probe comes back around Venus in 6 years.

On Sunday, a Russian rocket carrying 3 satellites for they're own GPS system fucked up and they all crashed into the Pacific. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101206/wl_asia_afp/russiaspacescience)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 08, 2012, 07:03:52 AM
Well, maybe it's a good time to riseeeeeeee this thread thanks to the Curiosity rover and see if we can keep it going (and talk about other NASA/space missions and astronomy discoveries in general)    :cthulu:
---

Yesterday, MRO passed over the Curiosity landing site and took a nice picture:




Here's the photo along with a detailed description of it:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4299

as it was explained in a press-conference, the photo was taken using the coordinates of the landing site *before* the touchdown: next time MRO will transit over the location, they'll be able to use the actual coordinates of the landing, so they will take much more detailed pictures, probably with colour too.

Also, a very first, partial look of a portion of Mount Sharp (or "Aeolis Mons"), the most prominent feature inside Gale Crater:

Description: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4271

In reality, from what I read, this mount is just an "enormous mound of eroded sedimentary layers sitting on the central peak of Gale".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolis_Mons


It's just a dwarf compared to other Mars "mountains", but still... :awesome_for_real:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mountains_on_Mars_by_height

Just like in other NASA missions, there is a section dedicated to raw, unprocessed images. Here's a nice, new one that show the edge of the crater (which is about 22km away):

(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NRA_397681339EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

Today we can watch two press conferences (of course related to the Curiosity mission), at 10am and 1pm EST (4pm and 7pm CET), on NASA Tv:
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jth on August 08, 2012, 07:29:39 AM
On Sunday, a Russian rocket carrying 3 satellites for they're own GPS system fucked up and they all crashed into the Pacific. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101206/wl_asia_afp/russiaspacescience)
Looks like this thread was resurrected just in time for yet another similar incident :)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-07/russia-launch-of-two-satellites-fails-in-third-mishap-since-2010.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-07/russia-launch-of-two-satellites-fails-in-third-mishap-since-2010.html)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 08, 2012, 08:55:55 AM
still on the subject of Mars Exploration (or rather, the first human expedition to Mars), here's the famous Mars Reference Mission 5.0 document (pdf); it has been updated over the last 18 years or so, and this is the latest version:

http://search.nasa.gov/search/search.jsp?nasaInclude=reference+mission (first link, called "Mars Design Reference")

100 pages, quite a complex read if you get into the technical details, but even if you are like me and understand only about 20% (err...I'm an optimistic guy :P) of what it's written, you can extrapolate a lot of interesting stuff  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Hammond on August 08, 2012, 10:47:32 AM
I cannot wait for the hi-res color pictures to start coming in from Curiosity.   The color adjusted pictures from Opportunity are pretty awesome but almost 8 years difference in technology should be pretty impressive.

It looks like they are testing the cameras today and some of the images coming in are pretty interesting.  It also looks like they have the mast is up.


(http://p.twimg.com/AzyJ9OdCcAA0cHD.jpg:large)

One other link which is somewhat entertaining. They have a twitter feed for curiosity.  They have done this for other missions to and they have some stuff posted there you cannot get on JPL site right away.

http://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 08, 2012, 10:50:03 AM
Hello, Number 5  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lac on August 08, 2012, 11:40:45 AM
Interesting picture comparing the size of Curiosity, Spirit/Opportunity (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/) and the lovely Sojourner (thanks Lucas) to that of an average human.

(http://imgur.com/JTxGO.jpg)

Unlike Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity doesn’t use solar panels as an energy source, but instead, relies on a much larger thermonuclear electric generator that produces electricity from the heat of plutonium-238’s radioactive decay. Longer-living and more reliable than solar power, the thermonuclear generator can provide Curiosity with power for at least a full year on Mars—687 days on Earth, while also pumping warm fluids through the rover to keep it at the right operating temperature.
Blatantly stolen from here (http://www.zmescience.com/space/curiosity-day-size-07082012/).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 08, 2012, 11:47:43 AM
Actually, the smallest one is the lovely Sojourner rover, part of the Mars Pathfinder mission: I remember eagerly awaiting for the first pics from the rover back in 1997 (July 4th), just like today for Curiosity  :heart:

One more comparison pic, this time of the wheels (from left to right: sojourner, exploration rovers and curiosity):



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lac on August 08, 2012, 12:18:42 PM
While I really like the "let's fuck with people 10.000 years from now" vibe I get from the embedded hieroglyphic eye pattern on them wheels they seem to be rather different than the ones Curiosity is sporting in the rover comparison picture.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 08, 2012, 12:35:03 PM
Actually, Curiosity's wheels (http://www.slashgear.com/curiosity-rover-tags-mars-with-morse-tire-tracks-06241847/) have holes in them that create the morse code symbols for J P L.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 08, 2012, 01:27:39 PM
Look, it's a flying saucer!!!  :ye_gods: :ye_gods:  :grin:

(http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/674919main_pia16021-946.jpg)

Or, actually, a high resolution image of the heat shield protecting Curiosity and the Sky Crane module, immediately after its detachment, taken by the MARDI (Mars Descent Imager)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16021.html

The full sized picture at the provided link is even more astonishing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on August 08, 2012, 01:56:52 PM
Seriously... 20k years from now some alien race is going to hit Mars and find bits and pieces of these rovers and wonder what the hell happened to the creators.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lac on August 08, 2012, 02:19:28 PM
Seriously... 20k years from now some alien race is going to hit Mars and find bits and pieces of these rovers and wonder what the hell happened to the creators.
Yeah, they'll look at the skycrane remnants and think 'wtf were those idiots thinking, this thing could never have taken off'.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sheepherder on August 14, 2012, 02:44:02 AM
Or they'll just look at the pockmarked and cratered Earth scattered with the remnants of The War of the American Succession and be like "Oh, that's what happened."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on August 24, 2012, 08:50:49 AM
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=81

Pretty neat vid of the descent and landing. The impact of the comms on the video really make it so much better than watching just the vid.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 24, 2012, 02:30:26 PM
The area at the base of Mount Gale just looks really fascinating in the up-close shots they've released. It is going to be really interesting when the probe gets close to it if in fact it's a dry wash or riverbed of some kind. The lowest foothills of the mountain on the far side should also be really interesting. I almost, almost, almost wonder if they might not actually see very small exposed fossils at some point if there was in fact life on Mars that wasn't purely microbial.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 27, 2012, 09:03:51 PM
(http://i47.tinypic.com/90txd5.jpg)
Like the lead imaging guy said, it looks like "something out of a John Ford movie."

Right in the center of the image is a black dot, about six pixels. It's under the center hill and at the edge of the scarp below. That's a boulder about the size of the rover. At top speed it would take the rover 100 days to get there, but there's science to do along the way... so it might take more than a year.

The boulder is on their short list of places to visit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on August 27, 2012, 11:59:54 PM
This might help:

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/4421/large/Mars_8-27-12.jpeg)

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tale on August 28, 2012, 01:57:12 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/Mgvkj.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Fordel on August 28, 2012, 04:32:36 AM
Turtle  :heart:


Or is that a tortoise?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tale on August 28, 2012, 07:28:24 AM
It's a black dot.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 28, 2012, 08:51:55 AM
If that's not sedimentation, at least at the lower levels of the hills, I dunno what else it could be.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on August 28, 2012, 10:02:05 AM
It is, but is it caused by water, other liquid, wind, volcanic activity, or other?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 12:50:15 PM
If that's not sedimentation, at least at the lower levels of the hills, I dunno what else it could be.

It's an alien strip mine.  Seriously, that's what it looks like.
What if they dig down a bit and find an adamantium chisel or something.   :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on August 28, 2012, 12:58:36 PM
If that's not sedimentation, at least at the lower levels of the hills, I dunno what else it could be.

It's an alien strip mine.  Seriously, that's what it looks like.
What if they dig down a bit and find an adamantium chisel or something.   :grin:

I'd be more amazed at the discovery of adamantium than the chisel, myself.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 01:10:24 PM
It'd have to be adamantium for it not to have broken down over a few 100 million years.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mrbloodworth on August 28, 2012, 01:11:17 PM
Every image I look at, I am just struck by how it looks like it could easily be here on earth. I find it fascinating.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 01:21:23 PM
You have to remember that those images are false color.  All the greys you see are the result of added contrast from post-process.  In reality the terrain is still mostly just clay red and monochrome.  Sexy images though, but not really Mars.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mrbloodworth on August 28, 2012, 01:24:12 PM
I thought that thing had color capabilities?

Its not just the color though, for me, its the formations too. Its less Alien than I would have imagined.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on August 28, 2012, 01:38:34 PM
I thought that thing had color capabilities?

Even color images are generally adjusted, or at least they were (I'm not really familiar with Curiosity).  Here's an article about the Spirit rover, for example: (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/spotlight/spirit/a12_20040128.html)
Quote
So far, however, the images produced are only approximate martian colors. That's because many of the pictures are taken with set of camera filters that include near-infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths, which our eyes do not perceive. Overall, there are 14 "geology" filters (two additional camera filters were designed exclusively to observe the sun). Scientists find these geology filters extremely useful because they provide maximum contrast for analyzing some of the most interesting geological features at the landing site.

"We almost never choose to take the images in natural color, because that's not as helpful to us scientifically," said Eric. "However, we're able to approximate what humans might see because Jim's team lived and breathed with this camera for many years, experimenting to get the colors in the camera models just right."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 01:43:04 PM
The imagers have color capabilities (three CCDs of three each, RGB I believe).  But they tweak the values to show darks as REALLY dark, so they can more easily pick out science targets.  



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 28, 2012, 01:52:21 PM
Yeah plus they try to make things look like they would under earth's atmospheric and lighting conditions, so that geologists familiar with Earth can grok them. Mars's sky is naturally pink, full of pink dust, illuminating pink rocks and pink sand. With occasional orange and red.

That said, it looks like the high desert does on Earth because it was formed in more or less the same way: Sedimentation eroded by wind rather than rain. What's missing is faults. There hasn't been plate tectonics on Mars for at least four billion years, and it's possible there never was. The sediment layers don't get broken up and twisted sideways by subduction, they just sit where they lay. So it looks like the deserts of western Utah or northern Arizona, say, rather than southeastern California.

I'm just thrilled to see real terrain. In the past, for safety and due to assumed landing inaccuracy, they've landed in some of the most boring places on the planet. We're finally getting to see the good stuff. Now imagine Valles Marineris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valles_Marineris): Like the Grand Canyon except three miles deep, up to 80 miles wide, and stretching the distance from San Francisco to Boston.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 28, 2012, 02:50:17 PM
They're doing a lot of white balancing, yeah. You can see some of the same images without color correction, etc. and it is indeed pretty monochrome, much harder to relate to.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: proudft on August 28, 2012, 02:57:49 PM
Yep, it's a lot more alien-looking without the correction:

Either way, I get no sense of scale at all on these pictures.  Those hills in the background look maybe 1500 feet tall, and a mile or two away, but noooo, they are gigantic and really far off.  Different atmosphere and no trees/mountain goats really messes with one's brain, I guess.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ingmar on August 28, 2012, 02:59:11 PM
Turtle  :heart:


Or is that a tortoise?

Tortoise.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 28, 2012, 03:00:04 PM
Scale will be a lot more obvious when the rover is actually driving around in those canyons a year or so from now. I look forward to watching them loom overhead.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 03:05:07 PM
One of the disadvantages of this design is that they can't leave a cam system static at the point of landing.  The rover carries everything.  Other rovers had cams on the landers that got to watch the rovers from the 3rd person.  That'd REALLY have helped here on this mission.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mrbloodworth on August 28, 2012, 03:06:47 PM
Yep, it's a lot more alien-looking without the correction:

Either way, I get no sense of scale at all on these pictures.  Those hills in the background look maybe 1500 feet tall, and a mile or two away, but noooo, they are gigantic and really far off.  Different atmosphere and no trees/mountain goats really messes with one's brain, I guess.

That still looks like somewhere on earth.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: proudft on August 28, 2012, 03:22:39 PM
You must have terrible smog!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 28, 2012, 03:56:09 PM
It's easier to see in the non-corrected version that they're going to have some serious challenges with deep sand at various points.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2012, 04:00:35 PM
It's easier to see in the non-corrected version that they're going to have some serious challenges with deep sand at various points.

Uhh, no.  And there are 6 of these on a semi-independent suspension and a long arm that can dig "just in case."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 28, 2012, 04:31:29 PM
It's easier to see in the non-corrected version that they're going to have some serious challenges with deep sand at various points.
Also the parts that look sandy from where the rover is now are at least a mile away. Most are several miles. They're as likely to be pebbles or gravel as finer dust. Plus it's not as hard to drive there as it is here. In Martian gravity the angle of repose is steeper on earth, so slops aren't as fragile as we imagine them to be.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 28, 2012, 05:58:49 PM
I guess. I've already read that that there's an area approaching the base of Mt. Sharp that worries them enough that they're going to take a long detour around it, eight months or so from now.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 28, 2012, 07:08:16 PM
Yeah, but they're NASA. Worry is their middle name.

And they'll enjoy every Martian minute of that detour.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 31, 2012, 11:38:57 PM
Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJgeoHBQpFQ) is the high resolution images from Curiosity's landing cameras during the final phases, slowed down to real time with frame interpolation to make it relatively smooth. Mars!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 02, 2012, 12:21:03 PM
That's amateur work btw.  And more than just interpolated.  He's cleared up the dark frames also.  Awesome work and a testament to WHY the mission director is so adament about making the data as public as possible.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 02, 2012, 08:02:50 PM
Bingo. Actually that point will help me this week as I try to make a case for why publishing public, reworkable "big data" is a good thing for almost every institution and project, maybe even some corporations. My colleagues are a very hard sell on this point (that is, when they even understand what I mean by it.).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 03, 2012, 01:00:48 PM
Here's some stuff me and some of the guys over at #space IRC did during Huygens.  Unfortunately, my work was lost; it was similar to the that vid.  Interpolated frames put together into a long .gif animation set to the descent audio.

http://anthony.liekens.net/index.php/Main/Huygens

The story goes Univ. of Arizona was set on providing access to their FTP servers for those interested.  And since it was their cams on the Huygens this means we literally got RAWS the moment ESA did.  ESA was notoriously slow during Cassini at chunking any data whatsoever, so we just did it ourselves.  Was a lot of fun.  Sometimes we even got to see data from instrumentation; which we'd cross-correlate to the images.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Quinton on September 09, 2012, 05:21:05 PM
This self-portrait of Curiosity is pretty awesome (high resolution version available here):
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4643

(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/images/pia16159_MAHLI-br.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 09, 2012, 06:02:37 PM
Need.
More.
Input.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on September 11, 2012, 08:06:52 PM
Wall-E? Is that you?  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Vaiti on September 14, 2012, 04:17:16 AM
Saw that other videos of the landing have been posted, but this is the best one I've seen so far. Took the guy 4 weeks to put together. He even added sound.

Pretty nifty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esj5juUzhpU


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on September 14, 2012, 03:07:03 PM
The sound is charming -- makes it sound "real" -- but the atmosphere on Mars is less than 1/150th as dense as Earth's. The parachute deployment and heatshield ejection that mark the functional beginning of the video happen 11km above the planet's surface. The whistling of wind would be almost nonexistent and the parachute would register less than a distant whisper. Even the rockets on the skycrane would produce little more than a hollow gust as they contacted the one thing that would carry sound excellently: The metal and plastic of the vehicle itself.

So a noise as the parachute's cord catches, the explosive bolts firing, a constant rattle as everything shifts position, that rocks kicked up by the landing clattering onto Curisoity, the thump as wheels hit the surface... but so far as our perception could detect, no air.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on September 14, 2012, 10:51:07 PM
Yes and you wouldn't hear TIE fighters in space, but that would be booorrrriiinnngg.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Obo on September 15, 2012, 05:47:08 PM
I think he took the audio from an old NASA animation of the mission. I recognise a number of the sounds.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 16, 2012, 10:33:16 AM
Actually, even though the atmo. is thin, since the gravity is so light you can float and fly around very easily.  So proportionally, the aerodynamics of Mars are much more forgiving than on Earth.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ghost on September 17, 2012, 02:17:41 PM
It looks like the Warp Drive may be more feasible than previously thought (http://www.space.com/17628-warp-drive-possible-interstellar-spaceflight.html). 

Quote
An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind.

Quote
The only problem is, previous studies estimated the warp drive would require a minimum amount of energy about equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.

How cool is this?  Alpha Centauri here we come!  Hide yer wimmin. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 17, 2012, 02:45:33 PM
That eerily sounds like the UFP's warp field geometry class/theory.   Something so simple as a shape can change everything.

edit: Ahah!  Found it:
Warp Field Mechanics 101 (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110015936_2011016932.pdf)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: proudft on September 17, 2012, 11:39:06 PM
I was reading some other articles on that earlier.  I especially like the part where it vaporizes everything in front of it when it stops.  :ye_gods:

http://www.universetoday.com/93882/warp-drives-may-come-with-a-killer-downside/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 17, 2012, 11:45:25 PM
I was reading some other articles on that earlier.  I especially like the part where it vaporizes everything in front of it when it stops.  :ye_gods:

http://www.universetoday.com/93882/warp-drives-may-come-with-a-killer-downside/


Whatever.  It's called the "Picard Maneuver"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK8o_rCFw4Q


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ghost on September 18, 2012, 08:35:36 AM
So.....just watch where you're driving. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on September 18, 2012, 08:54:53 AM
So.....just watch where you're driving. 

Can't...too busy texting my friend about the horrible drivers out here.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on September 18, 2012, 10:56:46 AM
Something like that will be developed as a weapon before use as travel...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ghost on September 18, 2012, 11:08:45 AM
You're really looking to get the black helicopters to visit your house, aren't you?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sky on September 18, 2012, 11:31:22 AM
You're really looking to get the black helicopters to visit your house, aren't you?
Not once they can vaporize everything in front of them when they stop!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on September 18, 2012, 12:05:55 PM
Meh, somebody wake me up when the "exotic matter" that's needed is actually detected or proven to exist.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on September 18, 2012, 12:09:51 PM
Meh, somebody wake me up when the "exotic matter" that's needed is actually detected or proven to exist.

Hey man, Dilithium chambers are expensive, time-consuming to make, and fragile. We don't need that kind of negativity.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 18, 2012, 02:32:45 PM
Meh, somebody wake me up when the "exotic matter" that's needed is actually detected or proven to exist.

Once we master the Higgs we wont need to find exotic matter at all.   :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mrbloodworth on September 28, 2012, 10:48:04 AM
Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/09/27/161896238/streams-of-water-once-flowed-on-mars-nasa-says-photos-prove-it)

Fascinating.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 01, 2012, 01:41:16 PM
I was reading some other articles on that earlier.  I especially like the part where it vaporizes everything in front of it when it stops.  :ye_gods:

http://www.universetoday.com/93882/warp-drives-may-come-with-a-killer-downside/

Quote
When the Alcubierre-driven ship decelerates from superluminal speed, the particles its bubble has gathered are released in energetic outbursts. In the case of forward-facing particles the outburst can be very energetic — enough to destroy anyone at the destination directly in front of the ship.

“Any people at the destination,” the team’s paper concludes, “would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles.”
Am I the only one who reads that and thinks 'Finally, an explanation for gamma ray bursts that makes *sense*'?

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on October 01, 2012, 02:09:35 PM
Yes.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on October 01, 2012, 07:31:31 PM
No.
But the fact I said "no" should tell you something.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Signe on October 13, 2012, 01:27:57 PM
Robot Pants!!! (http://gizmodo.com/5951487/nasas-inventing-in-style-with-awesome-robot-pants)  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: cironian on October 16, 2012, 09:58:03 AM
Robot Pants!!! (http://gizmodo.com/5951487/nasas-inventing-in-style-with-awesome-robot-pants)  :awesome_for_real:

Sorry, NASA. You lost to an earlier design from across the pond (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKZdsPvJq60#t=12m10s).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on October 16, 2012, 11:19:18 AM
Robot Pants!!! (http://gizmodo.com/5951487/nasas-inventing-in-style-with-awesome-robot-pants)  :awesome_for_real:

So the Stormtrooper construction begins.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Furiously on October 16, 2012, 05:11:30 PM
Batman had those too...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Signe on October 17, 2012, 07:33:23 AM
I  :heart: The Wrong Trousers.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on October 17, 2012, 07:37:11 PM
European astronomers found an Earth-sized planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri_Bb) using the doppler variation of the star's red shift. The star is Alpha Centauri B, smaller of the binary pair, and mass is about all the planet shares with ours: Its orbital period is about 77 hours, and it's only an eighth the distance from its star as Mercury is from the Sun.

The surface temperature would be high enough to melt most stone, and tidal forces would keep its creamy center molten. So it's basically just a ball of magma and lava...

...ORBITING OUR (second) NEAREST NEIGHBOR IN THE SKY. WOO!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on October 17, 2012, 09:05:30 PM
I've been trying in vain to dig up more info. on Nasa's new "Eagleworks" lab (the site is currently down even... spooky) mainly to gain clarity on their new Warp Field Interferometer.  In doing so I stumbled on some other stuff they're doing.

Quote
A q-Thruster would work using the same principles behind Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) thrusters. The virtual plasma is exposed to crossed fields which forces plasma in one direction at high velocity. Q-Thruster differ by using the quantum vacuum fluctuations as the fuel source eliminating the need to carry propellant. Not carrying propellant solves a host of problems plaguing designers of space propulsion drives, particularly ones intended for interstellar travel.

Yup.  So basically they'd couple your standard nuclear-fission generator to the anode/cathode of the q-thruster and suck propellent from quantum foam instead of a gas such as xenon (used currently).  That... is fuckin cool.  In the lab this apparently works, obviously at small scales.  Likely a bunch of hooey at a scale remotely useful, but still a fun thought experiment.  If it works we could shoot a 50mT payload into Jovian orbit in 1 month.   :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on October 17, 2012, 09:39:39 PM
European astronomers found an Earth-sized planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri_Bb) using the doppler variation of the star's red shift.

This kind of thing is really awesome.  I do wish we had some way of getting actual photos of these things, though, I wanna see what they look like...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Engels on October 18, 2012, 02:45:28 PM
Well, you can, it just takes 4 years to get here.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on October 19, 2012, 08:40:53 AM
Probably a bit longer than that unless he knows someone who can transform him into a being of pure light.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on October 19, 2012, 04:15:26 PM
Actually, considering time dilation it may take even LESS than 4yrs. at near light-speed; given the traveller's reference frame.  The theoretical warp drive limit is 10c so that'd take 2yrs. earth time for an object 20ly away, but the time inside the ship may be like 5 mins.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on October 19, 2012, 05:38:19 PM
In the traveller's reference frame it will take him 4 years to travel 4 light years at the speed of light. From the traveller's reference frame the rest of the universe "slows" down as he reaches the speed of light.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: cironian on October 20, 2012, 09:00:39 AM
The "5 minutes of subjective time" is more in the area of going at 99.999% light speed. (Didn't check the actual numbers, so don't nail me down on the number of nines)

At 10c you'd run into far more fundamental problems with time, like travelling into the past and collapsing the universe.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on October 20, 2012, 09:52:12 AM
In the traveller's reference frame it will take him 4 years to travel 4 light years at the speed of light. From the traveller's reference frame the rest of the universe "slows" down as he reaches the speed of light.

No.  Assume the traveler is moving at .99c. From the perspective of a person on Earth, they see it taking the traveler a little bit longer than 4 years to get there.  Earth also sees the traveler's clocks running 1/7th as fast as it did on Earth.

The traveler sees her own clocks moving at the same speed they always did, but she sees the distance between Sol and Alpha Centauri as being 1/7th of what they originally saw.  From the traveler's perspective, it's a shorter trip and it only takes 1/7 * 4 years to get there.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on October 20, 2012, 10:36:56 AM
My bad you're correct, but I'd add that the person travelling at 0.99c doesn't travel "4 light-years", they travel what we see as 4 light-years.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on October 20, 2012, 08:39:27 PM
Funny, because my comment was based on what we're capable of now, not theoretically in umpteenth centuries after we've mastered FTL travel.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Engels on October 21, 2012, 01:50:35 AM
Well, no matter what, the nerd squad of F13 great grandchildren will be prepared. Love how an off hand comment meant to be a goof got analyzed to all heck. Love this board.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on December 04, 2012, 12:44:10 PM
Not 'one for the history books' yet. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/no-chemical-building-blocks-of-life-in-first-analysis-of-martian-soil-by-nasa-rover-curiosity/2012/12/03/27a331c4-3d73-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_story.html)

Curiosity found trace amounts of carbon and chlorine compounds, but not enough that NASA feels they can say for certain that they didn't arrive on board the rover or a meteor. Other than that statistically insignificant find, the Martian soil here seems composed of the same things as other samples elsewhere. Apparently this has led to NASA clamping down on allowing its scientists to say mysteriously optimistic things when they don't have data to back them up.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on December 04, 2012, 06:44:21 PM
Yah, I dug deep enough into those experiments (which used the 1st of 59 sample containers) to find out the point of it was to sample the LEAST interesting and most prevalent soil on the planet.  It's really just a basic sampling of the very topmost soil, which is comprised largely of dust. (though they're getting rid of the 'dust data')    We can get excited when they start going back in time geologically and taking samples.  Till then, even if they get excited about topsoil stuff it's likely of little consequence given it's been exposed to current atmosphere.

Let them dig deeper 1st.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 21, 2013, 02:54:50 PM
Magnetic fields and a solar flare produce plasma "rain" on sun. (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/coronal-rain.html)

Not science or anything. Just pretty.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 10, 2013, 12:20:02 PM
Curiosity took a billion pixel panorama (http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/interactives/billionpixel/) before it set out on its year long, five mile trek to the base of Mount Sharp. Mars is brown.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on July 10, 2013, 12:35:41 PM
... and has rox 'n stuff.
Really, more of a showoff of the camera tech. then anything else, which I gotta say is pretty striking once you zoom in on a target.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on July 10, 2013, 04:12:59 PM
SPAAAAAAAACE

THREAAAAAAAAD


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on July 10, 2013, 04:13:53 PM
Jan, Jayce, run!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on July 10, 2013, 10:55:27 PM
Man, you get like a hundred points for that one.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on July 10, 2013, 11:29:44 PM
Deduct 40 nor not mentioning Blip.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on July 11, 2013, 01:04:12 AM
We old people need to stick together.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Stormwaltz on July 11, 2013, 01:34:03 AM
Deduct 40 nor not mentioning Blip.

I award 40 quatloos for not mentioning Blip.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on July 11, 2013, 07:50:18 AM
I was debating mentioning blip, or going for the SGC2C reference with Zorak and Moltar. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 24, 2013, 04:03:51 PM
Two views of the Earth and the moon, one from Saturn, one from Mercury:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on October 18, 2013, 05:08:11 AM
Circle your calendar for 2032.

http://io9.com/astronomers-discover-a-massive-asteroid-that-could-hit-1447068835


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on October 18, 2013, 12:26:15 PM
Great!  I won't have to worry about the 2038 Problem.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Nevermore on November 23, 2013, 02:57:38 PM
Comet Ison will reach perihelion on November 28th.  It will pass so close to the Sun it will actually pass through the corona.  If Ison survives, it could have a quite spectacular tail to see in December.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Hawkbit on November 23, 2013, 07:55:23 PM
What's your image source?  They have an interesting amount of galaxies in that shot, but the star sparkles don't seem right.

I was just telling my wife about this comet; if all goes well we might have a 'comet of the century' event.  Pretty excited.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Nevermore on November 23, 2013, 08:33:55 PM
Not sure what the original source is.  I found that one here (http://planetsave.com/2013/11/20/comet-ison-shines-brilliantly-new-images-perihelion-november-28-2013/).  There are a lot of photos from amateur astronomers.  Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com/105732/comet-ison-timelapse-and-recent-images/) has a couple of nice ones, too.



Edit: Hawkbit, the BBC credited the photo you asked about to a Damian Peach, taken with a 15cm telescope on November 15th.  He has a website. (http://www.damianpeach.com/)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Hawkbit on November 28, 2013, 11:51:50 AM
Nothing yet, but this page should update during the event.  http://cometison.gsfc.nasa.gov/#


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Nevermore on November 28, 2013, 05:24:32 PM
Sadly, it looks like Ison didn't survive the trip. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25143861)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on November 28, 2013, 05:27:53 PM
SpaceX has a rocket on the pad in cap Canaveral, which they are about to launch in about 15 minutes.  You can watch the live stream here if you want some rocket entertainment for your thanksgiving.

http://www.spacex.com/webcast/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on November 29, 2013, 04:18:47 PM
Space vampires appear to have repaired their spacecraft Comet Ison. http://io9.com/zombie-comet-ison-refuses-to-die-1473613064


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on December 14, 2013, 08:15:15 AM
Chinese moon rockets, motherfuckers!
 
(http://shanghaiist.com/attachments/benjamincost/change3-launch2.jpg)

http://shanghaiist.com/2013/12/02/and_were_off_lunar_lander_on_its_wa.php

There was some fallout:

(http://www.chinacartimes.com/wp-content/chang-e-three-parts2.jpg)
http://www.chinacartimes.com/2013/12/03/chinas-rocket-drops-roof/

But even so, some guys at NASA are literally turning green (and should perhaps consider funding the next launch by selling their salt mine):

Quote from: NASA
The arrival of the Chang'e 3 spacecraft into lunar orbit and then its descent to the surface will result in a significant contamination of the lunar exosphere by the propellant.


edit: the Jade Rabbit has landed!

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71743000/jpg/_71743769_71743191.jpg)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25356603




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 14, 2013, 10:07:38 AM
Well luckily for them it went better than the other rocket they shot off recently that destroyed a $250 million Brazilian satellite:  :why_so_serious:

http://www.space.com/23895-china-rocket-launch-failure-destroys-satellite.html

Neat the rover made it though, will be interesting to see how things progress.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Krakrok on December 14, 2013, 09:34:52 PM
Chinese moon rover deployed!

(http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/3-moon/20131214_change3_rover_deploy_final.gif)

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/12141328-six-wheels-on-soil-for-yutu.html


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on December 15, 2013, 07:49:09 AM
Hope they take pictures of the US flag.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Fordel on December 16, 2013, 07:31:12 PM
Are they actually near enough to do that? That would be pretty neat.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on December 16, 2013, 10:13:15 PM
Are they actually near enough to do that? That would be pretty neat.
Since the Tranquility Base flag is actually laying down, covered with moon dust, that picture might be a little more symbolic than you think.  But I don't think this rover is near there.

--Dave (it was too close to the lander, and got knocked over by the ascent stage according to Aldrin)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Nebu on December 17, 2013, 09:34:22 AM
Hope they take pictures of the US flag.  :why_so_serious:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4ZfKkbVjslo/UlWajyxdn_I/AAAAAAAARAo/6qyrLSXEXPI/s1600/french+on+the+moon.jpg)

Not technically accurate, but still got me to chuckle.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on January 20, 2014, 12:27:43 PM
Rosetta woke up!
It was kind of interesting to watch it happen live (on tv) and see how the little spike in the signal was such a big thing  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 20, 2014, 07:08:27 PM
Rosetta woke up!
It was kind of interesting to watch it happen live (on tv) and see how the little spike in the signal was such a big thing  :awesome_for_real:

Big thing due to being all solar powered. Other satellites going beyond Mars had radioisotope thermoelectric generators. 10th year in space too, so it's holding up well.  :grin:

Some background: DLR | CHASING A COMET - The Rosetta Mission (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvibdkgvXXQ)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on March 14, 2014, 06:50:40 PM
Scientists to unveil "Major Discovery" in the field of Astrophysics on monday, March 17th:

http://www.space.com/25066-major-astrophysics-discovery-announcement-monday.html?cmpid=556785



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on March 14, 2014, 06:59:18 PM
Scientists to unveil "Major Discovery" in the field of Astrophysics on monday, March 17th:

http://www.space.com/25066-major-astrophysics-discovery-announcement-monday.html?cmpid=556785
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/14/gravitational-waves-big-bang-universe-bicep


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on March 14, 2014, 07:14:51 PM
Ahh, thanks for that link: sure, not as glamourous as other theories that started circulating after the announcement, but very interesting nonetheless:

Quote
According to theory, the primordial gravitational waves will tell us about the first, infinitessimal moment of the universe's history. Cosmologists believe that 10-34 seconds after the big bang (a decimal point followed by 33 zeros and a one) the universe was driven to expand hugely.

Known as inflation, the theory was dreamed up to explain why the universe is so remarkably uniform from place to place. But it has always lacked some credibility because no one can find a convincing physical explanation for why it happened.

Now researchers may be forced to redouble their efforts. "The primordial gravitational waves have long been thought to be the smoking gun of inflation. It's as close to a proof of that theory as you are going to get," says Peiris. This is because cosmologists believe only inflation can amplify the primordial gravitational waves into a detectable signal.

I guess it also implies and build a more solid ground for the Big Bang theory in general.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on April 03, 2014, 02:38:37 PM
Great and exciting news, directly from the source (nice article) :

Quote
NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-103

http://www.space.com/25340-saturn-moon-enceladus-ocean-discovery.html

Yeah, this is more of a confirmation rather than a discovery, but a very interesting one nonetheless, just like Jupiter's Europa.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on April 04, 2014, 05:31:19 AM
Ahh, thanks for that link: sure, not as glamourous as other theories that started circulating after the announcement, but very interesting nonetheless:

Quote
According to theory, the primordial gravitational waves will tell us about the first, infinitessimal moment of the universe's history. Cosmologists believe that 10-34 seconds after the big bang (a decimal point followed by 33 zeros and a one) the universe was driven to expand hugely.

Known as inflation, the theory was dreamed up to explain why the universe is so remarkably uniform from place to place. But it has always lacked some credibility because no one can find a convincing physical explanation for why it happened.

Now researchers may be forced to redouble their efforts. "The primordial gravitational waves have long been thought to be the smoking gun of inflation. It's as close to a proof of that theory as you are going to get," says Peiris. This is because cosmologists believe only inflation can amplify the primordial gravitational waves into a detectable signal.

I guess it also implies and build a more solid ground for the Big Bang theory in general.

Was talking with a cosmologist I know and he says actually that the findings are driving everyone nuts. Yes, they confirm inflation, but in fact the gravitational waves are much, much stronger than any theory predicted they should be, and that's a huge problem that can possibly make sense only if there is a multiverse of a particular kind.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on April 04, 2014, 06:38:58 AM
Was talking with a cosmologist I know and he says actually that the findings are driving everyone nuts. Yes, they confirm inflation, but in fact the gravitational waves are much, much stronger than any theory predicted they should be, and that's a huge problem that can possibly make sense only if there is a multiverse of a particular kind.

I actually thought that this was the big takeway and breaking news in all of this, that the findings push multiverses and string-theory/supersymmetry at the edge of "Fact."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on April 04, 2014, 08:21:55 AM
Yeah. Though my colleague was saying that it is even causing some problems for supersymmetry and string theory, which are also being undercut in complicated ways by CERN work (nobody's seeing the predicted supersymmetric particles at the mass range they ought to be at). The strength of the gravitational waves requires some really particular kinds of multiverses--he was saying it's as if our observable universe is just a sort of bounded pocket universe where everything has cooled, but inflation from the Big Bang is still going on in adjacent "universes".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Cyrrex on April 04, 2014, 09:29:43 AM
So what you are saying is that Sliders is actually possible.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on April 04, 2014, 09:39:16 AM
So what you are saying is that Sliders is actually possible probable.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: tazelbain on April 04, 2014, 09:43:40 AM
Sounds like a vote for Culture multiverse.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on April 04, 2014, 08:28:33 PM
I don't have the math to even vaguely understand, but I don't think it's the Sliders kind of multiverse that splits off from every action or difference. It's sort of like when you have a big plate full of soap bubbles. Maybe we're in one soap bubble and there are a bunch of others, and the whole thing is getting more and more air pumped into it, including our soap bubble.

Hope it doesn't pop.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on April 04, 2014, 10:02:43 PM
Yeah. Though my colleague was saying that it is even causing some problems for supersymmetry and string theory, which are also being undercut in complicated ways by CERN work (nobody's seeing the predicted supersymmetric particles at the mass range they ought to be at). The strength of the gravitational waves requires some really particular kinds of multiverses--he was saying it's as if our observable universe is just a sort of bounded pocket universe where everything has cooled, but inflation from the Big Bang is still going on in adjacent "universes".
Cosmologists -- well, technically physicists but physics doesn't get any funkier than early Big Bang -- really need something weird to study. They've been stuck. The Standard Model works too frickin' well, but they can't reconcile gravity and quantum mechanics. And they don't -- or didn't -- have anything far enough outside of expectations to really give them ideas.

So if it's multiverse crap that gets them a lever to pry open the next level of the universe's secrets, that's great. :)

Edited to add: I think they're talking brane theory or M-theory or something like that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 05, 2014, 12:03:10 AM
In order for those grav. waves to exist only within the spacetime of the big bang (when viewed from a higher reference frame), M-Theory (two branes banging together) would just about have to be a reality; so expect to see those guys showing off real soon.  
My thing though (especially if the energy levels dont fit) is that how do we know for sure that the grav. waves arent entirely non-local?  What if a large amount of them (if not all) actually come from another 'verse entirely?  

To me, that's always been the more compelling theory... Green's old 'Gravity Phone' analogy, wherein we could possibly divine data from grav. waves that are coming from another universe (or the multiverse) entirely, as it's posited that gravity would be the only recognizable force between universes/branes.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on April 05, 2014, 10:03:08 AM
Yeah. Though my colleague was saying that it is even causing some problems for supersymmetry and string theory, which are also being undercut in complicated ways by CERN work (nobody's seeing the predicted supersymmetric particles at the mass range they ought to be at). The strength of the gravitational waves requires some really particular kinds of multiverses--he was saying it's as if our observable universe is just a sort of bounded pocket universe where everything has cooled, but inflation from the Big Bang is still going on in adjacent "universes".

How does that mesh with the "oh crap we might just be a hologram" stuff that was found a few years ago.  With my limited knowledge it seems like they'd be reinforcing each other.  We're a reflection of another universe/ sprung off of the "primary" otherworld.

We're not the man, we're the mirror. (explains all these goatees...)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on April 17, 2014, 10:46:42 AM
Well, what might be the news there:
NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discovery (http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/nasa-hosts-media-teleconference-to-announce-latest-kepler-discovery/#.U0_3H_l_u4I)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 17, 2014, 10:59:54 AM
Meh, most of these teleconferences are letdowns.  NASA/JPL are very open with their data, so the majority of the time the "big news" is rather mundane.  Geeks love talking shop also; give 'em a pedestal and they'll use it, especially where grants are concerned.

Most this will be is a superearth sized planet located in the habitable zone.  It would prove the tech., for sure - but that's really already been done.  The main crux of all this is eventually linking SETI with projects at higher wavelengths that can narrow the field.  That's where the rubber meets the road.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on April 17, 2014, 11:04:53 AM
Meh, most of these teleconferences are letdowns.  NASA/JPL are very open with their data, so the majority of the time the "big news" is rather mundane.  Geeks love talking shop also; give 'em a pedestal and they'll use it, especially where grants are concerned.

Most this will be is a superearth sized planet located in the habitable zone.  It would prove the tech., for sure - but that's really already been done.  The main crux of all this is eventually linking SETI with projects at higher wavelengths that care narrow the field.  That's where the rubber meets the road.

Well they did add somebody from SETI to the lineup for the conference. No idea how usual that is though tbh.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 17, 2014, 01:12:08 PM
I was right:
http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/nasas-kepler-discovers-first-earth-size-planet-in-the-habitable-zone-of-another-star/#.U1AYtvldU84

Science takes a step fwd.  At the least the data will let us hone in on areas of the sky to listen to in future experiments.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on April 17, 2014, 01:31:30 PM
Great news (and this time is not even a so called "super-earth") ! Be sure to read the entire article 'cause it contains a lot more info:

Quote
Although the size of Kepler-186f is known, its mass and composition are not. Previous research, however, suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.
[...]
Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130-days and receives one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from the sun, placing it nearer the outer edge of the habitable zone. On the surface of Kepler-186f, the brightness of its star at high noon is only as bright as our sun appears to us about an hour before sunset.
[...]
"Being in the habitable zone does not mean we know this planet is habitable. The temperature on the planet is strongly dependent on what kind of atmosphere the planet has," said Thomas Barclay, research scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames, and co-author of the paper. "Kepler-186f can be thought of as an Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 17, 2014, 02:18:51 PM
I sat through the entire Ustream.  All 80 of us!   :awesome_for_real:
There were a whole 1000 people watching though.   :drill:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on May 30, 2014, 03:59:36 AM
"SpaceX Unveils Dragon V2 Spaceship, a Manned Space Taxi for Astronauts (http://www.space.com/26063-spacex-unveils-dragon-v2-manned-spaceship.html)

Space egg!!!  :drill:

Very interesting article, video and photos; so, apparently, Boeing and Sierra are developing their own manned spaceships as well.

Interesting times :)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Numtini on May 30, 2014, 08:13:19 AM
I hadn't realized they were doing a new ship instead of just man rating the Dragon v1. Ground landings with thrusters is really ambitious.

Sierra and Boeing are years behind on this. The Dream Chaser isn't even up for a test until 2016 and I have no idea what's going on with Boeing. If the Russians really do cut us off from lifts, I could see some $$ getting tossed at Space X to get the thing man rated sooner rather than later.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on May 30, 2014, 12:13:24 PM
While it is cool and all that they have shown off their new design, it looks like a "hey look at the shiny" to me. The seats look to have zero vibration dampening built into them at all, not to mention they are just carbon fibre with a tiny leather pad that is just decorative. And touch screens are pretty useless if they can't be used with a pressure-suit glove since post Apollo 1 (and the previous Soviet training accident) no one does launch or re-entry sans pressure suit.

I like the idea of a lot of what SpaceX is doing but I have heard some pretty galling reports of terrible QA/QC on things like fuel tank welds in the past which tied with their whole "See we can do this better and cheaper and faster, FREE MARKET, YO!" attitude they scare me a little bit. I would love to be proven wrong and see them successful, but spaceflight is a dangerous business and the fact that they really have not had a big failure themselves to learn from makes me wait for the other shoe to drop more than if they had a catastrophic failure that caused them to revisit things.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Numtini on May 30, 2014, 12:52:28 PM
It looked to me like the dampening is built into the struts--are those cushions or pistons or both. What's most astonishing to me is that something that small can carry enough fuel for a powered descent. It seems like that should require a huge amount of power.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Venkman on May 30, 2014, 03:00:13 PM

I agree with all of this. You can tell they're lead by business rather than science. I applaud them trying to make it interesting for consumers though.

On touchscreens though, not sure it's that difficult even in a suit. Capacitive fingers and large enough points on the UI. Biggest issue is whether a touchscreen UI has a greater chance of input errors than discrete buttons. Consider how often I can screw something up on my iPad, I'm skeptical a shaky rocket under thrust is a valid use for UI even with the most well trained physically fit person :-)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 16, 2014, 01:17:32 PM
Last May, Curiosity took nice pictures of two (plus one, a little farther away) iron meteorites. They're not small either, 2 meters!

http://www.space.com/26533-curiosity-mars-rover-meteorite-photos.html?cmpid=social_20140716_27948426
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=6433

Unprocessed, raw pic (much better ones in the NASA link):



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 17, 2014, 02:59:23 PM
What's the latest on the possible mission to mars, optimistically scheduled for the 2030 decade?

One angle is offered by another mission, the "ARM" (Asteroid Redirect Mission), where we'll pick an asteroid and make it orbit around the moon so that we can easily access and drill samples out of it:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/what-is-nasa-s-asteroid-redirect-mission/#.U8gpjfl_t8E

Here's how it can help this era's Holy Grail of space exploration:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/how-will-nasas-asteroid-redirect-mission-help-humans-reach-mars/#.U8gqTPl_t8E

It also touches other fundamental topics, like the needed advancements on spacesuits.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on July 17, 2014, 03:02:19 PM
What's the latest on the possible mission to mars, optimistically scheduled for the 2030 decade?

One angle is offered by another mission, the "ARM" (Asteroid Redirect Mission), where we'll pick an asteroid and make it orbit around the moon so that we can easily access and drill samples out of it:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/what-is-nasa-s-asteroid-redirect-mission/#.U8gpjfl_t8E

Here's how it can help this era's Holy Grail of space exploration:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/how-will-nasas-asteroid-redirect-mission-help-humans-reach-mars/#.U8gqTPl_t8E

It also touches other fundamental topics, like the needed advancements on spacesuits.

That seems extremely dangerous. I guess it could be a huge benefit, but man I'd hate to risk something going bizarrely wrong.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 31, 2014, 04:30:00 PM
After a space-journey of merely 10 years Rosetta is of happenings!

Picture of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken this Tuesday at a distance of 1950 km:

(http://i.imgur.com/72LoCeq.png)

Roating image (earlier this month):

(http://i.imgur.com/W5nx9kt.gif)

Final rendezvous next Wedneday (6th August) and touchdown of the lander (Philae) in November.






Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: WayAbvPar on July 31, 2014, 05:51:17 PM
And then the report that they knocked it off its orbit and it is now headed directly at the earth, and Bruce Willis isn't taking calls.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on July 31, 2014, 07:04:43 PM
And then the report that they knocked it off its orbit and it is now headed directly at the earth, and Bruce Willis isn't taking calls.

And Affleck is in Gotham, busy with shit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on August 01, 2014, 01:42:38 PM
 Impossible space drive might actually work  (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-07/31/nasa-validates-impossible-space-drive)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ragnoros on August 01, 2014, 04:09:11 PM
First ion-thrusters and now this. Man, the future is turning out to be boring. Bring on the space orcs! (And hot space elves!)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Simond on August 08, 2014, 06:12:17 PM
Impossible space drive might actually work  (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-07/31/nasa-validates-impossible-space-drive)
More information: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-08/07/10-qs-about-nasa-impossible-drive

If this is real (massive, planet-sized 'if'), this is quite possibly the biggest breakthrough in space travel since Robert Goddard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Goddard_%28scientist%29) went "Hmm, that H. G. Wells had some interesting ideas. I wonder...."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on August 08, 2014, 08:47:13 PM
Not just space flight but physics and terrestrial production and consumer goods.

Quote
7. What's this about hoverboards and flying cars?

A superconducting version of the EmDrive, would, in principle, generate thousands of times more thrust. And because it does not require energy just to hold things up (just as a chair does not require power to keep you off the ground), in theory you could have a hoverboard which does not require energy to float in the air.

It's so awesome I expect it to be a hiccup and we discover, nope, sorry didn't work after all. It's mindbending if accurate.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on August 08, 2014, 11:28:09 PM
If that less conservative estimate of the drive taking only 28 days to reach Mars turns out to be true... fuck me. That's just astounding. Even the 8 month trip is something special.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on August 09, 2014, 03:17:44 AM
I'm fully expecting this to be a breakthrough that falls through on funding, because flinging shit on this mudball is preferrable to those in power.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on August 09, 2014, 06:07:11 AM
Pitch the idea of robotic hover tanks to the pentagon.  Plenty of funding will then be forthcoming!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on August 09, 2014, 09:11:10 AM
Not just space flight but physics and terrestrial production and consumer goods.

Quote
7. What's this about hoverboards and flying cars?

A superconducting version of the EmDrive, would, in principle, generate thousands of times more thrust. And because it does not require energy just to hold things up (just as a chair does not require power to keep you off the ground), in theory you could have a hoverboard which does not require energy to float in the air.

It's so awesome I expect it to be a hiccup and we discover, nope, sorry didn't work after all. It's mindbending if accurate.
Superconducting magnets already do some weird levitation shit, so that's actually less of a violation of the laws of physics than reactionless thrusters.  You'd have to put in energy to raise or lower the hoverboard, and gravitational anomalies too small to mean much otherwise could cause some odd behavior.  Tides might get involved too, it might be a way to tap "tidal" energy without all that annoying saltwater.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on August 09, 2014, 09:17:38 AM
If that less conservative estimate of the drive taking only 28 days to reach Mars turns out to be true... fuck me. That's just astounding. Even the 8 month trip is something special.
Constant thrust with no reaction mass is a game changer, even if it's only trivial amounts of thrust.  As little as 1/1000th of a G opens up the whole solar system for those pesky Belters.  Moving asteroids safely (barring nefarious intent) becomes a straightforward engineering problem.

Niven did an article about this back in the 70's, essentially even ion drives can't do it beyond very special cases, but a reactionless thruster can do it on solar power alone, given enough time.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 10, 2014, 11:17:22 AM
I think they were predicting a full sized one would be ion-drive power or better.

I can understand why NASA held off even testing it (and their tests were just 'we saw X'--- no analysis or hype. They're not getting burned until they're 100% sure, and seen other labs try it out).

There is a bit of incorrect information flowing around -- people are claiming the null case worked (basically the one with NO drive attached) which would indicate some sort of instrumentation problem or fraud, however that's not correct. Apparently the drive was not fully removed when that was seen. The true null test -- with the entire drive portion removed -- did exactly what you'd expect. nothing.

But yeah, fuel-less propulsion? The universe opens up. You're dropping somewhere between half and 99% of the mass you need to go anywhere. (Of course, getting off Earth is still a bitch).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on August 10, 2014, 04:31:46 PM
I think they were predicting a full sized one would be ion-drive power or better.

I can understand why NASA held off even testing it (and their tests were just 'we saw X'--- no analysis or hype. They're not getting burned until they're 100% sure, and seen other labs try it out).

There is a bit of incorrect information flowing around -- people are claiming the null case worked (basically the one with NO drive attached) which would indicate some sort of instrumentation problem or fraud, however that's not correct. Apparently the drive was not fully removed when that was seen. The true null test -- with the entire drive portion removed -- did exactly what you'd expect. nothing.

But yeah, fuel-less propulsion? The universe opens up. You're dropping somewhere between half and 99% of the mass you need to go anywhere. (Of course, getting off Earth is still a bitch).

I'm sure they can power it with their cold fusion power plants.

The more I read, the more this sounds like a classic combination of crackpot and wishful thinking. Invocations of overturning relativity (usually the #1 crackpot claim), quantum mumble-mumble with superconductors making it powerful enough for hoverboards (even though there's no indication that the actual unknown mechanism would be altered by superconductivity), asserting that the invention was "proven by NASA" and omitting that it was actually done by a tiny group who happens to work with NASA and which has a bit of a reputation for being overly excitable, some pretty major flaws in the experimental methodology (testing a device in a vacuum chamber without actually evacuating the air?), an invention that would essentially overthrow most of Newtonian (and modern) physics created by a salesman with no scientific background, and a device that just happens to be able to generate more thrust than is theoretically possible without getting "free energy".

This is one of those "inventions" that, if it's real, is pretty much the biggest breakthrough in physics in a hundred years. Like, "Remember your college physics textbook? Everything after chapter 3 is wrong".

Or, it's bogus.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 10, 2014, 05:31:26 PM
If there was air in the vacuum temperature then there's an easy explanation: heat. Heat up the air inside the bulb by running electricity through it and, when it expands, it creates a little bit of thrust out the back of the bulb.

All this hype will almost certainly generate a test under proper, controlled conditions and it will show that the laws of physics are, in fact, just as accurate and complete as they were before the experiment.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 10, 2014, 05:52:06 PM
Torinak:

Actually, they're not claiming anything new. It's based on the same principles as the Casimir effect (virtual pair particle production) which has been proven for, well, decades.

It's not rewriting physics at all, although I'm a bit dubious that it actually works. (Power-wise, solar cells or RTG's would be plenty). I mean, heck, NASA has a guy with a  model for a warp drive that doesn't violate modern physics (seriously. FTL travel that Einstein is fine with. Just need a ton of anti-matter for starters...Also, you can't steer. I'm not sure you can stop either. I don't even want to know what happens to what you hit...)


Anyways, the whole "probably something unaccounted for" is everyone's basic belief (sorta like the Voyager thing), but NASA finally got involved to generate some independent data, which is nice. It'll either put the nail in it or verify it, because once NASA's willing to test it (even if they refuse to do more than provide measurements) other people will test it.

And there's lots of people happy to figure out how it's wrong and I suspect they will. (Fuelless propulsion is a serious, serious claim. It's too important for people NOT to swing the big sticks at it. What's unique about this is it's gone this far and hasn't yet been shot down).

But again -- no new physics. Century old stuff, for the most part. No standard model violations, no Newton violations, no thermodynamics violations in the proposed mechanism of action. Energy converted to work, just like basic physics. Just via a rather curious mechanism involving some weird, but well understood, QM effects.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on August 10, 2014, 07:45:37 PM
Torinak:

Actually, they're not claiming anything new. It's based on the same principles as the Casimir effect (virtual pair particle production) which has been proven for, well, decades.

It's not rewriting physics at all, although I'm a bit dubious that it actually works. (Power-wise, solar cells or RTG's would be plenty). I mean, heck, NASA has a guy with a  model for a warp drive that doesn't violate modern physics (seriously. FTL travel that Einstein is fine with. Just need a ton of anti-matter for starters...Also, you can't steer. I'm not sure you can stop either. I don't even want to know what happens to what you hit...)


Anyways, the whole "probably something unaccounted for" is everyone's basic belief (sorta like the Voyager thing), but NASA finally got involved to generate some independent data, which is nice. It'll either put the nail in it or verify it, because once NASA's willing to test it (even if they refuse to do more than provide measurements) other people will test it.

And there's lots of people happy to figure out how it's wrong and I suspect they will. (Fuelless propulsion is a serious, serious claim. It's too important for people NOT to swing the big sticks at it. What's unique about this is it's gone this far and hasn't yet been shot down).

But again -- no new physics. Century old stuff, for the most part. No standard model violations, no Newton violations, no thermodynamics violations in the proposed mechanism of action. Energy converted to work, just like basic physics. Just via a rather curious mechanism involving some weird, but well understood, QM effects.


The Casimir effect doesn't invoke a non-existent "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" (oddly enough, the only people who seem to know about the aether quantum vacuum virtual plasma are the same ones doing this test). The device being tested is a microwave resonating chamber, with no understood mechanism that could trigger the Casimir effect. And you can't use virtual particles to generate thrust without violating conservation of momentum (and that'd overturn at least a century of physics).

People who are experts in the fields related to the actual experiment as well as the purported explanations all agree that the paper is bad (at best). Beyond the technobabble, there are apparently major holes in the experimental methodology, a conspicuous absence of descriptions of what else might be going on and how they compensated for it, and a bunch of speculation about how this experiment's results are going to scale up and change everything. (the paper is behind a paywall, so I rely on those in the field with both access and credentials to evaluate it) The experimenters apparently even used an instrument that's notorious for producing results that only they could reproduce, and there's no discussion of how past evaluations of the alleged engine(s) at Boeing yielded no thrust.

The "NASA scientists" are a tiny group (Eagleworks Laboratories) who work on hypothetical propulsion systems, like anti-gravity and Star Trek-style warp drives. The main researcher even did a press conference about NASA "starting development" of said warp drive before they even started designing the testing apparatus (and later discovered that it doesn't work). That doesn't fill me with confidence. That's not to say that they can't produce solid science, but they need to really do so and not go off before all of their ducks are in a row.

Yes, I understand how a reactionless thruster would completely revolutionize space travel. I'd love for it to be true--it'd be great to be able to send humans to Mars in a month or two, or to cheaply and easily send probes (or even humans) all over the solar system, and to reach nearby stars within a human lifetime. But that doesn't mean it is true.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 10, 2014, 10:11:30 PM
The Casimir effect doesn't invoke a non-existent "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" (oddly enough, the only people who seem to know about the aether quantum vacuum virtual plasma are the same ones doing this test).
Um, no. I even know what "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" is. It's right in the name. Quantum vacuum -- same thing as virtual particles. Virtual plasma? That's, um, you know -- plasma. Like you can make with ordinary particles. Which you shoot out the back end, like some actual engines do.

The only difference between this and a regular, plasma driven reaction drive is using virtual particles instead of ordinary ones. The whole complicated part is doing that before the particles decay. Or do whatever the hell they do in the very short time they're around. (Seriously, those things are nuts. They can even violate some basic laws of physics in their brief lifespans. Crazy, crazy stuff. It's real though -- Casmir effect is just one example of virtual particles interacting on the non-quantum scale)

THis isn't even the first time this idea has cropped up. A casual check of wikipedia shows several papers going back a decade toying with the idea. All mental modelling and abstract physics -- nobody's tried to build one, because it IS far fetched.

But these guys didn't just invent the concept. It's been around, toyed with my actual physicists and not considered fringe. Just unlikely as hell and difficult to impossible to engineer. The basic concept is just as sound as the Alcubierre drive, in terms of physics. It's not breaking any rules -- none at all. It's not even bending them.

Maybe you can't get quantum vacuum to react this way at all. But nobody's come up with a reason why, and some modelling's been done by people OTHER than the guys pushing it who say "Eh, yeah, could work. Maybe."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on August 10, 2014, 10:35:47 PM
So you're saying that the resonating microwaves form standing waves that move the virtual particles a bit before they re-annihilate, thus creating momentum/force?  Because this is an enclosed chamber ("isolated system"), and all reaction drives shoot particles out the business end, but no EM radiation or mass comes out of this device.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Pennilenko on August 10, 2014, 10:46:05 PM
Before this thread goes any further, I'm going to need to see some proof of physics degrees. :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 10, 2014, 11:01:34 PM
So you're saying that the resonating microwaves form standing waves that move the virtual particles a bit before they re-annihilate, thus creating momentum/force?  Because this is an enclosed chamber ("isolated system"), and all reaction drives shoot particles out the business end, but no EM radiation or mass comes out of this device.
Fuck if I know. They -- virtual particles -- don't last that long. I'm not sure you'd even NEED a business end, so to speak. I mean, imagine an ion drive where the ions disappeared a few shakes after they imparted momentum? You wouldn't need an exhaust, just a sufficiently long tube.

*shrug*. As best I understand it (which comes from a 40 minute discussion during a department meeting, as two engineers derailed the meeting to talk about it. Our department's kinda weird. Mostly engineers. Most of them heavily involved in the space program. This was more interesting than the 20 minutes of gossip about SpaceX's welding techniques) it's an ion drive. Pretty much exactly. They just use virtual particles instead of real ones.

It's thermodynamically possible -- the energy required is greater than the work done. From the slap fight, the gist was whether it was technically feasible.

I honestly got the impression they both thought it was,, but they were very skeptical that it could be done this easily. VERY skeptical.

It's kinda like someone popping up with a backyard sized particle accelerator that's powerful enough to find the Higgs. You KNOW collides exist, you KNOW they can get powerful enough to do that, but you find it really damn unlikely they can somehow make one that fits that criteria in that small a space.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on August 10, 2014, 11:27:31 PM
The Casimir effect doesn't invoke a non-existent "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" (oddly enough, the only people who seem to know about the aether quantum vacuum virtual plasma are the same ones doing this test).
Um, no. I even know what "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" is. It's right in the name. Quantum vacuum -- same thing as virtual particles. Virtual plasma? That's, um, you know -- plasma. Like you can make with ordinary particles. Which you shoot out the back end, like some actual engines do.

The only difference between this and a regular, plasma driven reaction drive is using virtual particles instead of ordinary ones. The whole complicated part is doing that before the particles decay. Or do whatever the hell they do in the very short time they're around. (Seriously, those things are nuts. They can even violate some basic laws of physics in their brief lifespans. Crazy, crazy stuff. It's real though -- Casmir effect is just one example of virtual particles interacting on the non-quantum scale)

THis isn't even the first time this idea has cropped up. A casual check of wikipedia shows several papers going back a decade toying with the idea. All mental modelling and abstract physics -- nobody's tried to build one, because it IS far fetched.

But these guys didn't just invent the concept. It's been around, toyed with my actual physicists and not considered fringe. Just unlikely as hell and difficult to impossible to engineer. The basic concept is just as sound as the Alcubierre drive, in terms of physics. It's not breaking any rules -- none at all. It's not even bending them.

Maybe you can't get quantum vacuum to react this way at all. But nobody's come up with a reason why, and some modelling's been done by people OTHER than the guys pushing it who say "Eh, yeah, could work. Maybe."

I'm glad you know more about quantum physics than some of the top experts in the field. Perhaps you can explain why some of the other top experts in the field (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/papers.html) are saying that the paper and the concepts behind it are pretty much full of crap (https://plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/WfFtJ8bYVya)?

Yes, you can string together a bunch of words like "quantum vacuum" and "virtual" and "plasma" but that doesn't mean the result is a real thing--any more than me saying I have a new FPS with "predictive negative ping code". WTF is a "virtual plasma" supposed to be? "Like a plasma but virtual?" doesn't even start to make sense...especially since virtual particles are only particle-antiparticle pairs, not atoms that can become ionized into a plasma. I suppose one could assert that a bunch of virtual particles have a party and spontaneously assemble into full-blown atoms that are then ionized into a plasma so that this microwave resonance chamber can act on them to produce thrust, but that's about at par with invoking invisible flying space elves pushing the engine instead--there are many ways one could (and should have) observe this kind of thing happening, and it doesn't show up. Adding insult to injury, the device is completely unlike an actual plasma engine because it has no exhaust! (the devices are all sealed)

Pretty much all of these theories I've heard of (and I used to be into them, before I decided not to pursue a degree in physics) end up with "...and that's how you get infinite energy" or "...and that's why relativity is wrong" once taken a bit farther than the initial proposal. They can be modeled to one's heart's content, but they run into oopsies sooner or later--needing an infinite mass, or a ring of matter spinning at near light speed with a density higher than is possible, or "negative energy", or some inconvenient law of physics needs to be "relaxed" or "sidestepped" (usually relativity, sometimes conservation of momentum). Any real progress into any of these theories would be a license to print Nobel prizes.

I'd love to be wrong. Tell you what: I'll fly you to the Nobel prize acceptance ceremony for whichever of these scientists gets it for their discovery which upends a century of physics. Then you can say "I told you so". Meanwhile, I'll be booking a flight to Mars. :) If this turns out to be nothing, next time something claims to change everything perhaps you can demand a higher burden of proof?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 11, 2014, 11:18:32 AM
My colleagues all say the paper is basically bad and that the press basically got it wrong to boot.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ingmar on August 11, 2014, 01:38:31 PM
It definitely looks like total bullshit to me, but I'm hardly an expert.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Cyrrex on August 11, 2014, 01:53:19 PM
What I've learned from this thread is that the light bulbs in my microwave oven might, just might help me travel to Mars faster.

None of this matters.  We don't have the will right now to research and develop such things even if they were possible.  It could make long distance trips more economically feasible, but nobody is going to spend the eleventy gajillion dollars it would take to find out.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on August 11, 2014, 02:08:26 PM
One of the things I've seen in some of the critiques of the paper is that the effect was also measured even when the device wasn't supposed to be emitting. As per here: http://space.io9.com/a-new-thruster-pushes-against-virtual-particles-or-1615361369

It's also not a finished paper reporting extensively tested results--it's a work-in-progress report that just says, "I dunno, can anyone else see this going on?"


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on August 11, 2014, 03:04:49 PM
Aliens.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on August 11, 2014, 05:53:05 PM
None of this matters.  We don't have the will right now to research and develop such things even if they were possible.  It could make long distance trips more economically feasible, but nobody is going to spend the eleventy gajillion dollars it would take to find out.

Chris Roberts should do a kickstarter for this.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 11, 2014, 06:55:43 PM
Quote
I'm glad you know more about quantum physics than some of the top experts in the field. Perhaps you can explain why some of the other top experts in the field are saying that the paper and the concepts behind it are pretty much full of crap?
And as noted, a casual glance at Wikipedia shows several papers going back a decade toying with the concept showing no roadblocks to the concept beyond the technical. (And yes, technical roadblocks can range from 'trivial' to 'impossible' to solve.)

And again, as I said about a dozen time, I suspect it doesn't actually work. But you're clearly keen to argue about it, despite the fact that I fucking agree with you that it's pretty likely to be bullshit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Simond on August 11, 2014, 07:04:40 PM
Even if it doesn't work as described, something's happening - experimental error or not, it still needs to be investigated to determine the readings one way or another. Simply folding your arms and going "We don't understand this therefore it's not real" is not science.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 11, 2014, 09:04:10 PM
And seriously, here's the steps:

1) Virtual particles exist. If briefly. (If you dispute this, there's a great deal of physics you dispute)
2) Ion drives work by taking regular particles, turning them to plasma, then expelling them out the back end.
3) If you can do that with regular particles, can you do it with virtual particles?

Virtual particles don't exist long. They come in pairs and mutually annihilate very quickly, keeping energy conserved. (And, amusingly, the mutual destruction also create a particle that possibly travels backwards in time and creates them in the first place. Thus says Fenymen, at least).

There's certainly no roadblock to turning virtual particles into plasma. They'll still annihilate. They're very real, for their brief existence -- so they can provide thrust the same way regular particles can. There's a certain background level of creation/destruction of the darn things that's independent of everything, so you've got an upward cap on how many particles are around at a given time.

The trick -- the insane, difficult to imagine working bit -- is turning them to plasma and using them to produce thrust before they mutually destruct. (There's no 3rd law violations or conservation of momentum violations -- the energy required to generate thrust is identical to regular particles, and same for momentum -- if it works for regular particles, it'll work for virtual particles).

Offhand, I'm like 99% sure these guys did NOT manage to do anything useful with virtual particles. All the papers I saw talked entirely about the physics behind it, handwaving away "how you harness the things" and talking entirely about whether or not virtual particles would work like regular particles for this.

So again -- I doubt these guys succeeded. I find it difficult to imagine anyone succeeding, anytime. Now or in the future. But it's physically possible because virtual particles are, for their brief existence, quite real. And you can certainly use particles to generate thrust. NASA's got a damn probe zooming around based on that right now.

Edited to add: Actually probably a lot less efficient than an ion drive, assuming it works. MORE energy for LESS thrust. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: schild on August 11, 2014, 09:28:12 PM
Any time anyone says something won't get funding, I just assume that means "someone prove it's real, and then call Elon Musk."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Draegan on August 12, 2014, 06:38:02 PM
Well if I've learned anything its that when Morat is really sure about specific things like physics or law or running a business he's usually wrong.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on August 20, 2014, 05:06:20 PM
Comparison pics of Curiosity after two years on Mars:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/20/6046609/its-hard-out-there-for-an-interplanetary-robot


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 20, 2014, 07:05:34 PM
Damn. I wonder how they keep the solar panels clear?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ingmar on August 20, 2014, 07:30:28 PM
Damn. I wonder how they keep the solar panels clear?

They don't, periodic windstorms apparently do that for them.

http://www.space.com/25577-mars-rover-opportunity-solar-panels-clean.html


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 20, 2014, 07:52:59 PM
Couldn't resist posting the following pic I found in the comments section of the Verge article  :grin:  :

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3920/14982444302_9a510f9312.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on August 21, 2014, 08:15:23 AM
So what are those wheels made of? I can't imagine they'd be made from fragile materials, though it would have to be lighter in weight. But still, either the wheels were not made from the most durable substances we have, or (more likely) Mars has some really hardcore fuckoff rocks.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on August 21, 2014, 08:26:10 AM
Aluminum.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on August 21, 2014, 08:32:19 AM
Aluminum.

That seems painfully inadequate given this is NASA. I get the budgets are woeful these days, but I'd hope they'd come up with something more durable than that for this type of project. I mean they would have to have data from the other rovers outlining the type of terrain.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on August 21, 2014, 09:33:22 AM
How do you know Aluminum wasn't the best option?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on August 21, 2014, 10:12:51 AM
Aluminum is light, strong, corrosion resistant, and easy to shape.  It was a very good choice.

Keep in mind the rovers weren't expected to last more than a few months.  The wheels still work, too, they just have some damage.  It's only a problem if the damage inhibits movement.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on August 21, 2014, 10:38:36 AM
Aluminum is light, strong, corrosion resistant, and easy to shape.  It was a very good choice.

Keep in mind the rovers weren't expected to last more than a few months.  The wheels still work, too, they just have some damage.  It's only a problem if the damage inhibits movement.

I only commented out of curiosity in reaction to seeing that much damage on one of the key parts in terms of mobility. I have no idea about this stuff... but it doesn't seem like it is strong enough for the mission if they look that shredded - maybe they did not expect the beating the wheels would take and took a chance on a thinner wheel construction. But hey, that is data to be used for future stuff.

http://earthsky.org/space/curiosity-rover-is-having-wheel-problems

And I thought the mission for Curiosity was 2 years?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lightstalker on August 21, 2014, 11:29:03 AM
Aluminum is light, strong, corrosion resistant, and easy to shape.  It was a very good choice.

Keep in mind the rovers weren't expected to last more than a few months.  The wheels still work, too, they just have some damage.  It's only a problem if the damage inhibits movement.

Aluminum also has no fatigue limit, so failure was a matter of when and not if. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ingmar on August 21, 2014, 01:59:39 PM
The light weight is a really important factor. They could have gone with titanium if they wanted something stronger, but titanium is like 60% or so heavier than aluminum, which would have all kinds of effects on the landing impact, energy needed to get it there, etc.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on August 21, 2014, 04:40:30 PM
Damn. I wonder how they keep the solar panels clear?

They don't, periodic windstorms apparently do that for them.

http://www.space.com/25577-mars-rover-opportunity-solar-panels-clean.html

Curiosity doesn't have solar panels, it has a radio-isotope battery like the Voyager probes.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ingmar on August 21, 2014, 04:46:25 PM
Whoops, got my rovers mixed up.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 21, 2014, 10:00:13 PM
Curiosity doesn't have solar panels, it has a radio-isotope battery like the Voyager probes.
Cool. Surprised there wasn't bitching from environmentalists when that went up. I vaguely recall some about Cassini, but Cassini required an awful lot of...I dunno, plutonium or uranium. Something hot.

As for aluminium: The guys at my work get very, very, very excited about any new aluminum alloy. Rockets, rotors, turbines, airframes -- lots and lots of aluminum, and some of the alloys are supposedly very impressive. (Fuck if I follow it. It's all metal fatigue and UTS and yield stress and shit). Of course the new hotness is composites -- some sort of nifty new layering process or something. It's coming up as something the fracture guys are looking into testing and creating models of.

We've got a big ole' honking database of every material NASA has ever beaten into the ground to see how it bends, breaks, cracks, and fractures -- and there's lots and lots and LOTS of aluminum. Lots of steel too.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on August 22, 2014, 08:10:42 AM
When every gram matters for launch, Aluminum alloys are very difficult to beat.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on August 22, 2014, 10:10:32 AM
As for aluminium: The guys at my work get very, very, very excited about any new aluminum alloy.

(http://gajitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/scotty.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on August 22, 2014, 07:38:40 PM
Yeah, I pretty much feel that way when they get to talking about it.

Doesn't help that one of the new company's I've had to interact with is Sierra Nevada -- I keep wondering why beer maker's want our software. (Hint: Not the same company). I bet the beer company would also get excited about new aluminum's.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on August 22, 2014, 10:39:21 PM
As for aluminium: The guys at my work get very, very, very excited about any new aluminum alloy.

This was the first thing I thought of when I realized that the "Gorilla Glass", synthetic sapphire screens they put on high end smart phones are actual-for-real "Transparent Aluminum" (crystallized aluminum oxide).

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on August 23, 2014, 01:40:09 AM
Man, that's like saying glass is "transparent sand".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on August 23, 2014, 11:33:19 AM
almost. More like saying glass is transparent silicon.   :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 24, 2014, 10:43:05 PM
Littlefinger explains Rosetta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H08tGjXNHO4)


It's a bit weird.  :psyduck:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on October 28, 2014, 07:08:27 PM
"Private Orbital Sciences Rocket Explodes During Launch, NASA Cargo Lost" (unmanned; video included):

http://www.space.com/27576-private-orbital-sciences-rocket-explosion.html

Quote
Today's launch was intended to kick off Orbital Sciences' third contracted resupply mission to the station. The Virginia-based company signed a $1.9 billion deal with NASA to complete eight such flights; the first two were successful.

Damn.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on October 28, 2014, 07:13:35 PM
Yesh, they were already well behind Spacex in the commercial race.  This could seriously fuck them, and the future of the Virginia launch pad (which has had a lot of people lobbying for it).  At least nobody was hurt.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Cyrrex on October 29, 2014, 12:01:22 PM
I know launching shit into space is hard, but we've been doing this for more than fifty years, and still shit explodes spectacularly on the launchpad.  We're never going to make it to Zagnar 7 at this rate.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on October 29, 2014, 12:34:05 PM
Controlled explosions go awry when every little variable isn't exact. Whoda thunk.

So long as our propulsion out of the gravity well is a controlled explosion, this shit is going to happen. When you add a for-profit motive it's going to happen more frequently due to not taking things to the nth degree of safety. 

Morat has previously mentioned some of the NASA comments along the line of 'uh, we'd never be allowed to do that' stuff SpaceX did and they're better funded than OS, IIRC.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on October 29, 2014, 02:06:52 PM
Orbital Science has a really sort of sketchy rocket plan as well (Elon Musk criticized it (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/elon-musk-called-orbital-sciences-rocket-design-joke/story?id=26540137), but people wrote that off as him just being a dick to a rival).  To save money, they bought a bunch of old soviet rocket engines from Russia that they built in the 60's, had them modified, and placed into their own rocket design.  Its really seems kind of haphazard, and they've had a lot of them fail in testing.

Then there is funding.  SpaceX, which designs and builds its rockets from the ground up, has been redeveloping and advancing its own tech year after year, and has a recoverable payload capsule that can return cargo to earth, took 1.6 Billion for 12 launches.  OS, which has a rocket that is totally destroyed after every launch, including the payload capsule upon leaving the ISS, got 1.9 Billion for 8 missions.  Or in short, the company that is buying surplus Soviet era equipment to save money and hasn't developed any recoverable technology, is charging about $237 Million per launch.  While SpaceX, which is the opposite of all that, is charging almost half rate at $133 Million per launch.  Lots of issues with OS, but I can understand NASA's thinking since they were the next closest competitor after SpaceX and wanted a backup company.  

I do hope they're able to recover (And learn) from this for the sake of space flight.  If anything they can hopefully develop their own homegrown rocket designs eventually, and more options are better.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on October 29, 2014, 03:11:09 PM
POS rocket?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on October 29, 2014, 06:20:15 PM
Suprise! Rocket science (engineering) is tricky business.

Coincidentally this article was posted 3 days ago by the Mission Operations Director at the time, Wayne Hale, about a near disaster on launch with the space shuttle mission STS-93 on July 23 1999 which flew the Chandra X-ray observatory into orbit. Long but fascinating read.

http://waynehale.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/sts-93-we-dont-need-any-more-of-those/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Fabricated on October 31, 2014, 03:22:04 PM
Virgin's SpaceShipTwo crashed, at least one of the pilots is dead.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on October 31, 2014, 03:27:10 PM
"Ambition" -- beautiful short shot in Iceland starring Aidan Gillen (GoT) and Aisling Franciosi by the European Space Agency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H08tGjXNHO4


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 31, 2014, 04:52:19 PM
"Ambition" -- beautiful short shot in Iceland starring Aidan Gillen (GoT) and Aisling Franciosi by the European Space Agency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H08tGjXNHO4
Littlefinger explains Rosetta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H08tGjXNHO4)


It's a bit weird.  :psyduck:

I posted that 8 posts ago, but no one noticed.  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on October 31, 2014, 04:57:34 PM
Virgin's SpaceShipTwo crashed, at least one of the pilots is dead.

That sucks.  Reading that they switched the fuel mixture between the last flight and this one.  Likely culprit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 31, 2014, 05:00:44 PM
Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes on test flight (http://www.euronews.com/2014/10/31/virgin-galactic-spaceship-crashes-on-test-flight/)

Quote
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has crashed during a test flight in California.

Two pilots were onboard the suborbital spacecraft named SpaceShipTwo as it underwent its first powered test flight since January.

Reports say one person has died and another is seriously injured.

Quite some mishaps lately: Cygnus exploding on Tuesday and in August we had an ESA Soyuz rocket malfunctioning and delivering it's Galileo satellites in the wrong orbits.

e: mishap isn't the proper word on one dead and one wounded. Wasn't meant that way.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on October 31, 2014, 05:04:42 PM
"Private Orbital Sciences Rocket Explodes During Launch, NASA Cargo Lost" (unmanned; video included):

http://www.space.com/27576-private-orbital-sciences-rocket-explosion.html

Quote
Today's launch was intended to kick off Orbital Sciences' third contracted resupply mission to the station. The Virginia-based company signed a $1.9 billion deal with NASA to complete eight such flights; the first two were successful.

Damn.
Eyewitness account:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141030-first-person-rocket-explosion-antares/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on October 31, 2014, 05:52:33 PM
On a happier note, the Chinese Chang'e 5-T1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang'e_5#Chang.27e_5-T1) snapped this before it headed back to Earth:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 05, 2014, 10:46:35 PM
Rosette and Philae (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvkPFXdpOQQ) - the 'awwwww soooo cute!' version  :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 06, 2014, 10:46:56 AM
I didn't even know this was a thing. Fuck our news media, that's goddamn awesome and will be a huge achievement if they pull it off.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 06, 2014, 12:23:26 PM
I didn't even know this was a thing. Fuck our news media, that's goddamn awesome and will be a huge achievement if they pull it off.

Same, sort of. I planned to regularly follow the Rosetta blog after the waking-up phase, then promptly forgot about it...

Two things stand out for me so far: First, the the mission duration. To launch something and go "Now we fly for 10 years and then land!" is...well, impressive.

And Churyumov-Gerasimenko itself. To see dunes on a comet is eerie. Ignore the space background and it could possibly be an areal image from earth...

(http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/files/2014/10/ESA_Rosetta_NAVCAM_141018_D.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 06, 2014, 12:37:28 PM
Just trying to remember where I was living 10 years ago and where I have lived since... sheesh



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on November 06, 2014, 04:38:12 PM
Those rocks are the size of houses and SUVs. So that set of dunes would make a substantial beach. More amazing to me, on a body that small (only a few kilometers across or around, even on the longest axis and the broadest diameter) gravity is more a concept than an experience. The correction burns that Rosetta has made are at angles practically to the perpendicular. Its orbital path looks more like a spirograph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirograph) than a scribble.

Plus, though it's reflective enough to look good in pictures, the surface is black as copier toner. Not at all the comet the mission was expecting, ten years ago.

I cannot wait to see the body evolve as Rosetta follows it around the sun and it gains first an atmosphere and then a tail. This is going to be amazing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on November 09, 2014, 07:16:11 PM
Apparently, the computer modeling that was done to simulate a black hole's event horizon and the accretion disk around it has led to some actual astrophysical breakthroughs about what black holes look like and how they behave.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/astrophysics-interstellar-black-hole/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on November 09, 2014, 10:15:34 PM
That makes sense to me; the distortion with a neutron star is such that you can see the surface details of both geographic poles at the same time, so it makes sense that with a black hole you can see past both poles and all the way to the far side, so yeah the accretion disk would look like that (though I'd imagine a bit narrower at the top and bottom due to perspective).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on November 10, 2014, 10:16:17 AM
It'll depend on the angle.  It'll still warp everything, but the disk in front will be anything from edge on to perpendicular, so the warped light will be altered to.  They alluded to that briefly in talking about limiting shots to interesting angles.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 11, 2014, 06:02:04 PM
PSA post for anyone interested (or bored at work) in the landing. The live-stream for the landing tomorrow (12. Nov) is already up, at the moment it's very quiet control center there though...


Event times tomorrow:

UTC 09:03 / CET 10:03 / EST 04:03 - Philae separation

UTC 16:02 / CET 17:02 / EST 11:02 - Expected landing


  • http://new.livestream.com/ESA/cometlanding livestream link
  • Full timeline (http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/07/rosetta-and-philae-landing-timeline/) - A timeline of activities related to separation, descent and landing
  • Video (3m04s) (http://youtu.be/mggUVLFPkQg) explaining the landing procedure and the first experiments





Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 03:59:42 AM
+++ Philea ejected at UTC 08:35 +++


Some problems: The cold gas thruster on top of Philea that's supposed to prevent the lander from bouncing of is not working, so it depends on the harpoons and the three ice screws to hold it in place...



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on November 12, 2014, 04:24:38 AM
Damnit  :ye_gods:

Anyway, here's the full article:

http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/54930-rosetta-and-philae-go-for-separation/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: apocrypha on November 12, 2014, 05:02:19 AM
I'm totally going to be watching the livestream out of the corner of my eye all day.

Edit: It must be kind of odd to be working there right now, when it's really quiet, not much going on... and yet 150,000 people are watching you live.  :uhrr:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 10:47:16 AM
Soon! ™


Last image of Philae:

(http://i.imgur.com/thLywZC.jpg)

-- The boom pointing downwards belongs to ROMAP the magnetormeter / plasma monitor.

-- The two little antennas are the dipols of CONSERT (COmet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission). Rosetta has a similar instrument which will send a signal when on the other side of the comet, which is picked up by Philiea. Changes in wave propagation then give an insight into the comets interior makeup.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on November 12, 2014, 10:51:35 AM
Space bus! (or mailbox)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 11:41:25 AM
Landed!



The control center went from cheering ""Touchdown. There is telemetry coming." to very tense "This one is not going down. The elevation is not going down." to to very relieved "It's going down." within the span of 3 minutes.

Public relations is rather good this time too. Rosetta and Philea have their own twitter :roll:. Pretty sure that anthropomorphizing spacecrafts is a trick ESA learned from her big sister across the pond.  ;D



Edit 17:56: Oh, FFS. Very soft touchdown, ice drills only sunk in around 4 cm. Harpoons did NOT fire. Lander might be moving slightly.

Please.....  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 12:12:10 PM
Briefing on DLR right now, transcribing...

Good news:

--- Touchdown, all the signals that trigger on touchdown worked.

--- Still communication, which means the lander did not tilt or topple.


Bad news:

--- ADS thruster did not fire, that is the issue was already known beforehand.

--- The anchors did not fire, this confusion was due to the rewind motors for the anchors going into action, but the harpoon wasn't actually fired.

--- Team doesn't know if it rebounded or not / if it's on the surface. Thus they don't dare issuing a re-firing signal for the harpoons, because they don't know in what position the lander is.


Current Situation:

--- The arm that damped the landing force only moved very little, which indicates a very soft surface. Which might mean if it rebound the rebound was very soft as well and in this case might settle down again.

--- On board computer is waiting for new commands.

--- There will be more telemetry in 30 minutes, but contact lost in 120 minutes, so the final verdict could be known only tomorrow.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on November 12, 2014, 01:07:04 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2QioF0IEAAkdkZ.jpg)

This image, taken over somebody's shoulder, is kicking around on Twitter (https://twitter.com/serpientes72/status/532588729945587713/photo/1).

EDIT: ...but this one, taken by Philae from 3 kilometers away, is definitely legit. They are receiving pictures:
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2QgRveIAAAjCjM.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 01:19:31 PM
This image, taken over somebody's shoulder, is kicking around on Twitter (https://twitter.com/serpientes72/status/532588729945587713/photo/1).

Higher-res version now available:

(http://i.imgur.com/z5uUrO3.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 12, 2014, 03:18:48 PM
So, the take-away is that there will be no further information until tomorrow.


Stephan Ulamec (Head Philea Lander, German Aerospace Center) gave following interpretation of the telemetry data at the last press conference:


1) Initial touchdown confirmed.

2) Anchoring harpoons did not fire – Lander not anchored to the surface.

3) Fluctuations in the radio link observed. Those fluctuations showed some degree of regularity.

4) Additionally fluctuations in the solar power generator have been measured.

5) Take together this could indicate that the lander touched off again and started to rotate.

7) Some science data received also pointed towards this interpretation.

8) After two hours the fluctuation of the solar generator stopped. This indicates that the lander touched down again. Quote: “We landed twice!”


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: apocrypha on November 13, 2014, 03:52:21 AM
Here's the path that Rosetta took over the last 10 years:
(http://i.imgur.com/48iCmE1.gif)

If you've ever played Kerbal Space Program then you'll probably be really impressed by that  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 13, 2014, 04:26:16 AM
Yep. I looked it up to get some comparison, and Rosetta's journey has been the distance of traveling to the Sun and then back. Times 22x!  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 13, 2014, 10:56:45 AM
That animated GIF of the path is just incredible. It kind of hits home that space travel isn't about a point A to point B journey. Using the gravitational pull of different celestial bodies to slingshot through differing arcs is amazing. I'm assuming they did that to save time and fuel.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on November 13, 2014, 12:25:11 PM
That last slingshot is freakin' awesome.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 13, 2014, 01:00:23 PM
It amazes me that from what appears to be that 'little' distance out there in deep space where it shut off and turned back on was ~3 years long.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on November 13, 2014, 03:08:33 PM
Philae bounced twice (landed three times) and is now mostly in the shadows preventing proper charging of its batteries.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/13/philae-lander-tight-spot-comet-tough-decisions-esa-rosetta




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on November 14, 2014, 04:57:45 AM
That GIF has accurate orbits for the planets (esp. visible with Mercury) rather than just circles, and accurate time; Earth going around the Sun 3 times = 3 years, by definition.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on November 25, 2014, 01:53:32 PM
Space X to land their Falcon booster on a drone ship at sea.  (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/elon-musk-just-unveiled-game-160931899.html)

I think they are just going for a better degree of difficulty score now.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 25, 2014, 04:03:00 PM
Space X to land their Falcon booster on a drone ship at sea.  (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/elon-musk-just-unveiled-game-160931899.html)

I think they are just going for a better degree of difficulty score now.
There is a logic to it, this is a drone booster stage, there's no point in risking lives on the recovery vessel. The wave compensation and station-keeping would all be automated anyway, having a crew on board would be redundant.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on November 25, 2014, 06:36:47 PM
It is very interesting, and will be an amazing achievement if they manage to land it successfully.  If they can consistently start to land and reuse rocket booster stages, will be a pretty big game changer as far as cost of space flight goes.  Even if it fails, it's really neat to see companies trying something new.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on November 26, 2014, 03:29:11 AM
It's kind of a 'DUH' type of engineering concept.  Really, all the main stage is doing is saving just enough fuel to slow decent.  The rocket can be gyroscopically and/or aerodynamically stabilized on the way down (after transiting to subsonic); the only thing left to do being to fire the main engines again with enough time to decelerate.  There's 80% less mass at that point, so the logic is obvious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIlu7szab5I


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on November 26, 2014, 03:44:20 AM
Mars was nuked by aliens. Paper incoming.  :awesome_for_real:

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/573878/20141125/nuclear-weapons-attack-explosions-aliens-life-mars.htm#.VHWTYvM8KUl


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 26, 2014, 08:28:00 AM
Mars was nuked by aliens. Paper incoming.  :awesome_for_real:

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/573878/20141125/nuclear-weapons-attack-explosions-aliens-life-mars.htm#.VHWTYvM8KUl

Quote
Brandenburg is a former consultant on Space Missile Defence and Directed Energy Weapons and is currently holding post as researcher at Orbital Technologies in Madison Wisconsin.

So he is not crazy he is doing a sales pitch. :roll: :roll:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 26, 2014, 12:53:34 PM
Were the nukers led by Xenu?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on December 05, 2014, 06:40:32 AM
Livestream for the first Orion unmanned flight test (go in about 20 minutes):

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#.VIGaIzGG98E

edit 1: ALL SYSTEMS GO  :drill:

edit 2: SUCCESS!!  :heart: :awesome_for_real: :drill:

Looking at the Earth Curvature and atmosphere layer taking shape is always mesmerizing  :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 25, 2014, 12:35:32 PM
The Russian Angara-5 made it's maiden launch just before Christmas (23rd.)


(http://i.imgur.com/ZDaLvGv.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/irHqbbb.jpg)

I find the pictures awesome from a pure aesthetic perspective. The snow snow creates such a cold (duh!) and alien atmosphere. Almost if from another planet. (If that makes sense?  :headscratch:)

Edit: As for the rocket itself: It supposed to be a long-term replacement for the Proton and give to Russia greater independence from the Baikonur launching site. Main cargo will be heavy military satellites, but the official plan is to stabilize the cost by the 10th start so that a commercial offering is viable as well. Payload for GTO is 5.4 t.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on January 16, 2015, 01:35:26 PM
 Elon Musk is tweeting  (https://twitter.com/elonmusk) out photos of the Falcon X missing the landing from the other day (while doing a twitter session with John Carmack of all people)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on January 16, 2015, 01:50:40 PM
"Next rocket landing on drone ship in 2 to 3 weeks w way more hydraulic fluid. At least it shd explode for a diff reason."   :awesome_for_real:

Thanks, I meant to post about this earlier, but Polish ear worms got in the way.  It was a damn impressive first attempt, and looks like they almost got if not for the hydraulic fluid issue.  The next launch is going to be interesting.
Elon Musk is tweeting  (https://twitter.com/elonmusk) out photos of the Falcon X missing the landing from the other day (while doing a twitter session with John Carmack of all people)
Carmack is a big rocket guy (as I'm sure you know).  They had a twitter discussion a few weeks before this launch where each was debating their own idea on the best way to get the rocket back down.  The results from this seem to have mostly vindicated Elon (as Carmack admits in the tweets).  Lots of awesome rocket stuff going on lately, I love it.  Really looking forward to seeing how the first launch of the Falcon Heavy goes.

Also I learn a new (to me, I'm sure its ancient) engineering term.  RUD.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on January 16, 2015, 03:14:52 PM
lol RUD. I think I may have to start using that in everyday life.

Must admit I'm fucking pumped to see how the second launch and landing goes!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on January 16, 2015, 03:27:38 PM
Musk is a funny guy. I'm glad to see he's using his fortunes for something worthwhile even if he ultimately hopes it makes boat loads of money in the end.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 12, 2015, 01:15:17 PM
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7329/15860939564_6a561df6d5_s.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/qazsKf)
(link to high resolution)

Rosetta's pictures continue to be stunning and only promise to improve as the comet gets closer to the sun.

Also we're getting great photos of Ceres, with much closer ones available starting next month, and the Pluto flyby this June.

It's a good year for tiny, icy planetoids.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 28, 2015, 09:56:48 AM
Timelapsed video of the last ATV-5 'Georges Lemaitre' undocking for destructive re-entry. In colour and with a view of nighttime Earth in the background. Looks like straight out of a SF film...


Youtube 1m 22s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztXdurBfZWo)

Edit: Sort of a waste of financial resources to develop, test and introduce something and then stop after building 5. And none of the potential enhancements were taken up: More cargo capacity, return cargo to earth, a manned version, etc ...

But 'no ambition' seems to be a general malaise in european space politics.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on February 28, 2015, 10:34:26 AM
In random news, since it still comes up as an item in my department meetings...

You remember that quantum rocket concept? The reactionless (well, sorta) drive?

NASA is still testing that thing. They're doing vacuum testing and have been fighting their own equipment for months now. The critical test bits keep breaking down in vacuum before they can get enough data.

The measuring rig is complicated, but the theory behind it is pretty simple: Hang the suspicious space drive off a long rope, turn it on, see if the rope moves. :) IIRC, they measured thrust in air -- which could be random airflow (proposed thrust is very, very low) so they moved to vacuum. I'm honestly surprised they've still not finished the test cycle.

But every department meeting, it's still on the list as 'in work'. (My department isn't doing it. But we see what the rest of the engineering groups are doing). In any case, NASA is getting paid to do the testing, so someone else is paying for NASA to work out how to vacuum harden some new fiddly bit.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on February 28, 2015, 03:24:39 PM
I'm sure even the data of how to vacuum harden something is a fucking goldmine to someone.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on February 28, 2015, 04:38:47 PM
I'm sure even the data of how to vacuum harden something is a fucking goldmine to someone.
NASA is fairly proficient at it. So is anyone who makes satellites. Something about the particular instrument they need to use, however, is just causing problems. I suppose they've never needed it to work in vacuum (probably never needed one this precise of whatever it is), so no one's engineered it for it. So they've been, basically, doing the usual "Fuck, slap some duct tape on it" method of getting it to work.

You  know, figure out what broke, slap a quick fix on it, start it up again, swear when something new breaks, fix that.....

Probably because building a special, vacuum hardened unit is way more than their test budget.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on February 28, 2015, 04:51:11 PM
We have a temp/vacuum test-chamber at school (one of the few that do), for testing aerospace parts.   It's not that uncommon unless you want one the size that NASA sometimes uses.  Ours is small closet sized.  The Cubesat program uses it mostly these days; our project is collecting data on random bitflips due to cosmic rays.  Fuck me though, I have no time to work on it.

Recall, White is still working on his mini warp-field generator over at JPL too.  And the Diaz plasma drive is in full swing.  Exciting times; plenty of research monies out there w/o the shuttle program bogging us down.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on March 03, 2015, 08:39:31 AM
Those bright spots on Ceres are getting more and more interesting the closer the probe gets. So far nobody seems terribly confident about what they are.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on March 03, 2015, 08:50:07 AM
Yep, can't wait for the closest approach :)

And also, while poor Pluto has been demoted to dwarf planet, other probes already went far beyond it (Voyager, Pioneer), I don't think we're really grasping how significant New Horizons' mission is going to be; finally, Pluto and Charon will be pictured, no more a white dot, since its discovery in 1930 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto#mediaviewer/File:Pluto_discovery_plates.png). Plus, I put  my name in the CD that was boarded on the damn probe back when it was launched in 2006  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on March 03, 2015, 09:02:34 AM
Those bright spots on Ceres are getting more and more interesting the closer the probe gets. So far nobody seems terribly confident about what they are.

Please be aliens... please be aliens.   :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on March 03, 2015, 02:46:36 PM
Shoggoths


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on April 15, 2015, 09:59:09 AM
http://www.space.com/29111-spacex-reusable-rocket-landing-test-video.html

Damn close. I am very curious as to the re-usability of a rocket given the stresses on all the joints and welds from liftoff to descent. In essence, once these rockets start hitting the return craft regularly, how usable will they be and how long before one of the reused rockets explodes because of a faulty weld that went undetected.

That said, this is pretty awesome regardless.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on April 15, 2015, 08:30:30 PM
Whats the bet that everyone in the Space X control room was leaning hard to one side as it came down.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Quinton on April 16, 2015, 08:53:44 AM
Better quality version of the second failed landing attempt:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhMSzC1crr0

So close.

And you can see the RCS thrusters at the top of the first stage trying (and failing) to correct for the tilt to the left, just before it tops over.

At a guess, I bet you could xray the entire recovered first stage (and do whatever other inspection you need) and check the integrity of it for a fraction of the cost of building a new one.  And you could probably recover the engine and other subsystems even if not the entire stage.  You only need to get one or two re-uses out of the thing to get some pretty hefty cost savings.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Furiously on April 16, 2015, 11:35:22 AM
The amount of fuel left in the rocket is pretty amazing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 16, 2015, 10:29:26 PM
They had a stuck valve that gave them less control over main thrust (either actuation or throttle), that's why the tilted landing and 'suicide burn' approach.  I think SpaceX is done with the whole barge thing.  Trying to land on a postage stamp in a rocky sea is not good testing imo.  They've proven they can get close, so it's time to give themselves some more cushion and come down on land.

Realize, a large part of the savings is having the landing site right near assembly in Texas no?  They may prove the concept at Canaveral, but the ultimate goal is to takeoff and land where they build the things.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Furiously on April 16, 2015, 11:28:54 PM
Bet they have nets that come up and trap it in on the next version :P


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on April 16, 2015, 11:32:51 PM
Ermmm....Texas is rather near an ocean, too. Pretty sure the water landing is the long-term plan, getting liability insurance for landing rockets in Texas...would be interesting. If all they wanted to do was 'prove the concept', they could have had it 'land' a hundred feet in the air over a buoy in the open ocean.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Quinton on April 17, 2015, 07:14:57 AM
Landing on land is simpler in many ways compared to landing on a tiny moving target on the ocean.  My understanding is the barge would still be useful for flight scenarios where there is insufficient fuel to return to a land based site and it is useful for proving the capability in a more demanding environment first, but long-term landing on land and landing as close as possible to the plant is the goal due to the huge reduction in transport complexity, time, and cost.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on April 17, 2015, 09:32:17 AM
It's *so* much simpler, why would you ever do it 'hard mode', if your plan was to switch to easy mode later? Not that I know what the long term plan is for certain, it just never occurred to me they would do the recovery ship at all if they didn't plan on using it after the test phase. Do you have a source for that, or are we both just speculating?

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on April 17, 2015, 09:52:39 AM
Even if they get this right, space flight is a dangerous business. Landing in the ocean gives a margin of safety if something goes wrong as there is less chance of coming down on populated areas. They are also a private company so they are going to be much more concerned about liability than the government would be.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: taolurker on April 17, 2015, 12:13:42 PM
I would think not only liability but also there's possible recovery of a failed landing on water, where impact on land.. Nope nothing but shrapnel.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Polysorbate80 on April 17, 2015, 12:37:21 PM
I've lived in Texas (briefly).  There's considerable portions that can only be improved by exploding rockets above it  :grin:

Joking aside, there's plenty of areas where you're only in danger of toasting the occasional armadillo, snake, or tarantula without ever coming near the humanoid population.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on April 17, 2015, 12:40:22 PM
I've lived in Texas (briefly).  There's considerable portions that can only be improved by exploding rockets above it  :grin:

Joking aside, there's plenty of areas where you're only in danger of toasting the occasional armadillo, snake, or tarantula without ever coming near the humanoid population.

True enough, but what if those things are on the protected species list?  :why_so_serious:

I'd think there would be plenty of places in the southwestern US you could land this rocket without putting humans at risk, but having the rocket fly over places to get to that spot does pose a risk.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 17, 2015, 03:50:09 PM
It's *so* much simpler, why would you ever do it 'hard mode', if your plan was to switch to easy mode later? Not that I know what the long term plan is for certain, it just never occurred to me they would do the recovery ship at all if they didn't plan on using it after the test phase. Do you have a source for that, or are we both just speculating?

The long-term benefit of the barge is as Quinton said: it requires less fuel to reach a ship that is 'downstream' of the flightpath than performing a full return to the landing site. The reason they are (have to) using it exclusively now is safety. They need to demonstrate the ability to hit a target reliably before being allowed to do the same on land.

The real test IMHO will be the financial viability. The idea of reuse-ability isn't new (it was already considered for the Saturn V first stage). But executing it in a way that is safe and also less effort than just building a new stage is less easy. Two recent examples: A) The Russian Baikal is (or was) a proposed re-usable adoption of the new Angara rocket. But studies showed it would have required 40+ launches (per rocket) to be more economical than the single-use version. B) The Space Shuttle. The solid boosters had parachutes and were recovered & refurbished after each launch, but from what I read this never materialized any cost savings.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on April 17, 2015, 04:54:24 PM
The act of landing instead of splashing down into the ocean is the big part.  Refurbishing anything that lands in the ocean is very expensive.  The salt water fucks things up, and even with a parachute, the landings aren't actually very soft.  Obviously it still remains to be seen how viable this is, but landing the rocket is a major bonus for reusability.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on April 18, 2015, 08:00:55 PM
They actually saved money on the occasions when the buoyancy failed and the boosters sank, as I recall. If it hadn't been all tied up with contracts and the way the enabling legislation was written in an effort to sell how 'reusable' the system was, they could have saved a lot of money with single-use boosters.

If they can actually perfect the soft landing and make a system that just needs new nozzles and general maintenance, then it will certainly change the cost structure.

Looking into it, I don't see how dry landings are feasible. In addition to the safety issues, the problem is that the booster stage does not, can not reach orbit, it's going to come down well east of the launch site unless you burn a shitload of fuel. So you're not landing in Texas unless you launched from Baja California. You could launch from Texas and land in Florida, maybe.

Would make more sense to have a half-dozen drone landing ships you could space out around the potential landing zone so that nothing short of a major hurricane would render them all unusable. But I don't think you're going to get zoning permission for a rocket landing site any time in the immediate future.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on April 18, 2015, 09:05:04 PM
They need 4 poles in the corners of that platform, with 4 arresting cables that can basically lasso that rocket from 4 directions and hold it upright in the center of the platform.  Or maybe the rocket can deploy its own anchoring cables.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on April 19, 2015, 10:28:23 PM
Somebody needs to develop anti-gravity. Or a way to cancel mass. Or some other way to flip physics the bird.

Or, less fantastical, just say "Fuck it" and build a space elevator.

Only two major roadblocks to go! Fiber length -- they can't grow the carbon nano-tube fibers as long as they need, but they're making steady progress. And, of course, the problem that there's a lengthy phase in construction where the ribbon is wide enough to be really likely to get hit by micro-meteorites, yet not so wide it'll survive until the next constructor up repairs it. (After a certain width, it doesn't matter. Crawlers going up and down repair the ribbon as they go, and the damage won't be big enough).

Of course, that's only the first one. After that, you can ship the ribbon up the first elevator and drop it down.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on April 20, 2015, 12:39:14 PM
Of course, that's only the first one. After that, you can ship the ribbon up the first elevator and drop it down.



I keep seeing people say this and yet no explanation of why you can't do the same with the first. Drop it from the ISS or another fixed-orbit object vs. build it up to them.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on April 20, 2015, 01:36:16 PM
Weight?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 20, 2015, 03:01:44 PM

I keep seeing people say this and yet no explanation of why you can't do the same with the first. Drop it from the ISS or another fixed-orbit object vs. build it up to them.


We can't actually build a space lift yet. None of the proposed materials are really mature enough.

Re: Dropping down from ISS: The ISS is at ~400 km height. A space elevator needs go up to GEO ~35000 km to have enough centrifugal force. And that loops back to the first sentence; building a 35000 km long cable that can sustain the weight (and the environment conditions of space) isn't a minor undertaking.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on April 20, 2015, 03:03:04 PM
Essentially, yes, the mass of the entire beanstalk is way too much to lift on rockets, you have to lift just enough for the first strand, then use that.

--Dave

Edit: Much easier, in terms of energy, to nudge an asteroid with the right composition into GEO, if you can find an Earth-crossing rock that fits the bill. Especially if they can make the microwave thruster/Cannae drive work in practice


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on April 20, 2015, 08:19:54 PM
Weight?
Yep. 35,000 miles of very, very, tiny thin thread. You can't lift a full of even partial ribbon.

Once you have the thread, you start sending crawlers up (small ones at first) to weave a second strand. Using beamed power.

We actually do have the proper materials -- we can make carbon nano-tubes that have the right properties, but we have to make tubes of a certain length to make it work (a foot or so, I think? It's been ages) and they best we can do is less than half that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on April 20, 2015, 10:59:09 PM
Ah, the distance is farther than I thought, so I get it now. I thought, "send up 400-800km of carbon monofilament across several trips for the ribbon.  That's not overly much, right?" 35000 km is a bit different. Newp! Thanks.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on April 21, 2015, 02:26:59 PM
New theory on mysterious radio signals: (http://www.iflscience.com/space/astronomical-quest-leads-ovens)
Quote
Earlier this year, Swinburne University's Emily Petroff was the lead author of a report (http://www.iflscience.com/space/world-first-cosmic-radio-burst-caught-real-time) on the first observation of a fast radio burst (FRB) in real time. Previously, the enormously powerful but poorly understood events known as FRBs had only been detected in the records of large radio telescopes years after they happened.

However, among those records was something else, which astronomers named perytons (http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/425/4/2501.abstract?sid=15a1ffbf-ceaf-454d-8e7a-bc22942afe89). The first peryton detected was in 1998, although it was not recognized as such until 2011. Perytons look sufficiently like FRBs that astronomers even speculated that the first FRB, known as 010724, might actually have been a peryton.

Perytons last about half a second and are “frequency-swept,” meaning different frequencies arrive at different times, which in perytons's case means the high frequencies appear first. Petroff says, frequency-sweeping is commonly associated with signals that have passed through an interstellar medium that has delayed certain frequencies more than others.

However, while FRBs are believed to come from outside our own galaxy, perytons were thought to be terrestrial in origin, since they registered on multiple beams of the radio telescopes, something that should only be possible for events that are very nearby or spread across a huge area of the sky.

So she did some experiments, and figured out what was happening:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on April 21, 2015, 02:46:18 PM
Weight?
Yep. 35,000 miles of very, very, tiny thin thread. You can't lift a full of even partial ribbon.

Once you have the thread, you start sending crawlers up (small ones at first) to weave a second strand. Using beamed power.

The mental image of tiny robotic spiders spinning a web into space for us to climb makes me feel all warm and tingly in my nether regions.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 22, 2015, 03:27:21 AM
I'm of the belief there long ago should have been a station on the moon wherein we could expand into a self-sustaining next-gen industrial complex.  Imagine 21st century manufacturing at 1/6th the gravity and no air resistance.  The potential gains are huge.  This is before even considering building rockets to launch from there, which is obviously ideal.

Also, getting people to orbit should not be as complex as it is currently.  Really, we should only be launching single-man "escape-pod" sized rockets into orbit and allow physics and whatever orbital retrieval vehicles to do the rest.  Even Soyuz to me is overkill.  Supplies can go up the traditional way on an unmanned dragon, atlas, etc.   Having this catchall system to launch man and material simultaneously is stupid.  Weight causes an exponential loss of efficiency in rocket systems.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on April 22, 2015, 05:32:23 AM
First (preliminary and very blurry) colour image of Pluto & Charon:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/first-pluto-charon-color-image-from-new-horizons

Waiting for July  :awesome_for_real:

So Charon is "Texas-sized", just like the comet from Deep Impact (or was that the asteroid in "Armageddon"?). Anyway, looks like everything in space is Texas-sized. Cool, uh?



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on April 22, 2015, 12:11:53 PM
I'm of the belief there long ago should have been a station on the moon wherein we could expand into a self-sustaining next-gen industrial complex.
Industry? On the moon? The richest iron-bearing rock on the moon is about 25%, and that's rare. Most of the high-iron Moon ore is only 15%. Our meekest mines on Earth demand ore that's at least 35% iron. With that in mind: There is substantially more iron on the moon than any other industrial element, especially such Earth stalwarts as carbon (available only in parts per million).

So a lot of infrastructure is going to need to be shipped in.

How is this infrastructure going to be fueled? Solar power is only available for half of every month. Hydrogen - fundamental to most chemical fueling and abundant on earth's surface - is extremely rare on the moon, and evidence for the water which might hold it is still inconclusive. There are only the tiniest traces of the heavy elements that might be fission capable. Even lead is rare. And Helium-3 - despite it's numerous advantages over deuterium/tritium - still requires a functional fusion reactor... which remains beyond our technological grasp for at least half a dozen reasons.

So a lot of fuel is going to need to be shipped in.

How is this infrastructure going to be repaired? Humans can't live on the moon. There's no food, and both air and water would need to be mined. Growing food, even with hydroponics, has the same energy requirement problems that smelting does. Worse, remember Biosphere 2? Our ability to productively recycle and utilize atmosphere and biological waste is extremely limited. Having the forests of the Earth replenishing our air and the oceans replenishing our wastewater is easy to take for granted. Robots could do some of it, but look how clumsy, slow and unreliable the rovers are on Mars. Being designed to never require repair put a lot of limits on other capabilities.

So a lot of people and/or food and/or soil nutrients and/or robots are going to need to be shipped in.

All of this shipping is going to have to come from Earth. There's nowhere less expensive to mine for minerals, nowhere less expensive to produce food supplies, nowhere less expensive to construct robots and house human beings. All of the complaints that I have about industry on the moon also apply to closer orbital stations because one of the least efficient aspect of rocket travel is plowing through the atmosphere. Which brings us to your second complaint:
Really, we should only be launching single-man "escape-pod" sized rockets into orbit and allow physics and whatever orbital retrieval vehicles to do the rest.  Even Soyuz to me is overkill.  Supplies can go up the traditional way on an unmanned dragon, atlas, etc.  Having this catchall system to launch man and material simultaneously is stupid.
First, smaller rockets are less efficient than larger rockets for the same reason that tiny things have a smaller terminal velocity than large things: More surface area per unit mass.

Second, it's a lot cheaper to produce and reclaim a single rocket system than to produce and reclaim several different rocket systems. Equipment re-use and industrial economy of scale are what theoretically drops the ASTP LEO costs to $200/kg by 2025.

The cost of putting a person (and their life-support and safety equipment) on board a large, efficient supply rocket is small-potatoes if we already have to launch a supply of large smelting crucibles and hopper trucks and whatever. That said, if you're interested in novel ways to put people in orbit, take a look at NASA's space plane plans. Getting from orbit to the moon would still require propellant, however, and that propellant will almost certainly have to come through Earth's atmosphere. Conventional, large rockets remain the best way to do that.

Just like conventional, Earth-bound industry remains the best way to support space programs.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 22, 2015, 01:21:51 PM
Rendering of the E-ELT, together with some size comparisons. From Reddit, but I thought it's nifty enough to post here.

Image is too large for the forum, so as direct link:

http://i.imgur.com/QhCWWFe.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/QhCWWFe.jpg)

Quote from: Wikipedia
The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope for the optical/near-infrared range, currently being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The design comprises a reflecting telescope with a 39.3-metre-diameter segmented primary mirror, a 4.2-metre-diameter secondary mirror, and will be supported by adaptive optics and multiple instruments.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Hawkbit on April 22, 2015, 01:59:53 PM
Overwhelmingly Large Telescope
(cancelled)

Ha!

Not stymied by the cancellation of the OLT, the team next prepares plans for the Ludicrously Large Telescope.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on April 23, 2015, 07:36:55 PM
Somebody needs to develop anti-gravity. Or a way to cancel mass. Or some other way to flip physics the bird.

I was somewhat serious.  Their rocket has no issues staying vertical in-flight and aiming for the center of the platform, it's just once it touches down its side thrusters aren't sufficient for the problem of how to balance a pencil vertically on a desk.  And they'd want to turn off the thrusters at some point so they can refuel and whatnot.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on April 23, 2015, 08:53:44 PM
Somebody needs to develop anti-gravity. Or a way to cancel mass. Or some other way to flip physics the bird.

I was somewhat serious.  Their rocket has no issues staying vertical in-flight and aiming for the center of the platform, it's just once it touches down its side thrusters aren't sufficient for the problem of how to balance a pencil vertically on a desk.  And they'd want to turn off the thrusters at some point so they can refuel and whatnot.
That wasn't a sarcastic response. That was literally "Doing that would make this space travel stuff a lot easier".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on April 25, 2015, 07:27:08 AM
Rendering of the E-ELT, together with some size comparisons. From Reddit, but I thought it's nifty enough to post here.

Image is too large for the forum, so as direct link:

http://i.imgur.com/QhCWWFe.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/QhCWWFe.jpg)

Quote from: Wikipedia
The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope for the optical/near-infrared range, currently being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The design comprises a reflecting telescope with a 39.3-metre-diameter segmented primary mirror, a 4.2-metre-diameter secondary mirror, and will be supported by adaptive optics and multiple instruments.

Great map, but the James Webb is where's it's at.  Won't have to see through the pesky atmosphere. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 25, 2015, 08:46:43 PM
Great map, but the James Webb is where's it's at.  Won't have to see through the pesky atmosphere.  

Well, the E-ELT uses (will use) adaptive optics (they bend the mirrors) to compensate for that. But it's really more a synergy situation: the JWST strong points are high wavelengths (near & mid infra-red), while the E-ELT has a much higher spatial resolution.

And thankfully it's more collaboration than competition: The E-ELT will be open to non-ESO scientists, time slots are given out based on scientific merit. JWST on the other hand as ESA as minority partner (it will be launched by an Ariane 5 actually).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: angry.bob on April 26, 2015, 12:35:57 AM
Anyway, looks like everything in space is Texas-sized. Cool, uh?

If only there was a way to get a Texas-sized Texas out into space a lot of domestic problems would dwindle away.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 29, 2015, 11:56:42 AM
A Russian Progress freighter that was launched yesterday from Baikunor to resupply the ISS is out of control and will most likely burn up in the atmosphere.

The issue seems to stem from the Soyuz 2-1A rocket it was launched with, the third stage engines either burned too long or with too much thrust, this resulted in an incorrect orbit:

Code:
Actual     278 - 193 km
Nominal    240 - 193 km

Additionally the craft is spinning. The ground-control sent a command to fire up the engines [to stabilize the craft] which was received but failed to be executed.


Onboard camera - Progress rotating (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMiNjHjpunU)

Launch video from 28. 4. 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28jJ3sANL1o)


This isn't the only recent Soyuz failure: In August 2014 a Soyuz launched from Kourou put two Galileo satellites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28satellite_navigation%29) into a wrong orbit. The problem turned out to be a design failure: A connection between an hydrazine and a cold helium feed line worked as a thermic bridge and lead to the hydrazine freezing. Which lead to the connected attitude control thrusters failing.

Edit: I made a GIF:

(https://i.imgur.com/77gPI8a.gif)


Edit2: Roscosmos now officially considers Progress M-27M lost. De-orbit and burn up in the atmosphere is expected around 5th to 7th May. The next Progress freighter to supply the ISS (M-28M) is scheduled to launch in Q3 2015.

Source (https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=de&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.roscosmos.ru%2F21459%2F)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 29, 2015, 05:05:05 PM
I'm still fuming the Russians lost my solar sail.  I fuckin donated to that project and it was never re-started.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 29, 2015, 06:08:21 PM
I'm still fuming the Russians lost my solar sail.  I fuckin donated to that project and it was never re-started.

Oh..do you have a story to tell?  :-) What are you talking about? Cosmos 1?



Fake Edit: If someone likes to watch rockets launches, there have been two successful ones in just the last days:

26th April: Ariane-5 ECA carrying Thor-7 and Sicral-2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rTNYyTjrcY&hd=1)

28th April: Falcon 9 v1.1 carrying Turkmenalem52e/Monacosat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pGp1jToCx4&hd=1)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on April 29, 2015, 07:45:27 PM
Yah, Cosmos1.  I was really excited for that project only to see it explode due to the wonders of modern Russian engineering.   :oh_i_see:   Actually, it wasnt modern at all.  TPS took the cheap route and just strapped it to the back of an old ICBM.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on May 01, 2015, 01:57:58 PM
Rosetta's approach to the comet last August, 800km to 30km. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3kh_Enrk4)

What a weird little pile of rocks.

In other news MESSENGER crashed successfully into Mercury. That would have happened six weeks earlier when it ran out of the fuel required to maintain its orbit against the tidal forces of the Sun, but project scientists figured out how to use its helium coolant as reaction mass (and then propellant) to keep it taking photos and measurements.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on May 01, 2015, 08:02:22 PM
Oh, that reminds me...

A follow up cartoon with Rosetta & Philea about the comet-landing. For children and today's average adult media consumers.  :grin:

Once upon a time # comet-landing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33zw4yYNGAs)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on May 01, 2015, 09:22:56 PM
That was adorable, though I could have done without all the techno jibber jabber!  Now, where's mah beer..



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on May 07, 2015, 08:05:37 PM
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, currently on the ISS, shows us how some of the most mundane cleaning rituals in the bathroom (cutting nails, shampoo, brushing your teeth, using soap) actually work in space.

Beside being so proud of her, I won't lie: tears came up during the water/soap part. Just so beautiful and mesmerizing  :heart: :heart: :heart:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=15&v=nPUvzn3CTQc


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on May 08, 2015, 12:46:14 PM
Ah yeah, shower scene in space!

Joking aside, that was pretty cool.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on May 08, 2015, 09:16:12 PM
Oh my god, this is beautiful  :ye_gods:  :Love_Letters:

Sunset on Mars...with a blue-tinged sky! (no artificial color corrections)

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4581


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on May 08, 2015, 10:15:46 PM
That is some cool-ass shit right there.  Nice find Lucas.  I hope I live long enough to see someone put boots on Mars.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on May 08, 2015, 11:08:56 PM
This one, on the other hand, is false color... stitched together by a guy (https://roadtoendeavour.wordpress.com/) who just wanted to make it feel like being on Mars:
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEL4f7DWEAAJxTQ.jpg:large)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on May 13, 2015, 06:14:20 PM
Also, the bright spots in the crater on Ceres are actually clusters of smaller spots (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia19547).

My guess is still ice, since I think the dwarf planet is a wandering centaur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur_%28minor_planet%29), but I haven't got a clue what would make Ceres spew out shiny chunks of ice like that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on May 14, 2015, 01:34:59 AM
The geometry is kinda creepy to me from this angle. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on May 14, 2015, 09:06:00 AM
Also, the bright spots in the crater on Ceres are actually clusters of smaller spots (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia19547).

My guess is still ice, since I think the dwarf planet is a wandering centaur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur_%28minor_planet%29), but I haven't got a clue what would make Ceres spew out shiny chunks of ice like that.

Ceres isn't a centaur. Its orbit doesn't cross the orbit of any of the major planets.

The bright spots are definitely weird and interesting, though. I am beginning to wonder if observation at even closest approach is going to resolve what they are.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on May 14, 2015, 10:20:31 AM
Ceres isn't a centaur. Its orbit doesn't cross the orbit of any of the major planets.
Hence my 'wandering'. In much the same way that Pheobe is theorized to potentially be a captured centaur, I think that Ceres isa Kuiper belt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuiper_belt) ice and rock ball that fell towards the sun and then got caught in the same gravitational interference pattern that created the rest of the asteroid belt. As opposed to being a collected cluster of smaller asteroids, or being a captured rocky NEO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_object) from the inner solar system.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on May 14, 2015, 02:37:24 PM
I think it's some kind of heavy mineral.  The reflection is way too strong for it to be an old ice formation (the ice would get discolored over time) and there is no indication of any kind of cryovulcan ice plumage.   It literally looks like the exposed corner of a geode... which have indeed been discovered at planetary scales, though obviously never imaged.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on May 14, 2015, 03:22:19 PM
The death star's moon camouflage is wearing away...  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on May 20, 2015, 10:55:23 PM
Lightsail just launched on the Atlas 5 carrying the x-37b:
http://sail.planetary.org/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on June 11, 2015, 05:36:16 PM
Today, NASA announced the media activities and television coverage of the New Horizons mission:
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-television-coverage-media-activities-for-pluto-flyby

New video of Pluto & Charon "orbital dance", obtained from the most recent LORRI observations (29th May - 3rd June) :
http://www.space.com/29647-pluto-and-charon-orbital-dance-new-horizons-gets-closer-video.html

Damn, getting really excited about this, no matter it's going to be "just" a flyby  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on June 11, 2015, 07:37:43 PM
Lightsail just launched on the Atlas 5 carrying the x-37b:
http://sail.planetary.org/

Too bad Lightsail is having problems, I really like this idea.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 14, 2015, 07:29:47 AM
So Philae is back again.  :heart: Didn't expect that any more...

From the press release

  • Contact yesterday at 22:28 CEST for 85 seconds
  • Lander operating temperature - 35° C with 24 Watt power available
  • 300 data packets received, 8000 more stored in memory
  • Older data shows lander woke up several times before but couldn't connect to Rosetta then
  • Last contact was in November 2014 when Philae hibernated due to lack of power

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/06/14/rosettas-lander-philae-wakes-up-from-hibernation/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on June 14, 2015, 11:44:54 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHdTHfSWoAABBkB.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on June 15, 2015, 09:51:16 AM
Philaebob Squarepants?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on June 30, 2015, 08:01:12 AM
- 2 weeks to Pluto-Charon flyby (16M Km to go); here is a raw image taken yesterday by LORRI, but you can already make out some details! :

(http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/data/pluto/level2/lor/jpeg/029786/lor_0297860108_0x630_sci_1.jpg)

Full resolution here (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/data/pluto/level2/lor/jpeg/029786/lor_0297860108_0x630_sci_1.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Pennilenko on July 07, 2015, 09:09:08 PM
I thought this was pretty cool. Run Away Star Pushing Bow Wave (http://gizmodo.com/a-runaway-star-makes-an-interstellar-bow-wave-1715854690)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on July 09, 2015, 08:28:04 AM
Last time we see a major solar system object up close for the first time in our history. From here on, it's just about better looks and more information. Unless someone sends a probe to Eris or Makemake, but those might not get there while any of us are alive anyway even if they did.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on July 09, 2015, 03:30:05 PM
If the Cannae or Em drives actually turn out to be usable, that's going to look like a very silly declaration.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on July 09, 2015, 08:41:57 PM
If the Cannae or Em drives actually turn out to be usable, that's going to look like a very silly declaration.

--Dave
That's a big if, but reactionless drives are a holy grail. So's FTL, although I note the Ablecurrie drive continues to improve. They've got the energy requirements down to something actually sane, if we could make antimatter.

I don't think they've worked out how to make it stop. Or turn. Or see where you're going. I also kind of wonder what happens to anything you hit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on July 10, 2015, 09:14:58 AM
If the Cannae or Em drives actually turn out to be usable, that's going to look like a very silly declaration.

--Dave
That's a big if, but reactionless drives are a holy grail. So's FTL, although I note the Ablecurrie drive continues to improve. They've got the energy requirements down to something actually sane, if we could make antimatter.

I don't think they've worked out how to make it stop. Or turn. Or see where you're going. I also kind of wonder what happens to anything you hit.

Pfffft details. To infinity and beyond.

Also its the 'alcubierre' drive, thanks for the heads up though, wikipedia dive commence!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 10, 2015, 02:12:58 PM
(https://40.media.tumblr.com/b441d1ec3880fded8412595a3d2e728f/tumblr_nr9qoekUTQ1qmvxavo1_1280.jpg)

That is a close orbit. Also, here's Pluto colored its lovely methane brown.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on July 10, 2015, 07:20:25 PM
Pfffft details. To infinity and beyond.

Also its the 'alcubierre' drive, thanks for the heads up though, wikipedia dive commence!
Hey, dude invented an actual, relativity-complaint warp FTL drive in the 90s. Since then he (and others) have refined the concept to needing a Jupiter sized planet's worth of power to a basketball sized amount.

All by -- I shit you not -- 'changing the shape of the warp field'. STAR TREK TECHNOBABBLE IS REAL.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goreschach on July 11, 2015, 01:30:25 AM
I think you're underestimating what a 'basketball size' of power actually is. This shit will absolutely not work. Ever. And even if it could, you can guarantee that we'd use it to create an 'earth shattering kaboom' first.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on July 11, 2015, 07:29:03 AM
If the Cannae or Em drives actually turn out to be usable, that's going to look like a very silly declaration.

--Dave

Sorry, I should have clarified: for those of us alive now.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on July 11, 2015, 12:16:43 PM
Pfffft details. To infinity and beyond.

Also its the 'alcubierre' drive, thanks for the heads up though, wikipedia dive commence!
Hey, dude invented an actual, relativity-complaint warp FTL drive in the 90s. Since then he (and others) have refined the concept to needing a Jupiter sized planet's worth of power to a basketball sized amount.

All by -- I shit you not -- 'changing the shape of the warp field'. STAR TREK TECHNOBABBLE IS REAL.

Sonny White over at JPL already started Warpfield Mechanics 101; ala Starfleet Academy.  But really, making a large spacecraft travel FTL is not the only application.  If we can simply "flip a bit," that's enough for a Nobel and a few lifetimes worth of applied science.

As for the EM drive; the main thing that device does is provide the impetus needed for an orbital manufacturing platform that'll let us expand through our local space.  Because without needing the fuel, and once in orbit, the solar system is an easy nut to crack.  We need pvt. space trucking to set off here first though.

Note: viable lagrange point stations have been on the books since the 60's.  Fully blueprinted.  Do we have the balls though?  Of course not.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 11, 2015, 04:23:08 PM
Note: viable lagrange point stations have been on the books since the 60's.  Fully blueprinted.  Do we have the balls though?  Of course not.
It's not about balls, it's about money.

The L4 and L5 Earth-Moon points are just as far and slightly harder to reach than the Moon, since they lack their own gravity well. The Moon can at least catch things we throw at it. Plus they're likely full of Trojans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_(astronomy)) the size of bowling balls and washing machines with eccentric orbits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_orbit#Tadpole_orbit).

The L1 and L2 Earth-Sun, besides being inherently unstable and prone to decay, are also about four times as far from Earth than the Moon... and, again, lack a gravity well for easy braking.

Earth-Sun L4 and L5 are 93 million miles away, have no inherent gravity well, and are orbited by Trojans up to the size of football stadiums (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_TK7).

Our failure to return to the Moon, far easier than any of these expeditions, has not been about a lack of balls. It's been about a lack of money for pointless grandstanding on useless hunks of dust. As you mention, lack of fuel-less propulsion makes orbital manufacturing all but pointless. Lunar manufacturing brings its own raw materials... and it's still not worth the trouble. Launching fuel separately is prohibitively more expensive than simply using that fuel in the original rocket.

The ISS is in low-Earth orbit because that's the cheapest space to visit. It's also an enormous waste of money and material compared to our unmanned satellites and probes. A really, really cool waste of money.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on July 11, 2015, 06:07:01 PM
I think you're underestimating what a 'basketball size' of power actually is. This shit will absolutely not work. Ever. And even if it could, you can guarantee that we'd use it to create an 'earth shattering kaboom' first.

All we have to do is replace nearly all of modern physics with something that does a better job of matching observations. The Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive) claims that the revision dropped the power requirements to the energy equivalent of 700 kg, which is only about 6.3E19 J...a bit less than the entire planet's energy consumption in 2012. So we just have to reroute the entire planet's energy consumption into a perfectly-efficient mechanism to produce and store antimatter. Unfortunately, current antimatter generation techniques are only about 0.0000001% efficient (http://angelsanddemons.web.cern.ch/antimatter/making-antimatter) so we'd need to harness the entire planet's energy consumption for a billion years.

There are a few other minor gotchas in the current formulation, like having to preserve causality or turn into a black hole instead of traveling, figuring out how to start or stop travel without being able to pass any information through the warp bubble/torus, etc.

Out of curiosity, are there any FTL travel proposals are out there that weren't obviously cribbed from science fiction?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 11, 2015, 06:25:27 PM
Out of curiosity, are there any FTL travel proposals are out there that weren't obviously cribbed from science fiction?
Cart and horse.

Science fiction appropriates ideas as soon as science has them. Everything even remotely hopeful has been pretty thoroughly mined for story purposes.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 12, 2015, 06:45:57 AM
Damn, the latest pics of Pluto are so intriguing: here's an article about those odd and evenly spaced dark spots:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20150711-2

Raw image (not enhanced like the one in the article):

(http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/data/pluto/level2/lor/jpeg/029889/lor_0298893474_0x630_sci_1.jpg)

Pluto certainly looks far more complex than predicted. Can't wait.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 13, 2015, 05:48:10 PM
Looks like a polar cap is confirmed; also, Pluto is slightly larger than predicted (but it's still a so called "dwarf planet") :

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/how-big-is-pluto-new-horizons-settles-decades-long-debate

Latest processed images:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/images/index.html

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-color-pluto-charon.jpg)

Just too beautiful. 13 hours to go.

NASA TV schedule for the next couple days:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-updated-television-coverage-media-activities-for-pluto-flyby


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 07:39:56 AM
Just before today's flyby, here's a lovely pic of Pluto  :heart:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ4AxFgXAAAjxRc.png:large)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: RhyssaFireheart on July 14, 2015, 10:00:37 AM
Such a fabulous accomplishment and the pics we're getting are just beautiful!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 10:19:36 AM
From various Twitter feeds:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ4iJE1WwAAd74Z.jpg:large)

You could say that the 1st generation of robotic exploration of the solar system ends today. Something that started back in 1962 with the Mariner probes (Venus).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on July 14, 2015, 10:41:24 AM
Fucking Pluto. That's shit's awesome.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on July 14, 2015, 11:12:56 AM
Lots of hype for a non-planet.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on July 14, 2015, 11:34:00 AM
You shut your dirty whore mouth.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 12:14:32 PM
The immediate timeline of the mission should go like this:

- Tonight, if all goes well, NH will "phone home" back to Earth. That will mean that all the data is taken and safe; several hours later, we should also get a very detailed first image of Charon, with more of Pluto to come (and of Nix and Hydra).
- It will take 16 months (yep) to download all the data NH gathered (from all the instruments onboard, I'm not talking about pictures).

Interesting AMA on Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3d9luh/were_scientists_on_the_nasa_new_horizons_team


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: tazelbain on July 14, 2015, 12:18:00 PM
You shut your dirty whore mouth.
Why do you hate science?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 12:26:36 PM
From the AMA mentioned above:

Quote
At the datarate we have (2 kilobits per second) it takes over 2 hours to downlink a standard picture from your cell phone! That means we will spend the next 16 months transmitting all the data down to Earth. And yes, we are considering maneuvering the spacecraft so it flies by a small object farther out in the Kuiper Belt. - Curt

Quote
We're pretty excited too!
We will be getting back the data taken in July up through the end of 2016.
We'd like to fly by an object in the Kuiper Belt, we've narrowed it down to two.
-AZ

Whoa, another KB object (not Eris nor Sedna, anyway: I saw a picture where their orbit just doesn't match NH trajectory)  :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on July 14, 2015, 01:12:07 PM
2 kilobits per second. It's like downloading pr0n from a bulletin board on 1200 baud.

Ahhhhh, memories. Memories of mammories.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on July 14, 2015, 01:38:03 PM
2 kilobits per second. It's like downloading pr0n from a bulletin board on 1200 baud.

Ahhhhh, memories. Memories of mammories.

And lines and lines of characters... then the dithering.

so. much. dithering.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 02:48:33 PM
Here's an interesting but preliminary analysis of those pre-flyby pics we've seen:

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pluto-and-charon-shine-in-false-color

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width_feature/public/thumbnails/image/nh-071315_falsecolorcomposite.jpg?itok=rpIj3Jro)

Quote
The new color images reveal that the “heart” of Pluto actually consists of two remarkably different-colored regions.  In the false-color image, the heart consists of a western lobe shaped like an ice cream cone that appears peach color in this image.  A mottled area on the right (east) side looks bluish.  A mid-latitude band appears in shades ranging from pale blue through red.  Even within the northern polar cap, in the upper part of the image, various shades of yellow-orange indicate subtle compositional differences. This image was obtained using three of the color filters of the Ralph instrument on July 13 at 3:38 am EDT and received on the ground on at 12:25 pm.
[...]
The surface of Charon is viewed using the same exaggerated color. The red on the dark northern polar cap of Charon is attributed to hydrocarbon and other molecules, a class of chemical compounds called tholins. The mottled colors at lower latitudes point to the diversity of terrains on Charon.  This image was obtained using three of the color filters of the Ralph instrument on July 13 at 3:38 am EDT and received on the ground on at 12:25 pm.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on July 14, 2015, 04:39:11 PM
You shut your dirty whore mouth.
Why do you hate science?

Which Science are you referring to.  There's a few branches that still call Pluto a planet and are pissed the astronomers made the call on their own: the planetary scientist who is the lead of New Horizons is one of them. He was pretty clear about it on science Friday's podcast.  Pluto is a planet in his field. 

His anogy was something like: you're asking your podieatrist about a dental problem when you talk to astronomers about it. Sure they're a doctor but they're not the right specialist.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: tazelbain on July 14, 2015, 04:55:17 PM
His classification system would still put Pluto in a different category than Earth. So really its being pissy about the "dwarf" nomenclature.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tale on July 14, 2015, 06:14:51 PM
From various Twitter feeds:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ4iJE1WwAAd74Z.jpg:large)

Actually:

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ6MiSjUYAAvZZ1.jpg)

Edit: even better fit.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ6MtchUYAAM7YX.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 14, 2015, 07:52:23 PM
NH "phone home" in 10 minutes. Live right now on NASA TV:

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Actually, phone call arrived sooner than anticipated!!

Lock on carrier, symbol and telemetry. They expect 100% of the data will be transmitted back to Earth. All is green. Mission fully accomplished!!!!

(http://i.ytimg.com/vi/w7AXjEsKZk0/maxresdefault.jpg)

EDIT: the fact that the MOM (Mission Operations Manager) is called "Alice Bowman"  makes it even cooler  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on July 14, 2015, 11:12:30 PM
"A class of chemical compounds called Tholins."

It's a web of lies!

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lj9Q58xX4CA/S7RW0yyBaAI/AAAAAAAACAk/r7ZYayB7mJw/s1600/gw082-tholian.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tale on July 14, 2015, 11:40:15 PM
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJ7W6s4UAAAs7za.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on July 14, 2015, 11:52:04 PM
No, we have already located the Death Star:

(http://i.imgur.com/MHE5n7J.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 15, 2015, 02:31:46 PM
Just finished watching the latest briefing from NASA.

Charon is just incredible, definitely not a ball of craters. And that tiny region south of the "heart" they just finished downloading.....WOW. Pics will hopefully be posted soon.

Here they are. Charon:

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-charon.jpg)

Full res: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/charon-s-surprising-youthful-and-varied-terrain

Pluto small region (black and white), just below the "heart":

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-plutosurface.png)

Full res: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-icy-mountains-of-pluto

Here's a VERY interesting quote:

Quote
The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago -- mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system -- and may still be in the process of building, says Jeff Moore of New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI). That suggests the close-up region, which covers less than one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.

Moore and his colleagues base the youthful age estimate on the lack of craters in this scene. Like the rest of Pluto, this region would presumably have been pummeled by space debris for billions of years and would have once been heavily cratered -- unless recent activity had given the region a facelift, erasing those pockmarks.

“This is one of the youngest surfaces we’ve ever seen in the solar system,” says Moore.   

Unlike the icy moons of giant planets, Pluto cannot be heated by gravitational interactions with a much larger planetary body. Some other process must be generating the mountainous landscape.

 “This may cause us to rethink what powers geological activity on many other icy worlds,” says GGI deputy team leader John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The mountains are probably composed of Pluto’s water-ice “bedrock.”


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on July 23, 2015, 11:36:24 AM
They found an earth size planet on sun like star's habitable zone. Pretty cool.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on July 23, 2015, 12:03:49 PM
Yeah until you read the details, then you get all "oh, ok we're still alone" about it again.

The star is 1.5 billion years older than ours, meaning it's entering the "burn everything" phase. Any oceans on the planet are likely slowly boiling-off as it enters a super-greenhouse cycle. The estimated size of the planet (5x earth) means there's likely lots of volcanic activity on the surface still.

Drat, no green women yet.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 23, 2015, 12:04:41 PM
It's a very exciting discovery; I've been listening to the audio news conference for a while and from what I understand, all those slightly differences that are explained in one of the images provided in the article (Figure 4) basically balance each other out, making Kepler 452b VERY similar to Earth, although with (maybe) less water.

During the Q&A, one of the panelists implied that, from what they know right now, the amount of sunshine and the distance of the planet (but the exact composition of the body is unknown, of course) could result in a photosynthesis process not unlike the one on Earth, with all the consequences one can imagine.

Now, of course, life as it is now on Earth also relies on other things: among the most important ones, a moon (probably an impact with another celestial object billions of years ago) and gas giants diverting a lot of incoming comets and asteroids. But unicellular organisms? They're very likely to be there, IMO.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on July 23, 2015, 12:28:22 PM
Drat, no green women yet.
They've also had all that time to get off the planet and to somewhere safer.  There may be green women yet!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on July 23, 2015, 01:27:01 PM
I read an article (which I can't find a link to at the moment) that breakdowns our chances of finding life/intelligent life in our galaxy. It was fucking depressing. (Don't get me wrong the chance of finding life out there excites me).
  Just consider the age of the galaxy, human civilization and the speed of light. What's the chance we detect radio signals (and why is it a given that an alien civizilation will want to point radios at the sky?, fuck why is it a given that alien life has to be carbon based?) any time in the near future? If that planet is 1000 light years away (aka only ONE PERCENT the diameter of the Milky Way) and it started broadcasting at EXACTLY the same time as we did we still have 900 years or so to go. That assuming a similar time for development on their planet.  If its off a million years or so (what? 0.01% the age of the galaxy or so?) we'll never see it.

I've managed to depress myself. Good times. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on July 23, 2015, 01:46:39 PM
Spoilered to spare the sensitive:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on July 23, 2015, 02:28:38 PM
I've managed to depress myself. Good times. 
First, the good news: Carbon based life is practically a given. The distribution of elements in the solar system (excepting hydrogen and the noble gasses) is relatively similar to the distribution of elements in your body. Carbon is what two Heliums fusing makes, and that's common in all massive and/or dying stars. Oxygen and Nitrogen are other easy, stable products. Carbon compounds, even as complex as amino acids, apparently form in interstellar gas. Water is everywhere.

The step from self-replication cellular structure - and (even more so) the prokaryote/eukaryote boundary - may be difficult to crest, but the odds of organic chemistry fumbling together something bacterial given a few billion years are pretty good.

Establishing communication is a lot trickier. We are already becoming a post-radio civilization. Rather than broadcasting with more and more powerful antennae, we've been broadcasting smaller and smarter... using large numbers of low-power localized repeaters, and only when fiber-optic connections are unavailable. Worse, the stars produce enough radio that unless a broadcast is absurdly powerful and pinpoint accurate, it wouldn't last 50 lightyears before it gets diluted to indistinct noise. A Kardashev II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale) might be able to manage a generalized cry into the wilderness, but the Fermi Paradox (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox) quashes that one pretty hard. Humanity isn't terribly interested in funding SETI, imagine how much harder it would be to convince them to spend the petawatts required to point a strong, focused, endless message at every star in the sky... in the hopes of not receiving a message for centuries.

The speed of light is a harsh mistress.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on July 23, 2015, 02:55:08 PM
Yeah until you read the details, then you get all "oh, ok we're still alone" about it again.

The star is 1.5 billion years older than ours, meaning it's entering the "burn everything" phase. Any oceans on the planet are likely slowly boiling-off as it enters a super-greenhouse cycle. The estimated size of the planet (5x earth) means there's likely lots of volcanic activity on the surface still.

Drat, no green women yet.

Actually what the Kepler folks are saying that because this planet is significantly bigger than Earth, its oceans aren't boiling off yet (if it has them). Has about 500 million years of good life left to go.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 23, 2015, 03:01:32 PM
Yeah until you read the details, then you get all "oh, ok we're still alone" about it again.

The star is 1.5 billion years older than ours, meaning it's entering the "burn everything" phase. Any oceans on the planet are likely slowly boiling-off as it enters a super-greenhouse cycle. The estimated size of the planet (5x earth) means there's likely lots of volcanic activity on the surface still.

Drat, no green women yet.

Actually what the Kepler folks are saying that because this planet is significantly bigger than Earth, its oceans aren't boiling off yet (if it has them). Has about 500 million years of good life left to go.

Yeah, basically they're saying that it will probably start experiencing the effects of the "greenhouse" phenomena  in 500-1billion years which isn't a long time in astronomical terms, but neither that short. Anyway, while the search for E.T. might sound depressing on the short term, I think that the launch of the James Webb telescope and the subsequent ones should bring very interesting results within our lifetime, like, for example, images of exoplanets.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lantyssa on July 23, 2015, 03:24:34 PM
Carbon is what two Heliums fusing makes, and that's common in all massive and/or dying stars.
I would love to know how you got one carbon from two helium atoms.

/chemistrypedant


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on July 23, 2015, 03:30:39 PM
Off by one error.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on July 23, 2015, 03:31:46 PM
(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/9f/9f0b18b98a96c8014112fe4ab1326ec73008e2f189dfef1da51e350cd4f1514a.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 24, 2015, 09:02:50 PM
Delta IV launch from yesterday that, thanks to the nice weather, looks better most than most. Has a sort of dreamy quality I think.

Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN7lVEA5_x4)

(The reason for the launch is rather prosaic though, WGS 7 (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/wgs-4.htm), military communication sat for the airforce)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on July 28, 2015, 03:00:08 PM
Fancy a trip at lightspeed from the Sun to Jupiter?  Better get comfy!

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150728-travel-from-the-sun-to-jupiter (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150728-travel-from-the-sun-to-jupiter)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on July 29, 2015, 07:42:15 PM
I see they're still futzing with the EM drive trying to sort out what's causing the reaction.

I'm a little annoyed with the science reporting on it (it's not a goddamn warp drive, it doesn't do FTL, and the only reason it's interesting is because it's potentially reactionless. Which means you don't have to carry reaction mass, which means it greatly simplifies travel once IN space. That's it. It's basically just an ion drive without need for reaction mass. It doesn't do magic).

Mostly I figure they'll find some weird interaction that explains it (sorta like Voyager's weird acceleration they finally sorted out), but who knows. It'd be pretty nice if it turns out the virtual particle theory is correct, but it won't change the world. It'll just mean NASA can pack more shit onto probes.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on September 01, 2015, 02:51:18 PM
Yep, Dione is smaller than Saturn  :grin:

http://www.space.com/30435-saturn-moon-dione-amazing-cassini-photo.html?cmpid=514648


Gorgeous image  :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 02, 2015, 09:10:09 AM
I see they're still futzing with the EM drive trying to sort out what's causing the reaction.

I'm a little annoyed with the science reporting on it (it's not a goddamn warp drive, it doesn't do FTL, and the only reason it's interesting is because it's potentially reactionless. Which means you don't have to carry reaction mass, which means it greatly simplifies travel once IN space. That's it. It's basically just an ion drive without need for reaction mass. It doesn't do magic).

Mostly I figure they'll find some weird interaction that explains it (sorta like Voyager's weird acceleration they finally sorted out), but who knows. It'd be pretty nice if it turns out the virtual particle theory is correct, but it won't change the world. It'll just mean NASA can pack more shit onto probes.

Virtual particles experimentally maintaining the laws of classic mechanics.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.   :awesome_for_real:
A big deal... it is actually.  The applications and revised theories?  Will take a long time to sort out.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 05, 2015, 10:58:22 AM
I see they're still futzing with the EM drive trying to sort out what's causing the reaction.

I'm a little annoyed with the science reporting on it (it's not a goddamn warp drive, it doesn't do FTL, and the only reason it's interesting is because it's potentially reactionless. Which means you don't have to carry reaction mass, which means it greatly simplifies travel once IN space. That's it. It's basically just an ion drive without need for reaction mass. It doesn't do magic).

Mostly I figure they'll find some weird interaction that explains it (sorta like Voyager's weird acceleration they finally sorted out), but who knows. It'd be pretty nice if it turns out the virtual particle theory is correct, but it won't change the world. It'll just mean NASA can pack more shit onto probes.

Virtual particles experimentally maintaining the laws of classic mechanics.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.   :awesome_for_real:
A big deal... it is actually.  The applications and revised theories?  Will take a long time to sort out.
I think I read that CERN just found some weird lepton-level interaction broke the Standard Model. THAT'S exciting shit. A reactionless drive is just useful. :)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on September 30, 2015, 04:58:04 PM
Curiosity may not be clean enough to investigate (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/29/nasa-crossroads-mars-water-without-contamination-curiosity-rover) the flowing (though extremely saturated with sodium and magnesium perchlorate) water on Mars:
Quote
An organisation called the committee on space research (Cospar) draws up the rules on what is called planetary protection, which exist to prevent missions from Earth contaminating the pristine environments of other worlds. Landers that are searching for life must be exceptionally clean, and fall under category IVb, but those entering special regions are category IVc missions and must be cleaner still.

Curiosity was designed for category IVb, and under Cospar rules is not allowed to enter areas where water might be flowing. But that might be up for discussion. Nasa’s Jim Green argues that the intense radiation environment on Mars, in particular the ultraviolet light, might have killed any bugs Curiosity carried into space, and so may be clean enough to move into the sites.

A recent report from the US National Academy of Sciences and the European Science Foundation, however, suggests that UV light might not do the job, and could make matters worse. “Although the flux of ultraviolet radiation within the Martian atmosphere would be deleterious to most airborne microbes and spores, dust could attenuate this radiation and enhance microbial viability,” the report states.

Curiosity could inspect the flows from a distance, using its onboard laser to take more measurements of the dark streaks. But a more controversial option is to find a flat region at the bottom of one of the flows, and scoop up some Martian soil for analysis.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 03, 2015, 08:56:34 AM
Curiosity may not be clean enough to investigate (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/29/nasa-crossroads-mars-water-without-contamination-curiosity-rover) the flowing (though extremely saturated with sodium and magnesium perchlorate) water on Mars:

If I understand it correctly the perchlorate is working as an antifreeze agent here, allowing the water to stay liquid and flow in the first place.

Imagine if are able to catch this live one camera one day. Waterish stuff flowing down a hill on another planet. Mind boggling.

Another thing, where I think we tend too get too blasé about too quick is the rovers. Opportunity landed 11 years ago...and is still driving around. And about Curiosity...just look at that thing:



(https://i.imgur.com/c0LQRl2.jpg)

(Sorted by size: Sojourner, Opportunity/Spirit, Curiosity)

I had no idea it's that big.  :psyduck:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on October 03, 2015, 11:13:21 AM
That's right, we're Americans so first SUV on Mars bitches!

Kidding, that's a cool pic though for scale.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on October 05, 2015, 04:51:55 PM
The border between Pakistan and India is visible from space as the entire border is lit. Story:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86725&src=fb

(http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/86000/86725/iss045e027869_lrg.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 03, 2015, 07:41:15 PM
NASA's findings on the EM drive have been leaked. "It's still fucking doing it" is the result.

I'm too lazy to dig up a link, but the article I read boiled down to the vacuum chamber results were "Yep, it's still doing it" and someone preemptively criticized it as using the Earth's magnetic sphere, and one of the scientists snapped back with "We're not morons, we handled that".

Media reports remain stupid, with half of them confusing it with an Ablucurrie drive or FTL. Reactionless drive would be fantastic enough, thanks, even at the very small thrust in question. (It adds up quickly in space).

OTOH it took decades to figure out what was shoving Voyager wonky, so it's always really tricky with small forces.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 03, 2015, 08:02:27 PM
Yeah, a bunch of them are reporting that it is violating conservation of energy or motion, which isn't true either. If it is doing what it seems to be, it's doing so in perfect accordance with those rules...we just don't know wtf it is pushing against.

The team investigating it is obviously being cautious as hell, and there's none of the hyper-paranoia that kept earlier claims of reactionless drives from being properly investigated. It's purely a space drive (like the ion drives), but even trivial amounts of constant acceleration without reaction mass would be a game-changer.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 03, 2015, 09:12:17 PM
Well, the purported theory behind it involves quantum mechanics and virtual particles, which (if you assume they are correct) does accord with Newton. It works exactly like an ion drive, Newton-wise, except the thrust is generated by virtual particles rather than, you know, the non-virtual ones of an ion drive.

Admittedly, you have to accept the fact that they're actually generating virtual particles AND aiming the things AND they exist long enough to turn energy into momentum AND it's this relatively easy to do (I mean the Casimir effect is virtual particles exerting force, so it's not exactly unknown), which is a giant leap that should be treated with giant amounts of skepticism. And honestly, the easiest way to test it would be to strap it to the back of a radio, toss it out the ISS airlock*, and see what happens.

I think the reporting confusion is that most reporters think "Really big news in space travel" and all they know is FTL. Whereas a reactionless drive doesn't sound as awesome, yet actually IS in terms of game changing. It won't get you to Tau Ceti in a human lifetime, but the actual TRIP becomes suddenly possible for probes. You don't need like 40 times an probe's weight in reaction material to get it there.

And certainly exploring the solar system would get a heck of a lot easier. RTG's are pretty straightforward, and not having to launch reaction mass? HUGE savings. And ion drives can get....really fast, actually. It's like compound interest. It starts slow as hell, but once it hits a certain point? Jesus.


*Well, actuall you'd need a regular rocket to get it out of LEO but once you got that, you just watch it for a few months and see if it's still accelerating. The radio makes that easy.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on November 03, 2015, 09:20:03 PM
If you keep tabs on spaceflight.com you will see some of the most beautiful engineering in the world happening there.  What a great community... and yah, they still can't account for the thrust.  Even taking Lorentz interactions into account, the force they're seeing is like 100x's what that'd produce... even if they didn't compensate for it.

My favorite theory is in relation to a physical manifestation of Feynmann's advance wave theory; which has never been seen before (it was just a thought experiment).  Basically, the drive reacts against a wave traveling FTL (forward in "time" basically) moreso than the counter-wave traveling backwards.  At least, that's how I think it'd work.

The prior virt particle idea breaks physics to the point we'd have to invent some stuff.  Which is super cool too, and for me, helps explain the accelerating expansion of the universe (if you assume the universe computes).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 03, 2015, 09:40:31 PM
Couldn't you kludge together something like a standing wave interacting with the Casimir force? Or if you really want to dredge the pseudoscience depths, a Tesla wave creating a high potential channel for the virtual particles?

 :awesome_for_real:

Sorry, just wanted to feel like I was helping.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 03, 2015, 09:45:07 PM
I dunno, there's some crazy stuff out there. I can at least wrap my head around the VP theory. I mean I know VP exist, so that's not made up. I know they're a lot like regular particles, except for their very brief existence. I know they can exert measurable forces (the Casimir effect).

And I know that energy is conserved because whatever thrust you're getting requires more energy to produce than the force generated.

And lastly I know ion drives work, and they use...rapidly accelerated particles as thrust.

So the big leap is "produce virtual particles and use them for the ion drive" which means you need to make them and have them impart thrust before they disappear. That's a pretty big leap, and honestly if it was possible it'd be the sort of thing I'd expect you'd need quantum computers and crap to figure out. Super-precise, ridiculously future engineering that we might be able to do in a century or two.

I've read physicists calling the whole notion poppycock and others saying "hey, wait a second, it's not impossible" and obviously I can't evaluate it. But I at least grasp the explanation for dummies, which beats the heck out of the time I tried to figure out what the whole "time travel via rapidly spinning ridiculously long tube" thing was about. Or that weird theory about black holes, holographic somethings, and causal arrows.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 03, 2015, 09:59:30 PM
Yeah, the standing wave thing just occurred to me because the essence of the Casimir Effect is that when two surfaces are very close together, the 'virtual vacuum' between them becomes more empty of virtual particles than the surrounding space (or so I understand). So if you had a standing wave that was just the right distance displaced from a surface, it might act as a 'surface' for the purpose of the Casimir Effect, and since it was only a standing wave and not a physical surface, being continually recreated rather than held apart by some physical process, you might get that unipolar thrust.

But even trying to think about the math involved gives me a headache.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on November 03, 2015, 10:15:11 PM
It's a spooky action at a distance interaction.  You ride that advance standing wave before the inverse function collapses and negates it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 06, 2015, 09:44:20 PM
It's a spooky action at a distance interaction.  You ride that advance standing wave before the inverse function collapses and negates it.
Virtual particles as spooky enough. They spontaneously generate in pairs, attract to each other, and then mutually annihilate -- conserving energy. Oh, and sending a particle back in time that generates them in the first place. I think.

And you can make them real, but that's sort of tricky. Black holes apparently do it though (Hawking radiation). You just have to shove in enough energy so that energy is conserved. The universe's books always balance.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 13, 2015, 12:14:09 PM
Time for a Rosetta and Philae update  :-)



1) ESA released a new highlight video  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6aGXAhmyzs) of the latest science findings.  I created a GIF out of the most impressive (IMHO) section:


(https://i.imgur.com/9FuDWBK.gif)

And that's how 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was born: Collision by two separate comets. The detection of Molecular Oxygen was another big surprise, details in the video.


2) Animation  (https://youtu.be/rJ2eqH3Bz4c)of the Philae's first touchdown and subsequent two hour flight. No graceful hoping but lots of tumbling and spinning. It was lucky to not land on it's head.


3) The comet has a water-ice cycle that creates a fresh layer of ice on it's surface every ration. Summarized it works like this:


During sun hours the ice on top and up to a few centimetres down turns into gas. It's flows away together with dust particles and produces the typical comet halo. At night this process stops as the surface cools down, but deeper layers of the comet retain the heat. Subsurface water ice from this regions turns into vapour and sublimates towards the top. Upon reaching the cold surface it freezes again and creates a new ice coating. Until the next comet day begins and everything starts again.

(https://i.imgur.com/hw6TsQg.gif)

GIF created from this source video (https://youtu.be/qLfNPQPt2hM)

Background info:

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/11/12/reconstructing-philaes-flight-across-the-comet/

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/09/23/rosetta-reveals-comets-water-ice-cycle/




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on November 15, 2015, 12:07:32 PM
Thanks Calapine, great stuff.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Engels on November 16, 2015, 10:12:23 AM
Wow, nice summary Calapine, thank you!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 16, 2015, 09:51:48 PM
Welcome!  :-)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on November 21, 2015, 02:56:55 PM
How big is the ISS? Find astronaut Kjell Lindgren for scale.

Spoilered for size:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on November 22, 2015, 10:17:49 AM
Would help if he wore a red and white striped spacesuit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on November 24, 2015, 09:03:40 PM
The solar arrays are huge, but whatever that is he's working on seems barely large enough for him to stand up inside of. Hopefully it's just an equipment truss or something and not a hab or lab module?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 24, 2015, 09:33:21 PM
By the location, that should be a truss section, looks like the radiators for the life support coming out of it. Hab/lab sections would be where the picture is being taken from.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 22, 2015, 02:10:49 AM
Well, SpaceX finally did it.  Last night they managed to to successfully launch a rocket into orbit (and deliver its payload) and land it again for the first time in history:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-22/musk-s-spacex-returns-to-space-in-first-launch-since-june-blast

Probably still years before they perfect the entire processes of launching it and reliably reusing the rocket (let alone perfecting the landing part), but this is a huge mile stone.  If they can get the whole process down, the cost of space launch will be reduced drastically.  Very exciting!

Launch and landing in one long exposure shot:

(http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--87NveHKE--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/lc4yk6jfu6fvu9fnrm8h.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Quinton on December 22, 2015, 05:08:44 AM
They also deployed 11 satellites.  Not a bad night's work.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Tannhauser on December 22, 2015, 05:41:19 AM
That's some got-damn science fiction right there!  The landing looked almost like the launch in reverse.  Very nice indeed!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on December 22, 2015, 06:18:08 AM
So why is it that they tried so many times previously to land on rocky and unsteady sea barges?  Just to prove they could be accurate in the landing site before trying over land?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 22, 2015, 07:24:57 AM
So why is it that they tried so many times previously to land on rocky and unsteady sea barges?  Just to prove they could be accurate in the landing site before trying over land?

It is much more difficult to get the permits for attempting on land. In international waters there are no permits required. They also had systems that failed in pretty spectacular fashion on their first sea tests which would have done a lot of damage to the facilities nearby if they happened on land. (I believe the closest human to the sea barge was over a dozen miles away.)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on December 22, 2015, 08:20:47 AM
Reuse of the device is awesome and I'm glad to see it. My only question has continually been why land it upright like that. The additional fuel for landing that has to be carried during launch is the antithesis of "every oz matters" that I'd previously understood for rocket launches. Some sort of glide landing or water landing seems like they'd be more efficient.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on December 22, 2015, 08:34:33 AM
Reuse of the device is awesome and I'm glad to see it. My only question has continually been why land it upright like that. The additional fuel for landing that has to be carried during launch is the antithesis of "every oz matters" that I'd previously understood for rocket launches. Some sort of glide landing or water landing seems like they'd be more efficient.

Sea water is not a friendly substance.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 22, 2015, 08:39:24 AM
Yeah, even though the external tanks and solid boosters on the shuttle were "reused" it basically cost almost as much to recondition the tank as it would to build a new one after all the seawater damage.

I have always felt that the electromagnetic catapult was a better idea for putting things like cargo into orbit. My advisor when I was an engineering student had done some work with a team that was studying various designs.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 22, 2015, 09:14:30 AM
Reuse of the device is awesome and I'm glad to see it. My only question has continually been why land it upright like that. The additional fuel for landing that has to be carried during launch is the antithesis of "every oz matters" that I'd previously understood for rocket launches. Some sort of glide landing or water landing seems like they'd be more efficient.
Yeah, as others have said, landing it in salt water causes massive issues to the rocket.  It's very expensive to reuse after that.  Plus, with something that big and somewhat delicate, there is no such thing as a totally soft water landing that wont fuck up something that will need to be fixed.

Fuel is the cheap part of the rocket.  This method means you need a rocket able to carry enough fuel to get to its target, and have enough to land.  It means the rocket itself is more expensive (because it needs to be a bit bigger than the task at hand requires), but if you are able to relaunch the rocket, this is totally offset, and the extra fuel cost is minuscule in comparison.  The rocket used in this launch was also the newest upgraded version of the Falcon 9, which gave it a significant thrust boost compared to previous versions.  Meaning it has even more fuel to work with now.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on December 22, 2015, 09:59:41 AM
It's not the cost of the fuel, but dollars I was referencing. An additional kilo of fuel is a kilo of cargo you can't take up.

I get that saltwater is damaging, and glide surfaces would also be additional weight. However, I just wanted to know details on the how and why the weight of fuel and control thrusters and the logistics of a reverse takeoff made more sense than other options.

Then again, we did do exactly that with the Curiosity and I imagine the algorithms to do such landings have come a long way even since it was launched.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 22, 2015, 01:15:35 PM
When you save the cost of capital nary ting a total new rocket every time, you price per kg plummets.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on December 22, 2015, 01:35:14 PM
 :oh_i_see: Yeah though they had it for the water landing stuff initially.  Anyway I'm on to gliding now.  :raspberry: :raspberry: :raspberry:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on December 22, 2015, 02:59:27 PM
One of the better subplots of these launches are Bezos and Musk trolling each other on Twitter.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on December 22, 2015, 03:53:10 PM
Blue Origin is a toy compared to SpaceX.

Edit: or more specifically the New Shepard is a toy compared to the Falcon 9.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on December 22, 2015, 06:57:24 PM
Awesome stuff!  I love it that though SpaceX failed twice at the much harder but safer barge landing at sea, when Blue Origin one-upped them with a landing from a sub-orbital flight (vastly simpler both in velocities and navigation) and Bezos started trash talking SpaceX turned around and nailed their first attempt at land. 

I am curious as to why the arcs are parallel rather than in opposite directions.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on December 22, 2015, 09:18:40 PM
To simplify things, just look at Falcon 9 as a 3-stage rocket built in 2-stages.  That's essentially what it is in order to backburn and retro all the way back to point of origin.  Which is perfectly ok, seeing as how every 3-stage rocket to date essentially destroys itself after every use. 

The fuel necessary isn't as much as you think either, since most of the weight is discarded and the majority of the flight time is spent in freefall.  Also, the most consuming burn is the backburn, but there is no drag at that point, so again... not as bad as you think.  It only uses 3 of its 9 engines to get back as well.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on December 22, 2015, 09:45:25 PM
AHHHH!!!! *lightbulb* first stage booster doesn't go to orbit!  (duh! I know, right? I R dum)  it's just a catapult that goes up, then comes back down - into the ocean normally but back to where it started in this case. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on December 22, 2015, 10:55:34 PM
It's more of a slingshot than a catapult.  It's ballistic at time of separation and would likely hit LEO if it didn't make that backburn.  It's a long burn also, something like 30 seconds I believe.  But again,  its momentum and drag are relatively miniscule at that point.  When its hits atmo much of the control is also via flight surface (after retro and interface); so in a sense, yes, it does glide as well.

You must realize, at those speeds there's a tremendous amount of control even for something like a simple rocket.  For an example, look at vids of sidewinder missile tracking and so forth.  They rarely miss.  Falcon9 is really just a sidewinder without suicidal tendencies.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on December 23, 2015, 01:26:02 AM
Awesome stuff!  I love it that though SpaceX failed twice at the much harder but safer barge landing at sea, when Blue Origin one-upped them with a landing from a sub-orbital flight (vastly simpler both in velocities and navigation) and Bezos started trash talking SpaceX turned around and nailed their first attempt at land. 

I am curious as to why the arcs are parallel rather than in opposite directions.
It's coming back from the direction it went, and landing at a pad very close to where it launched. As others have pointed out, most of the weight is fuel, and they've already burned most of that at separation. Maybe they could get fancy and make a single orbit, but there's really not much point, it wouldn't save enough fuel to be worth the complexity. So they just burn a bit more that it would take to de-orbit anyway to go back to where they came from.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Quinton on December 23, 2015, 10:39:17 AM
At launch, the bulk of the mass of the vehicle is the fuel but the cost of that fuel is a tiny fraction of the vehicle and launch.  

Quote from: Elon Musk
The cost of propellant is actually only about 0.3% of the cost of the rocket, or of a mission. So, if the mission costs $60 million, the cost of propellant is only $200,000.
(via http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/spacex-press-conference-at-the-national-press-club-2014-04-25)

A little extra fuel, some deployable control surfaces, and some small thrusters seems like a small price to pay if they can successfully redeploy the recovered vehicles on future missions.  And of course when the rocket has expended almost all its fuel it only needs a small amount more to land, as it has shed the bulk of its mass (and has gravity on its side).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on December 23, 2015, 11:38:21 AM
As another point, wings are weight, and a lot of it. A winged rocket can easily be twice or more the weight of an unwinged rocket, so since you already *have* rockets attached you might as well add a bit of extra fuel and use them.

Also, regarding the first two "failed" attempts at landing on a barge, those were always described as destructive testing by Musk. They were expected to fail, thus the barges out in the middle of the water. To the best of my knowledge this was the first landing that "better damn work," especially after the booster blew up on the one before.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on January 02, 2016, 04:52:29 PM
Apparently the Falcon 9 rocket has no damage and is ready to launch again (http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/1/10697914/elon-musk-says-falcon-9-rocket-spacex-ready-to-fire)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 03, 2016, 04:16:29 PM
They save $60m a pop with that thing.  Crazy.  The nanosats it launches costs more than the fuel burned.  With the next iteration of HLV's (that'll take them to Mars) the 2nd stage will be re-usable as well.  It's a damned good time to be a space engineer right now.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on January 03, 2016, 05:33:30 PM
It will be an interesting process to see when they are brave enough to fully launch one of the used rockets again (AKA, how much do I trust the structural/material engineers I hired).  If they can do it fairly soon, that will put them well ahead of what was expected.  And puts the schedule for awesome space stuff that much closer.  As shit as the world has gone lately, space has really become interesting to follow again over the last few years (and for more than just SpaceX stuff).

Next few biggest challenges for SpaceX:

Launch from California - SpaceX refurbished an unused launch pad at Vandenburg air force base in Southern California awhile ago, but because of delays (rockets exploding) and politics, nothing has launched.  With everything going well after that last launch, they've been given the go ahead to try it out for the first time January 17th.  This increases cost savings since all the rockets are constructed in southern California.  Also neat because west coast gets a chance to see more rockets go off.  No idea if they are planning on trying to recover this rocket the same way or not.

Launching the Falcon 9 Heavy - For those of you not following, the Falcon 9 Heavy is their next big thing.  It's basically 3 Falcon 9's tied together.  If it works (has never been launched before, so all hypothetical), it will be able to launch a bigger payload into orbit than any other rocket in history other than the Saturn V (which is what we used to launch all the of the Apollo moon landing missions).  Things have been delayed it for a couple of years, but the first demo flight for it is currently scheduled for first half of this year.  Second in the later half.  And, if all goes well, full commercial by the end of 2016.  If (and big if, no doubt about it), it all works and goes on schedule, this would be the rocket by which we could start sending men and material back to moon (or beyond, Musk is set to announce his plans on how to colonize Mars soon, heh).  Be sure to tune in to watch either way though.  If it succeeds, our nations (and humanities) aspirations go that much further!  If it fails, the fireworks will be AMAZING.

Reusing the Falcon 9 Heavy - Curious to see how they manage to successfully land and recover three different rockets at once.  Should be very interesting and/or hilarious when they try.

Launching Astronauts - The Big One.  They've been awarded the contract, and the Dragon Capsule has successfully launched and docked with the ISS several times now.  So by 2017, they are suppose to be able to get the manned version of it ready, and launch people into space.  They've done several launchs well so far using the same tech that hopefully everything will go as scheduled.  But of course that one rocket blow up means everything built around their abort system will be highly scrutinized.  If you are curious how that system is suppose to work, here is a test launch they did earlier this year for the system. (http://www.space.com/29329-spacex-tests-dragon-launch-abort-system.html).  Looks a hell of a lot more promising than the space shuttle at least (not saying much).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on January 04, 2016, 08:53:09 PM
Yeah, I'm really interested in how they're handling metal fatigue. Launches are brutal. High temperature, heavy vibration, tons of stress. There's thermal expansion (in both directions if they're using something like liquid hydrogen and oxygen) too. Pressures tend to be insane, and I'm not sure how possible it is to re-inspect every critical part.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 04, 2016, 10:56:45 PM
The entire 1st stage is Aluminum-Lithium composite.  Likely not designed to flex much; therefore any apparent "fatigue" if bad enough would likely manifest as a failure/crack and easily found.  The worst kind of failure is not a failure at all, but just a weakness you can't easily find (additive manufacturing has really made this a mantra of late).  Also, part inspection has gotten a lot easier with next-generation radiography and tomography techniques (proton, neutron, electron, etc.)   Even for something as large as a rocket tube assembly.

The gravy will be when they can just leave the tube on a flatbed and just drive it slowly through the scanner.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: jakonovski on January 14, 2016, 09:49:43 AM
Remember that star where they detected something big passing in front of it? It's been dimming for a century.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.03256
http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=34837


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on January 14, 2016, 10:14:40 AM
I'm not entirely sure what the dimming means, but the idea that it would take 648,000 giant comets to cause it tells me it's something really big and perhaps some kind of phenomena we've never seen in astronomy. Pretty cool.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on January 14, 2016, 10:17:48 AM
Reminder/heads-up: The next Falcon 9 launch with barge landing is Jan 17th (Sunday).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on January 14, 2016, 10:46:35 AM
I'm not entirely sure what the dimming means, but the idea that it would take 648,000 giant comets to cause it tells me it's something really big and perhaps some kind of phenomena we've never seen in astronomy. Pretty cool.

I hope it means somebody is building a Dysonsphere/-swarm and that the dimming is due to the construction work with more finished satellites eclipsing more of the star's light.  :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 16, 2016, 04:19:13 PM
Remember that star where they detected something big passing in front of it? It's been dimming for a century.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.03256
http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=34837

The lesson learned here, is a great many space-science phD's like to prematurely blame comets for every goddamned thing.  I personally was never convinced (as said earlier), because the data blew past anything we currently know.  So essentially they took crazy numbers, pasted a simple comet explanation on it, and quieted the masses.  That's just dumb.

I applaud the guy for actually looking at the plates and injecting some common sense into it ("hai guys, umm this is a lot weirder than you said"), but then he goofs and says with certainty that there's no way a civilization could dim a sun by 20% in 100 years.  wtf?  Like how the hell would he even know this?  Is he from there or some shit?  Some kind of prophetic technomancer?

Completely bad science.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 17, 2016, 01:16:37 PM
SpaceX update:
Looks like the landing leg failed on 1st stage approach to the drone ship.  The approach was supposedly on target however.  Bear in mind that the seas were pretty bad and the deck was heaving badly, making a cocked landing a likelihood.  Basically one of the legs bore too much of the load and broke.  Even if the angle was proper, if the rocket is landing during a deck upheaval, the loads would be much greater especially in a sharp sea.  It adds 10-20kts to the landing speed.

This whole drone ship thing is turning out to be a bad idea.

edit: landing leg lockout failed.  not the rough seas' fault


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on January 17, 2016, 10:22:32 PM
Video: https://www.instagram.com/p/BAqirNbwEc0/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on January 18, 2016, 04:02:27 AM
Out of the four failed drone ship landings on water only one was due to bad weather/rough sea. The other three failed because of equipment malfunction in the first stage.

Rough sea is less of a factor than the media wants to make out of it. The barge they use is not just simply a hunk of metal floating in the atlantic it is a modified heavy equipment haulage barge. Those things are already fitted/designed to be as stable as possible in rough seas because they are used to haul heavy equipment like drilling platforms or entire ships. The ones used by SpaceX are modified to be even more stable and robust.

If you can watch the video. The barge is barely moving despite the rough sea and the drone ship lands smack dab in the middle of it. Topples over after it had landed and the engines cut off. According to SpaceX because one of the landing leg lockouts didn't work. In that case the rocket would have also toppled over after touchdown on land. They also used an older version of the Falcon for this launch than the one for the last one. At this pace they'll stick the next landing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on January 18, 2016, 08:25:30 AM
It hit 1.3 meters from the center of the barge.  The accuracy is astounding.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 18, 2016, 12:47:26 PM
15-20 ft seas, unless in a period that does not effect the hull, are no joke and WILL mess up your landing.  Just before it touched down you could see the deck heaving pretty badly.  All these rigs have stabilizers, yes, but they only work to a point.  The sea takes no prisoners; personally, I'd rather risk a land-based landing than deal with those variables.

Granted, engineers will purposely fly in bad conditions to find the limitations (in this case, known icing and bad seas).  I applaud Musk for bleeding the money to do that.  But hell, in a normal flight profile you will never see them fly in that unless they're up against a deadline they can't move.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Slayerik on January 18, 2016, 01:21:56 PM
Seemed to be coming in a little hot to me....but WTF do I know.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on January 18, 2016, 01:40:39 PM
Wait, that rocket landing was done on a MOVING SHIP that is piloted by a drone? In shitty, choppy seas?

I'd be less concerned about the fact that the legs on the thing broke and more awed that HOLY FUCK DID YOU SEE HOW ACCURATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER WAS? They could have literally landed that shit on a fucking Datsun truck bed. Looks to me like they've got their flight/landing software down and the only problems are mechanical. That ought to be trumpeted from the high heavens because that kind of shit is fixable.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 18, 2016, 02:01:41 PM
Wait, that rocket landing was done on a MOVING SHIP that is piloted by a drone? In shitty, choppy seas?

I'd be less concerned about the fact that the legs on the thing broke and more awed that HOLY FUCK DID YOU SEE HOW ACCURATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER WAS? They could have literally landed that shit on a fucking Datsun truck bed. Looks to me like they've got their flight/landing software down and the only problems are mechanical. That ought to be trumpeted from the high heavens because that kind of shit is fixable.

... through icy atmosphere too

It's actually a boon that the conditions were what they were.  That's what you want when you iterate a design.  Try explaining that to a sponsor/politician though; they don't want to hear it.  They only want to see success.  That said, SpaceX has done poorly with marketing their dev. process to the media, so you can't blame the media either. 

Still though, fuck landing on a barge.  That has to be the last option unless conditions are perfect at the time of launch.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on January 18, 2016, 02:06:40 PM
Naw, man, the barge is the best part of the whole thing. It's like the engineers are all like whipping their engineer dicks out and going "YOU LIKE THIS? HUH? YOU LIKE THIS?" And tattooed on the side are the words "Bad Engineering Mothefucker."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on January 18, 2016, 02:38:26 PM
15-20 ft seas, unless in a period that does not effect the hull, are no joke and WILL mess up your landing.  Just before it touched down you could see the deck heaving pretty badly.  All these rigs have stabilizers, yes, but they only work to a point.  The sea takes no prisoners; personally, I'd rather risk a land-based landing than deal with those variables.

Granted, engineers will purposely fly in bad conditions to find the limitations (in this case, known icing and bad seas).  I applaud Musk for bleeding the money to do that.  But hell, in a normal flight profile you will never see them fly in that unless they're up against a deadline they can't move.

I think sea recoveries are ideal because land recoveries almost guarantee that the rocket will be in atmosphere over some populated area. A failure at sea means the rocket goes into the water. A failure on land might mean the rocket goes into a house.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on January 18, 2016, 04:02:53 PM
If it's in space and not geosync'd it's always over a house.  I understand this just does a big upsy-downsy though, right? So someplace like Canaveral should be OK to launch from because it's so isolated.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cape+Canaveral,+Florida/@28.4141449,-80.6758034,25820m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x88e0a3f2a5fb9a45:0x87ef91ee250f8fde!6m1!1e1

Is the barge just used for testing launches and times when they can't use NASA's facilities during ramp-up or is a permanent feature of the SpaceX program?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on January 18, 2016, 05:47:21 PM
Depending on orbit and inclination there are starts where the first stage can't touch down on land. The first stage uses the fuel reserves the rocket carries in case one of the motors fails (and the others have to take over and burn longer) to return back to earth.

Adding enough fuel to the stage so that it can always return to dry land under any launch condition would make it too heavy. For launches like the last one a touch down over water and hence the barge is the only option. Or you drop the launch vehicle into the ocean and lose 30 million in the process for either new rocket motors and turbo pumps or expensive refurbishing of the old ones that have been damaged by the salt water.

Making the first stage reusable by having it land is the key point to bring costs down.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on January 18, 2016, 05:59:16 PM
Maybe get China to build an island somewhere in the vicinity of the launchpad to land on, win win  -except for the China owning it part.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 18, 2016, 07:50:24 PM
Depending on orbit and inclination there are starts where the first stage can't touch down on land. The first stage uses the fuel reserves the rocket carries in case one of the motors fails (and the others have to take over and burn longer) to return back to earth.

Adding enough fuel to the stage so that it can always return to dry land under any launch condition would make it too heavy. For launches like the last one a touch down over water and hence the barge is the only option. Or you drop the launch vehicle into the ocean and lose 30 million in the process for either new rocket motors and turbo pumps or expensive refurbishing of the old ones that have been damaged by the salt water.

Making the first stage reusable by having it land is the key point to bring costs down.

The purpose of the last launch was to fire out of Vandenburg heading westward, which meant yes, they'd need more fuel to get back as the earth rotates away from the flight profile.  The Vandenburg site was used so they could avoid transport from the CA factory all the way cross-country.  It's really just to save time and money in shipping; there's no inherent advantage to that profile otherwise.

I guess the build site in Texas is for the Houston (theoretically) and Canaveral launch sites generally.  Who knows.  In any case, they've got a ton of flexibility.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on January 18, 2016, 08:15:23 PM
So, apparently the Falcon 9 costs $200k to fuel, and can deliver a bit over 10k pounds to geosynchronous orbit (almost 14k to LEO). With the booster truly reusable, that puts costs per pound to orbit into the sub $50 range (I am assuming it's going to cost more, at least for a while, to manage the launch than to actually fly the bird).

That...changes everything for space exploration, actually puts serious space *exploitation* (mining asteroids and such) on the table. Even ion drives are feasible on sufficient scale at those prices, never mind Em or Cannae drives.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 18, 2016, 08:26:51 PM
There's a reason a lot of very smart, very wealthy people are getting into position for this upcoming space race.  It's not a fluke.  Many hundreds of millions have already been spent on the small business infrastructure alone, to support the industry.  Everyone hails the spinoff tech NASA pioneered, but the same thing is happening here in the private sector; albeit more closed-door.

Florida built a whole damned new Polytech University in the I-4 corridor largely on the back of space industry futures.

Moral is, if you're in the tech. space and want something new to do, it's not a bad time to dip your feet in.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on January 19, 2016, 08:47:31 PM
HOLY FUCK DID YOU SEE HOW ACCURATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER WAS?

While that's amazing, didn't NASA pass Cassini through a gap in the rings of Saturn, while affected by a 1.5 hr communication delay for each flight path correction?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on January 20, 2016, 04:20:27 PM
Possible evidence for a new planet beyond Neptune

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/150119-new-ninth-planet-solar-system-space/
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/feature-astronomers-say-neptune-sized-planet-lurks-unseen-solar-system

Allegedly it's supposed to be larger than Earth (about 10 times our mass) but smaller than the gas giants, on a 20,000 year orbital period, running from about 250 AU perihelion to about 1,000 AU aphelion (Pluto's aphelion is about 50 AU).  It's supposed to explain oribital anomalies for objects outside the Kuiper belt, but hasn't been directly imaged yet so could be wrong.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on January 20, 2016, 04:48:09 PM
Space is just fucking awesome.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on January 20, 2016, 04:50:20 PM
Sitchin will have his last laugh, albeit from heaven  :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on January 20, 2016, 09:19:39 PM
Probably has, like, 197 moons.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on January 20, 2016, 11:35:29 PM
HOLY FUCK DID YOU SEE HOW ACCURATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER WAS?

While that's amazing, didn't NASA pass Cassini through a gap in the rings of Saturn, while affected by a 1.5 hr communication delay for each flight path correction?

My comp. sci professor's wife did the telemetry sourcecode for that mission.  Aside from the project director, she had the most important job in the entire project.  I cannot even fathom the stress of that.  She apparently had to report in front of large assemblies as well; routinely.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on February 11, 2016, 09:48:12 AM
Gravitational Waves are real, direct detection by LIGO. Press conference live (https://youtu.be/c7293kAiPZw).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on February 11, 2016, 07:08:25 PM
If only this led to artificial gravity, FTL, or anti-gravity.

I mean it's pretty damn cool, don't get me wrong. I'm just at the point where I'm all "Can we use this to finally crack fusion? Or let astronaunts not die in the horrible, radiation filled hellhole of space? Or let us get to LEO for like 12 bucks a pound? Or play that laser-tag game from Ender's Game on Earth?"

Sadly I'll just have to be satisfied with awesome science.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Xuri on February 11, 2016, 09:08:11 PM
No closer to time travel either (source: press conference), though I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 11, 2016, 09:48:09 PM
"Can we use this to finally crack fusion? Or let astronaunts not die in the horrible, radiation filled hellhole of space? Or let us get to LEO for like 12 bucks a pound? Or play that laser-tag game from Ender's Game on Earth?"
Relativity was 20th century science's big bummer the way that thermodynamics was for the 19th century.

Proving that there weren't gravity waves would have been a lot more exciting because it would have shown that some part of our understanding of general relativity was wrong. Just like the Higg's Boson detection seemed to show that the Standard Model was complete rather than incomplete. Any day now somebody's going to prove the Riemann Hypothesis using conventional tools that don't expand the mathematical horizon at all.

Relativity itself was the result of a lot of experiments failing to find what they looked for. If the Luminiferous Aether were real, they would have been successes.

Keep your eyes open for negative results. That's where the game-changers are.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on February 11, 2016, 10:00:34 PM
Eh, until they unify quantum mechanics with relativity there's still a big question mark.

Humans are good at leveraging tiny loopholes into interesting crap.

Although I suspect nanoscale engineering is the next "big thing" -- that combined with biohacking is going to be the next frontier in science. We're on the edges of engineering ourselves, of growing cloned tissues and organs, of being able to replace crap that breaks inside us.

Ones we can start using things like custom viruses to play with things at the cellular level? Sky's the limit. Fuck angioplasty's and stents. How about a virus that eats that crap clogging up your arteries? Cancer? Identify the specific markers, and let loose a nasty little bugger (machine or virus? It gets pretty blurry at that size) that kills those cells -- and nothing else.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goreschach on February 12, 2016, 01:24:30 AM
What a load of horseshit. New frontiers? What fucking planet have you been living on? The day that humans can just code up a virus is the day that humanity becomes 100% irrevocably fucked.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on February 12, 2016, 10:25:54 AM
What a load of horseshit. New frontiers? What fucking planet have you been living on? The day that humans can just code up a virus is the day that humanity becomes 100% irrevocably fucked.
Then it's just a matter of time until we're fucked.

But it still doesn't change the fact that the next revolution in science (well, honestly more in engineering) is going to be in biology. THere's a few people already walking around with lab grown organs (bladders, admittedly -- pretty simple), nano-scale engineering in general is starting to mature, and we've got at least one example of a purely lab created organism (some virus, I believe).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on February 12, 2016, 10:46:47 AM
I've actually got quite a few professors who were integral parts of the LIGO experiment.  One of the perks of going to a leading space science school.  For the most part, the entire physics staff were somewhat involved in gravity experiments; then they were hired on at ERAU to continue that work.  Kinda cool.

Anyways, my thing with LIGO is this:  it's not a scope that uses the electromagnetic spectrum.  Let that sink in a bit.  Who needs Maxwell when you can just detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime?  And yes, it does indeed usher in a new form of astronomy.   Sure, you could cite the prior gravity experiments we've had limited (sometimes disastrous) success with... WISE and so forth.  But those instruments were "local space" or simply measuring photon displacement.  

LIGO is a telescope that peers into space without using any currently defineable wavelength.  It measures space itself.

To further this, we can now imagine MAYBE detecting other universes (if they're out there).  Theoretically, gravity is the only "force" that can permeate two completely different reference frames.  So yah, it's a big fuckin deal... even though for the time being there's not much we can do with it.

At this point, we just need more techs to get out there and build more detectors.  Miniaturize them if possible, and so forth.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on February 12, 2016, 11:35:14 AM
And the smaller we get...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Venkman on February 14, 2016, 10:04:41 AM
If only this led to artificial gravity, FTL, or anti-gravity.

I mean it's pretty damn cool, don't get me wrong. I'm just at the point where I'm all "Can we use this to finally crack fusion? Or let astronaunts not die in the horrible, radiation filled hellhole of space? Or let us get to LEO for like 12 bucks a pound? Or play that laser-tag game from Ender's Game on Earth?"

I know where you're coming from. But I think it's a testament to our generation that this isn't all that impressive even to the run of the mill geeks. Too much magic-science like Flux Capacitors and Tachyon Emitters in our upbringing maybe?

  • Proves a 100 year old theory even Einstein later in life wasn't sure about.
  • Required the equivalent of 50 times the energy output of all stars in the universe to shake a couple of stripes of metal.
  • Reaches us a billion years after it started at just the right time in humanity's tech tree

That this is physically possible in this universe at all speaks to an order of energy and principals we know dick-all about.

Finally having been able to answer this question unlocks an area of science that could be a pathway off this planet at a meaningful scale.

This is a very big deal.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on February 14, 2016, 10:44:27 PM
Is it funny that this reminds me of the original Michelson-Morley experiment?   :grin:

It's profoundly interesting that you can describe how the LIGO experiment works in ways ("lasers") that would've been science fiction 50 years ago.  Yeah, it's a very big deal.   :thumbs_up:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 14, 2016, 11:58:10 PM
Is it funny that this reminds me of the original Michelson-Morley experiment?
Except, like I said, Michelson-Morley was a negative result. It questioned the orthodoxy instead of confirming it.

Yes, it's amazing that we can detect a little spacetime wiggle - and that has consequences and potential for the future of astronomy - but it would have been a lot more exciting if the numbers didn't match the theory quite so well. We're running out of places to look for deeper understandings of physics.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on February 15, 2016, 10:46:45 AM
Um, lots of "places to look" between 10e-35 m and 10e-15 m, and beyond 10e+26 m.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 15, 2016, 02:32:56 PM
We should know more pretty soon when eLISA  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolved_Laser_Interferometer_Space_Antenna) goes active. Similar principle to LIGO (laser interferometer) but in space with an "arm length" of 1 million kilometres.


So check back in 2034.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on February 15, 2016, 02:57:09 PM
...Reaches us a billion years after it started at just the right time in humanity's tech tree

I know a few guys who were scratching their heads about this one.

Allegedly there are three types of black holes: stellar black holes, which are like 10 solar masses and are the result of supernovae, and intermediate or supermassive black holes which sit at the middle of galaxies / clusters and are thousands or millions of solar masses.  But LIGO was picking up two thirty solar mass black holes colliding to form a sixty solar mass black hole, and it did this within months of being switched back on, which suggests that either the LIGO team was incredibly lucky or there are a lot of these very large stellar black holes floating around that we've never seen before.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 15, 2016, 06:33:38 PM
Um, lots of "places to look" between 10e-35 m and 10e-15 m, and beyond 10e+26 m.
It's not a place to look unless we build a big enough telescope or microscope, or some other sort of sensitive detector. It's getting exponentially more expensive to build these things. Theoretically possible places to look are not actually places to look unless we can look there.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on February 15, 2016, 06:41:59 PM
Is it funny that this reminds me of the original Michelson-Morley experiment?
Except, like I said, Michelson-Morley was a negative result. It questioned the orthodoxy instead of confirming it.

Yes, it's amazing that we can detect a little spacetime wiggle - and that has consequences and potential for the future of astronomy - but it would have been a lot more exciting if the numbers didn't match the theory quite so well. We're running out of places to look for deeper understandings of physics.

At least neutrinos (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/neutrinos-continue-run-of-odd-behavior-at-daya-bay/) are still refusing to behave properly.

Still a long way from a warp drive or easy fusion, but these days you take what you can get...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 16, 2016, 12:14:04 AM
Honestly they're exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to measurement equipment:

William Bragg, and his son William Bragg, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915 for inventing the first X-ray spectrometer, pictured HERE (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/X-ray_spectrometer%2C_1912._%289660569929%29.jpg). You can practically smell that Edwardian elbow grease.

Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015 for proving that neutrinos "oscillate" probabilistically between flavors as they travel through spacetime. This required the use of the Super Kamiokande, pictured HERE (http://41.media.tumblr.com/691a55245a1aad66d2f23d8fc31b9482/tumblr_nvr57a571g1r0qg4mo1_1280.jpg). Note the men in rafts.

The ATLAS detector, which I found a small enough photo to post rather than link:
(http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kzqws7r0801qbuw3eo1_500.jpg)

It's a camera the size of an apartment building, mounted on CERN's 27km Large Hadron Collider and it may or may not have found a Higgs boson. It seems really likely.

LIGO (the gravity wave observation program) is two sites, 3000km apart each of which contain enormous vacuum-sealed tubes containing 4km long laser interferometers arranged at right angels.

Magnificent progress, yes. Sustainable progress, no.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 19, 2016, 01:02:42 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/5XK0pnt.gif)

Orbital bombardment, probably.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on February 20, 2016, 02:05:35 AM
Only way to be sure.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Venkman on February 20, 2016, 11:08:11 PM
Magnificent progress, yes. Sustainable progress, no.
Except they didn't go from nothing to LHC.

All progress is incremental, baby steps from the last thing achieved.

The only invention that happens is in fiction.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on February 21, 2016, 01:59:12 PM
And yet at the same time that we're running the LHC experiments, we're tapping at the fringes of desktop accelerators (plasma wakefield accelerator) that have a significant portion of the energy as last generation's big boys - so they dont' hit the big numbers, but they hit more numbers and with a greater degree of tweaking the collision parameters to continue to probe nuclear and sub-nuclear reactions.

And I'm reminded of a period of time where space-based telescopes were considered to be the only path forward, until high launch costs and advances in adaptive optics made that not true at all... and now, (fingers crossed) we seem to be headed toward a time where that is exactly the opposite - launch costs come way down compared the headaches and costs of building another huge telescope on the ground.

So yeah, if there aren't any game-changing advances in corollary disciplines it becomes exponentially harder to just keep doing more of that we've been doing.  But when have we ever just done that?

I honestly don't see there to be any pessimism for the capacity to do scientific experimentation and exploration at this point in time.  It's, at least in physics, on the theoretical side of things that we seem to be a bit stuck.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on February 23, 2016, 11:44:28 AM
All progress is incremental, baby steps from the last thing achieved.
I didn't mean to imply otherwise. My concern is that today's baby steps require seven league boots. The era when somebody could change our understanding of physics with something he built in his garage is long gone.

In 2001 one of the detector tubes at the Super Kamiokande imploded while the chamber was being refilled with water. The shockwave from that implosion led to a chain reaction of implosions in other tubes which ultimately cost somewhere upwards of $30 million. 7 thousand (out of 11 thousand) tubes imploded.

Only governments can afford these groundbreaking experiments.

I honestly don't see there to be any pessimism for the capacity to do scientific experimentation and exploration at this point in time.  It's, at least in physics, on the theoretical side of things that we seem to be a bit stuck.
Indeed. All I'm saying is that we're running out of places where we might push the frontier. The cost curves are too steep.

Not, mind you, that other experiments can't be done. There are all sorts of potential discoveries within the boundaries of our current understanding. Practical purposes may be found for the small scale accelerator technology you mention, for example. Ghost busting, perhaps.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on March 01, 2016, 01:59:18 PM
I think at some point the only way to move ahead will be something that radically reduces the costs of instruments that have to operate at unprecedented scales. Not just incrementally reduces. Self-assembly of instruments in the asteroid belt by Von Neumann probes, something like that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: climbjtree on March 01, 2016, 11:09:05 PM
I lurk a lot, thought I should contribute.

I took this photo of Orion's Nebula tonight. I'm a very, very much an amateur, but for an unguided shot it's not too bad! If you're interested, you can find the acquisition info after the link.

(http://astrob.in/240612/0/rawthumb/gallery/get.jpg) (http://astrob.in/240612/0/)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on March 02, 2016, 03:29:31 PM
That's amazing!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on March 02, 2016, 06:42:46 PM
I lurk a lot, thought I should contribute.

I took this photo of Orion's Nebula tonight. I'm a very, very much an amateur, but for an unguided shot it's not too bad! If you're interested, you can find the acquisition info after the link.

(http://astrob.in/240612/0/rawthumb/gallery/get.jpg) (http://astrob.in/240612/0/)

Just two nights ago the sky was crystal clear here and I was especially admiring Orion and M42. Nice to see I wasn't the only one!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 06, 2016, 12:40:12 PM
Reminder & Heads up sort of:

The Exomars 2016 mission is packed and ready for launch on tomorrow in one week (2016-03-14 - 09:31UTC)

Already inside a Proton-M/Breeze-M in Baikonur:

(https://i.imgur.com/DbTyLlJ.jpg)


How it looks in natura:

(https://i.imgur.com/0Z742rH.jpg)

The thing on top is the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent and Landing demonstrator module (EDL), the spacecraft it sits on the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

More info about what it is and what is does later this week (I am feeling a bit lazy now :oops:)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on March 11, 2016, 03:09:10 PM
Ack! (http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=23913) (paper from 2012)
Quote from: Abstract
Highly relativistic speeds are desirable for interstellar travel. Relativistic time dilation would reduce the subjective duration of the trip for the travelers, so that they can cover galaxy-scale distances in a reasonable amount of personal time. Unfortunately, as spaceship velocities approach the speed of light, interstellar hydrogen H, although only present at a density of approximately 1.8 atoms/cm3, turns into intense radiation that would quickly kill passengers and destroy electronic instrumentation. In addition, the energy loss of ionizing radiation passing through the ship’s hull represents an increasing heat load that necessitates large expenditures of energy to cool the ship. Stopping or diverting this flux, either with material or electromagnetic shields, is a daunting problem. Going slow to avoid severe H irradiation sets an upper speed limit of v ~ 0.5 c. This velocity only gives a time dilation factor of about 15%, which would not substantially assist galaxy-scale voyages. Diffuse interstellar H atoms are the ultimate cosmic space mines and represent a formidable obstacle to interstellar travel.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on March 11, 2016, 08:34:37 PM
Ack! (http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=23913) (paper from 2012)
Quote from: Abstract
Highly relativistic speeds are desirable for interstellar travel. Relativistic time dilation would reduce the subjective duration of the trip for the travelers, so that they can cover galaxy-scale distances in a reasonable amount of personal time. Unfortunately, as spaceship velocities approach the speed of light, interstellar hydrogen H, although only present at a density of approximately 1.8 atoms/cm3, turns into intense radiation that would quickly kill passengers and destroy electronic instrumentation. In addition, the energy loss of ionizing radiation passing through the ship’s hull represents an increasing heat load that necessitates large expenditures of energy to cool the ship. Stopping or diverting this flux, either with material or electromagnetic shields, is a daunting problem. Going slow to avoid severe H irradiation sets an upper speed limit of v ~ 0.5 c. This velocity only gives a time dilation factor of about 15%, which would not substantially assist galaxy-scale voyages. Diffuse interstellar H atoms are the ultimate cosmic space mines and represent a formidable obstacle to interstellar travel.

As I understand it, the drag the interstellar hydrogen adds would also be formidable, which is also a problem with the hydrogen ramscoop concept (though a working magnetic ramscoop should also divert the relativistic hydrogen away from the hull too).

Anyway, that's just engineering!

 :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 11, 2016, 10:10:14 PM
Irrelevant to a White-Juday drive system.  Basic warpfield mechanics 101.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 13, 2016, 04:23:17 AM
Does it belong to Space or awesome pictures? Not sure, but here it is anyway:


(http://i.imgur.com/4asp8zS.gif)

Quote
The animation above was assembled from 13 images acquired on March 9, 2016, by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four-megapixel charge-coupled device (CCD) and Cassegrain telescope on the DSCOVR satellite. Click on the link below the animation to download the individual images from the series.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=87675&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_image

Edit: It's as solar eclipse (obviously) and the shadow is moons (rather obviously too).

Edit 2: Not a but the solar eclipse of March 8 - 9th 2016. Images provided by GoreSat.  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on March 13, 2016, 01:07:02 PM
Thank you Calapine, great stuff.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on April 08, 2016, 04:58:00 PM
Nailed it! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pUAydjne5M&feature=youtu.be&t=35m47s)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 08, 2016, 05:09:10 PM
Yes , the internet is going crazy over it right now  ;D


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on April 08, 2016, 05:23:02 PM
So Musk is printing more money I take it?  :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Pennilenko on April 08, 2016, 05:38:20 PM
The way I understand the situation:

Industry: You can't build cheaper high quality rockets.
SpaceX: We just did.
Industry: You can't build rockets that are high quality and lift heavier payloads.
SpaceX: We just did.
Industry: You can't improve the process and expense by recovering and recycling an entire stage.
SpaceX: We just did.
Industry: You won't be able to make a successful manned space craft.
SpaceX: Really...fuck you guys.

Am I correct in that this has been the general theme of this whole situation?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on April 08, 2016, 05:42:08 PM
Replace Industry with ULA and you're basically correct


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on April 08, 2016, 08:18:58 PM
Nailing that landing gave me goosebumps. Now that's some fucking science.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on April 08, 2016, 08:25:39 PM
Onboard view of the landing (https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/718605741288894464)

Apparently if all the testing goes well that Falcon 9 will be ready for re-use by June.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on April 09, 2016, 07:28:51 AM
That landing was totally off-center; almost put that rocket in the drink.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: brellium on April 09, 2016, 11:58:40 AM
Watching the live stream of that yesterday was awesome, caught it at -0:04:00 and watched it until something like +0:20:00 when the solar panels on the Dragon deployed.

Nailing that landing on Of Course I Still Love You, made my day. :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on April 13, 2016, 12:13:00 PM
Let's go to Alpha Centauri!!!

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/stephen-hawking-and-billionaire-announce-project-send-tiny-probes-nearest-star-system-180958745/?no-ist

Presentation (just a snippet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoCm6vZDDiQ


Quote
The idea is to send a mothership full of nano-bots into high-altitude orbit. The ship would then release hundreds of the bots, dubbed “starchips.” Each bot, which costs roughly as much as an iPhone, is about the size of a postage stamp and is attached to very thin sails a few meters wide, Ross Anderson writes for The Atlantic.

But to propel the bots into hyper drive will require energy from a ground-based laser, which would blast a beam of light at the tiny bots' sails for two minutes, accelerating the bot to one-fifth the speed of light, roughly 100 million miles per hour. At that rate, the swarm of light-propelled probes could reach Alpha Centauri, 4.37 light years away, in about 20 years.


A frickin' mothership full of tiny probes with a sail in front and propelled by a laser beam from Earth.


FUCK YEAH  :drill: :drill: :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on April 13, 2016, 09:29:14 PM
Somebody's been reading Charles Stross.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on April 13, 2016, 10:04:29 PM
Given current tech it is about as fiction too.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 25, 2016, 05:34:55 PM
Work on JWST is contitung.

Today 13 of the 18 primary mirrors have been uncovered. NASA "streamed" it live, at 1 image per minute. So I created a 30 second timelaps out of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5IE1s1z9G0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5IE1s1z9G0)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on April 26, 2016, 10:10:55 PM
You know, looking at that -- more and more I'm certain the most incredible thing NASA has done with manned flight in the last few decades was fixing the Hubble.

Look at all the care they're having to take on Earth. Imagine trying to fix that in space.

The JWST is pretty freakin' badass though. I'm gonna be thrilled when it launches.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: apocrypha on May 10, 2016, 06:02:44 AM
Also quite excited about the JWST, incredible piece of engineering.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory got some amazing footage of yesterday's Mercury transit:
https://youtu.be/AhWMOkrzKzs


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on May 25, 2016, 01:04:53 PM
Nothing special, just thought it looks nice:

(http://i.imgur.com/zjT1QLE.gif)

A timelapse from Mars Express, who is orbiting since 2003.

Quote
In this remarkable movie, the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) on Mars Express was used for the first time to image the limb of Mars during most of a complete orbit, showing in good detail the atmosphere seen ‘on edge’ at the apparent border between the planet’s surface and space.

The movie was stitched together from a series of 403 still images acquired by the camera during 13:45–19:09 GMT on 29 April 2016, during orbit 15624.

The spacecraft was commanded to turn as it orbited Mars, which kept the camera pointing at the brightest point on the horizon as Mars Express passed over the southern hemisphere.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on May 27, 2016, 04:48:40 PM
landed it again. Damn it!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on May 27, 2016, 05:22:51 PM
landed it again. Damn it!

It's starting to be a trend!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on May 27, 2016, 06:41:25 PM
A 3D tour of pluto, sort of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIxQXGTl_mo

You need chrome to view it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on May 27, 2016, 08:44:52 PM
Ran fine here on Firefox.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 03, 2016, 04:17:06 AM
This is kind of place to find a derelict starship full of eggs:



(https://i.redd.it/2fibzojki11x.jpg)



It's 67P of course, taken by Rosetta two days ago. The Picture is an out-take of a wider image that has been rotated & cropped to produce the "I am standing on it" effect. Full view here (https://planetgate.mps.mpg.de/Image_of_the_Day/public/NAC_2016-06-01T17.17.27.058Z_ID10_1397549002_F22.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on June 16, 2016, 06:42:00 AM
LIGO found another blackhole merger (http://www.space.com/33176-gravitational-waves-from-second-black-hole-collision.html) event by observing the gravitational waves.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 17, 2016, 02:00:35 PM
Something neat I saw when watching launch videos (yes...yes, I know...)

Soyuz boosters icing up progressively as they are being filled. Made a GIF:


(http://i.imgur.com/mN39W6R.gif)

Location of that is South Amercia btw, not Russia. Context:

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1/Introducing_Sentinel-1


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 19, 2016, 11:22:00 AM
Not content with shitting up the Funny Picture thread with Polandballs I am now taking over the Space thread too!  :grin:


(Don't mean to be spammy, but it's a beautiful image...)


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ClU3bXhWQAAVKwi.jpg:large)


Last nights Ariane 5 start - her (it's?) heaviest* so far - 10730 kg to GTO (Geostationary Transfer Orbit).

The video itself worth a watch too, rare day launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5P_8PNKsrE


(*Heaviest to GTO, low earth orbit to ISS has been 21 tons)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on July 03, 2016, 03:07:23 PM
That is a beautiful shot, I wish there was a higher res version!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 03, 2016, 04:43:55 PM
That is a beautiful shot, I wish there was a higher res version!

I wrote CNES and asked. No idea how they are about public outreach, but let's see.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on July 03, 2016, 04:55:29 PM
Hubble got re-upped for five years. Hopefully by the time that runs out, Space-X can get a manned vehicle high enough for a quick-and-dirty service. (Batteries and gryos are what it really needs, although I'm sure there's a ton of instrument packages they could swap out).

JWST is going to be fantastic, but it's not looking at the same wavelengths. If they can keep Hubble running, it's worth the rather small investment.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on July 03, 2016, 10:42:14 PM
2001 is on TCM right now if you want to get in the mood for Juno's arrival.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mosesandstick on July 04, 2016, 02:42:55 PM
I wrote CNES and asked. No idea how they are about public outreach, but let's see.

Wow, thank you!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 24, 2016, 04:43:45 PM
Yep, it's now confirmed: a rocky planet orbits the binary star system of Proxima Centauri, our closest neighbor  :heart: :heart:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/24/health/proxima-b-centauri-rocky-planet-habitable-zone-neighbor-star/index.html

Quote
Proxima b is a rocky, terrestrial planet with a surface -- unlike a gas giant, such as Jupiter -- that is 1.3 times the size of Earth and orbits its star every 11.2 days. It is in a close orbit of Proxima Centauri: only 5% of the distance between the Earth and the sun. They are even closer together than Mercury and the sun. But because its star is much cooler and fainter than our sun, Proxima b has a temperature that is suitable for liquid water to exist on the surface without evaporating.
Researchers estimate that if the planet has an atmosphere, which could be assumed but isn't known, it may be between 86 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface. Without an atmosphere, it could be -22 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that in perspective, Earth would be -4 degrees if it didn't have an atmosphere, Reiners said.

But, yeah, why it took so long to discover it, given the relatively small distance?

Quote
It comes down to an understanding of the star this planet orbits, as well as how data collection has evolved during the last 16 years.
Proxima Centauri is a low-mass red dwarf star, known as an M-class dwarf, that happens to be close to the bright binary star Alpha Centauri AB, which outshines its cool stepbrother, so to speak. All of these stars are within the faint Centaurus constellation, which can't be seen with the unaided eye. M-class dwarves are not well understood in comparison with other types of stars, Reiners said. Because of that, researchers don't know much about the history of these stars or their radiation in the early days.
"But within the field of exoplants, [researchers] have recently realized that looking for planets around M dwarves is what is going to be the most spectacular, because you can find these plants in the liquid water zone more easily than other stars," Reiners said.

Because it's an active star, Proxima Centauri can behave in varied ways that mimic the presence of a planet, according to the study. Researchers wanted to observe it for a long period of time, so for the first half of this year, telescopes around the world were pointed at Proxima Centauri. The researchers looked for a "Doppler wobble," or back and forth wobble of Proxima Centauri that would be caused by the gravitational pull of a planet in orbit.
This was combined with research, data and published studies of Proxima Centauri dating to 2000.
"The significance of the detection went sky high," Anglada-Escudé said. "Statistically, there was no doubt. We have found a planet around Proxima Centauri."

More stuff in the article linked above.

Excited  :drill: :drill: :drill:  Can't wait for my next four or five incarnations or so: I want to embark on the inevitable "noah's ark" that is going to head there  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on August 28, 2016, 10:02:19 PM
What would the radiation and mag fields be like that close to the star??  Is it a linear degradation with temperature?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on August 28, 2016, 11:02:13 PM
Mag field decays really quick, and radiation is going to be significantly less than it is here on Earth because red dwarfs release orders of magnitude fewer of the higher energy particles to begin with. The big trouble is that solar flares on some red dwarfs are just as impressive as the ones on yellow dwarfs like our sun, and the smaller distance they have to travel they'd be considerably less diffuse... and that could be pretty devastating. Proxima is just such a creature, and produces occasional bursts of X-ray fun.

Also it would always be, to our eyes, darker on the planet since so much of the radiation is in the invisible infra-red.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on August 29, 2016, 05:04:18 AM
It might also be tidally locked with the star among other factors making the planet unfun to live on (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri_b#Habitability)
There may, however, be more Planets within the habitable zone of Proxima.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 01, 2016, 01:51:21 PM
Bad day for private spaceflight. SpaceX had a total lose in a preflight test fire. Not just the booster, but the payload and the pad, are total writeoffs.

No official announcement, but this probably means no more flights for months while the accident is being investigated.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/spacexs-falcon-9-rocket-apparently-blew-up-during-a-test-firing-thursday/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 01, 2016, 02:28:22 PM
I went through a video of the explosion with a Frame-By-Frame function.

The two images are ~ 16 milliseconds apart, source is a 60 FPS recording


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrSk2EGWgAA-hIe.jpg)


Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BgJEXQkjNQ)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 01, 2016, 02:50:59 PM
While it sucks that this happened, I think an event like this was needed and long overdue.

Musk's (and by extension, SpaceX's) hubris needed to be reigned in a bit. There have been reports of shoddy QA/QC on their manufacturing processes for years and they have been given a pass by the nerdisphere because "Musk is a visionary!" and "SpaceX hasn't had a failure in forever!". I am not saying that this was due to a manufacturing defect, but the "build it faster and cheaper, we need to ramp up our schedule because MARS!" attitude is pervasive and has the potential to be dangerous.

It happening now where the only loss was a few hundred million in hardware and a slipped launch schedule is much better than if it happened during a manned flight. Treating everything in the world as sonething that should be done in a Silicon Valley dot.com startup fashion is a dangerous outlook to have.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 01, 2016, 03:06:48 PM
While it sucks that this happened, I think an event like this was needed and long overdue.

Musk's (and by extension, SpaceX's) hubris needed to be reigned in a bit. There have been reports of shoddy QA/QC on their manufacturing processes for years and they have been given a pass by the nerdisphere because "Musk is a visionary!" and "SpaceX hasn't had a failure in forever!". I am not saying that this was due to a manufacturing defect, but the "build it faster and cheaper, we need to ramp up our schedule because MARS!" attitude is pervasive and has the potential to be dangerous.

It happening now where the only loss was a few hundred million in hardware and a slipped launch schedule is much better than if it happened during a manned flight. Treating everything in the world as sonething that should be done in a Silicon Valley dot.com startup fashion is a dangerous outlook to have.

Some months ago I went through Glassdoor reviews of SpaceX and complains about practices on the workshop floor (so workers, not the engineers) cropped up a lot. What I remember: "You don't get decent training from the supervisor, its figure it out yourself" "People work in sneakers, no safety shoes" "Higher ups are all ex-car managers and have no clue about work procedures in aerospace manufacture"

This seems to fit as well:

(http://i.imgur.com/KZsVM2X.png)

Putting the payload on the rocket before the hotfire test - to save one single day - just cost them (their customer) > $300 million.

(The satellite was insured, but only AFTER rocket ignition...ouch)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on September 01, 2016, 03:14:24 PM
Hacking rocket science and space travel -- what could possibly go wrong?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Phildo on September 01, 2016, 03:34:31 PM
Hacking rocket science and space travel -- what could possibly go wrong?


(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/84c63e4641266a860ab1435adff0a6ecf47c6b60/161_141_963_579/master/963.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=45d0e238d3689f1cf74035996f4994b0)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on September 01, 2016, 05:57:15 PM
Some would call that a disaster; I'd call it an adventure.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: TheWalrus on September 01, 2016, 06:24:14 PM
Better to learn it now, than when people are on board. Echoes of the Challenger bullshit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 01, 2016, 08:26:19 PM
Rosetta's Comet outburst.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_captures_comet_outburst

At first I thought this was the comet blowing into two and then rejoining, but not quite.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on September 01, 2016, 08:39:27 PM
Some would call that a disaster; I'd call it an adventure.  :why_so_serious:

I call it justice.  :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on September 02, 2016, 09:39:23 AM
Wait, they put the payload on the rocket for the TEST? To save themselves a day?

HOLY FUCK. My first thought when I read about the explosion being on a test run and not the final flight was "well, at least they didn't blow up their probably very expensive payload."

... the fuck?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on September 02, 2016, 10:51:14 AM
(The satellite was insured, but only AFTER rocket ignition...ouch)

Not only that it looks like SpaceX didn't take any insurance out on the Falcon 9 either, so it's a total write off for them as well (http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/09/02/425358.htm)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 02, 2016, 11:35:24 AM
Wait, they put the payload on the rocket for the TEST? To save themselves a day?

HOLY FUCK. My first thought when I read about the explosion being on a test run and not the final flight was "well, at least they didn't blow up their probably very expensive payload."

... the fuck?


I'm not a rocket scientist either, just a guy who tries to keep up with this stuff, so take the following accordingly.

As I understand the process, the rocket has been static fired and pressurization tested already. This test was more accurately a pre-flight dress rehearsal,  where all systems were brought up to launch readiness together. Since the satellite connections and pre-flight programming are some of the things being tested, it doesn't make a lot of sense to not have the payload in place while doing it. At this point only small bugs should be remaining anyway -- the sort of things that could cause a short hold during actual launch, but might cause the launch window to be missed.

Clearly, something more than a small bug remained. But since the launch was going to be in less than two days whatever flaw caused the explosion now would have likely caused the explosion then.

I have no idea what de Selding is going on about. (He's with Spaceflight News isn't he? -- I couldn't find the article where he supported his tweet.) This is not Kerbal. You don't just snap the payload off the stack with a mouse. If you are going to do a pad test then you'll need to drop the rocket back horizontally, move it back to the assembly area, attach the payload, move it back and set back vertical. Then you'd need to test it again because moving it means things changed. Now what SpaceX *had* been considering was to skip this test altogether, since they figured they had the pre-flight pretty well nailed down by now.

Again, clearly not.

Insurance: Launch insurance does not kick in because there was no launch. (As an aside, if it had blown up on launch day it would still not kick in, since it blew pre-ignition.) However, standard accident and loss insurance does. There is a report that Musk does not insure his rockets, but the pre-launch payload insurance is actually (as far as I understand it) the responsibility of of the payload owner. I have no idea what their policy particulars are, but probably not as good as the launch failure payout, which normally includes time and service loss compensation.

Zuckerberg: Facebook had planned to lease some of the satellite's bandwidth for a few years, and thus Zuckerberg used the words "our satellite" in his own post on the matter. So some mainstream media has been reporting "SpaceX Blast Destroys Facebook Satellite." Yes, poor wording by Zuckerberg completely collapsed the media's factchecking ability. More News at Eleven (or not).

tl;dr version, IMHO the problem was not the test, but whatever screwup caused the blast, and that is where accusations of poor work practices have some validity. I don't know. I've got no inside view on SpaceX at all. Wish I did, even if it was just running the cafeteria. But personally I'm going to hold off joining the witchhunt until some more information comes out revealing just what exactly went wrong.

Oh, postscript I guess. If it had happened with actual crew onboard (assuming launch day, they would not have been onboard during the test), then the crew safety system would have lifted them and the capsule away from the blast. Assuming it worked right of course, but hey, at least they have one designed in, unlike the Shuttle where we flew it in deathtrap configuration for decades and just got used to the fact that if anything went wrong it was just going to be a full party wipe.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 02, 2016, 12:15:41 PM
Wait, they put the payload on the rocket for the TEST? To save themselves a day?

HOLY FUCK. My first thought when I read about the explosion being on a test run and not the final flight was "well, at least they didn't blow up their probably very expensive payload."

... the fuck?
I have no idea what de Selding is going on about. (He's with Spaceflight News isn't he? -- I couldn't find the article where he supported his tweet.) This is not Kerbal. You don't just snap the payload off the stack with a mouse. If you are going to do a pad test then you'll need to drop the rocket back horizontally, move it back to the assembly area, attach the payload, move it back and set back vertical. Then you'd need to test it again because moving it means things changed. Now what SpaceX *had* been considering was to skip this test altogether, since they figured they had the pre-flight pretty well nailed down by now.

Yes, he is the Spacenews Paris Bureau chief.

SpaceX used to perform the final static fire tests without the payload attached, then - if successful - lower the rocket, wheel it to the integration building, attach the payload, and erect it again for final launch.

As seen below:

(http://i.imgur.com/h6kNqWI.jpg)

The image is from the static fire test for the SES-8 sat launch (3 days before scheduled launch), taken on the same launchpad (SLC-40) as yesterdays rocket. As can be seen there is no payload fairing on top.

Some time ago SpaceX started doing the tests with the satellites already on board, thus avoiding one work step. Which now backfired...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 02, 2016, 01:11:52 PM
Wait, they put the payload on the rocket for the TEST? To save themselves a day?

HOLY FUCK. My first thought when I read about the explosion being on a test run and not the final flight was "well, at least they didn't blow up their probably very expensive payload."

... the fuck?
I have no idea what de Selding is going on about. (He's with Spaceflight News isn't he? -- I couldn't find the article where he supported his tweet.) This is not Kerbal. You don't just snap the payload off the stack with a mouse. If you are going to do a pad test then you'll need to drop the rocket back horizontally, move it back to the assembly area, attach the payload, move it back and set back vertical. Then you'd need to test it again because moving it means things changed. Now what SpaceX *had* been considering was to skip this test altogether, since they figured they had the pre-flight pretty well nailed down by now.

Yes, he is the Spacenews Paris Bureau chief.

SpaceX used to perform the final static fire tests without the payload attached, then - if successful - lower the rocket, wheel it to the integration building, attach the payload, and erect it again for final launch.

As seen below:

(http://i.imgur.com/h6kNqWI.jpg)

The image is from the static fire test for the SES-8 sat launch (3 days before scheduled launch), taken on the same launchpad (SLC-40) as yesterdays rocket. As can be seen there is no payload fairing on top.

Some time ago SpaceX started doing the tests with the satellites already on board, thus avoiding one work step. Which now backfired...


Okay found it. Yeah they changed their procedure in 2014, although saying it was done solely to save money and time is arguable.

In any case, I imagine SpaceX is re-examining that decision now...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 02, 2016, 01:46:35 PM
The fact that they ever did vertical testing without the payload is the weird thing.

Pretty much all other horizontal integrators flip the rocket upright once when it reaches the pad and don't tilt it back down to avoid additional stress on the rocket. Also, it makes no sense to test the systems in a non integrated state and give it a green light for the launch as tilting it down and adding things changes the configuration/loading.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 02, 2016, 02:22:55 PM
The fact that they ever did vertical testing without the payload is the weird thing.

Pretty much all other horizontal integrators flip the rocket upright once when it reaches the pad and don't tilt it back down to avoid additional stress on the rocket. Also, it makes no sense to test the systems in a non integrated state and give it a green light for the launch as tilting it down and adding things changes the configuration/loading.


The 'entire rocket hotfire test' is an SpaceX speciality. Neither ULA, Arianespace nor the Russians do it.

For Ariane5 I know the main engine will be fired twice as part of acceptance testing before delivery, but that's before it's part of the rocket stack.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 02, 2016, 02:34:23 PM
Since this test had not gotten near the point of ignition, the saying their plan to do this integrated to cut time off the window is moot anyway.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 02, 2016, 02:54:03 PM
The fact that they ever did vertical testing without the payload is the weird thing.

Pretty much all other horizontal integrators flip the rocket upright once when it reaches the pad and don't tilt it back down to avoid additional stress on the rocket. Also, it makes no sense to test the systems in a non integrated state and give it a green light for the launch as tilting it down and adding things changes the configuration/loading.


The 'entire rocket hotfire test' is an SpaceX speciality. Neither ULA, Arianespace nor the Russians do it.

For Ariane5 I know the main engine will be fired twice as part of acceptance testing before delivery, but that's before it's part of the rocket stack.



None of those guys are shooting for reusability and rapid turnaround either.

Unfortunately, Thursday's very loud and flashy anomaly shows that SpaceX hasn't quite reached that goal yet either.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 02, 2016, 06:51:53 PM
From what I've heard, they decreased the temperature of the LOX fuel recently, which I'd consider a probable cause. Not just for the "because they changed something, then it exploded" but because material properties can vary over a thermal range, and it just takes missing a single part, weld, or stress to have it suddenly fail in colder conditions. (Admittedly, I'm biased -- my job is making software tools for materials properties, fracture control, and failure analysis, and the engineering department I work with does that sort of thing for spacecraft and airplanes for a living. So I'm reaching to what I'm familiar with).

There was an American automaker that had a raft of recalls back in the 70s or 80s because they made diesel engines by modding their gasoline ones, and the higher temps ate the engine fairly quickly.

In Other News:

Remember the EM/Cannae Drive? The reactionless one NASA was testing?

They're releasing a paper, and translated from Science to English, the synopsis reads something like: "It keeps producing thrust, and we don't know why. We've tested it and tested it, but it produces thrust outside our error bars." (30 to 50 pico-Newtons per kilowatt, I think. Would scale up to about ion-drive thrusts at half a megawatt) With an implied "Surely someone can find out how we messed up a year's worth of tests, because we can't figure it out and also we can't really believe this works".

NASA's only real explanation of thrust (virtual particle ion drive) is at odds with the inventor's own, and there's a few other weird theories floating around as well. Everyone's really loathe to believe it, because in terms of space holy grails, reactionless drives rate just below "working FTL" and "artificial gravity".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on September 02, 2016, 07:18:41 PM
From what I've heard, they decreased the temperature of the LOX fuel recently, which I'd consider a probable cause. Not just for the "because they changed something, then it exploded" but because material properties can vary over a thermal range, and it just takes missing a single part, weld, or stress to have it suddenly fail in colder conditions. (Admittedly, I'm biased -- my job is making software tools for materials properties, fracture control, and failure analysis, and the engineering department I work with does that sort of thing for spacecraft and airplanes for a living. So I'm reaching to what I'm familiar with).

There was an American automaker that had a raft of recalls back in the 70s or 80s because they made diesel engines by modding their gasoline ones, and the higher temps ate the engine fairly quickly.

In Other News:

Remember the EM/Cannae Drive? The reactionless one NASA was testing?

They're releasing a paper, and translated from Science to English, the synopsis reads something like: "It keeps producing thrust, and we don't know why. We've tested it and tested it, but it produces thrust outside our error bars." (30 to 50 pico-Newtons per kilowatt, I think. Would scale up to about ion-drive thrusts at half a megawatt) With an implied "Surely someone can find out how we messed up a year's worth of tests, because we can't figure it out and also we can't really believe this works".

NASA's only real explanation of thrust (virtual particle ion drive) is at odds with the inventor's own, and there's a few other weird theories floating around as well. Everyone's really loathe to believe it, because in terms of space holy grails, reactionless drives rate just below "working FTL" and "artificial gravity".

So now we just need some kind of space-worthy power system that puts out a half-MWe over a very long time. Too bad there aren't any--the closest the US has ever done was the SAFE-400 fission heatpipe system intended to deliver 100KW electricity for 10 years, and it was scrapped some number of years ago (2002?). There may be some comparable work done by a Russian company as recently as 2011 (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/transport/nuclear-reactors-for-space.aspx) but even if it hasn't been cancelled it's still many years away, and that wasn't even a half-MW. Apparently there are serious materials considerations that make it hard to just scale up fission heatpipe designs.

Maybe NASA can get Pons and Fleischmann to revisit their rule-breaking power supply to match with the rule-breaking engine.  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 02, 2016, 10:13:33 PM
So now we just need some kind of space-worthy power system that puts out a half-MWe over a very long time. Too bad there aren't any--the closest the US has ever done was the SAFE-400 fission heatpipe system intended to deliver 100KW electricity for 10 years, and it was scrapped some number of years ago (2002?). There may be some comparable work done by a Russian company as recently as 2011 (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/transport/nuclear-reactors-for-space.aspx) but even if it hasn't been cancelled it's still many years away, and that wasn't even a half-MW. Apparently there are serious materials considerations that make it hard to just scale up fission heatpipe designs.

Maybe NASA can get Pons and Fleischmann to revisit their rule-breaking power supply to match with the rule-breaking engine.  :grin:
You don't really need a half newton of force. I mean the more the better, but it all adds up. That half-newton thrust is NASA's NEXT Ion engine, their 'strongest' yet.

ION engines generally measure thrust in mN. NSTAR ran at 20 to 92 mN. I think Dawn (using NSTAR) pushed it's delta v up to 10 km/s. Lacking reaction mass, an EM drive or equivilant would be more efficient -- 200kg of fuel can only be used once, but 200kg of solar panels or RTG can fire continuously. There's a reason NASA is putting so much money into ion drives for probe missions.

I'd also say that, if this thing actually works, that it's really unlikely that 1MW to 1N is anything resembling max efficiency, simply because nobody is entirely sure how it works -- much less have engineered for the most efficient mechanism.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on September 02, 2016, 10:21:22 PM
Latest WAG I heard for explaining it was essentially that it is generating Tesla waves (two matched and mutually inverted photons), which shows you how desperate they are a getting for an explanation that doesn't require junking the Standard Model.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on September 03, 2016, 01:38:02 AM
So now we just need some kind of space-worthy power system that puts out a half-MWe over a very long time. Too bad there aren't any--the closest the US has ever done was the SAFE-400 fission heatpipe system intended to deliver 100KW electricity for 10 years, and it was scrapped some number of years ago (2002?). There may be some comparable work done by a Russian company as recently as 2011 (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/transport/nuclear-reactors-for-space.aspx) but even if it hasn't been cancelled it's still many years away, and that wasn't even a half-MW. Apparently there are serious materials considerations that make it hard to just scale up fission heatpipe designs.

Maybe NASA can get Pons and Fleischmann to revisit their rule-breaking power supply to match with the rule-breaking engine.  :grin:
You don't really need a half newton of force. I mean the more the better, but it all adds up. That half-newton thrust is NASA's NEXT Ion engine, their 'strongest' yet.

ION engines generally measure thrust in mN. NSTAR ran at 20 to 92 mN. I think Dawn (using NSTAR) pushed it's delta v up to 10 km/s. Lacking reaction mass, an EM drive or equivilant would be more efficient -- 200kg of fuel can only be used once, but 200kg of solar panels or RTG can fire continuously. There's a reason NASA is putting so much money into ion drives for probe missions.

I'd also say that, if this thing actually works, that it's really unlikely that 1MW to 1N is anything resembling max efficiency, simply because nobody is entirely sure how it works -- much less have engineered for the most efficient mechanism.

50 pico Newton is nine orders of magnitude lower than what NSTAR puts out, so if the Cannae drive scales linearly and is at 50 pN per KW now, it'd need on the order of terawatts of power to match what Dawn's ion engine does now.

I would be more than slightly surprised if it turns out that optimizing something involving unknown principles results in a billion-fold increase in performance.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say--a Cannae drive-equipped cubesat is going to be launched in the near future (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a22678/em-drive-cannae-cubesat-reactionless/), if they can get funding.

If it works, and generates more thrust than, say, a laser pointing into vacuum, not only do we have a nifty propulsion system, but we also have a working perpetual motion machine (http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.00494)!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 03, 2016, 10:26:44 AM
50 pico Newton is nine orders of magnitude lower than what NSTAR puts out, so if the Cannae drive scales linearly and is at 50 pN per KW now, it'd need on the order of terawatts of power to match what Dawn's ion engine does now.
I have no idea how they derived their scale factor, since as Mahrin points out, everyone's really confused over the mechanism with multiple competing theories. (Mahrin: I read one that had some sort of weird modified concept of inertia and Unruh radiation, which I've never even heard of).

What NASA tested was made by an American based on the rough EM drive specs by the inventor, and that the Chinese have reported different thrust numbers and nobody understands how this stupid thing produces momentum. People aren't testing the exact same engine and not with the same power inputs. Nobody knows what's causing it --  Tesla waves, virtual particles, whatever that inertia thing is, whatever the inventor claims it is). So I have no idea the scaling factor, I have no idea how the few sources I got rated it at about 1N per MW, but I do really suspect that whatever design they've got is not optimal.

Because nobody knows what's going on, only NASA finally got annoyed enough to shove it in a vacuum chamber and it still works and it shouldn't at all. I think the best description is "It's like standing in a box, pushing on both sides of the box, and having the stupid thing move".



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 03, 2016, 03:39:43 PM
From what I've heard, they decreased the temperature of the LOX fuel recently, which I'd consider a probable cause. Not just for the "because they changed something, then it exploded" but because material properties can vary over a thermal range, and it just takes missing a single part, weld, or stress to have it suddenly fail in colder conditions. (Admittedly, I'm biased -- my job is making software tools for materials properties, fracture control, and failure analysis, and the engineering department I work with does that sort of thing for spacecraft and airplanes for a living. So I'm reaching to what I'm familiar with).

Yes, propellant densifcation, used in the latest iteration of the rocket.

- 207° C for the LOX. I don't have numbers on the what temperature they used before, but logic dictates it must have been below boiling point, so < -183° C.

- 7° C for the Kerosin, compared to (I am guessing) ambient temperature beforehand.

Another source for issues could be the Helium COPVs which that are used to pressurize the other tanks. The CRS-7 accident was caused by one of those bottles breaking free and in 2014 a launch had to scrubbed due to a helium leak.

They used to be a supplier manufactured item, but SpaceX (possibly as response to the 2014 issue?) now produces them in-house. Overall not a trivial component, even NASA had worries regarding the Shuttle COPVs, although there there issues were mostly due to age and degradation over time.


I guess we'll know more in a few weeks.  :-)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 03, 2016, 04:25:26 PM
Rocket science is harder. Rocket engineering is quite possibly harder. :)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on September 03, 2016, 05:17:16 PM
There was talk it was possibly the payload's fault for the mishap.  Given where it seemed the flash originated from, that's a tough sell.  Sadly, this will set a bunch of projects behind schedule (including my division's).  We were supposed to fly on a falcon-heavy.   :uhrr:   If it turns out to be the upper-stage's improved fuel system, they'll potentially lose 30% thrust and the ability to backburn during  a geosync insertion.

Work on Tuesday should be interesting at the water cooler.

That said, I'd rather have a SpaceX induced delay than a NASA or JPL one.  And this kind of thing is why a lot of tech. is moving away from the ginormous, expensive space platforms.  Cheap nanosat swarms get more and more en vogue every year (blow em up all you want).  The tracking is the problem (so the AirForce hates em for obvious reasons).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 03, 2016, 08:41:15 PM
Latest WAG I heard for explaining it was essentially that it is generating Tesla waves (two matched and mutually inverted photons), which shows you how desperate they are a getting for an explanation that doesn't require junking the Standard Model.

--Dave

Honestly, most physicists I read would be happy to junk the Standard Model -- they'd just rather it be cracked by something like the 9 billion dollar LHC than somebody rattling an old tin box!

There are standards to be kept, no pun intended....


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 03, 2016, 09:40:34 PM
Latest WAG I heard for explaining it was essentially that it is generating Tesla waves (two matched and mutually inverted photons), which shows you how desperate they are a getting for an explanation that doesn't require junking the Standard Model.

--Dave

Honestly, most physicists I read would be happy to junk the Standard Model -- they'd just rather it be cracked by something like the 9 billion dollar LHC than somebody rattling an old tin box!

There are standards to be kept, no pun intended....
Well, there are SM explanations. Some barely even stretch it a little (the QM stuff). I think everyone would be simultaneously pleased and annoyed. Pleased that we found a crack, a place where weird stuff happens so we can poke at it and find more interesting stuff. Annoyed that it was a guy with a tin box, and not focused research. I think the physicists, at least, felt they were pretty far past someone accidentally discovering something weird.

I keep suspecting there's a magnetic or thermal component, but some weird magnetic interaction (say with the Earth's field) is easy enough to test for (you know, you point it different directions, for one. Also, magnetic shielding) and thermal stuff is also generally possible to account for. (Thermal radiation was what was boosting Voyager's speed -- took them a long time to figure that out). Plus, I think Eagleworks did break down and do some vacuum chamber tests (not sure if they had it running a vacuum, but I know they dropped the temp really low) -- which means they can generally measure that.

Ghambit:

NASA's problem has always been Congress and public opinion. They're simply not allowed failures, and trying to design anything when Congress randomly changes your budgets and goals is a PITA. Don't even get me started on the weird way they've budgeted Orion and the new heavy lift vehicle. it's killing in-house tool development, and it ain't because the directorate chiefs don't see the problem.

ISS was a nightmare. They kept changing designs over and over and over, and yanking in and out partners. It's a freaking miracle it's up there. At this point. I'm willing to bet half the total cost -- minimum -- of ISS was because of endless redesign cycles. Someone in Congress would get a bug up their ass, declare they wanted 6 people instead of 4, and then NASA would have to chunk hundreds of millions in designs, prototypes, and the like, and start mostly over. Then three years later, it'd be 5 people.

Honestly, I think NASA would work a heck of a lot better if Congress would basically say "We'll assess programs and large project budgets every 5 years". Heck, NASA's on what -- the third or fourth attempt to replace the Shuttle, because Congress keeps cancelling the program then restarting it again a year later, when they realize magic hasn't created rockets? Do you know how many billions were tossed down that rathole? NASA's reused what it could, and finally just started claiming that whatever Congress wanted, they  needed a new manned rocket and a new heavy lift vehicle to do it. (Want to go to Mars? We need a new manned rocket and a new heavy lift vehicle. The moon? Same? The underwater city of Atlantis? We'll need those rockets to launch the magic Atlantis finding stuff and man it)  and got away with (as best I can tell) just renaming it. It still involved rebidding congrats and some more tear-down and redesign, but they've at least kept some forward momentum.

(Fun random space fact: You know how capsules use parachutes when coming down from orbit? Like multiple sets? You know how they make sure the are severed at the right time? EXPLOSIVES. Yeah, when you need a parachute cord cut, you use two chunks of metal and wad of explosives o slam the sharp chunk of metal into the flat one at high speeds, with the cable in between. Simple is sometimes best. And also awesome. That mechanism dates back to Mercury, IIRC. I know Apollo used it).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 05, 2016, 09:51:14 AM
Phliae has been found!  :-)



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrmNvekXYAA5NZN.jpg:large)



Labeled close up, spoilered for size:

Quote
The images were taken on 2 September by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came within 2.7 km of the surface and clearly show the main body of the lander, along with two of its three legs.

The images also provide proof of Philae’s orientation, making it clear why establishing communications was so difficult following its landing on 12 November 2014.
---
The discovery comes less than a month before Rosetta descends to the comet’s surface. On 30 September, the orbiter will be sent on a final one-way mission to investigate the comet from close up, including the open pits in the Ma’at region, where it is hoped that critical observations will help to reveal secrets of the body’s interior structure.
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Philae_found


Edit: If one considers how bright the surrounding area is Philae was really unlucky to get stuck at that one particular spot...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on September 05, 2016, 10:55:16 AM
Well, sort of. It's very likely that big outcropping is the thing that stopped it from bouncing. Otherwise who knows where it might have ended up.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 05, 2016, 11:43:15 AM
Well, sort of. It's very likely that big outcropping is the thing that stopped it from bouncing. Otherwise who knows where it might have ended up.


True, good point...



Guessing game:

Which one of those potential locations turned out to be the real Philae?


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrmnVRnXgAAD7HT.jpg:large)




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on September 06, 2016, 11:40:23 AM
Wow that really shows how rugged that rock is in that area.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 12, 2016, 11:58:23 AM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsKBCT2WIAAFHSi.jpg)

Jeff Bezos announced his new rocket "New Glenn". Conveniently 2 weeks before Elon Musk's presention of BFR on the next International Aeronautical Congress.


This is starting to be a dick waving context...

Edit: Just look at that:

Stage diameter: 7 Meter
Height New Glenn 2: 82.3 Meter
Height New Glenn 3: 95.4 Meter
Thrust first stage: 17,125 kN
Engines First Stage: 7x BE-4 CH4/LOX
Engines Second Stage: 1x BE-4 Vac.
Engine Third Stage: 1x BE-3 Vac LH2/LOX

First launch: Before 2020.  :ye_gods:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on September 12, 2016, 12:17:59 PM
Musk is building BFRs now? Holy shit! That is what really fucked up Planetside.  :why_so_serious:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 12, 2016, 12:19:28 PM
AND he's teasing out info on the next size up planned that would be able to make lunar orbit, the New Armstrong!

Bezos' slow and steady might just end up winning the space(X) race.

As a humorous point, some poster on another site got a spit take from me by mentioning in reply to the question what would Bezos name a conjectured Mars capable rocket, --"Anything but New Musk."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 12, 2016, 12:58:25 PM
I think the Mars rocket would be "New Watney".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 12, 2016, 02:01:41 PM
As a note, size is a bit deceptive here as Methan is a less dense fuel compared to Kerosin. Performance wise the rocket seems to be 20-30% above Falcon Heavy for Low Earth Orbit and ~ 50% above for Mars injection (in the 3 stage version).

I am sort of skeptical regarding the development timeline: first launch before 2020. Again taking Falcon Heavy as comparison, Musk initially talked about first launch in 2013. And see where he is now...

Second issue is the business case.

Bezos "New Glenn is designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space".

For this the rocket is way overized, typical GTO satellites weight 3 - 5.5 tons, with the heaviest topping out somewhere at 6.7 tons.  Of course some of the nominal performance will be spent/wasted for re-usability, but even factoring in that it's still too big.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 12, 2016, 02:19:41 PM
The large fairing diameter is going to be his big selling point.

One of the reasons commercial launches are all in the same weight range is that they are all limited in physical dimensions in the same way. Allow them to build a bigger box that they can fill with more electronics and bigger/better inertia wheels and the weight will go up as a consequence.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 12, 2016, 02:31:03 PM
The large fairing diameter is going to be his big selling point.

One of the reasons commercial launches are all in the same weight range is that they are all limited in physical dimensions in the same way. Allow them to build a bigger box that they can fill with more electronics and bigger/better inertia wheels and the weight will go up as a consequence.

Not, really no. Current satellites don't even use the width offered by widest flying now:

Ariane 5 uses a 5,4m diameter fairing (same as stage width). Aerodynamically it would have been easily possible to increase to 7 meter, (same as the New Glenn), if there was customer desire, but there was no pressure by the market.

Ariane 6 will receive a longer fairing, but diameter stays the same.

Falcon 9 uses a 5,2m diameter fairing and apparently SpaceX doesn't see this as a drawback.

Proton uses a 4,35 m fairing.

Edit: I queried about GTO performance, the answer was ~ 30 tons, according to Dr. Zubrin.


Edit 2: I did not mean to sound rude, just tired.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 20, 2016, 11:58:30 AM
Sitxy Symbols does a pretty good job talking about Lisa Pathfinder:

Golden Cubes and Gravitational Waves - Sixty Symbols (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzPPnP9FQeI)

6m39 sec video.


NASA is very likley to rejoin für eLISA btw:

Quote
This week, at the 11th LISA symposium in Zürich, Switzerland, a NASA official said he was ready to rejoin the LISA mission, which the agency left in 2011. Meanwhile, ESA says it is trying to move the launch of the mission up several years from 2034. “This is a very important meeting,” says David Shoemaker, a gravitational wave physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It feels like a turning point.”

[...]

Originally, LISA was conceived as a joint ESA-NASA mission. Both partners would pay 50% of the mission cost, estimated at some $2 billion. But in April 2011, NASA dropped out of the collaboration because of budgetary problems, and the program was almost killed. “The next year, the LISA symposium felt like a funeral,” recalls astrophysicist Paul McNamara of ESA’s space research and technology center ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Then, in 2013, a trimmed-down, €1 billion version of LISA was selected by ESA as its L3 mission—the third large mission in its Cosmic Vision 2020 program. Called eLISA (where the “e” euphemistically stands for “evolved”), it would have less capability and sensitivity than the original design. Launch was foreseen for 2034. NASA expressed interest to become a minor partner, providing technological support.

But things have changed a lot in the past few years. ESA’s technology demonstrator LISA Pathfinder, launched in December 2015, has performed flawlessly, says McNamara, who is the mission’s project scientist. Then, in February, the ground-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory experiment announced that it had bagged its first direct detections.

NASA moves to rejoin sped-up gravitational wave mission (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/nasa-moves-rejoin-sped-gravitational-wave-mission)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 23, 2016, 12:56:07 PM
SpaceX just posted an anomly updated regarding the Falcon 9 explosion:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtDj6qMWAAEaLDc.jpg:large)
http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates


Which ties in to something I posted earlier:
Another source for issues could be the Helium COPVs which that are used to pressurize the other tanks. The CRS-7 accident was caused by one of those bottles breaking free and in 2014 a launch had to scrubbed due to a helium leak.

They used to be a supplier manufactured item, but SpaceX (possibly as response to the 2014 issue?) now produces them in-house. Overall not a trivial component, even NASA had worries regarding the Shuttle COPVs, although there there issues were mostly due to age and degradation over time.


I guess we'll know more in a few weeks.  :-)

First thought: So it's Helium again. Either a) they didn't find the root cause in CRS-7 and it happend again or b) their revised Quality Assurance and production changes post-accident weren't enough to avoid or catch another critical manufactuing error just 10 flights after the last disaster. Edit: or c) there is another unconnected design flaw in the same sub-system.

Both is bad.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 24, 2016, 11:28:25 AM
Don't forget, they swapped to deeper cryo for this launch. There's also the possibility of failure due to change in the thermal regime -- someone's safety factor on a part or inspections procedure might not have been properly adjusted to fit the new temperature profiles.

SpaceX wouldn't be the first company to have a fuck-up due to changing operating temperatures.

It's amazing the little shit that can break something. I watched a breakdown analysis at work -- someone had subbed in kevlar straps for nylon to add additional margin for a test. It didn't go well, because there was an initial force on the straps that the nylon cords stretched on (so the force was handled over a longer time span) and the kevlar...did not. I watched a video of metal bending like putty then snapping back as the kevlar layers broke.

They'd been doing that test for years with nylon, never realized the forces at the moment of initiation were that high. Not until they changed test parameters and wanted additional margin, and then that was months of analysis to figure out why it broke, to be able to model and test the break reliably, then put in a real fix that the test people would accept. (That test, the way it broke -- could have been really, really bad. Like fatalities bad. I don't blame the folks who own the equipment for saying "Not until you can explain this, model it, show physical tests, and basically make me certain it's not gonna happen again")


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 24, 2016, 12:53:30 PM
Tank weld QA/QC procedures were the thing I heard quite a bit of rumors about being pretty terrible at Space-X years ago. Which means I am not really surprised to hear that tank integrity might have been a cause, especially if it is true that they had recently re-insourced the production of the tanks. Welding pressure vessels properly is no joke, even with common materials like steel. When you use the crazy light-weight alloys that are used in rockets it is even more difficult to do correctly.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 24, 2016, 01:18:45 PM
Tank weld QA/QC procedures were the thing I heard quite a bit of rumors about being pretty terrible at Space-X years ago. Which means I am not really surprised to hear that tank integrity might have been a cause, especially if it is true that they had recently re-insourced the production of the tanks. Welding pressure vessels properly is no joke, even with common materials like steel. When you use the crazy light-weight alloys that are used in rockets it is even more difficult to do correctly.
I've heard the same thing from some guys in the materials section -- they did some analysis work on tank welds, and the gist was "NASA wouldn't fly with that". (It was, I admit, a bit up in the air as to whether NASA was being too cautious or SpaceX too risky).

I know the guys that do weld analysis go bonkers doing lifetime calcs because welding itself can add in a lot of stresses, depending on a complex stew of variables (material welded, material used in the weld, weld technique, how good the welder was, dimensions of weld) that can be hard to factor in. That's before you get things like cracks in the weld, or impacting the weld....or god help you, thermal expansion of the weld and base material aren't the same....


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 24, 2016, 01:26:17 PM
This was not "being too cautious" kind of rumors. It was "the welds looked bad enough that a person welding like that on a certification exam would probably not pass" kind of rumors. And the fact that Space-X was (at least at the time) full of young fresh out of engineering school know-it-alls who scoffed at anything told to them by a guy with grey hair made it likely that they ignored advice because "it was strong enough in the tests we ran".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Rendakor on September 25, 2016, 08:57:21 AM
This was not "being too cautious" kind of rumors. It was "the welds looked bad enough that a person welding like that on a certification exam would probably not pass" kind of rumors. And the fact that Space-X was (at least at the time) full of young fresh out of engineering school know-it-alls who scoffed at anything told to them by a guy with grey hair made it likely that they ignored advice because "it was strong enough in the tests we ran".
The bolded bit is a false assumption; for any given welding procedure certification, the weld is judged much more harshly for acceptance than a production weld because weld tests are welded under ideal conditions.

I know the guys that do weld analysis go bonkers doing lifetime calcs because welding itself can add in a lot of stresses, depending on a complex stew of variables (material welded, material used in the weld, weld technique, how good the welder was, dimensions of weld) that can be hard to factor in. That's before you get things like cracks in the weld, or impacting the weld....or god help you, thermal expansion of the weld and base material aren't the same....
No weld going into space would ever be accepted with a crack in it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 25, 2016, 07:27:35 PM
No weld going into space would ever be accepted with a crack in it.
A crack that you know is there. You can't go over every inch of a vehicle with the highest resolution scanners. It'd take forever and cost a fortune. And it's unnecessary.

Analysts (everything from guys doing lifetime analysis or setting inspection schedules to design work) basically take your material (and the shape of it), take the stresses into account, and work to find the critical crack size. That is, the size of the crack where stuff goes pear shape and it grows to failure.

In this case, you've got a guy who looks at the PV and the weld and works out the critical size --- it might be, say, any crack over 0.1mm in the weld will grow to failure in a single launch. So that'll determine inspection -- they'll use the tools and techniques to find cracks that small or larger (there's usually knockdown factor, so they'll really search for anything over 0.05mm). This is true whether it's a single-use item or a reusable one.

Airframe folks do the same thing -- that's how they determine flight hours between inspections and recerts.

(This is actually what I do for a living -- we provide tools to people doing this sort of thing).

So yeah, they won't fly with a noticeable crack. But if their inspection regime was looking for, say, 0.5mm (1mm being the "oh shit" crack size with a high chance to grow to failure with, so a safety factor of 2) and bigger on the weld but the change in thermal regime meant that the critical size was really 0.6mm or so, and suddenly their safety margins are jack shit. So some weird residual stresses from a weld or from fabrication might be enough to cause failure.

Fun fact: NASA trains inspectors to do this crap -- take a part and find all cracks, notches, or flaws of a given size or bigger. You don't get your cert if you miss even one, and the people that do them like to be sneaky. I work with a guy that was fabbing some test articles for the latest batch of inspectors -- it's apparently a massive PITA to make realistic looking cracks, notches, and flaws that have to be an exact size (where the smallest ones are REALLY small) without damaging the surroundings and making them more obvious than they'd be on a real part. It's not a good test if you have tool marks pointing to suspicious areas. He spent a lot of time working his ass off on those.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 27, 2016, 01:01:13 PM
Full Steam ahead for Elon:

SpaceX released a Youtubeclip of it's Interplanetary Transport System

42 Raptor engines in the first stage, 127 800 kN thrust. Or just shy about 4x Saturn-Vs, refueling in Orbit, humans on Mars, the whole enchilada:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qo78R_yYFAx

(http://i.imgur.com/UX2Atr9.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 27, 2016, 05:31:43 PM
Here is an Imgur album (https://imgur.com/a/20nku) with all the slides from his presentation


(http://i.imgur.com/YxQiWqk.png)

Dick measuring contest


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Slayerik on September 28, 2016, 12:27:51 PM
http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/27/13058990/mars-mission-spaceship-announced-elon-musk-spacex

Here's some reading about his plans.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 28, 2016, 10:17:33 PM
It's pretty charitable to call them plans. His plans on Mars are only a bit ahead of Theranos' plans for a magic blood-testing technology. The stuff that he's punting down the road to think about later is utterly fundamental, profoundly difficult. Plus he doesn't even have anything besides shopworn SF-fan fetish ideas about whether the entire idea of living on Mars makes even a lick of sense, even for the objective of putting our eggs in more than one planetary basket. I can buy that he might be able to manufacture a rocket that can get there, and maybe even a landing vehicle that can get humans to the surface. Maybe, maybe, one that can get them off the surface, though that's a different kettle of fish. But even with fueling in orbit, putting one hundred people in that rocket for an 80-day voyage and then just somehow having them build everything they need to survive indefinitely from the raw materials on Mars, since there's no way even with drops sent ahead to provide everything they'd need to become self-sustaining before they all starve, suffocate and die of thirst. Sorry, no way, no how, not with anything available in the next two or three decades even in the most optimistic funding scenarios. And doing it through funding just tossed into the project by aspirant travellers, other private companies, and public agencies alongside whatever he's going to contribute while keeping all of them totally out of the loop on any decisions related to the project? Also not going to happen no matter how much he thumbs through his copy of Atlas Shrugged.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2016, 04:36:40 PM
It's pretty charitable to call them plans. His plans on Mars are only a bit ahead of Theranos' plans for a magic blood-testing technology. The stuff that he's punting down the road to think about later is utterly fundamental, profoundly difficult. Plus he doesn't even have anything besides shopworn SF-fan fetish ideas about whether the entire idea of living on Mars makes even a lick of sense, even for the objective of putting our eggs in more than one planetary basket. I can buy that he might be able to manufacture a rocket that can get there, and maybe even a landing vehicle that can get humans to the surface. Maybe, maybe, one that can get them off the surface, though that's a different kettle of fish. But even with fueling in orbit, putting one hundred people in that rocket for an 80-day voyage and then just somehow having them build everything they need to survive indefinitely from the raw materials on Mars, since there's no way even with drops sent ahead to provide everything they'd need to become self-sustaining before they all starve, suffocate and die of thirst. Sorry, no way, no how, not with anything available in the next two or three decades even in the most optimistic funding scenarios. And doing it through funding just tossed into the project by aspirant travellers, other private companies, and public agencies alongside whatever he's going to contribute while keeping all of them totally out of the loop on any decisions related to the project? Also not going to happen no matter how much he thumbs through his copy of Atlas Shrugged.

Try saying that in a Space-related webforum  :awesome_for_real:

Edit:

And of course it's not easier arguing against this if serious outlets like Slate write articles titled "Elon wants to put a million people on Mars. He might do it." (http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/09/29/musk_reveals_spacex_plans_to_colonize_mars.html)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 29, 2016, 04:47:51 PM
Which is the whole problem I have with SpaceX.

Musk is hero-worshipped by the "neckbeard" community so much that being critical of anything he says is like you killed their firstborn. They bring out the knives at any remotely critical comment about SpaceX, Tesla, or Musk himself. Then, on the flip side, you say anything positive about ANY other company building rockets and you are shouted down by the mob.

Taking the stuff he announced at anything close to face value is like watching the Jetsons in the 1960s and believing that was what 1975 America would look like.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2016, 05:14:50 PM
Yes. Even if one disagrees with Khaldun and considers the idea workable in general, the presentation contains so many hair-raising details that should set of any bullshit detector:

Such as the planned 1000x (one-thousand) times re-use of the huge 42-engine first stage. Even 50 times would be a technical revolution...
The 200k/per person flight-price is calculated with the amortization over 1000 flights as well btw...

Or the price of colony ship for 100 people, departure mass 2250 tons. Will be able to land on Mars and Earth: 200 m $. In other words, less than a Boeing 777 or 1/10th of a Space Shuttle

How...?  :oh_i_see:


Change of topic:

Rosetta performed her collision burn, duration 208 seconds.

Next stop: Surface of 67P in about 13 hours from now. 12 years of operation are coming to end. :heartbreak:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtjUN1BWAAAkSRr.jpg)

Once upon a time... Rosetta's grand finale (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVKFyFbfpOI)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 29, 2016, 07:03:24 PM
I actually think it's workable and I like the idea. Which is EXACTLY why I think everyone who agrees should be grabbing pitchforks and torches and going after Musk, because he's gonna fuck the whole thing over when it turns out in 2025 he's snuck off to a tax haven island with what's left of the $100,000 checks some possible passengers wrote him.

The thing that I should not have to tell an arch-capitalist like Musk who masturbates to pictures of Ayn Rand is you gotta have a profit motive. There is no profit motive to going to Mars. If it was easy to make Mars colonies, we'd already have pizza shops on Vinson Massif in Antarctica, a vastly more forgiving place. If Musk were serious, that is exactly what he'd do: take a prototype "Interplanetary Transport" into orbit successfully and land it with 200 colonists in interior Antarctica and test making a colony from scratch with the materials in the rocket, no assistance from anywhere. At least there's water and air and non-contaminated soil. If they can't do it and have to call home for rescue, it's not ready. If they can do it, it's probably still not ready, but you're close. But Musk just wants to go go go because he has this thing that says, "I am the savior of all human beings" in his head. It's dumb and the only people who fall for it are people with an equally dumb form of beta-male self-celebration thrumming through their brains. It's a con game at best, a lunatic religious movement at worst.

I want us to be out there in the galaxy as well. The fact is that we're only getting there, at least in our short-term future, via robotic probes. A real visionary understands that we're at the bottom of a well more fierce than gravity, it's a well called time. The things we want to do at our most visionary happen only at time scales that make the vanity of someone like Elon Musk irrelevant. The real visionaries might learn to accept their smallness in the big picture of things and do the small but wonderful things that put us on the road to being something more than they are. No one will remember us, if we do our job right, when the grand and beautiful things that might come to pass eventually bless us as a species.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on September 29, 2016, 07:48:43 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtjUN1BWAAAkSRr.jpg)

Digging the 20-year old UI/window manager they are using still.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 29, 2016, 08:06:41 PM
Wasn't Musk the hyperloop guy too?

Because I admit, I don't know much about public transport, but I could spot some kinda big "Whats" in there, at least with the rough budget and speed/time estimates he gave. (Like I'm pretty sure purchasing the land, or the right of ways at least, wouldn't be nearly that cheap. And also, you can't maintain maximum speed between two endpoints unless those are the ONLY places the thing stops, which didn't jive with some of the hype. And no talk about recovering from errors or accidents, and a whole lot of engineering stuff kinda hand-waved away).

Too much hype, not even meat.

Same problem here.

"Yeah, that SEEMS like it works, but um....how are you gonna turn those stages around that fast? What are you doing about radiation -- solar flare possibilities and the like? How the fuck do you plan to live on Mars, which is about as inhospitable as the Moon. Hell, why aren't you going to the Moon which is just as killer, but has a lower escape velocity? Try stuff out right next door, you know?"


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on September 29, 2016, 09:57:13 PM
Not only that I imagine that the Moon could have a real profit motive with it for mining.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2016, 09:59:02 PM
Digging the 20-year old UI/window manager they are using still.

 :grin: :grin:

Since the Rosetta mission was designed in the early 1990 (start 1992) there is lot's of old shit...

Rosetta runs with a Dynex 16 Bit @ 25 Mhz CPU from the 80ies

Philea runs 2 RTX2010 @ 8 Mhz, plus another 8 of them for the scientifc experiments. The software is in Forth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forth_(programming_language)).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 29, 2016, 11:08:11 PM
Not only that I imagine that the Moon could have a real profit motive with it for mining.

I saw a show that said that one of the keys to cheap nuclear fusion is mining Helium-3 on the moon as it is prevalent there but is insanely rare on Earth.

But these "visionaries" don't want to go to the Moon because men have been there before and you don't get as much recognition for "first guy in 50 years to land on the Moon".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sky on September 29, 2016, 11:34:56 PM
Space tourism to the moon would be huge.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 30, 2016, 07:02:39 AM
Completely. There's a genuine profit motive. Look what rich assholes will pay to be carried to the top of Mt. Everest, more or less. Offer them a chance to be one of a small number of tourists to go to the moon and they'd probably be willing to pay $100 million for it or more. Any technology for building a base there will work elsewhere in the solar system. If something goes actually wrong in the base and you have a regular pipeline for getting people up there and back, it might not be a death sentence. If you can learn to make water and air and food for a moonbase, you can do it anywhere. Helium-3 might have genuine value in our actually existing economy.

But yeah, Musk's not doing any of that because vanity. And he's got perfect California Ideology armor: you're just a second-hander if you try to pull the great visionary down, you're just a collectivist filled with jealousy for a man of vision!

No, we're just people who actually like the idea of human beings actually slowly expanding into the wider solar system and don't want to see a preening narcissist ruin it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 30, 2016, 09:06:30 AM
I missed it, sleepting until 15:00 :(

Rosetta's last image:
2.4x2.4 meter across, from a distance of 51 meters (new data suggest 23 meters), seconds before impact. Blurry because it's too close for the cameras to focus.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtmaiDqXYAAyrY3.jpg:large)


Higher quality image , from 1.2 km, showing an area of 33x33 meters.

NASA Deep Space Network helped out at the end of mission as the 70-Meters antennnas allowed for a higher bandwith in the crucial phase.

For Chimpy Trippy, old-timey UI showing incoming packets:
Rosetta was programmed to turn off once a sudden shift in orientation, as caused by touching the surface, was detected, so that definitely was the last of it.

And here is the final update in the video series:
Once upon a time...Mission complete (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcYo-qQ5HbA)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on September 30, 2016, 09:42:36 AM
Trippy commented on the UI, not me. I spend enough time living in 1990s IBM interfaces that I don't get that nostalgic for old school computers :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 30, 2016, 09:45:42 AM
Trippy commented on the UI, not me. I spend enough time living in 1990s IBM interfaces that I don't get that nostalgic for old school computers :drill:

Your names are too close!  :-P


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on September 30, 2016, 09:06:09 PM
If you want profitable "in our lifetime" space exploitation, you have to be looking at asteroid/comet capture. Anything else is a bid for the history books, not the bottom line, the costs of pulling it out of the gravity wells will make it nonviable.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on September 30, 2016, 09:12:30 PM
Trippy commented on the UI, not me. I spend enough time living in 1990s IBM interfaces that I don't get that nostalgic for old school computers :drill:
There's also the fact that a LOT of the engineers prefer simplistic UI's.

I did design work for Shuttle and Station, and their primary requirements were data flexibility (they wanted to be able to attach to a giant range of data types and sources) and display flexibility (they wanted to be able to do graphs, real-time numbers, dials, buttons, colors, alarms and to be able to customize it by group and even by individual).

And by and large, the more experienced they got? The simpler the displays. Mostly numbers, with the occasional small graph.

We had some we made for "visitors" (stuff like 2D outlines of the shuttle, where the wing leading edges and nose changed colors according to thermal measurements during landing, along with temperature readouts) but the folks using it? They often just made boxes, each with several readings (just numbers, colored by ranges sometimes). Sometimes hooked to audible alarms.  Admittedly some of them mimicked the layout of the control panels and such, so they could direct astronauts to the right area to double check the telemetry against onboard readings.

But mostly it was lots of numbers, in lots of colors, sometiems with flashing borders or background colors -- critical stuff easy to spot at a glance, warnings and problem areas jumping out, etc.

Managers often wanted fancy. Engineers wanted simple, modifiable, and without frills. They wanted a display they could pack with sensor readings in an order they liked, that reacted exactly as they liked.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 04, 2016, 06:05:36 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ct2hiOCW8AATTqR.jpg)

The JWST main mirror becomes quite impressive when pictured besides humans for scale...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on October 05, 2016, 09:45:01 AM
The JWST main mirror becomes quite impressive when pictured besides humans for scale...

Sigh...  bananas!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 05, 2016, 12:31:42 PM
Blue Origin update:

Blue Origin flew New Shepard today and tested the Launch Abort System (LAS) during midflight. It worked.

Surprisingly the first stage kept going as well and then performed a successful landing. Because the way the LAS is built - the solid rocket motor is on the downside of the capsule and shoots directly onto the first stage - this wasn't a given at all.
Impressive demonstration by Blue Origin.

But watch yourself: Liftoff is at 1:06:18 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqUIX3Z4r3k)


SpaceX update:

Gywnne Shotwell gave an interview today at the Asia-Pacific APSCC conference. Two intersting takeaways:

1) She specified the earlier investigation statement saying the pad explosion was caused "anomaly into the Helium system" into "We believe that the composite over wrapped pressure vessel [the helium bottle], known as a COPv, let go in the tank."

I believe I deserve a pat on the head for calling it!

2) SpaceX reduces the price discount for booking a re-used first stage to 10% (formerly 30%). She justified that by the higher reliability of an already-flown rocket.

Considering how much Musk was touting re-usabilty as a game-changer for the last years, a 10 % saving sounds rather underwhelming.


ESA Update:

The Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter is going to reach Mars on 19th and drop the Schiapperlli lander before starting it's science mission.

EDM Schiapperli (Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module) is basically a 600 kg testbed for the landing system of the 2020 Exomars rover. It's job ist just to land, really. It has a minor science suite that will work a few days, than batteries run out - no solar panels or RTG even.

Definitely not the cheapest way to do this, but very typical of ESA's careful, step-by-step approach.

Picture of both, EDM on top:
(http://i.imgur.com/NZ0BMuN.jpg)

Exomars, with Human and Mars Express for scale:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1b/ExoMars_TGO_size_vs_Mars_Express.svg/1920px-ExoMars_TGO_size_vs_Mars_Express.svg.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: KallDrexx on October 05, 2016, 01:11:49 PM
As much as I agree with the sentiment here that Musk is over-sensationalized, the one thing I at least am happy with is the fact that since everyone is head over heels in love with everything that comes out of his mouth, it at least is spurring good competition in the space (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-04/boeing-ceo-vows-to-beat-musk-to-mars-as-new-space-race-beckons)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on October 05, 2016, 02:17:25 PM
I actually think it's workable and I like the idea. Which is EXACTLY why I think everyone who agrees should be grabbing pitchforks and torches and going after Musk, because he's gonna fuck the whole thing over when it turns out in 2025 he's snuck off to a tax haven island with what's left of the $100,000 checks some possible passengers wrote him.

The thing that I should not have to tell an arch-capitalist like Musk who masturbates to pictures of Ayn Rand is you gotta have a profit motive. There is no profit motive to going to Mars. If it was easy to make Mars colonies, we'd already have pizza shops on Vinson Massif in Antarctica, a vastly more forgiving place. If Musk were serious, that is exactly what he'd do: take a prototype "Interplanetary Transport" into orbit successfully and land it with 200 colonists in interior Antarctica and test making a colony from scratch with the materials in the rocket, no assistance from anywhere. At least there's water and air and non-contaminated soil. If they can't do it and have to call home for rescue, it's not ready. If they can do it, it's probably still not ready, but you're close. But Musk just wants to go go go because he has this thing that says, "I am the savior of all human beings" in his head. It's dumb and the only people who fall for it are people with an equally dumb form of beta-male self-celebration thrumming through their brains. It's a con game at best, a lunatic religious movement at worst.

I want us to be out there in the galaxy as well. The fact is that we're only getting there, at least in our short-term future, via robotic probes. A real visionary understands that we're at the bottom of a well more fierce than gravity, it's a well called time. The things we want to do at our most visionary happen only at time scales that make the vanity of someone like Elon Musk irrelevant. The real visionaries might learn to accept their smallness in the big picture of things and do the small but wonderful things that put us on the road to being something more than they are. No one will remember us, if we do our job right, when the grand and beautiful things that might come to pass eventually bless us as a species.
Is Musk a Randian?  I don't follow him very closely, so just curious.  He's always thrown money after his vision regardless of personal cost to himself (but unlike other idiots before him, actually has viable business plans to make it work instead of fantasies).  He's rooted most of his business's in California and remained committed to keeping headquarters (And thus higher taxes) and a lot of manufacturing (with its very strong pro-union laws.  Hell, Tesla is manifacturing in the Bay Area) in state, the exact opposite of what every arch libertarian would do.  From that, I figured he had to be somewhat liberal minded.

Not sure I understand the hatred for his grand vision stuff.  He likes to come out with this grand plans and promote them, outlandish as they are.  Of course hyper-loop is most likely a dream.  Of course there is no way (unless the government decides to throw shit tons of money at him) that we are building 100 man rocket ships to mars by 2025.  He likes to announce these aggressive plans and schedules, which are almost impossible (even with the Falcon Heavy).  But who cares?  It drives up interest, and moves the national conversation forward on these topics.  Something that wouldn't happen if he had kept his mouth shut or made a boring press conference about maybe possibly doing something 50 years from now.  He's pushing public perception that it is possible for us to accomplish big things again, something most Americans seem to feel we haven't been able to do for decades.  In the 50's and 60's, we still had celebrity scientist/industrialist and glamorized the field.  It drove kids into the field of hard sciences.  Since then, the public has had rarely anybody like that.  Just faceless corporate CEO's who golden parachute between companies.  So I'm happy to see him make his bold plans, take it with a grain of salt, and move on.  At the very least it's probably inspiring a few more kids to study the hard sciences than would otherwise happen.  We need more figures like him, warts and all.

But anyways, most of his grandstanding is a tiny side show.  Both SpaceX and Tesla continue to do well, and have sane plans.  Even if both fail, they've already had a massive impact in their respective fields, and caused a lot of positive change.  So I give him a lot of credit for that, regardless of anything else.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 05, 2016, 03:41:58 PM
Is Musk a Randian?  I don't follow him very closely, so just curious. 
He describes himself as "slightly Libertarian" and contrasts that specifically against Peter Thiel as an extreme Libertarian. He's certainly not a "privatize the sidewalks, selfishness is the highest virtue" Randian. His political activity has largely been in the arena of fighting the dealership system and their cartel monopoly on selling cars. I think the Randites would love to claim him as the embodiment of the Galtian ubermensch, but he doesn't have any interest in them.

Setting aside the hero worship, you still have to admit that what he has actually done is impressive. How many visionaries have failed miserably at starting a car maker? Before SpaceX, private space launch was just rich hobbyists, playing out their Boy Scout model-launching on a larger scale.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on October 05, 2016, 03:46:14 PM
I'm not sure he's as explicitly Randian as Thiel, but he definitely is a major subscriber to California Ideology libertarianism. So much of his public persona resembles the way Rand describes Howard Roark in The Fountainhead that I think he must have some sympathy for Objectivism. But yeah, he does do public-private collaboration more than some other folks in his world.

What I dislike about the grand vision stuff is the flim-flammery involved--the confident answers to things that any good scientist or engineer would feel obliged to be skeptical about. Skepticism is necessary for science--there is to my taste too much of a resemblance between Musk spouting utter nonsense that he has to (he had better!) know is nonsense and the general degree to which Americans now seem to think it's ok to believe in whatever facts or truths make you feel most validated. When we make special excuses for stuff that is simply untrue or implausible (say, Musk claiming that we're already ready to build sustainable habitats for hundreds or thousands of people on Mars from Martian materials) because we find it inspiring, we're saying: it's ok to bullshit when we find the bullshit pleasant to our ears, and it's bad when we don't like the character of the bullshit. Rather than what we should be saying, which is that great visions require a maturity of purpose and a respect for reality.

To take a way more modest example, it's pretty clear now that the space shuttle was a grossly premature mistake--we built it before we were ready, before there was a need, and before considering some alternatives. One could say, "Well, it inspired people" and one could say, "Well, it led to improvements in materials science, etc."  The same should be said about the ISS: to make it affordable, we cut most of what would have made it truly useful. It's mostly for the propaganda optics and for studying the physiological effects of long-term space habitation. Useful in some sense, but not at that price. A grand visionary should stick to advocacy, to imagination. Gerald O'Neill was a grand visionary: he thought about and spoke about space habitats in a way that was inspiring and useful. If he'd been a billionaire who dumped a huge amount of money in trying to force the creation of one of his designs in the 1980s, that would have been wasteful and vain. I worry about Musk sucking up a lot of resources and energies on something that is genuinely not going to work out and that is in some sense the wrong idea even for what he has in mind, which is to get human beings off the planet and living elsewhere. (I also think frankly that spending any resources trying to study how to terraform Mars rather than investigating how to repair our own biosphere is an even dumber and potentially more dangerous kind of distraction.)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on October 05, 2016, 04:25:54 PM
See, I'm not worried about that because as far as I can tell, Musk is hardly spending a dime on the extra fancy shit he likes to go off about.  Hyperloop!  Great, here's some money for some other random company to attempt it, not us (and despite it all, there are legitimate merits to the idea, even if implementation across a large state is highly unlikely).  Giant rockets flying to Mars!  Great, all of SpaceX's budget is still directed entirely towards incrementally making their realistic rockets become reality or existing ones better.  When he convinces people to give him money, its for the real projects that do real things.  Despite what he says, I'm very confident that if SpaceX continues to be successful, they will target the moon and go there first long before they attempt a Mars mission.  He runs to the media with his grand fantasies and aggressive schedules, but actually sticks to realistic shit that works.  He will actually peruse the sustainable, profitable path despite what musings about the future he might make.  At least that's my take on it, based on what he's done so far.  I'm sure he could fuck up and go nuts eventually.

Even with his ego, he manages not to spout vile stupid shit on a day to day basis.  That alone already puts him in the top 5% of rich egotistical people category.

Also:
Quote
The thing that I should not have to tell an arch-capitalist like Musk who masturbates to pictures of Ayn Rand is you gotta have a profit motive.
Quote
not sure he's as explicitly Randian as Thiel, but he definitely is a major subscriber to California Ideology libertarianism. So much of his public persona resembles the way Rand describes Howard Roark in The Fountainhead that I think he must have some sympathy for Objectivism.
Are two fairly different things.   :-P


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lamaros on October 12, 2016, 10:05:57 PM
For someone that doesn't follow him closely you sure have a lot of opinions Teleku! Slightly more reasoned than the reddit crowd, but not much!

I also think frankly that spending any resources trying to study how to terraform Mars rather than investigating how to repair our own biosphere is an even dumber and potentially more dangerous kind of distraction.

Completely and utterly this. Going to Mars to try and "save humanity" is about as thought through at this point as the plot of Intersteller.

We could have all out nuclear war on earth for the rest of the century and it's still the only place that human beings can self-sustainingly live.

pxib captured the point quite well in the Interstellar thread:

Quote
It's a backwards-looking ideal that remembers colonization.

Antarctica is a nicer place to live than Mars. The Sahara is a nicer place to live than Mars. Giant rafts in the middle of the sea are a nicer place to live than Mars. It's easier to grow food in any of those places than on Mars. Easier to ship food there if you can't grow it. Easier to move there. Easier to move away.

Back in the day the ships to the colonies found air, a water table, occasionally habitable temperatures, native plants and animals. Mars has none of these things.

Mars is also the second-most liveable planet we've got within twenty trillion miles. Humans have, in the past, traveled almost one ten millionth that far. It cost them a substantial chunk of the resources of what will be remembered as the wealthiest, most powerful nation in history.

Crowded, plagued by mass extinction, choked with pollution... future Earth is still a more pleasant, less expensive place to live than anywhere we are ever likely to travel. The more crowded and choked it gets, the less likely we'll be able to go looking.

If you want to terraform a planet, start with this one.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 12, 2016, 10:43:47 PM
It would be easier to establish colonies on Ceres or other major asteroids than Mars. The only thing Mars has going for it is convenient supplies of carbon dioxide. Which isn't nothing, but it's at the bottom of a comparatively steep gravity well. By the time you have the space transportation capability it would take to lift the necessary supplies to and then land them on Mars, you can take the same amount to Ceres and ship water and carbon from there all over the solar system.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Draegan on October 13, 2016, 08:18:42 AM
So we're going straight to creating belters.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on October 13, 2016, 01:41:19 PM
For someone that doesn't follow him closely you sure have a lot of opinions Teleku! Slightly more reasoned than the reddit crowd, but not much!
I follow SpaceX, not Musk.  Thus everything I know of him comes in the form of his press conferences and news articles about him and SpaceX.  In all that, I never saw crazy Randian stuff, or anything that leads me to believe he's just trying to make a bunch of money and run off.  So I was honestly asking then if somebody could point out stuff I was missing.  Otherwise, I enjoy the vague ideal of a nerd taking his billions in ill gotten silicon valley gains and trying to accomplish some specific great technical feat to advance civilization, rather than donate it all away to random charity.

I fully agree with the sentiment on colonization.  That wont happen until technology advances FAR further than it already has.  As in, we can fly into/around space at near zero cost, and have the technology to economically terriform an entire planet into earth like conditions.  In other words, probably not in the millennium, if ever.  Small scale outposts on the moon (or even mars) for scientific research are something doable in the near future, and something I support in the same way I think the international space station is a great thing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 13, 2016, 02:13:26 PM
The current Amos-6 fast-fire-explosion-anomaly theory, as per Elon Musk himself, speaking at the NRO:

“We are close to figuring it out. It might have been formation of solid oxygen in the carbon over-wrap of one of the bottles in the upper stage tanks. If it was liquid it would have been squeezed out but under pressure it could have ignited with the carbon. This is the leading theory right now, but it is subject to confirmation.  The other thing we discovered is that we can exactly replicate what happened on the launch pad if someone shoots the rocket. We don’t think that is likely this time around, but we are definitely going to have to take precautions against that in the future. We looked at who would want to blow up a SpaceX rocket. That turned out to be a long list. I think it is unlikely this time, but it is something we need to recognize as a real possibility in the future.”

So that would be an unexpected result of supercooling, something Morat suggested.

His "blow up SpaceX rockets" comet seems a bit weird though. Unless he is suggesting inner-US competitors, and I hope he is not, why would a SpaceX rocket be targeted any more than an Atlas V or Delta IV?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on October 13, 2016, 02:24:33 PM
He is literally pulling a "ULA is shooting at our rockets on the pad to sabotage us!"....

Dude is fucking full of himself.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Draegan on October 13, 2016, 05:32:42 PM
Of course hes full of himself. He made a private space company and millions of people take him seriously when he says were going to Mars soon.

I'd be full of myself if I made a rocket be able to land itself.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Venkman on October 13, 2016, 05:38:20 PM
I'm not up on the science, so would love a summary, but I don't get Mars. There's nothing there we can use short of stocking the place with Moisture Vaporators to dig up water for refueling over the next 100 years. Wouldn't it just be cheaper to skip it all together and just land all that stuff on one of the bigger asteroids if we want to jump to the outer solar system? Very little gravity to power through.

For Earth 2, I would think terraforming Venus would be better. Deadly and corrosion though the atmosphere is, at least it has one to start with. And it's only going the "wrong way" when it's between us and the sun. "Only" requires a different class of materials sciences.

And also, in case we thought we knew the size of the universe, we were off by a factor of 20 (http://www.astronomy.com/news/2016/10/the-universe-is-20-times-more-vast-than-we-thought).*

* And by the way, looks like they changed the article title. The web URL says 20X but the article title's been change to 10. So what is it? Were we 90% off or 95%?!?!?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 13, 2016, 05:52:37 PM
I'm not up on the science, so would love a summary, but I don't get Mars. There's nothing there we can use short of stocking the place with Moisture Vaporators to dig up water for refueling over the next 100 years. Wouldn't it just be cheaper to skip it all together and just land all that stuff on one of the bigger asteroids if we want to jump to the outer solar system? Very little gravity to power through.

For Earth 2, I would think terraforming Venus would be better. Deadly and corrosion though the atmosphere is, at least it has one to start with. And it's only going the "wrong way" when it's between us and the sun. "Only" requires a different class of materials sciences.

And also, in case we thought we knew the size of the universe, we were off by a factor of 20 (http://www.astronomy.com/news/2016/10/the-universe-is-20-times-more-vast-than-we-thought).*

* And by the way, looks like they changed the article title. The web URL says 20X but the article title's been change to 10. So what is it? Were we 90% off or 95%?!?!?

I don't get Mars either. At least not the colonisation and terraforming plans. When Musk comes up with estimations such as he expects a Mars colony to be independent and self-sustainable within the first 40 - 100 years in case something happens to Earth (his words at the big IAC presention) I tend to lose interest.

A more conventional, science based human mission to Mars would make sense though. Aside from the cost-benefit issue that always crops up when moving from robotic to human space flight.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on October 13, 2016, 07:33:14 PM
A viable colony on the moon makes a billion times more sense in every way.

Except in terms of the "I got there first" dick-measuring contest.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on October 13, 2016, 07:39:36 PM
I think terraforming Venus is too difficult.  Its atmosphere has 96% CO2, and (4% combined) H2SO4, water, and N2.   This means there are many issues:

- Venus does not have the huge quantities of nitrogen required for an atmosphere that's breathable by us.
- Not enough water either.
- Too much CO2, which is poisonous and is heavier than N2, so dumping nitrogen into the atmosphere won't work until the CO2 is gone.

So, IMO, comet bombardment can't really be used to add the water; photosynthesis must be used to break down the carbon dioxide, to get rid of it.  Nitrogen has to be collected from Jupiter's outer clouds or from Titan's atmosphere, so if we're shipping stuff from Jupiter, might as well collect Nitrogen AND Hydrogen, and burn the Hydrogen to make water on Venus, then dump in the Nitrogen to create the 78/21 atmosphere that we're used to.

Mars is easy by comparison:  it has gravity and a rocky surface, all you need is to build some domes and bring in the (relatively small) quantities of atmosphere and water that you need.  It's a few hundred round trips between Earth and Mars, rather than a billion round trips between Jupiter and Venus.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on October 14, 2016, 10:32:13 AM
Some time ago I read about having floating cities in the upper atmosphere of Venus as that might be a nice place to be.  Related Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_Venus)

Edit:
Oh and there is of course HAVOC (https://sacd.larc.nasa.gov/branches/space-mission-analysis-branch-smab/smab-projects/havoc/).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 16, 2016, 01:01:47 PM
ExoMars update:

Schiaperlli has successfully detached from the Trace Gas Orbiter. Tense moments included:

The High-Gain antenna had to be re-positioned better deal with the shock forces of the separation. When it came back there was a strong carrier signal but no telemetry. Cue everyone standing in a circle looking concerned followed by a cut of webcast as meetings were called.

Now data is back as well, everything fine. They didn't yet announce a cause or what they did to fix the issue.

Landing is on the 19th.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cu5V0ORXEAoUsOX.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on October 16, 2016, 02:51:56 PM
If you're terraforming Venus, you're a civilization that has technology that's probably better spent on building megastructures of various kinds, etc.--by the time you plausibly can terraform Venus, you'd just be doing it for shits and giggles.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 18, 2016, 03:50:49 PM
Rather tired, so short text-light update for tomorrow's Schiaparelli landing

Video 3m14s explaining the descent (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j0Zfwdcfwo)


Infographic - click for full size:

(http://i.imgur.com/NIcseG5.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/NIcseG5.jpg)

In short:

1) Aerobraking
2) Parachute breaking
3) Breaking with thrusters
4) 2 meter freefall
5) Breaking through crushable honey-comb structure.


The first activation of EDM showed that a radio-telescope in Pune, India can pick up it's faint UHF signal, thus we will know the outcome in almost real-time. If the signal doesn't suddenly stop it will have been a success.

NASA is helping out with downloading the landing and science data. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Maven and Odyssey will all (together with the Trace Gas Orbiter) communicate with EDM during their passes.

Something that people complain about is that, while Schiaperelli will take 15 pictures during the descent phase, there aren't any surface cameras, so no after-landing images.

Edit: Atlought there is a very low chance that Opportunity might get a glimpse of landing Schiaparelli.

(https://i.redd.it/1gqxqrpd38sx.gif)


Questions?  :-)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 18, 2016, 06:43:14 PM
It appears that this is essentially a big technology demonstration, there isn't much of a science package and the batteries will only last a few days. Is that a fair assessment?

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 01:30:59 AM
It appears that this is essentially a big technology demonstration, there isn't much of a science package and the batteries will only last a few days. Is that a fair assessment?

--Dave

Yes. EDM mission's is to demonstrate that esa has the capability to build a probe that survives the Entry, Descent and Landing phase.

For 2016 the science part will be the Trace Gas Orbiter.


The ground-side half of the research begins in 2020 with the Rover (special feature: 2 meter drill) and the surface platform it lands on (equipped with solar panels and more comprehensive instruments than Schiaparelli).

Edit: And a picture:

All 28 45-m antennas of the earlier mentioned 'Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope' in Pune, India will try to track the faint UHF signals of EDM during landing.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CvHQj03WcAAP5JS.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 10:21:33 AM
On phone

GMRT India tracked signal to close to surface, then gone...

As tracking from earth was always experimental it's unsure what this means.

We need to wait for Mars Express to realign for a earth transmission. Another hour or so.



Fuuuuuuck. Please work!



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 11:15:13 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/PEYq495.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 11:18:44 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/J97qQHp.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 11:49:23 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/sk7sxCB.png)

That's from the TGO, confirming that it performed the MOI (Mars Orbit Insertion) successful.

Without being mean to Schiaperelli, TGO is the main part, losing it would be worse.


Regarding Schiaperelli, Mars Express received the carrier signal, but the information was not enough confirm the health of the lander.

TGO will transmit detailed telemetry later. We have to wait for another 1:30 hours.

Edit: I will also try being less excited.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 12:04:36 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/gLZSLTR.png)  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 19, 2016, 01:02:59 PM
Last info is that the contact was lost several hundred meters above ground, during the powered descent phase, after thrust r activation but before touchdown.

Edit 20:18 CEST: So what we have is that Mars Express detected twice a change in the EDL carrier signal Doppler shift. This shows the breaking action of first the parachutes and later the thruster. Than before scheduled touchdown...Loss of Signal.

Waiting for pass of NASA's MRO. If that data isn't conclusive than later at the night TGO will come into sight, it has the actual telemetry data.

Edit 20:30 CEST: Mission director: 1) TGO is successful in orbit and working 2) EDM signal was received for the majority of the time, but was lost before supposed touchdown. More info tomorrow morning.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on October 20, 2016, 08:16:49 AM
Well let's hope it's not another metric to imperial error.  This is the second ESA probe lost to Mars isn't it?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on October 20, 2016, 09:17:00 AM
Headlines this morning say the parachute jettisoned too early.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on October 20, 2016, 10:03:51 AM
Yeah, seems like it.

In other news, Juno went into safe mode for reasons that are not yet understood. It has come back and seems fine, but there are still a lot of worries about what happened, apparently.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lamaros on October 20, 2016, 05:57:41 PM
Yeah, seems like it.

In other news, Juno went into safe mode for reasons that are not yet understood. It has come back and seems fine, but there are still a lot of worries about what happened, apparently.


We found the alien observation post, so they had to quickly hack in and pretend it saw nothing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 21, 2016, 01:43:10 AM
Headlines this morning say the parachute jettisoned too early.

The (public) knowledge as of now is:

- Areobreaking and most of the parachute phase were nominal.
- 15 seconds before end of the parachute phase it was jettesioned prematurtly.
- After this the thrusters fired for only 3-4 seconds
- Another 19 seconds of telemetry were received, this was probably the free-fall until ground.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 21, 2016, 02:30:46 AM
Well let's hope it's not another metric to imperial error.  This is the second ESA probe lost to Mars isn't it?

To know my knowledge Beagle 2 wasn't an ESA but a British UKSA mission, but technicalities asides, yes there was a prior attempt.

Technicalities not aside, the landing actually worked, the problem occurred when one of the solar panels didn't unfold, blocking the main antenna.

Beagle 2 had quite extreme constrains in time, volume, mass (74 kg for the entire lander) and monetary budget (it cost £66 million, the budget was half that).

Which lead to a very lean project and lots of innovations, but also some forced shortcuts: Drop testing was completely dropped (hehe) due to time constraints, lack of spare parts hampered shock and acceptence testing, not enough staff, etc..

Another area savings had to be made was live telemetry, which wasn't possible. When Beagle 2 didn't respond after landing it's fate was unknown for years until it was discovered by MRO.

The experience from this contributed to ESA's conservative - which now turns out be out prudent not conservative - approach of sending a landing demonstrator before the actual rover.

Another lesson learned is the telemetry: TGO received about 600 MiB from EDM which are now being analysed.


Some Beagle images:

(http://www.space.com/images/i/000/044/932/original/beagle-2-mars-lander.jpg)(http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2003/11/colin_pillinger/9639877-3-eng-GB/Colin_Pillinger_node_full_image_2.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 21, 2016, 12:28:13 PM
1) It currently looks like the fault lay with the Onboard Computer who commanded early released of parachute and premature retro-thruster shutdown.

Current analysis shows the altimeter provided correct data.


2) NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter found Schiaparelli:

(http://i.imgur.com/rNWqp6S.gif)

The dark spot is the impact crater, the bright spot below is the 12-m parachute.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 21, 2016, 06:23:38 PM
A nice comparison of Schiaperlli's and Opportunity's landing sites. They are "on the same map" so to speak. The green circle is EDM's landing elipse, the margin of error area where it could have landed. It sits pretty much right in the middle, showing that targeting was good.

Yellow is the path Opportunity has taken since it's landing in 2003. Astounding how "slow" these rovers are actually are.

(https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/4-mars/2016/20161021_Schiaparelli_landing_site_opportunity.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 24, 2016, 12:57:44 PM
Looks like the we are zeroing in on the cause. Preliminary info is that radar altimeter software timed out, making the general navigation software believe it was already on the ground, leading to shut-off of the retro thrusters.

Software really is more failure prone than hardware nowadays in space.

Also without being a programmer this looks like sloppy or non existing fault-handling to me... Maybe a resident expert can elaborate?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 04, 2016, 12:51:32 PM
More than half the time I read this thread and almost none of it makes sense. I just like to look at the pretty pictures, kinda like this one:

(http://i.imgur.com/HYdfv8N.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 04, 2016, 01:00:24 PM
I keep wondering why the explosion tends to arc out in a confined plane ahead of the spherical explosion.

I suspect there's a reason besides "It looks cool".


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 04, 2016, 01:06:14 PM
I'm gonna go ahead and blame gravity.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 04, 2016, 01:46:35 PM
No idea either. And doublly weird because I specifically remember reading that "flat explosions in space" (see: Alien Nostromo explosion or Star Wars II) are a movie convention and not realistic.

Obviously nature missed that memo. I'll investigate and report back.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 04, 2016, 02:12:18 PM
Well it is only an interpretation. But, if you have 2 dots that suddenly collide, I'd think the major activity would be with both expanding out from there leaving the plane at the point of contact untouched for a moment. Then magic happens.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 04, 2016, 06:26:33 PM
Stars are oblate spheroids distorted around their rotational axis, usually quite significantly. When they collapse, there is going to be more mass outside of the collapse zone around the equator than anywhere else. That is the matter that will form the resulting nebula.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: ajax34i on November 08, 2016, 09:09:35 PM
I keep wondering why the explosion tends to arc out in a confined plane ahead of the spherical explosion.

I suspect there's a reason besides "It looks cool".

Not sure why the confined plane, but supernovas aren't spherical / symmetrical explosions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ07sZKcUzs). 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bunk on November 09, 2016, 09:44:12 AM
So those of you that know better than me - is this entire thread dead now after last night?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 09, 2016, 10:01:32 AM
So those of you that know better than me - is this entire thread dead now after last night?

Got a bad feeling that a lot of threads will die after last night. But I doubt it since most space stuff that gets in the news comes out of private companies.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 09, 2016, 03:24:15 PM
So those of you that know better than me - is this entire thread dead now after last night?

Thinking Trump is a wildcard in that area too. Until 3 weeks ago the Trump campaign didn't have a space policy. They then hired fmr. Congressman Robert Walker as advisor with the task to draft one.

Some probably safe bets:

  • SLS will go on as it's the child of Congress/Senate and exists despite Obama's effort to kill it.
  • The same for Commercial Cargo/ Commercial Crew to the International Space Station. To one part these are year long contracts that are already locked in (and it's not as if there is an alternative.)
    They will also allow Trump to claim MAGA: Late 2018 / 2019 will be the first time American astronauts fly again in an American (=Boeing and SpaceX) capsules.
  • The civil earth observation programme and anything Earth Science (clime change...ewww) related will get cut. These are unpopular with Republicans anyway and Trump campaign already mentioned they want to focus away from that.

I am curious what happens to the Orion capsule service module[1]. There is NASA-ESA agreement that says that ESA  - as way to pay it's ISS share - will develop and build the first SM and then hand NASA the blueprints so they can make the next ones on their own. Behind the scenes however there are negations that ESA could supply the following SMs as well. No idea how a Trump administration (:oh_i_see:) will affect this.

[1]Contains the engines, propellant, oxygen, water, solar cells and so on. Attached below the Crew Module.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 09, 2016, 03:51:29 PM
I expect there will be a long list of climate scientists at NASA looking for new jobs on January 21, 2017.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on November 09, 2016, 04:21:57 PM
I keep wondering why the explosion tends to arc out in a confined plane ahead of the spherical explosion.

I suspect there's a reason besides "It looks cool".

Because the star is spinning around an axis and so isn't actually a sphere. Rather; large spinning objects in space are oblate spheroids(minus tidal forces, wind forces, and roughness from structural rigidity)

When they collapse, the poles collapse first*. They're the areas with the highest relative gravity. They're simultaneously closer to the center of mass and they are subject to less centrifugal forces. So when the entire thing collapses it is essentially turning into a disk which then explodes like a disk... because it is one.

This is the same type of phenomena (the spin) that produce various directional radiation beams, produces em fields and so on and so forth. Its also possible that those forces created by the object spinning have a similar effect on the explosion. I want to say that objects spin because collisions are unlikely to be head on, and the spin is a natural result of the sum of the forces. And of course spins can only really have one axis and so that will generate an equilibrium spin depending on the input of the initial mass velocities.

Small objects and objects without spin would explode in a perfect sphere where they to explode.

*Not a physicist; but this is what should happen as far as i can tell.

Fake edit: late but posting it anyway because ftge


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on November 09, 2016, 09:55:14 PM
Re: this thread and the current situation, recall also that Gingrich is a big space nut and has often advocated a major role for government in it; plus Trump has at least some ties to the Y Combinator/Elon Musk pro-space world through Thiel. So it might be one of those areas where his admin does some surprising stuff that's good-surprising or at least better than the usual Republican no-money-for-science thing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 14, 2016, 05:30:28 PM
Sooo....what I am reading is that the current NASA "Journey to Mars" strategy (referred to as Journey to Nowhere by detractors) doesn't have much support within Trump circles.

And that beneficiaries of that change in focus would be a) The Moon as destination, including ISRU (in-situ resource utilization > hydrogen) being mentioned and b) Re-usable launch vehicles for low cost access there --> SpaceX/Blue Origin.

And possibly (own interpretation starting here) c) ESA DG Jan Wörner's Moonvillage (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/23/is-a-moon-village-the-next-step-for-space-exploration-esas-chief-thinks-so) concept, something he has been pushing since he became Director General a year ago.

Interesting.

Moon village video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amYK5voqLSk)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lamaros on November 14, 2016, 08:16:33 PM
I'm pretty ambivalent about sending people to Mars. At this stage, what is the point beyond the symbology?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on November 14, 2016, 09:51:43 PM
Have you been watching the elections?  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Pennilenko on November 15, 2016, 05:34:06 PM
If I did not have a kid, I would hop on the first space craft to mars. Like right the fuck now. Because if I am going to die someday anyways, I want to die on another planet than I started on.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Kail on November 15, 2016, 09:48:57 PM
If I did not have a kid, I would hop on the first space craft to mars. Like right the fuck now. Because if I am going to die someday anyways, I want to die on another planet than I started on.

I'd head out tomorrow, if it didn't cost more money than I'd see in a million lifetimes.  Screw this planet, y'all on your own.  I'm gonna start my own biosphere, with blackjack, and hookers.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on November 16, 2016, 10:50:09 AM
Where does one hire space hookers?  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 16, 2016, 12:23:57 PM
Where does one hire space hookers?  :why_so_serious:

I'll give you a discount.  :why_so_serious:


ähm..



This tickles my "nice rocket" spot:

Ariane 5 being towed to the launch pad for tommorow's take-off. Cargo are 4 Galileo satellites (think Euro-GPS). Once they are in the air the constellation will be ready for initial services.

The short fairing (hasn't been used since 2009) gives the rocket a very unusual, stocky look. Also note the truck looking like a toy car compared to the launcher. ;D

(https://i.imgur.com/kJ8OIg0.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/kJ8OIg0.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 17, 2016, 12:30:09 PM
So....some images:



(http://i.imgur.com/dIsTouT.gif)


That is Soyuz MS-03.
In a few hours it will "contain" ISS Expedition 50 aka Oleg Novitskiy (Roscomos), Peggy Whitson (NASA) and Thomas Pesquet (ESA).


To give them some faces, here they are the Kremilin wall, about to lay flowers at Gagarins burial site.

(http://i.imgur.com/ce7Bbx0.jpg)

With all the nastiness of 2016 I find the international cooperation aspect of space flight something touchingly nice.  (Or is nicely touching? Someone help me out here please!)  :heart:

If you want to watch the launch, NASA TV is streaming live: Linky (https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public)

Lift-off is at 3:20 p.m EST / 20:20 UTC / 21:30 CET.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 17, 2016, 01:54:34 PM
Feeling a bit stressed tonight, so I hope you bear with some more space posting (keeps me occupied)...


Fun Fact:
There was only one time in the entire history of astronautics/cosmonautics that a Launch Escape System was used in an actual emergency.

It was another Soyuz Mission. Sojus T-10-1 in 1983 with 2 cosomonauts on board, launching to the Saljut 7 space station.

90 seconds before lift-off a valve failed to close and Kerosin spilled on the launch pad. That looked like this:


(http://i.imgur.com/JSW2zgL.gif)






When the ground crew realized the danger and tried to start the LAS nothing happened. It turned out that the fire already burned through the control cables to the launcher.

The radio back-up mechanism involved two technicians in two different buildings receiving a code-word, after which they were to press their activation buttons within 5 seconds of each other.

This took a few seconds to achieve. Only 2-3 seconds after the capsuled fired away the Soyuz rocket exploded below it:


(http://i.imgur.com/yJqLfmh.gif)



The two cosmonauts experienced a G-load of 14-17 G, but were unharmed and were able to fly several missions later.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on November 17, 2016, 06:17:45 PM
I'm a big fan of your work, please to be keeping it up.  :)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: lamaros on November 17, 2016, 06:55:16 PM
I'm a big fan of your work, please to be keeping it up.  :)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on November 17, 2016, 09:21:51 PM
I'm a big fan of your sex work, please to be keeping it up.  :)

 :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on November 20, 2016, 06:47:21 PM
Seems like the EM drive is real (http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published)

Such huge deal.  Really hopping someone doesn't find an error with testing methodology and that they can tweak it for more thrust/kW.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ironwood on November 21, 2016, 06:34:17 AM
That reads like a joke site.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 21, 2016, 12:00:18 PM
That reads like a joke site.
I thought that too. This part:

Quote from: http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published
The scientific community is also notoriously unconvinced about the propulsion system – just yesterday a Motherboard article on the EM Drive was deleted by the moderators of the popular subreddit r/Physics because they "consider the EM Drive to be unscientific".
So Reddit mods are now the science community?  :why_so_serious:

---
I'm a big fan of your work, please to be keeping it up.  :)
Will do.  :heart:

---
200 FPS super slow motion of the Galileo launch I talked early. (Also 75th successful start in a row) Youtube video: 24 seconds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nsjmHKHPOA)

Close up shot, same launch. Click the image for full size:

(http://i.imgur.com/jaJxlxG.jpg) (http://imgur.com/jaJxlxG)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on November 21, 2016, 01:57:31 PM
That reads like a joke site.

It looks like a click factory.

That said this, Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio-Frequency Cavity in Vacuum (http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/1.B36120), looks legitimate to my untrained eye as being from NASA's Advanced Propulsion Labs and seems to say exactly what the article reported.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on November 22, 2016, 12:59:32 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/3CB5Chi.jpg)

Found on reddit... This really blows my mind the more I think about it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on November 30, 2016, 08:06:25 PM
That reads like a joke site.

It looks like a click factory.

That said this, Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio-Frequency Cavity in Vacuum (http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/1.B36120), looks legitimate to my untrained eye as being from NASA's Advanced Propulsion Labs and seems to say exactly what the article reported.
People in my department were involved in fabricating test equipment (mostly hardening and/or inventing stuff to make delicate measurements in a very cold vacuum chamber, because the stuff they'd normally used wasn't vacuum or cold rated). And the gist they were getting back from the guys doing the testing was "How the fuck is it doing this? It can't be doing this".

I'm not saying they didn't miss something, but it wasn't through lack of trying. The guys testing it didn't believe it worked, and got increasingly annoyed as it continued to work, and basically worked their asses off trying to prove it didn't work.

As far as I know, that's the legit paper on it, and the gist is "The fucker seems to emit a very small thrust, and we don't know why". And then some language stating "And we tried the obvious shit, like testing it without the power on, and testing it in vacuum, and a whole bunch of other stuff. We're not stupid, and we ALSO know it can't possibly be doing this". Ending with "Will someone else PLEASE explain what the fuck is happening? Please?"


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 30, 2016, 08:32:06 PM
In essence, there is no way to explain it under existing theory, and they tested everything they could think of for what it might have been doing instead of actually producing thrust without reaction mass. Short of putting on in space to see if it can actually work when they do, they are open to ideas for how else to test it.

It's the fact that it works backwards that throws out most of the 'testing error' arguments. Sure, maybe thermal swelling or weird standing wave effects could possibly lead to a false thrust reading. But they wouldn't operate in reverse.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 01, 2016, 01:22:00 PM
Launch failure alert :heartbreak:


Progress MS-04, an unmanned cargo spacecraft, enroute to the ISS crashed in Russia.

Telemetry was lost 383 seconds after launch, when the craft was still attached to the Soyuz carrier rocket, whose third stage was working at that time.

That's about all that is known so far.


(http://www.russianspaceweb.com/images/spacecraft/manned/space_stations/iss/progress_ms/ms04/insertion_1.jpg)

Edit: Picture of Progress in trouble near Biysk, Sibiria.

(http://i.imgur.com/5zTlGcF.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on December 01, 2016, 01:43:02 PM
In essence, there is no way to explain it under existing theory, and they tested everything they could think of for what it might have been doing instead of actually producing thrust without reaction mass. Short of putting on in space to see if it can actually work when they do, they are open to ideas for how else to test it.

It's the fact that it works backwards that throws out most of the 'testing error' arguments. Sure, maybe thermal swelling or weird standing wave effects could possibly lead to a false thrust reading. But they wouldn't operate in reverse.

--Dave

Shits leaking in from other dimensions. We play with it more and it becomes full blown Cthulu time.

Which would be awesome in a very fucking horrible way.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on December 01, 2016, 06:47:39 PM
The way this year's gone? No, it's just par for the course and would likely be met with an apathetic, "yeah, that figures. "


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on December 01, 2016, 07:08:09 PM
After the never-ending pile of shit that 2016 has been, I think I might welcome the Sleeper rising from Ry'leh to reclaim the Earth.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on December 01, 2016, 08:24:13 PM
Why do you think 2017 will be better?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Hawkbit on December 01, 2016, 09:03:32 PM
Do you want Tunguska events? Because that's how you get Tunguska events.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on December 01, 2016, 10:50:06 PM
In essence, there is no way to explain it under existing theory, and they tested everything they could think of for what it might have been doing instead of actually producing thrust without reaction mass. Short of putting on in space to see if it can actually work when they do, they are open to ideas for how else to test it.

It's the fact that it works backwards that throws out most of the 'testing error' arguments. Sure, maybe thermal swelling or weird standing wave effects could possibly lead to a false thrust reading. But they wouldn't operate in reverse.

--Dave
I've seen all sorts of weird-ass theories. About half of them break physics, and the other half are more like hacks to it. It's not so much as it violates things, so much as it's so weird and edgy that even IF it worked like that, it's the kind of weird physics shit that you'd expect someone to figure out a way to exploit a few hundred years from now.

Because they know what the hell they're doing, and figure out a clever method to use it. Not...stumble into blindly.

Reactionless drives are pure sci-fi, probably more so than FTL. (We actually have at least one semi-workable FTL model that doesn't make modern physics cry).

Possibly because, absent the Culture dropping by and saying "Hi, we're here to help", reactionless drives would open up the universe. (Well to probes, not people. We're squishy and ill-adapted to space.)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on December 01, 2016, 11:40:51 PM
It's a gift from our post-human descendants/benevolent aliens to get us off this rock before it turns into Venus?

(https://s12.postimg.org/5mmpaxo0t/tumblr_m8vep4x9k11qjemo2o1_400.gif)

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on December 02, 2016, 10:32:37 AM
I'm always left with the sneaky feeling that we don't know the half of it when it comes to physics. Ok I know that a lot of that comes from the sci-fi loving, wishful thinking part of me, but modern day physics is what, 100 years old? 200 years from now they'll probably look back and laugh at the shit we believed in (right I now that was definitely from Heinlein..).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on December 02, 2016, 02:19:23 PM
I'm always left with the sneaky feeling that we don't know the half of it when it comes to physics. Ok I know that a lot of that comes from the sci-fi loving, wishful thinking part of me, but modern day physics is what, 100 years old? 200 years from now they'll probably look back and laugh at the shit we believed in (right I now that was definitely from Heinlein..).
Well, it's like anything else -- any "new physics" we discover will work pretty much like the physics we know (SM, relativity, QM) in the universe we exist in. The stuff we can't quite make fit together is generally high-energy, high temperature stuff. Places where things go...wibbly.

Newton, for instance, is perfectly fine for like 99% of the stuff we do. Even though he's wrong.

But the attempts to unify all those things (SM, relativity, and QM) gets...weird. And hard to test. Or impossible to test. I mean we just, in the last few years, validated the SM's understanding of mass. Gravity, especially when it goes all quanum, is still a big question mark even though we can describe it's workings, the mechanics under the hood have a lot of question marks. That's probably about the only area for a really big "Holy crap" kind of moment.

Being able to manipulate it, even a bit, would be....pretty useful. (Although frankly, so would being able to manipulate the Higgs field. Life would be a lot easier if we could reduce something's effective mass for a bit).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on December 02, 2016, 03:48:55 PM
Yeah, it's not like the Em drive is producing thrust (kinetic energy) from nothing. You put energy in, you get thrust out, it's perfectly acceptable in that sense. It's not even particularly efficient as a way of turning energy into thrust (the same energy input to an ion thruster would produce orders of magnitude more impulse, I think).

It's that we can't figure out what the fuck it is pushing against to produce that thrust that is the problem. "Every action produces an equal and opposite reaction", so where the hell is the reaction? At some level, something is getting pushed against, we can be pretty sure of that. Maybe in the "dark energy" universe, this thing is shooting bullets from nowhere. Or we're creating vortices of vacuum energy we can't detect. Something is happening to produce the thrust, or else the universe makes no damned sense and it might as well be magic.

But precisely because, wherever the thrust is coming from, it isn't from mass we are hauling along with it, it opens up a whole regime of possibilities for space exploitation that had been ruled out because it either wasn't possible to make the math work (it took more reaction mass to make them happen than you could even theoretically carry) or it wouldn't be cost effective (if you have to throw 99% of your asteroid out of the solar system to deliver the remaining kernel to LEO, it's not worth it).

Constant thrust without reaction mass, no matter how small, puts the whole Solar system within reach of LEO, and makes weird really big shit like beanstalks something that could actually happen.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 05, 2016, 10:45:25 AM
Space Policy update - might not be interesting  for everyone:



So...the ESA had it's Ministerial Council, which happens every 2-4 years. It consists of the space ministers of the 22 member states...and Canada!  (;D)

The entire thing is a bit like an conclave, in that there are 100 people in a room for 2 days - it's super-secret. The press isn't even allowed to stay for the opening statement - and once it's done they step infront of the worldpress and annoucne the result.
That the ESA communication manager is tweeting like this: "I don’t have a pope to announce. No white smoke. Still open questions." doesn't help dispelling that impression either. Snapshot from inside:

(http://i.imgur.com/WN62q6u.jpg)


The results:

-- ESA got 10.3 billion € for 2 years. That is more than the last budget and follows the trend of the last years were we saw slight constant increases (even when account for inflation). That's good.

-- The Exomars 2020 rover got the € 340 million extra it needed. Also some of the work is shifted from Russia to Europe to ease the burden on the Russian contractors. Exomars needs another €100 million from the general budget, which means it's eating into other science missions. A situation similar to what NASA had with the James Webb Space Telescope, albeit less extreme.

-- ESA decided to stay on the ISS until 2024. As ESA has to pay NASA for that this means there will be an 2nd European Service Module (ESM) for the Orion spacecraft. Orion's first manned crewed flight - to the Moon and back - will be with an ESM thus. Unless Trump pulls the plug on either SLS or Orion before that.

-- First funding for Prométhée, stands for Precursor Reusable Oxygen METHan cost Effective Engine.  (I know, the acronym... :roll:), has been green lighted. It is to be used in a future re-usable launcher. Metha-LOX is a bit of a fad at the moment, both Musks and Bezozs planned "super rockets" will run on Methan.

--Space Rider has been green-lighted. It's an unmanned, lifting body (= no wings) shuttle. (Think Boeing X-37 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37)) It's predecessor the IXV had successful flight earlier that year. Space Rider will be similar, just bigger. IXV:

(http://i.imgur.com/za2shpg.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/CZKybpd.jpg)



Aside from that we had a successful launch today. Vega had it's 8th start. It's the brainchild of the Italians (Avio) and ESA's smallest rocket that's being used for payloads that don't need an Ariane 5 or Soyuz. A Vega launch costs ~35 million, as opposed to the ~ € 90 million for a Soyuz start in Kourou.

(http://i.imgur.com/8AsBbKP.jpg)

And that's it today!  :-) Edit 6th Dec: Replaced launch image with a nicer one.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 07, 2016, 11:56:28 AM
Literally from space: Yesterdays meteor in Khakasiya, Southern Siberia.

(http://i.imgur.com/qlVEi55.gif)


Map for context:
(http://i.imgur.com/2cEt8eD.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on December 07, 2016, 04:05:52 PM
Any pics of the Martian walkers trudging through the Siberian snow?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on January 06, 2017, 09:01:11 PM
Are they blaming this one on U.S. again? oh, maybe it's Obama taking a parting shot in retaliation for interfering with the election!  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on January 07, 2017, 12:08:02 PM
"They should have sent a poet"

Earth-Moon from Mars orbit, courtesy of the MRO (say hello, Ozzies!).

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia21260.jpg)

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/earth-and-its-moon-as-seen-from-mars


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 07, 2017, 06:19:42 PM
That's a great shot.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 11, 2017, 02:47:45 PM
Launch failure alert :heartbreak:

Progress MS-04, an unmanned cargo spacecraft, enroute to the ISS crashed in Russia.

Telemetry was lost 383 seconds after launch, when the craft was still attached to the Soyuz carrier rocket, whose third stage was working at that time.

That's about all that is known so far.

(http://www.russianspaceweb.com/images/spacecraft/manned/space_stations/iss/progress_ms/ms04/insertion_1.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/5zTlGcF.jpg)


If anyone remembers this, it's the destroyed Progress cargo ship from December of last year. Bound for the ISS but never made it.  Roscomos released it's preliminary investigation results:

The short summary is "Russian QA strikes again". The longer version:

1) An "non-standard separation" occurred between the Progress spacecraft and it's carrier Soyuz 3rd stage,
2) due to the rupture of the 3rd stage stage oxidizer tank.
3) Itself caused by a failure of the 3rd stage 11D55 engine (aka engines explodes, shrapnel hits tank).
4) The failure of the engine in turn was caused by a fire and subsection destruction of it's oxidizer pump.
5) The failure of the oxidizer pump likely due to injection of foreign objects or improper clearance between the pump's shaft and its attachment sleeve, floating rings and impellers, leading to a possible loss of balance and vibration of the rotor.
6) Leading to the root cause: Manufacturing error.  

:oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on January 14, 2017, 02:01:22 PM
Tip of the hat to arch-capitalist Elon and SpaceX for taking a break from masturbating to Ayn Rand to launch a successful return to flight!  :why_so_serious:

Seriously, watching that unbroken video of the booster return first person was amazing. Hope they can return to their cadence and keep em flying.

Shine on you magnificent hipsters!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 14, 2017, 03:44:45 PM
Here is the webcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WimRhydggo

Liftoff is at 28:39, the interesting part of the landing starts around 5 minutes later.

Too long, didn't watch: Here is 15 second GIF:

(http://i.imgur.com/q1L1lYX.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Draegan on January 16, 2017, 06:25:27 PM
My bro and law just got a job at SpaceX and was at Saturdays launch. Jealous.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 01, 2017, 01:44:48 PM
The Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulae (yes, really) as seen by ESO's Very Large Telescope:

Click to enlarge to 4000x3160:

(https://cdn.eso.org/images/publicationjpg/eso1705a.jpg) (https://cdn.eso.org/images/publicationjpg/eso1705a.jpg)

Quote from: ESO
This spectacular image from the VLT Survey Telescope shows the Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334, upper right) and the Lobster Nebula (NGC 6357, lower left). These dramatic objects are regions of active star formation where the hot young stars are causing the surrounding hydrogen gas to glow red. The very rich field of view also includes dark clouds of dust. With around two billion pixels this is one of the largest images ever released by ESO. A zoomable version of this giant image is available here.

Note that the circular features in the image around bright stars are not real, they are due to reflections within the optics of the telescope and camera.

If anyone wants the full 4GB image or a smaller 940 mb jpg: http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1705a/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on February 01, 2017, 01:54:08 PM
New desktop background, thank you.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 01, 2017, 02:18:45 PM
New desktop background, thank you.

--Dave

It's very nice. My own background is actually the surrounding of an ESO site:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 07, 2017, 09:02:33 AM
Amercia First, Mars Second! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBtzAYgNFk4)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on February 08, 2017, 08:15:25 PM
My bro and law just got a job at SpaceX and was at Saturdays launch. Jealous.
so are the rumors of 100 hour work weeks for engineers there true?

what's that even come out to, $2.50/hr?

Don't get me wrong, I love what Space-X is trying to do in many ways. I just hope (but doubt) that the "little people" who actually sacrifice the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention many many hours away from their families, to turn dreams into reality are rewarded with more than attaboy's and bragging rights.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on February 09, 2017, 12:49:58 AM
I'm not sure about now since its grown so much in the last few years, but I know they were running with a startup model, and all new employees received stock in the company as well as normal compensation/perks.  That's enough to drive most people I know in startups to work 100 hour work weeks.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on February 09, 2017, 09:25:21 AM
I just hope (but doubt) that the "little people" who actually sacrifice the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention many many hours away from their families, to turn dreams into reality are rewarded with more than attaboy's and bragging rights.

Very accurate of the Space Race in the 1960's.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 09, 2017, 09:34:49 AM
Since we are talking about the Company with X there are some news:


1) Rumororish rumor that there will be an attempt at fairing recovery at the launch after the next one (sometime in early March.)

2) The second info (more solid) is that the Red Dragon (a Dragon 2 capsule launched on Falcon Heavy, being sent to Mars and attempting a landing) is postponed from 2018 to somewhere around June ~ 2020.

Dreagoa's brother: Confirm or Deny?  :why_so_serious:

Edit:
The payload fairing re-use idea isn't only pursued by SpaceX. Swiss RUAG Space, who builds the fairings for Ariane 5 and the Amercian Atlas V, is in the study phase as well. The issue is, similar to a lot of re-use plans, not is it possible but is it possible in a cost-effective way without increasing the risk for the payload when using "used" components. A re-use fairing would have to deal with salt water, for example. Also being structurally tough enough to survive a landing, but any extra weight reduces the rockets payload, etc etc.

Nevertheless they are surprisingly expensive, considering they are just a "cover" and dropped after 3 minutes flight. Arianespace pays around ~$6 million for one.

Picture of a small Ariane 5 fairing:

(https://i.imgur.com/mEu46ER.jpg)


The purpose of the fairing is protect the satellite from a) the aerodynamic forces during flight b) from the acoustic vibrations of the launch. Which nevertheless can reach ~140 dB at the satellite.

Sorry for the jumbled writing style, my mind is a mush, long day at work.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 09, 2017, 04:11:15 PM
"Blue Jet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning#Blue_jets)" seen from the ISS. Click for full size.


(http://i.imgur.com/QkQ6HDu.png) (http://i.imgur.com/QkQ6HDu.png)


(c) Photo by Danish Astronaut Andreas Morensen. Background article (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/iriss/Blue_jets_studied_from_Space_Station)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ironwood on February 09, 2017, 04:46:14 PM
Looks like they need some Imperial Slaves....


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 12, 2017, 03:54:38 PM
Short space news update:

Firstly, SpaceX just had their 3-second static fire test for the upcoming CRS-10 resupply mission to the ISS.
All the American Spacecadets on the Internet are super excited about this because it's on SLC-39A, the historic pad that was built for Apollo and the Space Shuttle.

So hold on to your seats, here it comes:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4fuRwyWMAEMiiC.jpg)

Launch date for this rocket is the 18th. As always with SpaceX delays are likely to occur.


Secondly, the Air Forces super secret X-37B (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37), after having been in space for an impressive ~630 days, is going to land back at Cape.
What really did there we don't know, because military. Spooky!

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/Boeing_X-37B_after_landing_at_Vandenberg_AFB%2C_3_December_2010.jpg)


Thirdly, an old launch (2014) but just found this now. A short (only 1 minute, it's worth it) slow-motion music video of Soyuz from Kourou (French Guyana)

Décollage de Soyouz depuis Sinnamary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYh74HhSZhY)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 16, 2017, 12:33:16 AM
Science imitating art:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4xCw_jWAAAWBmU.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4xCw_jWAAAWBmU.jpg)
Click for full size image

Quote from: ESA
While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist’s canvas, they are in fact a visualisation of data from ESA’s Planck satellite. The image portrays the interaction between interstellar dust in the Milky Way and the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field.
Between 2009 and 2013, Planck scanned the sky to detect the most ancient light in the history of the Universe – the cosmic microwave background. It also detected significant foreground emission from diffuse material in our Galaxy which, although a nuisance for cosmological studies, is extremely important for studying the birth of stars and other phenomena in the Milky Way.

Among the foreground sources at the wavelengths probed by Planck is cosmic dust, a minor but crucial component of the interstellar medium that pervades the Galaxy. Mainly gas, it is the raw material for stars to form.

Interstellar clouds of gas and dust are also threaded by the Galaxy’s magnetic field, and dust grains tend to align their longest axis at right angles to the direction of the field. As a result, the light emitted by dust grains is partly ‘polarised’ – it vibrates in a preferred direction – and, as such, could be caught by the polarisation-sensitive detectors on Planck.

Scientists in the Planck collaboration are using the polarised emission of interstellar dust to reconstruct the Galaxy’s magnetic field and study its role in the build-up of structure in the Milky Way, leading to star formation.

In this image, the colour scale represents the total intensity of dust emission, revealing the structure of interstellar clouds in the Milky Way. The texture is based on measurements of the direction of the polarised light emitted by the dust, which in turn indicates the orientation of the magnetic field.

This image shows the intricate link between the magnetic field and the structure of the interstellar medium along the plane of the Milky Way. In particular, the arrangement of the magnetic field is more ordered along the Galactic plane, where it follows the spiral structure of the Milky Way. Small clouds are seen just above and below the plane, where the magnetic field structure becomes less regular.

From these and other similar observations, Planck scientists found that filamentary interstellar clouds are preferentially aligned with the direction of the ambient magnetic field, highlighting the strong role played by magnetism in galaxy evolution.

The emission from dust is computed from a combination of Planck observations at 353, 545 and 857 GHz, whereas the direction of the magnetic field is based on Planck polarisation data at 353 GHz.

ESA (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/12/The_magnetic_field_along_the_Galactic_plane?platform=hootsuite)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 16, 2017, 04:13:58 PM
NASA Orion update

Today Airbus and ESA signed a 200 million Euro contract to build a second 'European Service Module' (ESM) for NASA's Orion capsule.

Both ESM will be handed over to NASA (for free) as part of a barter agreement to pay ESA's share of the International Space Station.

ESM number 1 is in construction and will be used on the first flight of SLS and Orion (Exploration Mission-1, uncrewed) in 2018.

EM-2 is planned for 2021, will be manned and go somewhere to the Moon, ESM number 2 will be used for it.

Orion Capsule + ESM looks like this:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4x_CvvWYAAMk0E.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/tIO1Bku.png)



Not all is built in Europe though. The ESM 25.7 kN main engine comes from NASA and is a re-used the Space Shuttle OSM (Orbital Maneuvering System) thruster.
Seen here, (left) the small "small" engines above the SSME and (right) a during vibration testing

(https://i.imgur.com/rdxTc2L.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/jqVr6dQ.jpg)

The engine for the first ESM already has flown 19 times in space and was onbard of Challenger, Atlantis and Discovery.

Than there are 8x 490 N auxiliary thrusters for backup (built by Aerojet Rocketdyne) and 24x 220 N thrusters of the Reaction Control System (built by Airbus).


Aside from that most of the ESM the ESM is based on technology ESA developed for the ATV, most recognizable in the solar panels retaining the X-wing layout.
Seen nicely this in this picture of ATV-5 approaching the ISS and firing it's RCS thrusters (the same 220 N ones Orion will use):

(https://i.imgur.com/RmYWQYV.jpg)



And here some actual Orion hardware. Solal panel unfolding test:

(https://i.imgur.com/uUBwtY7.jpg)



To withstand the G-load during firing of the main engine Airbus came up with something simple but ingenuous. The wings are canted into maneuvering positions:

(http://i.imgur.com/5Il68cf.png)

Repositioning aside the solar panels can bend up 1 meter during maneuvers, cameras on each wing tip will closely monitor the movement. That should also make for some nice pictures...



Well, that it's. Provided NASA doesn't change plans or Trump starts WW3 we should this all in "real life" 2018 or 2019 latest. *knock on wood*


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 19, 2017, 09:25:39 AM
SpaceX


After aborting yesterday at T- 13 seconds due to an issue with the upper stage nozzle accutor today's Falcon 9 launch went fine and produced some nice images:



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5CIWGaWcAMK6eE.jpg)



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5CZFP-WAAASajW.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on February 20, 2017, 09:58:28 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/UjN7zPK.gif)

Seriously, I'm not a space fan, but this shit is amazing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 21, 2017, 01:17:30 PM

2) The second info (more solid) is that the Red Dragon (a Dragon 2 capsule launched on Falcon Heavy, being sent to Mars and attempting a landing) is postponed from 2018 to somewhere around June ~ 2020.

Dreagoa's brother: Confirm or Deny?  :why_so_serious:

Now confirmed by Shotwell: SpaceX pushes back its first Mars mission (http://mashable.com/2017/02/17/spacex-mars-mission-2020/#O6HPbpU5iqqx)

Altough it's hard to get mad over this, the inital target was so ambitous it was clear it wouldn't be kept. Why they didn't announce a 2020 (or later) date right at the beginning, and thus avoiding having to offically delay the mission, is something I don't understan with SpaceX marketing.



In other Mars news:

The giant ITS (Interplanetary Transport System) LOX tank test article asploded.

(https://i.imgur.com/TfF4oUh.jpg)

From what I heard this was not supposed a destructive test (but rather the first one with actual LOX) so a bit of an oopsy.


In unrelated news, the first flight of ITS to Mars is still on schedule for 2020.  :roll: :roll:



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on February 21, 2017, 01:21:17 PM
Hype?

"Nasa to host major press conference on 'discovery beyond our solar system' "

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasa-announcement-press-conference-today-solar-system-exoplanet-sun-planets-news-latest-a7590281.html


Tomorrow, 1pm EST, 7pm CET


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on February 21, 2017, 01:29:00 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/UjN7zPK.gif)

Seriously, I'm not a space fan, but this shit is amazing.

Flashbacks to playing Lunar Lander as a kid.  Impressive.

I actually thought for a second it was a takeoff video reversed to fool me, but the dust cloud at the landing site would be harder to fake than that.   :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on February 22, 2017, 01:07:14 PM
Quote
NASA revealed that, using the Spitzer Space Telescope, they've found seven new Earth-sized planets orbiting a star just 40 light years away from us. What's more, three of those exist within the "Goldilocks zone" which could be habitable for life.
NASA realease (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around)

That's 7 rocky planets around a single star, not bad.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: apocrypha on February 26, 2017, 12:52:16 PM
Have any of you folks played with Space Engine (http://spaceengine.org/) at all? It's basically a free version of Universe Sandbox. I only discovered it today and I'm having a blast with it. Seems like it might be the kind of thing some of you would enjoy.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on February 26, 2017, 04:25:28 PM
Have any of you folks played with Space Engine (http://spaceengine.org/) at all? It's basically a free version of Universe Sandbox. I only discovered it today and I'm having a blast with it. Seems like it might be the kind of thing some of you would enjoy.

Wow. Romanyuk has really advanced his space sim in the last few years. He is (or was, I haven't been over in a while) a frequent Orbiter modder, and I played an early version of this some time ago. It was pretty fun and awe inspiring even then.

I'll have to give it another go, once Kerbal relinquishes its grip on my soul...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 27, 2017, 03:48:34 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/esbIRru.png)

Hype incoming...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on February 27, 2017, 03:53:24 PM
More PR. They aren't likely to get their man-rating for the Dragon from NASA by the end of 2018 as things currently stand.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on February 27, 2017, 03:58:39 PM
Yeah, Musk likes to publish bold dates for things that don't often come true, though usually he does follow through with them.

Though, I'm curious.  Does it have to be NASA astronauts if its entirely a SpaceX internal mission to launch and fly back?  Could they just use their own employees for such a case, if it's not touching the Space Station?  Do they need it to be man rated by the government first?

Have no idea what the LAWS OF SPACE actually are.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 27, 2017, 04:02:02 PM
More PR. They aren't likely to get their man-rating for the Dragon from NASA by the end of 2018 as things currently stand.

That. GAO (Government Accountability Office) estimates delays to 2019 for both Dragon 2 and Boeing Starliner. NASA is just studying wether to buy more Soyuz seats or do a 1 year ISS mission (thus needing less crew rotation)


Yeah, Musk likes to publish bold dates for things that don't often come true, though usually he does follow through with them.

Though, I'm curious.  Does it have to be NASA astronauts if its entirely a SpaceX internal mission to launch and fly back?  Could they just use their own employees for such a case, if it's not touching the Space Station?  Do they need it to be man rated by the government first?

Have no idea what the LAWS OF SPACE actually are.

The official SpaceX announcement talks of two private individual that "paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission".

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

I found this line funny: "Additional information will be released up confirmation of the health and fitness test results." So they just took the money and said "We sort our the rest later"?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 27, 2017, 04:18:00 PM
But it's a typical SpaceX PR play - get people excited and have big name press write about SpaceX. Later they silently announce a delay that only specialized magazines and websites will cover. By 2018 most people will forget while the original connection between positive emotions and the brand will remain.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on February 27, 2017, 04:27:50 PM
Yeah, Musk likes to publish bold dates for things that don't often come true, though usually he does follow through with them.

Though, I'm curious.  Does it have to be NASA astronauts if its entirely a SpaceX internal mission to launch and fly back?  Could they just use their own employees for such a case, if it's not touching the Space Station?  Do they need it to be man rated by the government first?

Have no idea what the LAWS OF SPACE actually are.

SpaceX needs an FAA permit to launch their rocket over US airspace and the FAA most likely won't give them the permit to launch without the NASA man-rating on the capsule. Since the first un-manned test flights are not likely to happen until mid-2018 I can't see a manned flight happening until at least mid-2019.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on February 27, 2017, 06:07:46 PM
Apparently some in here forgot the timelines made during Apollo. The man-rating is doable if everyone has their shit together.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on February 27, 2017, 06:26:44 PM
Apparently some in here forgot the timelines made during Apollo. The man-rating is doable if everyone has their shit together.

With Trump in the White House I wouldn't even bet on NASA still existing by 2018.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on February 27, 2017, 06:48:33 PM
The official SpaceX announcement talks of two private individual that "paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission".

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

I found this line funny: "Additional information will be released up confirmation of the health and fitness test results." So they just took the money and said "We sort our the rest later"?

So they found two people who ponied up big bucks for an Early Access space program?

It'd be really amusing if one of the people is Mr Star Citizen--using Early Access money from a virtual space program to pay for a ride into space on an Early Access launch vehicle. Hey, if Lord British can go into space...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on February 27, 2017, 06:57:43 PM
More PR. They aren't likely to get their man-rating for the Dragon from NASA by the end of 2018 as things currently stand.

Not a space lawyer by any means, but some of the commentary I've seen around suggests that SpaceX does not necessarily need a NASA man rating to boost non-NASA personnel, and the FAA is primarily concerned with danger to private citizens on the ground.

Meaning this is what they might do while waiting on an actual man-rating from NASA.

Don't know myself, but for all the over promising Elon is doing space stuff, and it's pretty exciting space stuff at that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on February 27, 2017, 07:06:02 PM
if they wanted to launch from Khazakstan or Liberia or something, no problem. Don't think they can launch from US soil without it though.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 27, 2017, 07:22:42 PM
More PR. They aren't likely to get their man-rating for the Dragon from NASA by the end of 2018 as things currently stand.

Not a space lawyer by any means, but some of the commentary I've seen around suggests that SpaceX does not necessarily need a NASA man rating to boost non-NASA personnel, and the FAA is primarily concerned with danger to private citizens on the ground.

Meaning this is what they might do while waiting on an actual man-rating from NASA.

Don't know myself, but for all the over promising Elon is doing space stuff, and it's pretty exciting space stuff at that.

Not a space lawyer either, but I can't see SpaceX doing a mission to the Moon before they have the NASA certification to perform a short (ISS is at 400 km) trip to LEO.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on February 27, 2017, 07:31:25 PM
Apparently some in here forgot the timelines made during Apollo. The man-rating is doable if everyone has their shit together.

Apollo was a different era with virtually unlimited government funds and an ambitious political timeline. They also had an acceptable crew loss ratio that was considerably higher than what NASA will require to certify these private capsules.

Trying to say "Apollo did it!" means pretty much nothing in this scenario. The fucking winnebago used to haul the astronauts to and from the pad during apollo probably had as much money poured into it in absolute dollars than SpaceX has thrown into the entire Dragon capsule.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on February 27, 2017, 07:58:48 PM
Apparently some in here forgot the timelines made during Apollo. The man-rating is doable if everyone has their shit together.

Apollo was a different era with virtually u8nlimited government funds and an ambitious political timeline. They also had an acceptable crew loss ratio that was considerably higher than what NASA will require to certify these private capsules.

Trying to say "Apollo did it!" means pretty much nothing in this scenario. The fucking winnebago used to haul the astronauts to and from the pad during apollo probably had as much money poured into it in absolute dollars than SpaceX has thrown into the entire Dragon capsule.

Apollo peaked at 0.8% of GDP. I am not doing the exact math now, but in 2017 terms we are talking >$ 100 bn per year.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on February 28, 2017, 12:44:33 AM
More PR. They aren't likely to get their man-rating for the Dragon from NASA by the end of 2018 as things currently stand.

Not a space lawyer by any means, but some of the commentary I've seen around suggests that SpaceX does not necessarily need a NASA man rating to boost non-NASA personnel, and the FAA is primarily concerned with danger to private citizens on the ground.

Meaning this is what they might do while waiting on an actual man-rating from NASA.

Don't know myself, but for all the over promising Elon is doing space stuff, and it's pretty exciting space stuff at that.

Not a space lawyer either, but I can't see SpaceX doing a mission to the Moon before they have the NASA certification to perform a short (ISS is at 400 km) trip to LEO.

Yeah. I've been reading a lot of the back on forth on other sites too, and the legality does seem in doubt. Still, he must think he's got an in -- Elon puts vision over practicality all the time, but he's never seemed to not understand the rules and regulations of the game he's playing.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 01, 2017, 03:06:19 AM
In the runup to Trump's congress speech there were rumours about a Space-related annoucment.

Here is a full transcript of his remarks:

"American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream."



(http://i.imgur.com/lp8mFoR.gif)

Edit: Oh and Germany has a selection for their first female Astronaut aka Astronautin.

The final 6 candidates:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C50RmA5XQAMic3N.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C50ynvfWQAAYeVy.jpg)

Edit2: Actually this is a private initiative, not founded by the DLR. Hmmm...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on March 01, 2017, 08:46:36 AM
OH *THAT'S* how women feel when they see male astronauts. I get it now.

Still, pretty cool to see a crop of only female candidates. Pick 'em all!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on March 01, 2017, 08:47:17 AM
OH *THAT'S* how women feel when they see male astronauts. I get it now.

Well played.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 07, 2017, 10:39:10 AM
So, SATShow17 is, Jeff Bezos was there and he presented more of his rocket:

Introducing new Glenn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTEhohh6eYk)

Some parts should look familiar...

Intersting bits:

  • No re-entry burn needed?
  • The landing barge is moving. Confirmed by Bezos
  • They have a first customer for a launch in 2021: Eutelsat - European Telecommunications Satellite Organization
  • Performance is 13 tons GTO, 45 tons LEO[1]. I am assuming this is in full reusable mode?


[1]


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 07, 2017, 06:33:06 PM
Reported via NASAspaceflight:

Falcon Heavy continues to follow it's ancient and time honored tradition to be always 6 months from first launch. The demo flight (without playload) is now scheduled for NET (no earlier than) October 2017...  :roll:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 09, 2017, 02:33:35 PM
Warning, rant ahead! I'll try to make it short and add some pretty pictures:


Let's have a minute of silence for the Automated Transfer Vehicle. On this day, 9 years ago, the first ATV launched to the ISS.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6epo01WQAIAu_x.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6el9pDU8AAr3p2.jpg)


It was rather big and nifty:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6enQSEVQAAOseI.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6enRMKUoAA9sdS.jpg)



Features included:

  • Completely autonomous docking (without ground station or ISS support) via Laser/videometer system.
  • Pressurized dry cargo transport
  • Reboost the ISS (whose orbit degrades due to drag) with it's main engines and extra tanks.  
  • Also refueling the ISS own fuel reserves
  • Refueling the ISS water tanks
  • Resupplying oxygen, nitrogen, air or a combination of those.
  • Being the biggest ISS freighter: Last mission had 6.616 kg cargo. (Dragon biggest load was 3.136 kg so far)


(https://i.imgur.com/QMRWy7B.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6esIIXWMAAcqDy.jpg)



The ATV was also designed to be the base of an entire family of vehicles: Cargo Return version, Mini Space Station, Crew Return Vehicle. Studies were done for the later especially:


(https://i.imgur.com/Na8IlMn.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/9p7ECZa.jpg)


What happend? The ATV was developed (which wasn't cheap), then a total of 5 were built and used and then the programme was stopped.

Any evolution plans were not taken up due to lack of ambition. The crewed version would have taken  €413 million [EADS study] or 2-3 bn € [a rather critical space site's assessment]to develop an require another launch pad. In any case it that was "too much money".

Had they gone ahead it's likley we would today see American astronauts traveling to the ISS on an European craft rather than Putin-Soyuz. SAD! :heartbreak: :heartbreak: :heartbreak:

To quote an ESA engineer I talked with due to this occasion: "and dont get me started on ATV....;-) I worked on that project, still sad, brain dead Orion SM is nice but not an ATV..."

Politics sucks. To end this, here is a GIF of ATV-3 docking:


(http://i.imgur.com/3SXK3Q3.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on March 11, 2017, 06:01:47 AM
Stunning close-up of Saturn’s moon, Pan, reveals a space empanada (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/space-empanada-frozen-ridge-around-saturn-s-moon-pan-collected-planet-s-rings)

(http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/article_main_large/public/pan4_16x9.jpg?itok=OJbgRKvZ)

edit:link to Nasa's news on this (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2017-063&rn=news.xml&rst=6770)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on March 11, 2017, 06:06:00 AM
It looks very yummy, but seriously, WTF?  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soulflame on March 11, 2017, 01:22:15 PM
Looks more like a slider to me.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 11, 2017, 01:24:31 PM
Bit of context for the Space Ravilo:


Where?

It's in the the so-called Encke Gap. To get a sense of proportion, the Encke gap is only 325 km wide gap, sitting 133,410 km away from Saturn's center.
The Saturn equator "surface" itself is at kilometer 60,268.Earth's radius is ~6,371 km. So Saturn is big.

(https://i.imgur.com/wL0tYxY.jpg)


Detail view from above:

(http://i.imgur.com/nptDJMl.jpg)


The Encke Gap was discovered in 1888 (quite a feature IMHO) by American astronomer James Keeler. Note the small gap to the right of the Encke: It's named after Keeler.

The telescope he used:

(https://i.imgur.com/VBqNYb7.jpg)

A 36 inch Refractor telescope. It still exists (California) and the Lick Observatory holds evening lectures and let's visitors view through the telescope. They also host weddings! (https://www.ucolick.org/main/visit/summer.html) Anyway...


How it was found:

(https://i.imgur.com/idZJsDW.jpg)

If you look stare at this Voyager image of the Encke Gap closely you can see that it's inner edge is slightly wavy.

This was the first hint that there must be something there. The gravitation of a moon when passing by tugs on the ring particles, creating this pattern. The moon however was not found.This was in 1980.

Fast forward to 1990: Thanks to a new, high-capacity storage medium, called the CD-ROM the Astronomer Mark Showalter has all 30,000 images by Voyager of Saturn in digital format
He writes a programme to filter the most likely ones to show the moon. And finds it, exactly 1x1 pixels wide:

(As an aside: In his blog he mentions that when leaving for work that morning he told his husband that his plans for the day were to discover a moon of Saturn. I thought that was cute! Anyways...)

(https://i.imgur.com/DbfIaIY.jpg)

Why did Showalter name it Pan?

1) The process whereby a moon opens up a gap in rings is known as “shepherding.” >
2) Moons of Saturn are named after Greek gods. >
3) The god of shepherds in Greek mythology is Pan,aflute-playing satyr.

Any questions?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on March 11, 2017, 02:39:23 PM
1) The process whereby a moon opens up a gap in rings is known as “shepherding.” >
2) Moons of Saturn are named after Greek gods. >
3) The god of shepherds in Greek mythology is Pan,aflute-playing satyr.

Any questions?

Thereby proving that the "Council of Elrond" portion of "The Martian" is 100% accurate.  :heart: geeks


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 11, 2017, 03:06:50 PM
I found images that show "shepherding" in detail:

The Saturn Moon Daphnis in the Keeler Gap (see post above), also photographed by Cassini this year:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C40IcsWW8AA2N3A.jpg)

Looks like a cookie, imho.

Seen from afar, the "wave effect" clearly visible.

(http://i.imgur.com/YHGj8HU.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 12, 2017, 07:19:36 PM
"Just a nice pic"

The VLT guide star lasers at sunset:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6wejPnWwAA7Jxs.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: RhyssaFireheart on March 13, 2017, 11:42:19 AM
 :Love_Letters:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 16, 2017, 02:03:22 PM
Reposting the NASA-budger relevant sections from the politics thread as it probably gets buried there. With slightly improved spelling:


Quote
Remember the mocking of "Goresat", the "Webcam in Space"? Officially known as DSCOVR or Deep Space Climate Observator

That camera is really just a passenger on a satellite whose main is actually rather different different: Measuring the solar wind and thus being an early warning for geomagnetic storms.

Those storms  which, when they hit earth, can damage satellites, disrupt communications, disable GPS and cause power outages. See: Halloween solar storms, 2003

Besides the commercial impact all the affected systems have a high military relevancy, so it's not surprising that the USAF helped NASA fund the satellite. The same is reason is, in my assessment, why the primary mission and thus the entire satellite is maintained.

What will be ended is: The part on it that face earth. The Budget Proposal literally aims to kill of specific instruments on a satellite. The EPIC camera and (likely as well) the NISTAR radiometer. It should be obvious that the monetary savings form this are practically zero. I honestly have issues grasping how petty this administration is can be.

Caveat: this is original research and not a summary of a news article, thus my own interpretation of the relevant budget line, which reads:
Quote
The Budget terminates four Earth science missions (PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR Earth-viewing instruments, and CLARREO Pathfnder) and reduces funding for Earth science research grants.

Edit: To show what we are talking about, here is an image, taken yesterday, by very camera likely to die to be killed by Trump:

(https://i.imgur.com/Zmos4Do.jpg)

The satellites website: https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/

NASA publishes about 10 pictures every day from the camera, in natural and enhanced color (read: more flashy) versions.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 16, 2017, 03:01:45 PM
To be fair, the budget to maintain those systems is definitely not "practically zero."  Sure they have no cost once up there, but you have groups tasked with not only maintaining the systems remotely, but dealing with the data.  It's not cheap to pay a data systems phD for stuff like this.  Sure, it's relatively peanuts in the larger scheme... but "cheap" it is not.

Your point is still valid though; really this is just to kill climate science and the jobs attached as such.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 16, 2017, 04:01:17 PM
To be fair, the budget to maintain those systems is definitely not "practically zero."  Sure they have no cost once up there, but you have groups tasked with not only maintaining the systems remotely, but dealing with the data.  It's not cheap to pay a data systems phD for stuff like this.  Sure, it's relatively peanuts in the larger scheme... but "cheap" it is not.

Your point is still valid though; really this is just to kill climate science and the jobs attached as such.

Yes, you are absolutely right with that clarification. BUT (and I hope you believe me that's not an excuse I come with "after the fact") I didn't mean "practically zero" literally but in context of the overall mission cost/in context of what space things cost in general.

EPIC is really "just" a camera...it produces 2048x2048 pixel images and sends them home. The public website for it has been set up and is running for 2 years, the background infrastructure (data storage) for it is bought and running. And considering the satellite will be maintained with all that costs that implies (comm dishes, personal, etc..), so the decision boils down to not download one camera's data and save the few manhours the processing and publication of it's pictures requires.

Addendum: Even worse if they cut the radiometer as well, as it's scientific value is without question.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on March 16, 2017, 06:58:29 PM
Cutting all support for DSCOVR could save up to tens of millions of dollars per year (likely below that; a PDF purporting to be a 2015 FY budget shows $3.2M (http://www.spacefoundation.org/sites/default/files/downloads/Update%201_FY%202016%20NOAA_2.3.15.pdf)). Eliminating the program would cripple our ability to get any early warning for massive solar storms. It'd cripple the ability of the US military to prepare for GPS-disrupting solar storms, and prevent the power grid from having enough time to get safeguards in place to stop potentially trillions of dollars in damage. But it'd eliminate a pesky source of photographic and other evidence for global climate change, so the risks are totally worth it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 19, 2017, 03:28:04 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7S4xMyW4AAD37J.jpg)

That's are Dragon's navigation lights reflected on the solar panels as it leaves the ISS. Looks very "The future is now" IMHO.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 21, 2017, 12:11:58 PM
ESA Rosetta might be "sleeping" but she is still doing science:

(http://i.imgur.com/dXeMSX5.gif)

Partial collapse of 134m high cliff, caused by outbursts of gas, due to the rising temperatures as the asteroid got closer to the sun.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 25, 2017, 01:18:02 PM
President Trump speaks about NASA in his "President's Weekly Address":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdtKAbS4FuE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdtKAbS4FuE)


If 4 minutes Trump is too much for some, here is a short summary:

- Inspirational platitudes,
- Taxpayer "spent billions and billions on Hubble Space Telescope"
- Robert Williams --> Hubble Deep Field (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Deep_Field) "Entire World struck by the awesome images"
- More inspirational platitudes
- JWST: "it is amazing"
- JWST "set to launch next year" [For some strange reason he forgets to mention who will be launching it...  ::) ::)]
- More inspirational platitudes "The future belongs to us" "I love America"


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 27, 2017, 04:06:13 PM
YARU - Yet Another Rosetta Update

More changes on Rosetta between before and after the comet passed perihelion - the point were it is closest to the sun are being discovered. I'll limit myself to one example here:


(https://i.imgur.com/QuqzUTz.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/QuqzUTz.jpg)
Click for zoom.

A 30m wide boulder, with a mass of ~ 18,800 tons (28 million pounds) moved around 140 meters. Which was either caused by erosion of the underground, causing the boulder to roll. Or: an outburst of gases lifted it. Which would be possible because on 67/P's weak and fluctuating gravity field 18,800 tons end up being "feeling like" around 600 kg (1300 pounds). Something bouncy Philae experienced first hand when his anchoring harpoon failed...


"Category: Just a nice video:"

4K timelapse video (with futuristic soundtrack) of Sentinel-2B being prepared for liftoff & launch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z5gTu269Zk)

No context needed to enjoy the video, but quick:
The Sentinels are part of Copernicus which the European Unions civilian earth obs programme. The EU outsources the technical work to ESA, which made it the space agency's  biggest funding source (ahead of France and Germany).
There is a lot to it, but that's for another time. A quick overview of the Sentinel sats is under the spoiler.


Space Rumors

As you probably know the first flight of the NASA SLS rocket including the Orion spacecraft is due for late 2018 as an unmanned test flight around the Moon. (See my earlier post). Trump asked NASA check if it's possible to the first flights with crew.
The rumor part is: The answer is yes and it will be done and that this will be announced within the week.

(https://i.imgur.com/OBywBAe.jpg)

That's it!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on March 27, 2017, 04:57:12 PM
And then they will have to try and find someone willing to ride in an untested capsule, on top of an untested rocket integration, just to make a man who only cares about his own ego look good.

Yeah, I don't see a lot of the NASA astronaut corps signing on for that job. They walk past the memorials to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee every day they are at work.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on March 27, 2017, 05:00:38 PM
Clearly, said man should prove the manliness of his sausage fingers by being the one to ride in said capsule. Problem solved!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on March 27, 2017, 07:21:40 PM
If NASA asked for volunteers to get shot into the Sun, they'd get them. Look at the number of people willing to sign up for public humiliation (see: all of "reality TV") just to be almost famous for 15 minutes. One of the existing astronauts, that have already been in space or are scheduled to go? Probably not. One of the 3rd string, qualified but not scheduled or likely to be?  Probably yes.  Random military fighter pilots? Fuck yes.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 27, 2017, 08:09:35 PM
The first private Mars mission will be one-way in any case; though the govt. contract for it won't.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Soln on March 27, 2017, 10:17:01 PM
"spam in a can"   :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Father mike on March 27, 2017, 10:43:27 PM
The first private Mars mission will be one-way in any case; though the govt. contract for it won't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMe7dRoPRVU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMe7dRoPRVU)  (skip to 45 sec)
      :drill: :drill: :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 28, 2017, 12:58:23 AM
Fuck all that.  Just send some old foagies out there to set up the base and be done with it. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Torinak on March 28, 2017, 01:55:06 AM
The first private Mars mission will be one-way in any case; though the govt. contract for it won't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMe7dRoPRVU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMe7dRoPRVU)  (skip to 45 sec)
      :drill: :drill: :drill:

Was that the inspiration for Kerbal Space Program?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on March 28, 2017, 12:09:09 PM
Always sort of wonder why we've never used the 2nd method mentioned in that clip.  Even when I was a kid it seemed to make a lot of sense to just do a couple of launches to send up parts of a spaceship and put it together, instead of building a giant ass complicated rocket.  You could use the ship repeatedly as a taxi between the moon and earth, sending small rockets up to dock with it when its time to send somebody over.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on March 28, 2017, 12:55:34 PM
At the time we hadn't done any in-space construction, and the suits were only usable for short periods in vacuum. Even docking required people on both sides of the maneuver (tele-operations being extremely primitive, and automation was a joke by modern standards).

Really, we had no business making the moon shots, from a practical POV. It started out as a way to sell ICBM development to the public, and turned into peen waving.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on March 28, 2017, 04:32:29 PM
Yeah, sorry, I meant that as "why have we never done it."  I understand in the original context, but since then it seems like a way cheaper way to get to the moon...  Just surprised we haven't tried that route in the last decade or two.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on March 28, 2017, 05:07:41 PM
Yeah, sorry, I meant that as "why have we never done it."  I understand in the original comtext, but since then it seems like a way cheaper way to get to the moon...  Just surprised we haven't tried that route in the last decade or two.

Because it is not economically feasible to send large payloads up to even low-earth orbit unless they are communications satellites and there is little political will to spend public money on much of anything in space. The ISS and a few scientific probes have enough trouble getting funding as it is.

The moon is just not super interesting for most people and until the economics of launching objects into space gets to the point where it becomes cost effective for private entities to think about it, I doubt anyone in the west will even do more than spout off about grandiose plans. China may send someone to the moon, but for them it would be about nationalism more than anything else.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 29, 2017, 12:21:41 PM
And then they will have to try and find someone willing to ride in an untested capsule, on top of an untested rocket integration, just to make a man who only cares about his own ego look good.

Yeah, I don't see a lot of the NASA astronaut corps signing on for that job. They walk past the memorials to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee every day they are at work.

One option I saw mentioned is to have (another) uncrewed flight of Orion on Delta IV Heavy before SLS is ready. Which leaves SLS as untested part, although one could sort of argue it not a fully new rocket as it's components (Shuttle engine, shuttle boosters, shuttle tank...) have been used before.

And unlike the Shuttle Orion at least has a launch abort system.

Edit: Vibration testing of the JWST (https://youtu.be/qtCTtlZLUDk) to see if it can deal with the loads experienced at launch. 18 months to go until lift-off on Ariane 5.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 29, 2017, 08:58:07 PM
I've been wondering.  If the JWST gets destroyed due to failed launch, would it be considered the biggest and most expensive scientific instrumentation loss in history?  I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with something potentially more significant.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 30, 2017, 05:15:27 AM
With a roughly 9bn price tag, I guess so yes.

And Trump would treat it as casus belli.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 30, 2017, 12:44:18 PM
SpaceX is about to make a splash tonight, they are re-flying the first re-used first stage on a mission. They will also attempt to recover the payload fairing (see my earlier post mentioning such rumors,now it's official)

They will also attempt to land the booster again, but due the weight of the satellite, which is pretty much the current limit they are managing expectations by saying it's unlikely to succeed.

Launch window: 18:27 EDT/22:27 UTC - 20:57 EDT/00:57 UTC
Satellite mass: 5281kg
Target orbit: GTO with Apogee 35410 km, Perigee 218 km, Inclination 26.2°. Which is equivalent to 1800 m/s Delta-v needed to reach GEO

For questions i'll be here tonight  :wink:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 30, 2017, 01:48:01 PM
We also might see the debut a of new Roomba-like stage-grabbing robot that stabilizes the landed booster.

See animation here:

Click me! I am Youtube video and want to be watched! (https://youtu.be/Ag2R8u-mhJ8)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on March 30, 2017, 02:52:11 PM
Heh, I didn't know they were working on the roomba thing.  Very neat!

I'll be in bed when they launch, but good luck to them!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on March 30, 2017, 05:38:43 PM
They landed the booster. I watched it live on the can on my magic tablet. Teh future is here.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 30, 2017, 05:42:31 PM
A story in pictures:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8Mx8HmXUAEUdnA.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8MyTOPXgAECruk.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8MygrLWAAAA8CH.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8MzVqcXUAAxdEa.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8M0CTyXcAA5F3O.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on March 30, 2017, 08:43:48 PM
So what happened with the fin? Saw a bit of video I can't find now that showed it getting burned away. But it still landed.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on March 30, 2017, 09:45:55 PM
They landed the booster. I watched it live on the can on my magic tablet. Teh future is here.
Grats to SpaceX -- an impressive accomplishment.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on March 30, 2017, 10:30:34 PM
that booster looks a lot more scorched than the previous landings. I wonder if they will be able to use it again?  It was supposed to be at the upper limit of what they expected to be able to handle, speed wise.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on March 30, 2017, 11:38:37 PM
So what happened with the fin? Saw a bit of video I can't find now that showed it getting burned away. But it still landed.

--Dave

It didn't burn away, what you probably saw was reentry heating.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on March 31, 2017, 04:55:34 PM
So what happened with the fin? Saw a bit of video I can't find now that showed it getting burned away. But it still landed.

--Dave

It didn't burn away, what you probably saw was reentry heating.
Yeah, found the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsZSXav4wI8&feature=youtu.be&t=25m55s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsZSXav4wI8&feature=youtu.be&t=25m55s) You'll have to click through to get it at the proper time code

Found it at this Stack Exchange (http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/20896/why-did-the-grid-fin-of-the-crs-8-ses-10-booster-burn) discussion, consensus appears to be that it is normal for the fins to heat differently as they steer the re-entry. Apparently it's ablative paint cooking off the fins that clouds out the camera view.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on March 31, 2017, 05:03:13 PM
Musk said they are going to develop new grid-fins out of titanium to better resist the heat. The current ones are aluminium with fire protection coating.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on March 31, 2017, 06:46:51 PM
As they prove overall system reliability, I would guess they'd swap out a good bit of parts with titanium.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 05, 2017, 03:33:59 PM
Short informative video I just came across.

You are in space, aboard Soyuz. Suddenly: Smoke starts filling the capsule...there is a fire onboard. What to do?

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen explains (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE5Z3Uxbezc)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on April 05, 2017, 04:39:37 PM
Short informative video I just came across.

You are in space, aboard Soyuz. Suddenly: Smoke starts filling the capsule...there is a fire onboard. What to do?

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen explains (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE5Z3Uxbezc)


Me? Exhibit A.

(http://i.imgur.com/c4jt321.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on April 05, 2017, 05:12:42 PM
Needs the addidas logo on his chest to fit the soyuz story  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 22, 2017, 03:16:43 PM
Something a bit more "in depth"

A nicely narrated 12:00 minute ESA short film explaining the issue of space debris.

Space debris - a journey to Earth (https://youtu.be/zT7typHkpVg)

Space debris - a journey to Earth - 3D stereoscopic version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzrMHWjQCtc)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 29, 2017, 06:57:54 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/U5DZ9do.png) (http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684360.pdf)
Image is link to the PDF

Already expected, but now offical is that the first SLS flight will be delayed from Novermber 2018 sometime in 2019. Main culprit is the Orion Service Module that is provided by ESA and will be somewhat late.Sorry, guys!  :heartbreak:
SLS itself might have timeline as well due to welding problems on the oxygen and hydrogen tanks. Additionaly some of the Ground Service Equipment won't be ready in time either.

Also we know the cost for SLS and it's first two missions: 23.8 bn dollars.  :oh_i_see:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-k9RVnXgAIxgeL.jpg)

I am not sure if the 11.3 bn for Orion include the cost ESA spends on the first service module or not. Else half a billion has to be added to the number.


Finally, a cut-away of the rocket and capsule:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-k34wwW0AEOuII.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on April 29, 2017, 12:54:32 PM
Elon update:

He seems to be a tough player.

1) Clash with Tesla CEO Musk forces Grohmann to quit (http://www.dw.com/en/clash-with-tesla-ceo-musk-forces-grohmann-to-quit/a-38617767)

Quote
According to Reuters news agency, Klaus Grohmann was forced to leave last month after a clash with chief executive Elon Musk over the strategy of Grohmann's firm, which Tesla had acquired in November.

Grohmann had disagreed with Musk's demands to focus management attention on Tesla projects to the detriment of Grohmann Engineering's legacy clients, including German carmakers Daimler and BMW, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Originally, Tesla had planned to keep Grohmann on, and Grohmann wanted to stay, but the clash with Musk over how to treat existing clients had resulted in his departure on March 31, two sources familiar with matter told Reuters.

Klaus Grohmann declined to comment on the circumstances of his leaving, citing confidentiality clauses, the agency noted, quoting Grohmann however as saying: "I definitely did not depart because I had lost interest in working."

2) SpaceX is planning a mega-constellation of communication satellites. So is competitor OneWeb. SpaceX is now trying to get the FFC (Federal Communications Commission) to put OneWebs application on hold...

Quote
SoftBank Group of Japan, a large investor in OneWeb, is arranging a OneWeb marriage with established geostationary satellite fleet operator Intelsat. SoftBank has other investors joining it through a special investment vehicle.

SpaceX said neither SoftBank nor OneWeb have disclosed the identities of the SoftBank partners, but that they “possibly include Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.” Whoever they are, SpaceX said, the FCC should not rule on the OneWeb application until they are known publicly.

Considering Musk repeatedly states he is not in for the money but doing it to improve humankind his tactics are quit underhanded.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ragnoros on April 30, 2017, 08:44:05 PM
Seems fairly classic ends justify the means mentality. Shrug. I generally expect most of the uber-wealthy to be people who expect to get their way in all matters, regardless of the consequences to those around them. I am rarely disappointed.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on May 01, 2017, 09:53:51 PM
Today's SpaceX launch coverage was epic.  At this point, just let Musk do whatever the fuck he wants.  Skip to around 14mins for MECO to landing (the best parts):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzQpkQ1etdA&feature=player_embedded


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on May 02, 2017, 08:27:37 AM
I feel the urge to reinstall KSP.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on May 02, 2017, 11:20:33 AM
Considering Musk repeatedly states he is not in for the money but doing it to improve humankind his tactics are quit underhanded.

I have ZERO problems with making sure that the various Saudi nutjobs don't have direct access to or control of international communications satellites. In calling them out I find Musk advancing humanity far more than those who'd ignore the various problems likely to be introduced by accepting more oil money from zealots.

As for his firing of Grohmann, yeah, I can totally support that. If you're not willing to change to your new company's priorities 1) you shouldn't have sold or 2) you should bow-out gracefully.

I'm seeing a similar situation now. My company bought-out a guy in Arizona/ Nevada for the Autodesk customer base and kept him on. The former CEO is now constantly causing problems by trying to fulfill his former company's role and focus of IT support & development over the current company's Education and Business Process focus. He's been chided pretty often because we don't build machines, we don't provide IT services and we don't troubleshoot non-ADSK problems, but he keeps pushing that direction. If my company's CEO were less tolerant due to this guy's age (he's 70) and former status in the industry we'd have fired him about 6 months ago.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on May 02, 2017, 11:27:55 AM
I feel the urge to reinstall KSP.

Probably right after you witnessed (in both 1st and 3rd person) a giant 1st stage rocket backflipping and burning right back to where it launched from.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on May 02, 2017, 02:27:21 PM
I feel the urge to reinstall KSP.

Probably right after you witnessed (in both 1st and 3rd person) a giant 1st stage rocket backflipping and burning right back to where it launched from.

Right!

Now if I can just fix the 'then smash into the ground at 5000 kph causing an immense fireball' problem...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on May 02, 2017, 06:46:48 PM
I feel the urge to reinstall KSP.

Probably right after you witnessed (in both 1st and 3rd person) a giant 1st stage rocket backflipping and burning right back to where it launched from.

Right!

Now if I can just fix the 'then smash into the ground at 5000 kph causing an immense fireball' problem...

Try moar magnets!!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on May 05, 2017, 02:20:22 PM
"Just a nice launch"

Launch video of Ariane 5 flight VA236 (https://youtu.be/syYbJQ__2fc)

Taken from the beach with a great view. Booster separation (starting at 1:10) is nicely visible.


Context/Background:
This one happened with 44 days delay after a strike by the trucker union quickly turned into a social movement.
The issues were the upcoming privatization of a hospital (and poor health care in general), the due to (alleged) under-staffing of police a high crime rate and illegal gold mining as well as a high unemployment rate of 23%

Which lead to a total shutdown of the space port, the airport and Guianna in general, with supermarkets running food at one point.

(https://i.imgur.com/ILBgGpO.jpg)

After the mentioned 44 days an agreement for a €2.1 bn infrastructure investment package (including new schools and a courthouse) was reached which ended the protests.


The launch was very typical in number and typo of payload: 2 communication satellites, the most common cargo, one Brazil, one for Korea.

As I mentioned before, the dual-launch is achieved by employing the Sylda, basically a satellite sized thimble.

(https://i.imgur.com/3i0IMRN.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/F6RvMof.png)

This allows to take advantage of the Ariane's rather high capacity of ~10,750 kg to GTO. The concept will be retained for Ariane 6, which is in developlment at the moment.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on May 12, 2017, 12:28:41 PM
A short video covering the basics of the JWST. Length 3:52, made by ESA:

JWST mission preparations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R733CRJkuo)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on May 12, 2017, 02:50:51 PM
Calapine, I'm disappointed this wasn't a post about the newest Cassini-related news.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Morat20 on May 12, 2017, 07:55:25 PM
NASA has officially decided that the EM-1 mission (first SLS launch, second Orion capsule launch, scheduled for a leisurely three weeks in space, including several days around the Moon) will not be manned.

It wasn't supposed to be manned, it was designed for unmanned (to test the system for a lengthy flight) but Trump decided, randomly, it should be manned and made NASA work out whether that could happen. It's scheduled for 2019, which makes his most recent statement ("Can we get to Mars before 2020? 2024 at the latest?") even more retarded.

I'm glad to see NASA isn't insane enough to send a crew on a three-week Moon flight without, you know, testing the fucking thing first.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on May 13, 2017, 12:57:02 PM
They could offer Trump a personal berth on it. That would be ok.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on June 01, 2017, 10:43:23 AM
Third gravitational wave detection confirmed by LIGO (https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20170601). This time 3 billion light years away.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on June 03, 2017, 04:21:55 PM
First successful landing of reused Falcon 9.  I will never get tired of watching those landings.

EDIT: Looks like it was a reused Dragon capsule, not booster. My bad.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on June 04, 2017, 03:02:23 PM
First successful landing of reused Falcon 9.  I will never get tired of watching those landings.

EDIT: Looks like it was a reused Dragon capsule, not booster. My bad.

Yeah, still a big deal. SpaceX has been quietly reusing a lot of components from one Dragon to another, but this is the first reuse of the pressure vessel.

Also, this was their first feasibility test to determine if it could be practical to recover and reuse the second stage too.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 12, 2017, 05:24:33 AM
Calapine, I'm disappointed this wasn't a post about the newest Cassini-related news.

It was a low effort post linking something from my Youtube subscription. I actually didn't follow space news that much lately, having some other issues.

But it would have been worth a report, yes.

Trying to get back into it:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCGs4aKXkAEnmlr.jpg)

Unfolding one wing (length 14 meter) of ESA's BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module solar panels. Which will carry not one but two probes to Mercury: The 'Mercury Planetary Orbiter' by ESA and the 'Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter' by JAXA.*

Both panels together produce the 10 kW needed to power the MTM's ion engines. And that's a bit odd if you think about it: 10kW isn't that much at all.

And Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, energy shouldn't be an issue. So why are they so huge? :headscratch: Explanation in the spoiler!



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on June 14, 2017, 02:02:45 PM
So I just got done listening to a talk from an exoplanet researcher who works on projects to be able to see exoplanets (as in, real images, not inferring their presence via astral wobbles) from terrestrial telescopes.  Very cool stuff. 

I hadn't previously been aware of "adaptive optics" systems, which are gizmos with tiny mirrors that correct for atmospheric distortion in real time.  Before/after images (this is Uranus as seen from a ground telescope, I think this is in the IR spectrum):

(http://www.keckobservatory.org/images/blog/ao-3-16-9_custom-s40-v2.jpg)

The guy's previous work was on the Gemini Planet Imager (http://www.gemini.edu/node/12113), which got pictures of a Jupiter-like exoplanet a few years ago.  His current project is a new terrestrial telescope that they think will be able to see Earth-like planets around Alpha Centauri when it's completed in a few years.  Pretty fucking cool that we can manage to get that much data without having to actually leave our own atmosphere.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 14, 2017, 03:36:50 PM
So I just got done listening to a talk from an exoplanet researcher who works on projects to be able to see exoplanets (as in, real images, not inferring their presence via astral wobbles) from terrestrial telescopes.  Very cool stuff.  

Yup. Cool indeed. The origin is not suprising military (SDI and precursors). Nowadays AFAIK in the civilian area ESO (European Southern Observatory, telescopes in Chile) is leading in this field. The efficiency depends on the wavelength, but once AO were retrofitted to the VLT (Very Large Telescope) it was even able to surpass the space-based Hubble's resolution in the infrared wavelength.

At the most basic the adaptive optic depends on a bright reference star that is close to the area that is being observed. The atmospheric blurring observed on that reference star is used by the telescope to deform the mirror and thus for it correct.

As mentioned the problem is that the number of suitable "reference stars" is limited, as there is a certain minimum brightness required and it's need to beh close to the target, so that its light is affected by the same disturbances as the target observed.

The fix to this is to create an your own references star by projecting a laser dot (Laser Guide Star) in the upper atmosphere (around 90km). Again the first implantation of this was pioneered by military (Kirtland Airfoce base in 1983 USAF), a good 15ish years before civilian use.

The current endpoint in this development is the 4LGSF (4 Laser Guide Stars Facility) developed by ESO for the VLT (and to lay the groundwork for the E-ELT). It's also used at the Keck and Subaru Observatories (US and Japan, both at Hawai)

(https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1613a.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 14, 2017, 04:07:27 PM
To give a context for adaptive optics, using the E-ELT:

It will have 5 mirrors (the first and largest 39 meter diameter*), the 4th and 5th are adaptive optics.

The 4th has 2.5 meters diameter but is only 2 mm thick. 5000 actuators are able to deform it over 1000 times per second, cancelling out the distorting effect of the atmosphere. The system has been tested on the VLT, but the M4 mirror will be twice the size.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/The_optical_system_of_the_ELT_showing_the_location_of_the_mirrors.jpg)


*Original planned to be 42 meters, but cost...
The other extra-huge telescope will be the TMT (Thirty-Meter-Telescope) to be built in Hawaii or Gran Canaria. Depending on if native Hawaiians win or lose their legal battle against it. (I am guessing that is the "a new terrestrial telescope" that Samwise was referring to)


Well, I hope that was somewhat interesting at least?  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 14, 2017, 04:25:22 PM
TMT addon: That it is not sure where the Thirty Meter Telescope will be built is because (some) native Hawaiians see Mauna Kea is scared and so far won legal injunctions.

An equally suitable (but non-US) location would be Atacama Desert, Chile. It's drawback is that its this is already building location of the E-ELT. That would mean both mega observatory would be located the southern hemisphere, which would be redundant.

So the current alternative location is La Palma, Spain (which is suitable but slightly inferior to Mauna Kea) . I suspect this is partially Plan B, partially a way to exert pressure ("It wont be in the US, you lose the income, jobs, from it if you dont relent")

(http://i.imgur.com/E0txA5O.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on June 14, 2017, 04:42:28 PM
Next step beyond that I guess is the Colossus (http://the-colossus.com/technology.html), which as I understand it is sort of like a giant bug eye.

(http://the-colossus.com/concept/fig3.4b.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on June 14, 2017, 05:56:11 PM
I really don't get the Hawaiins refusing to allow a telescope there. To me, building something allowing us to see out of the world into the whole of creation is one of the most prayerful things you can imagine, and would just enhance a holy site.

But ya, totally facinating stuff. Wish I had somtthing decent to contribute.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 14, 2017, 07:20:21 PM
.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 15, 2017, 03:15:08 AM
I really don't get the Hawaiins refusing to allow a telescope there. To me, building something allowing us to see out of the world into the whole of creation is one of the most prayerful things you can imagine, and would just enhance a holy site.


Same. I am having a hard time sympathizing with the anti-telescope faction.

The site has been choose to limit the visibility of the TMT from the island. Additionally some older telescopes would be de-constructed and their sites returend to the natural state.

To some degree the issue seems to not be primarily religious or even about land use, but rather sovereignty and (perceived) colonialism.

Meh.




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on June 15, 2017, 07:00:35 AM
Native Hawaiians have some very valid complaints about the colonialism thing, it is not just "perceived" at all.

And at this point, it is likely the US won't build another expensive scientific instrument ever again. Not because of NIMBYism, but because basic science is "too expensive" and "of no value" in American society thanks to 40 years of demeaning knowledge and learning.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 15, 2017, 08:00:16 AM
Native Hawaiians have some very valid complaints about the colonialism thing, it is not just "perceived" at all.

Point taken, but is it the right approach to punish the the TMT for that?


And at this point, it is likely the US won't build another expensive scientific instrument ever again. Not because of NIMBYism, but because basic science is "too expensive" and "of no value" in American society thanks to 40 years of demeaning knowledge and learning.

I hope and think that prediction is wrong.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on June 15, 2017, 08:02:53 AM
Wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the poland ball thread:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on June 15, 2017, 08:53:43 AM
I really don't get the Hawaiins refusing to allow a telescope there. To me, building something allowing us to see out of the world into the whole of creation is one of the most prayerful things you can imagine, and would just enhance a holy site.

But ya, totally facinating stuff. Wish I had somtthing decent to contribute.

Glad to hear you're on board with razing the Vatican and St. Peter's for the super LHC.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: HaemishM on June 15, 2017, 09:41:26 AM
I'm fine with that.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Samwise on June 15, 2017, 02:04:35 PM
TIL via googling that the Vatican is less than 1% the size of Mauna Kea, but still had room for an observatory in it (until air/light pollution from Rome made it useless and it was relocated in the 1930s).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 16, 2017, 09:00:25 AM
On this day, 54 years ago, callsign Chaika (Seagull), became the first woman in space, completing 48 orbits on board of Vostok 6 within 3 days.


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCcjGxmWsAI_OY-.jpg)

Here is she with Neil Armstrong (left) and  Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovic and Khrushchev


(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/de/RIAN_archive_837790_Valentina_Tereshkova_and_Neil_Armstrong.jpg/406px-RIAN_archive_837790_Valentina_Tereshkova_and_Neil_Armstrong.jpg)(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/RIAN_archive_159271_Nikita_Khrushchev%2C_Valentina_Tereshkova%2C_Pavel_Popovich_and_Yury_Gagarin_at_Lenin_Mausoleum.jpg)



Wee!  :drillf:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 22, 2017, 03:54:19 PM
Weee!

Europe is getting it's own spaceplane: the Space Rider


(http://spacenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Space_Rider-1-1-879x485.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/dERCeOu.png)


Basically imagine a Boeing X-37B (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Boeing_X-37B_after_ground_tests_at_Vandenberg_AFB%2C_October_2007.jpg) except it's half it's size, a pure lifting-body design (no wings), not a secret military project but civilian and will carry (and bring back) science payloads. Oh and it lands per guided parafoil rather than on a runway.


The smaller size is so it's cheaper to launch. It fits on a Vega C (launch price ~€25 million) instead requiring a large Atlas V or Falcon 9 like the X37B.

Below an image of Vega C at 1:10 scale. The same scale Ariane 6 gives a good size impression of the size difference:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCtit1FXoAA9HZL.jpg)

Payload will be 800 kg to an orbit at 400 km and it can stay in orbit several months for long duration experiments. The Space Rider will be offered commercially to scientists for a price of $9,200 per kg of science payload. Also possible uses would be ISS cargo transport and satellite servicing.

A droptest is scheduled for 2019 to test the landing system and the first flight is planned for 2020.

Questions?  ;D


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on June 22, 2017, 07:01:27 PM
I look forward to seeing it in action in 2030!   :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on June 23, 2017, 09:34:51 AM
It's almost 2020. 13 years is a short span of time when you consider 2000 is 17 years in the past and the 1990s were almost 30 years ago. Meanwhile most of us think of them as "Just a few years back."  Time is a bitch and dates that used to sound "far off" are right around the corner.

In short, 2030 is closer to now than the release of The Return of the King.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on June 23, 2017, 04:52:00 PM
The joke is that they promise to have it ready by 2020. 

 :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Ghambit on June 24, 2017, 03:50:17 PM
It's just a lifting body spaceplane (essentially parasitic cargo that falls back to earth), not a complete orbital system.  They could have it ready in 3yrs just fine if the design is already fully simmed.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 25, 2017, 10:41:37 AM
The joke is that they promise to have it ready by 2020.  

 :oh_i_see:

The development isn't starting from scratch, it's the follow of the IXV (Intermediate Experimental Vehicle). Either I forgot to write about it or you not reading all my posts with the utmost care. In which case...What the fuck is wrong with you?!?!  :grin:


The IXV sucessfully flew on a Vega in February 2015. Here seen during recovery:

(https://i.imgur.com/7UkVPtR.jpg)


The one-use engine thingy you see the end of IXV (called a service module in space parlance) is the the upper stage of Vega (called AVUM - Attitude Vernier Upper Module), with minor adaptions to increase it's orbit life-time. This is done to both decrease the development risks and the concurring costs during use, after all AVUM production is necessary for Vega anyway.

So I am not going place any bets on it, but a 2020 date seems perfectly doable.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 25, 2017, 10:46:17 AM
Free Bonus Factoid: The engine of the AVUM is the RD-843, produced in Ukraine by Yuzhmash and is an offshot of the SS-18 Satan ICBM final stage. #TheMoreYouKnow #TrollingTrippy



(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Dnepr_rocket_lift-off_1.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 25, 2017, 11:16:56 AM
Which brings me to my long running conspiracy theory that the Italians are secretly developing an ICBM and making Europe pay it.

First VEGA as the launcher (It's builder Avio is Italian) and then this by Thales Alenia Space Italy:


EXPERT - European Experimental Reentry Testbed

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDLcvUKXkAAb3yi.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/Ew063nO.jpg)


I am mean just look at that. You not fooling anyone, Spaghettis!


Edit:Oh and just a few days ago at the Paris Airshow. Avio introduces: Vega Light

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DC1d1q8WsAATLrb.jpg)


Need I say more?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 26, 2017, 02:41:50 PM
A great shot of yesterdays SpaceX East-coast launch. The Falcon 9 breaking through the clouds:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDRWQ4EXsAELlAy.jpg)
Source and coypright: Sam Sun, Nasaspaceflight.com


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 28, 2017, 06:16:39 PM
And we just saw the 80th consecutive successful launch of Ariane 5 from Kourou. Gave some nice pictures, too:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDcbZRdXUAEQzgI.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 28, 2017, 08:01:43 PM
As all good things come in threes here is a last picture:


(https://i.imgur.com/xu4JqRr.jpg)

 Really one of the best looking rockets, imho. It just says: no nonsense pure power.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DB4u1dSXYAAe-FX.jpg)


Crazy factoid: It was originally supposed to be a super-heavy ICBM. 100 Megatons worth of boom.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on June 28, 2017, 08:46:37 PM
Glad to hear you're on board with razing the Vatican and St. Peter's for the super LHC.

Just saw this. If the Vatican was on top of a mountain I'd actually be ok with it, but in the Middle of Rome? You would be better off buying a pair of Binoculars.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on June 29, 2017, 03:23:10 PM
Someone at ESA thought "Let's make an inspirational video once"



Well, here it is:

Europeans: Once Explorers, always Explorers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irQYp6GFMfs)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on June 30, 2017, 10:39:14 PM
This has inspired me... to make a moon rocket in Minecraft!  :why_so_serious:

(https://wiki.micdoodle8.com/wiki/File:Tier_1_Rocket_01.png)

(Ok, its the Galacticraft mod but hey, roll on me dying because I forgot an oxygen tank!)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 01, 2017, 05:05:13 PM
Let's get a bit nostaglic. What could have been:


Hermes, ESA's answer to the shuttle, designed to fly on Ariane5, carry crew of 3 and 3000 kg payload. After many design changes and after $2 bn invested it was canceled in 1992.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDrfPIEWsAAK-lU.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDrfQHVWsAIg0zY.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDrfQweXoAIkIuy.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDrfR82XUAAJ9bl.jpg)


I can write a little essay if someone really is interested, but the short version: You might notice the it looks pretty similar to the Dreamchaser, but the difference is the concept is from 1985, over 30 years ago. The design constantly got iterated and was never frozen, and basically: the tech wasn't there yet. Neither was it really for the Space Shuttle, as we saw by it's high cost and lack of safety, but ESA didn't have the funds to just smother the problems with money. The desired payload performance was never reached and development dragged on, so after 7 years the involved countries decided to pull the plug.



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 08, 2017, 03:02:07 PM
I recently posted some about BepiColombo, ESA & JAXA's probe to Mercury. (See here) (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=20163.msg1465824#msg1465824)


Now the vibration test of the full stack was done. Recommended watching with headphones and sound on full. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KabgwyTseY)

I really like how the sounds changes when the shaking frequency goes up...



It also already wins the prize as the fluffiest space probe alive. (Click image for full size)

(http://i.imgur.com/8uDBKG7.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/8uDBKG7.jpg)


The probe from bottom to top, as it will separate:
  • the Mercury Transfer Module, the thingy sitting on top of the cone-shaped adapter and with one folded solar array visible to the right)
  • the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, the boxy thingy with the folded solar array seen towards the left and satellite TV-dish to the right.
  • the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), the round thingy.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 08, 2017, 03:53:59 PM
Oh, and here is the gimballing of the 4 ion thruster engines. 80x times faster than actually happening in RL. They will fire for 2 out of the 7.5 years journey.

(http://i.imgur.com/j9B5UI5.gif)



How they look when active:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEPYtArXsAAGSkW.jpg)

Specs:
T6 Kaufman-type ion thruster produced by QinetiQ, United Kingdom

• Thrust 145 mN (or 0.015 Kilogram Force)
• Specific Impulse 4300 s
• Power draw 4600 W

Basically the concept of ion thrusters is that you have less thrust than with a chemical engine, but much higher exhaust speeds as the propellant is first ionised and then accelerated using electrical energy generated by the solar panels.
The higher velocity means less propellant is required, and are thus a lighter propulsion system, allowing more payload weight. The engines need to fire longer of course, but as there is not friction in space it doesn't really matter.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Abagadro on July 09, 2017, 12:25:05 AM
Very cool. I totally didn't get the scale of that thing until I noticed the person standing there.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on July 09, 2017, 08:51:01 PM
Very low thrust, very high specific Impulse. The most efficient drive possible.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 09, 2017, 09:02:58 PM
Very cool. I totally didn't get the scale of that thing until I noticed the person standing there.

Yes. I learned some more about it today, the entire mission is quite a technical challenge. 60% of the compontens used to developed specifically for it. That includes things like the paint on the high-gain antenna dish. And the antenna itself, the reflecter dish is titanium with a ceramic thermal coating, qualfied to operate at up 450° C. The motor and gear assemble to move the solar panels is rated up to 200°, etc...)

And more complex parts as the solar cells. High temperature (300° C) resistant cells were available, but during the design phase it turned out they could not withstand the extreme UV radiation so close to the sun. Which required the development of a new type, operating "only" to 215° C but able to withstand UV better.

The fluffy white covering (thermal coating) you see in the earlier post is another one-of-kind development for Bepi.


A rare picture you wont find on Google (well, now you will). The insides of the transfer module, ion thrusters clearly visible:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEVjjz9XYAA7lE7.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 10, 2017, 11:14:33 AM
Very low thrust, very high specific Impulse. The most efficient drive possible.

Well... no? Not by any metric that makes sense really. But then again efficiency doesn't make sense as a standard here. Claiming an ion drive is most efficient is like claiming a point on a line is most line.

To be more specific; in general you can achieve the same amount of thrust in two ways. Throw something heavy out the back slow. Or throw something light out the back fast. As such there are only two perfectly efficient drives possible and everything else is a trade off. The first drive pushes against the entirety of the universe and the second drive is a flashlight.

Both of these have obvious problems and they're similar to the problems exhibited by drives that we can actually use and are derived from the same concept. That is energy is equal to 1/2*mv^2. In order to generate trust by pushing against the universe you're now relative to the universe and so you require an increasing amount of thrust as you push faster. Since we do not know* the uhh current relative velocity of the earth to the universe we don't have any clue how much V were at and so how much energy it would take to speed up or slow down.

The opposite end of the line from "pushing literally everything" is pushing literally nothing and so putting a flashlight on your ship. Same as a light sail this will impart thrust despite light having no mass and so not needing to be carried. The downside here is that light is moving very fast and so despite having no real mass still requires a massive amount of energy per impulse.

All drives fall somewhere in this spectrum. Ion drives aren't at the end, just much closer to the "literal flashlight" side of the line than chemical rockets are which while closer to the "universal flinstone" side are still pretty close to the flashlight side all things considered.

*but could measure if we had this sort of drive... as an aside this might also explain some of the EM drives weirdness if it were such a drive. Such a drive would produce optimal travel velocities which would not relative to the velocity of the earth. Traveling away from earth in one direction at high speeds could be less energy intensive than traveling away at the same speed in the other. And this could change relative to how the earths velocity was changing relative to the universe.

To visualize this think of is the solar system were the entire universe and it was sitting on a table. The earth a marble rotating around the sun at 30km/s. If one were to "flinstone stop" on the table the earth would appear to be rocketing away at 30km/s. So in order to do this you would have to exert enough energy to go from 30km/s to zero.  But then the earth comes back around propelled by the force of gravity around the sun...and our flinstone drive is at zero velocity to the solar system. We exert zero energy except to resist gravity and everything comes back to us changing massively in relative velocity.

 What if we want to go the opposite direction away from earth... now instead of going from 30 to 0 we have to go from 30 to 60. Which requires many many times more energy if you were looking at these two drives from the frame of the earth one would expend far more energy to do the exact same thing.




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on July 10, 2017, 05:54:34 PM
Um.. you are forgetting that where you are going to is ALSO moving. Movement of everything is relative to everything else. So if you were expending enough energy to come to a stop in an absolute sense, it would still seem to you that you were hurtling at your destination at your 30v, so it would be unnecessary to do the 60v you are suggesting it would take to go the opposite direction. Everything in this part of the galaxy is moving in roughly the same direction, so there would be no need for the double acceleration and double energy you are talking about. You are not going against the rotation of the earth here.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 10, 2017, 07:38:10 PM
Um.. you are forgetting that where you are going to is ALSO moving. Movement of everything is relative to everything else. So if you were expending enough energy to come to a stop in an absolute sense, it would still seem to you that you were hurtling at your destination at your 30v, so it would be unnecessary to do the 60v you are suggesting it would take to go the opposite direction. Everything in this part of the galaxy is moving in roughly the same direction, so there would be no need for the double acceleration and double energy you are talking about. You are not going against the rotation of the earth here.

You're misunderstanding what you're pushing on with the hypothetical flinstone drive. Maybe this will work. Suppose that you're in the ISS on an orbit around the earth. If I am on the ISS I can get out and continue just like normal because energy has not changed much. I continue besides the ISS as it goes around the earth. If I engage a rocket booster in direction 1 I will accelerate away from the ISS at whatever the acceleration of the rocket booster is. If I accelerate away from the ISS in the opposite direction then I will also accelerate away from the ISS at whatever the acceleration is. The total energy of this system will look proper because it's simple two body problem. If you added the earth everything works because the start point KE is much higher and so the chemical engines energy transfer cancels out no matter your frame of reference.

Now suppose I extend invisible super stilts and literally attach myself to the earth. In order to stop relative to the earth I need to go from 4.76 miles/second to 0. Relative to the ISS I am now traveling away from it at 4.76 miles per second. If I wanted to travel in the other direction away from the ISS I would need to change speeds relative to the earth from 4.76miles/s to 9.52 miles/second in order to appear to be moving 4.76 away from the ISS in the other direction.

If you cannot see the stilts (and/or do not realize that it's pushing off the earth rather than nothing) then the total energy required (and force produced) in order to travel in different directions away from the ISS will be be look different from the ISS in a way that is bonkers with our understanding of physics;  you will be looking at a 2 body with excess energy when the proper answer is that a third body is absorbing that excess. The energy required to travel at the same acceleration in different directions will actually look different (so will the force produced be different) when just looking at the two body problem and the drive will appear reactionless.

Such a drive is pretty far fetched... after all only being an example of the exact opposite type of drive as a flashlight. But it's not so far fetched. Gravity is, after all, a force in which all matter effects all other matter at the speed of light.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on July 10, 2017, 08:51:51 PM
The ion drive has the highest specific impulse (Isp) in vacuum, meaning that it provides the highest energy output per unit of propellant. Which is pretty much all that counts given that the total mass of both the vehicle and the propellant goes into the rocket equation.

The theoretical limit would be a drive that always provides an exhaust velocity that is equal to the actual speed of the vehicle but in the eopposite direction. In case of that variable exhaust speed dive propellant use would be 100% efficient since the propellant would use 100% of its kinetic energy (minus thermal losses) to provide forward momentum.

Also of course there is a meaningful measure of efficiency. It's energy provided per unit of reaction mass. Because

Delta v = Isp * g * ln (m0/mf)

m0 = total mass including propellant
mF = dry mass of the vehicle.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 10, 2017, 11:36:19 PM
A flashlight provides more as it needs no propellant yet still produces thrust. The ion drive is only the most efficient currently viable production engine(that also produces enough thrust to propel a spacecraft to sufficient velocity in reasonable time). It not the most efficient drive possible; which was claimed. You can always throw less(or the same) mass out faster which will always have a higher specific impulse... until you're throwing out only energy in the form of photons*

*Or maybe gravity? I don't know enough to say because that would be super weird.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on July 11, 2017, 06:50:14 AM
Without reaction mass there is no acceleration of a center of mass (e.g. a spaceship) in space. This is a direct result of Newton's laws of motion or more specifically the conservation laws (in this case conservation of linear momentum). The Tsiolkovski rocket equation is basically an extension of Newton's second law to variable mass systems (Newton's second law requires the mass of the system to be constant)

The reason is that acceleration is a change in linear momentum that is proportional to the force applied and due to the conservation of linear momentum that force has an equal but opposite force. Also since F = dP/dt = d(mv)/dt and P = mv there is no change in linear momentum without a "mass" that can "carry" momentum.

Propellant in that context is any source of reaction mass that is able to affect a change of linear momentum. This leaves you with only two Options. One: expel more mass (F = d(mv)/dt) or Two: increase the velocity of the expelled mass (F = d(mv)/dt)

In case of a chemical rocket the velocity of the reaction mass comes from the energy of an exotheric chemical reaction
In case of an ion drive the velocity of the reaction mass comes from an electric field gradient that accelerates charged particles. This can be further differentiated by the power source used to generate the ions and the electric field (thermal, solar, nuclear etc.)
There are other types of drives which create reaction mass in a different manner (e.g. ablation via laser or plasma arcs) or use other types of Forces (gravitational potential energy, radiation pressure).

All types of drives have upper limits, either due to the amount of mass you can carry with you (which gets more and more inefficient the more mass you carry) or the amount of energy you can create (reactor size and mass).

Ion drives usually have low thrust because they are reaction mass efficient (high specific impulse) but not energy efficient (they require a high amount of energy to acellerate the ions) and thus the energy Budget is usually limited by the payload size.

By the way a flashlight does not need propellant, the force generated is due to radiation pressure by emission of photons (Boltzmann's law). It needs an energy source though (battery, electric or thermoelectric Generator etc) to be able to generate and emit the photons and so similar upper limits (size and amount of energy that can be output) apply.

Lastly there is a hard upper limit on v and therefore a hard upper limit on specific Impulse or thrust and that is the speed of light. As the exhaust velocity approaches c the amount of energy required approaches infinity.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 11, 2017, 08:33:28 AM
Wrong. Space sails work ergo reaction mass is not necessary. We have experimentally verified force by bouncing photons off a mirror. Photons don't have mass ergo force with no reaction mass. Ergo acceleration with no reaction mass.

It's... it's that simple. The thing you're claiming does not exist does indeed actually exist. This does not violate conservation of energy.

I don't understand the point of he rest of your post unless you're trying to rewrite my post above explaining that for a fixed F = d(mv)/dt | m ~ 1/dv.. There can be no local maximization or minimization solutions on such a continuum without another relationship between the values (which does not exist as theoretical limitations as far as I can tell) except the corner solutions.

Edit: this is true on the plane created as well if you let F float


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on July 12, 2017, 06:19:21 AM
Wrong. Space sails work ergo reaction mass is not necessary. We have experimentally verified force by bouncing photons off a mirror. Photons don't have mass ergo force with no reaction mass. Ergo acceleration with no reaction mass.

Reaction as in actio = reactio. You need something to "push against" or something that pushes against you.

We were talking about vessels with internal drives that don't have to rely on external forces for propulsion. You're now talking about methods of propulsion that use external forces. A solar sail works because of radiation pressure due to reflection, absorption or emission. In that case you don't need to carry your own reaction mass because your space craft is externally powered and used as reaction mass by something else (photons in that case) which also means that the energy source is external (in that case the sun's fusion process)

Bouncing photons of a mirror imparts a net force due to radiation pressure. The photon either changes direction due to reflection or it gets absorbed. This exerts a net force on the reflector due to the change of direction of the momentum vector of the photon with the photon losing energy in the process (redshifting). (see Newton's second law). Absorption and reemission work because of Boltzmann's law.

"The two largest issues (...) are to find a way for a vehicle to induce external net forces on itself, and secondly, to satisfy conservation of momentum in the process."

"A key aspect of conservation of momentum is the reaction mass. When an automobile accelerates, its wheels push against the road using the Earth as the reaction mass. Helicopters
and aircraft use the air as their reaction mass. In space, where there are no roads or air, a rocket must bring along propellant to thrust against." (Assessing Potential Propulsion Breakthroughs https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20060000022.pdf)

"The net external force requirement is closely related to conservation of momentum. Conservation of momentum requires that the momentum imparted to the vehicle must be equal and opposite to the momentum imparted to a reaction mass." (The Challenge To Create The Space Drive. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19990023236.pdf)

Quote
It's... it's that simple. The thing you're claiming does not exist does indeed actually exist. This does not violate conservation of energy.

Conservation of linear momentum not conservation of energy. Reaction mass as in actio = reactio (Newton's third law) not as in "chemical reaction". In case of a solar sail the photon from the sun uses the ship as its "reaction mass" as it "pushes against" the sail to change direction.

For movement you need a source of kinetic energy either because of a "reaction mass" or because you found a way to convert some form of potential energy into kinetic energy.

Quote
I don't understand the point of he rest of your post unless you're trying to rewrite my post above explaining that for a fixed F = d(mv)/dt | m ~ 1/dv.. There can be no local maximization or minimization solutions on such a continuum without another relationship between the values (which does not exist as theoretical limitations as far as I can tell) except the corner solutions.

If you expel mass you're either limited by the exhaust velocity (v) since v must be smaller than c (in reality v must be << than c because of relativistic effects) or by the amount of reaction mass you can carry with you. The obvious limit being that you can't carry an infinite amount of mass and the less obvious being the fact that additional mass means that you increase the wet mass of your ship which creates additional mass you need to accelerate/decelerate which requires additional mass as propellant etc. If you increase DeltaV by a factor of 3 your total mass increases by a factor of 20, given that the dry mass stays the same for example.

For other types of hypothetical drives that rely on other types of force interactons you're still limited by your energy source and the upper limit on conversion efficiency of the physical process/cycle used to generate energy. You're also running into the same problem that you need to carry fuel with you that runs your generator and that adds additional mass to your vehicle which requires additional energy output for acceleration/deceleration.

This places a real upper physical bound on efficiency of your propulsion system if you need to be self reliant (independent of external sources of energy, like the sun for example or a laser pointed at you from earth)

As for your "torch drive". Photons have no rest mass. They carry momentum because E = pc but very very little since p = E/c and therefore the force (dp/dt) is very very small, meaning that you'd need a lot of photons and therefore a lot of energy to propel something forward. 1 gigawatt would give you about 3.3 Newtons of force

There are ideas to use thermic photons (waste heat or thermal energy) for Propulsion that is emitted via blackbody radiation (see for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_photonic_rocket) but emitting photons yields you less force than just emitting the reaction products of the energy source directly.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on July 16, 2017, 12:55:42 AM
now I'm wondering if it would be possible for an ion drive craft to collect reaction mass from the solar wind so it wouldn't be limited to what it was launched with? I guess the collection would impart thrust as well, in a fixed direction, same as a solar sail. but if it could then re-emit those particles as thrust in whatever direction it wanted ... hmm. extremely small amounts of mass, even on ion drive scales. but those small amounts do add up over years.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on July 16, 2017, 01:34:06 AM
now I'm wondering if it would be possible for an ion drive craft to collect reaction mass from the solar wind so it wouldn't be limited to what it was launched with? I guess the collection would impart thrust as well, in a fixed direction, same as a solar sail. but if it could then re-emit those particles as thrust in whatever direction it wanted ... hmm. extremely small amounts of mass, even on ion drive scales. but those small amounts do add up over years.


You mean a Bussard ramjet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet)?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on July 16, 2017, 06:54:36 PM
Bussard Ramjet would be a different thing. Problem with trying to collect your reaction mass from the solar wind is that the ion engine is pretty fussy about what it will use, and hydrogen, helium, plus whatever else got scooped up would probably not fit the bill. And any mass used to collect and filter it could simply be used to add more reaction mass in the first place.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on July 16, 2017, 09:27:31 PM
not ramjet, no.  Trying to remember but I thought solar wind particles were already mostly ions. ion drives use the charge differential to emit the ions, right? just curious, but too lazy to look it up right now.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on July 16, 2017, 09:50:20 PM
not ramjet, no.  Trying to remember but I thought solar wind particles were already mostly ions. ion drives use the charge differential to emit the ions, right? just curious, but too lazy to look it up right now.  :why_so_serious:
This page (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster) will tell you more than you want to know, according to it the only type that uses hydrogen as a propellant is the magnetoplasmadynamic thruster (MPDT), which the Russians are working on. It has particularly high energy requirements, and still more theoretical than practical.

Having it already be ions might make it easier to capture and handle,  but you would need some awfully strong and subtle magnetic systems to do it, which again begs the question of why you don't just use that payload to carry more propellant.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 16, 2017, 11:10:13 PM
I really don't understand what you're trying to say Kelly. I understand the physics of it so telling me what I described again doesn't change anything. If you're trying to redefine terms into meaninglessness then I don't know why.

Ion drives simply are not the most efficient drive possible as you claimed. 


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Jeff Kelly on July 17, 2017, 02:58:46 AM
Then tell me what would be the most efficient drive in your opinion. Also what you define as most efficient.

I have tried to show you why - barring some sort of revolutionary breakthrough in propulsion - ion drives are the most efficient drives when it comes to the most important benchmark reaction mass efficiency (going farthest with the least amount of wet mass)

Chemical drives are less efficient because their maximum V(exhaust) is limited.
Photon drives have such high energy requirements (because each photon carries very little impulse) that it's more efficient to use the exhaust products directly.
Solar sails and laser drives or similar drive concepts require external energy input and line of sight, either to earth or to the sun and the amount of energy that can be transferred shrinks with 1/r^3 so they are not really suited for interplanetary or interstellar travel

Evertging else is in the realm of theory which may or may not work and may or may not be technically viable.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 17, 2017, 07:27:08 AM
I know better than going between Goumindong and Jeff, but wonder if the more "normal" F13 posters can even follow this debate.

Does everyone know what ISP is, how an Ion drive works, etc?

If not I could make a Rocket Engines - the Basics for Dummies post in the next days (when havingaccess to a PC)

Just so we all are on the same page


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 17, 2017, 10:48:04 AM
There is no "most efficient engine" because such a concept is meaningless.

And Jesus Christ I know. I already said " The ion drive is only the most efficient currently viable production engine(that also produces enough thrust to propel a spacecraft to sufficient velocity in reasonable time). It not the most efficient drive possible; which was claimed"


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Typhon on July 17, 2017, 04:22:07 PM
So if he goes back and adds "currently" to his post you'll shut the fuck up?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on July 17, 2017, 04:32:38 PM
I know better than going between Goumindong and Jeff, but wonder if the more "normal" F13 posters can even follow this debate.

Does everyone know what ISP is, how an Ion drive works, etc?

If not I could make a Rocket Engines - the Basics for Dummies post in the next days (when havingaccess to a PC)

Just so we all are on the same page
I am not sure how close any of us come to "normal", but other than a vague sense that they use electromagnetic fields to accelerate ions, I don't actually know much about how ion drives work. ISP relates to the efficiency of the propellant use, in essence the faster your reaction mass goes out the rear end, the less of it you have to use, and the more total vector change you can get for a given mass of propellant.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on July 17, 2017, 10:57:27 PM
I know better than going between Goumindong and Jeff, but wonder if the more "normal" F13 posters can even follow this debate.

Does everyone know what ISP is, how an Ion drive works, etc?

If not I could make a Rocket Engines - the Basics for Dummies post in the next days (when havingaccess to a PC)

Just so we all are on the same page

 Basics: All engines work in roughly the same way. You push on something and it pushes you back in the opposite direction. This can be like a car (you push on the world) or a rocket (you push on rocket fuel) or a sail (you push on the wind).

The heavier the thing the faster you go. If you sit on a dolly and throw a baseball behind you at a fixed velocity you wont go very far or go very fast. But if you throw a medicine ball the same speed then you will go faster and further.

The faster you throw the thing the faster you go as well. In the dolly example throwing a baseball 10 mph will make you go less far than throwing it 100 mph. As you know, throwing a ball 100 mph takes much more energy than throwing one 10 MPH.

For a rocket then there are naturally two constraints

1) how much mass your rocket can carry. if I put 100 baseballs on my dolly and throw a baseball out the back I have to push me +99 baseballs. Then when I throw the second me +98. This is generally the most important constraint in a rocket. If we were throwing baseballs out the back and wanted to do this for a very long time you would have to eventually add so many baseballs that an additional baseball would not push you any faster; the increased mass we needed to push would negate all the value of the increased ability to push.

2) how much energy you can expend to push the material out the back. If you're an MLB pitcher you can throw harder and longer. But if you're me then you're shit out of luck.

Because of the first constraint very long range rockets tend to focus on trying to take as little fuel mass as possible. The less you throw out the back the less you have to take with you and so the less you have to push yourself in order to move. This allows longer trips in more reasonable amounts of time because you can burn for a longer portion of the trip. Going to mars with an ion drive you could burn half the way there (and then turn around to decelerate) but with a chemical rocket you would only be able to burn for a few minutes.

The end point of the first constraint is not a drive that uses mass at all. You can literally create light out of the void and so, given enough energy, could create enough light to push a ship. The problem here is more the ability to create enough energy (and then of course the ability to somehow not murder everything behind you for million of miles) which we absolutely definitely do not have.

The most commonly known rocket is a chemical rocket. Energy is stored in a chemical reaction and when the reaction goes off the expansion of the gasses in a controlled manner push the rocket forward. This releases energy very fast but contains relatively little energy per mass and so cannot push to very high velocities even though they will achieve those velocities very fast.

The current best we can do* is an ion drive which is, more or less, smaller/modified version of a particle accelerator. (Like the large hadron). Rather than accelerating a small number of particles to super high speeds it accelerates relatively loads more particles to much lower speeds. Because "relatively loads more" than a normal particle accelerator is still "a fuck ton less than a chemical rocket" these drives can go further into space in reasonable time frames than chemical rockets.

*besides the enminently buildable, but impossible to reasonably test on earth, nuclear bomb sails.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 28, 2017, 11:04:35 AM
Just happening:

A new crew flying to the ISS.

A Russian, Sergey Ryazansky (2nd spaceflight for him), an European, Paolo Nespoli (3rd spaceflight) and an American, Randy Bresnik (2nd flight).

Here are they together:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Soyuz_MS-05_crew.jpg)

Guess who is who!



Liftoff:
(http://i.imgur.com/1apqh0f.gif)


1 minute 58 seconds later... Booster seperation
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DF1V0duWsAANcAR.jpg)

Note the 4 small dots, the side boosters falling away. The famous Korolev Cross.

GIF from an earlier Arianespace mission showing how it looks closeup:

(http://i.imgur.com/MysrjOD.gif)


And here an inside picture of the crew and the most important equipment: The Stick of Control

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DF1W7-pXYAEz0qX.jpg)

The Soyuz (rocket) did it's job, now there is a free fly phase of the Soyuz (capsule). Docking at the ISS will be i a few hours.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 28, 2017, 12:09:36 PM
And here is a "On This Day" in 2005:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DF1hDLkXUAESfpp.jpg)

Survey operations (checking the integrity of the heat shield) on Space Shuttle Discovery.

The image was shot over Switzerland (altough I cant find the exact location) from inside the ISS.

Edit: As much as the Shuttle was the wrong choice from a development point of view, it's just looks so very cool.  :heart:  Capsules can't compare to that.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on July 31, 2017, 05:14:18 AM
Soyuz trip was safe and uneventful. Here just seconds before docking:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGBayW6XsAAFkOG.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on August 01, 2017, 03:12:47 PM
Super Typhoon Neru, photographed by Randy. The same Randy from your local NASA space agency that we shot into the air few days ago with Soyuz.



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGK1FTIXgAApze7.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGK1HEkWsAAa0Bg.jpg)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on August 03, 2017, 06:36:35 AM
Another image from the new crew, this time shot by the Russian member:



(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGQBIE4XUAAg-DK.jpg)


Think it's an awesome image. That it was photographed in portrait ratio changes a familiar view. Good reminder there is no up and down in space.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on August 04, 2017, 03:13:03 AM
Space guessing game.

Which comet is this?

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGXus4kXkAEa2OK.jpg)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on August 04, 2017, 04:00:42 AM
Great stuff, keep it coming!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on August 31, 2017, 08:22:31 PM
Let's give this 6+ billions-years old alien civilization a warm welcome once they get here!!!  :drill: :why_so_serious:

http://news.berkeley.edu/2017/08/30/distant-galaxy-sends-out-15-high-energy-radio-bursts/


But seriously, this is extremely cool.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 01, 2017, 12:19:51 PM
Hurricane Harvey and the benefit of (Synthetic Aperture) Radar satellites:


This is how the satellites from DigitalGlobe see the disaster zone as of 29th August:

(Background:  DigitalGlobe is based in Denver, Colorado and (to the best of my knowledge) the first private company to provide high-res satellite images. This goes back to Clinton's (Bill not Hillary) Land Remote Sensing Policy Act which opened this field to commercial actors, a field that was up to then the domain of nation states. This forward looking decision is one the reasons American companies are market leaders in this business.)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIfhpsSXkAUoMw6.png)

(If it its not obvious: Too many clouds!)

In comparison a  product of the Copernicus EMS rapid mapping service, showing the areas affected by flooding:

(https://i.imgur.com/Qkwms9yg.jpg)


Clouds are not an issue here. Why?

The map is a composite. The static (optical) satellite picture, incidentally 2016 DigitalGlobe data, is overlayed with radar (peeking through the clouds) information by the 4 satellites of COSMO-Skymed (Constellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) from the Italian Space Agency.

Which produces pictures like the one below. The island of Giglio with the capsized Costa Concordia, beached by Captain Schettino, visible on the right:

(http://i.imgur.com/wqL1GSS.png) (http://i.imgur.com/VDZdU1f.png)


The process of creating these maps is not automatic yet, which is where Copernicus Earth Observation programme in comes in, of which one part is the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, of which a small part is the rapid mapping service, which can be activated on short notice when disasters hit. AkA "Where does my tax money go?"

The center of Copernicus are the Sentinels. The name of 6 families of satellites (in orbit now / being developed) with different focus (optical, radar, land, air, sea...) and supplemented by "contributing missions" of which COSMO Skymed is one. An informative but admittedly somewhat PR-y video explaining the Sentinels: THE COPERNICUS PROGRAMME (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGJss4lDaBo)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on September 01, 2017, 01:15:39 PM
Good to have you back, I have missed your updates in this thread.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 04, 2017, 06:51:48 AM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIy-17-W4AAl2zd?format=jpg)


Freshly baked space ship, straight out of the atmospheric oven.


It doesn't look like it but inside are 3 people, one of which Peggy Whitson who now, with 665 days away from Earth I total,  more time in space than any other woman worldwide and any other American Astronaut.

And Herr the landing itself:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIzNzrWUMAAY2M-.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 13, 2017, 09:42:32 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/BjcociC.jpg)

If you haven't heard about it yet, Cassini is going to move to planet upstate where it can do science all day. All her probe friends will be there too


 :heartbreak: :heartbreak: :heartbreak:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on September 13, 2017, 09:49:37 AM
How to follow Cassini's end of mission (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cassini-Huygens/How_to_follow_Cassini_s_end_of_mission) (on Friday)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on September 13, 2017, 10:01:54 AM
Wow, I had totally forgotten that it was still up there taking pictures.  Amazing run!


And things have come full circle, as in the very post of this thread, I talked about how SpaceX was doing the second launch ever of the Falcon 9, and that the Air Force's secret space ship had landed by itself for the first time.  Well, turns out last week Space X launched that very same space plane back into space on a Falcon 9.   :why_so_serious:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/technology/spacex-launch-irma/index.html

We still have no idea what its doing up there.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 14, 2017, 04:15:07 AM
A good overview including lots of stunning images, by NASA:

(https://i.imgur.com/mfQuzPR.jpg)

Link: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/system/downloadable_items/1079_The_Saturn_System.pdf


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 14, 2017, 06:49:52 AM
And here is SpaceX stage landing blooper reel. Impressive show.

https://youtu.be/bvim4rsNHkQ


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on September 14, 2017, 07:58:38 AM
And here is SpaceX stage landing blooper reel. Impressive show.

https://youtu.be/bvim4rsNHkQ

Damnit just came here to post that.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on September 14, 2017, 10:56:39 AM
And here is SpaceX stage landing blooper reel. Impressive show.

https://youtu.be/bvim4rsNHkQ

And you beat me to it too.

Calapine on the ball today!

But I still wanted to see video of BulgariaSat's weird landing, although technically not a crash it came pretty close.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on September 15, 2017, 06:32:22 AM
I'm kinda teary: 20 years ago in October I was in front of my monitor, watching Cassini depart from Earth during a NASA live streaming, through an ISDN line and what was a very different World Wide Web, in-between Ultima Online playing sessions (hey, it was released only 20 days or so before :D)  :grin: . What a spectacular mission (and a great achievement by all the parties involved, considering we're talking about technologies developed in the late eighties, after all) this has proven to be  :heart: :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: satael on September 15, 2017, 07:12:17 AM
Earth received @CassiniSaturn’s final signal at 7:55am ET. Cassini is now part of the planet it studied. Thanks for the science #GrandFinale (https://twitter.com/NASA/status/908661580354613249)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Slayerik on September 15, 2017, 01:51:42 PM
Jupiter!

http://www.iflscience.com/space/new-images-of-jupiter-are-in-and-theyre-ridiculously-awesome-/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on September 16, 2017, 12:37:21 AM
those are pretty, but I really prefer the more subtle color enhanced pictures, where the saturation and contrast of the existing colors is boosted rather than some of those crazy made-up combos

and Cassini's end made me tear up a little.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 25, 2017, 11:54:43 AM
*slurps coffee not very gracefully* Soo.... the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide started today, thus there is going to be a wealth of space news in the next 4 days. The media highlight will surely be Elon Musk new Mars project presentation.

But let's start it slowly with some images from Baikunor, that were shot just early today:


(https://www.roscosmos.ru/media/gallery/big/24130/2566336193.jpg)

(https://www.roscosmos.ru/media/gallery/big/24130/6127582854.jpg)

(https://www.roscosmos.ru/media/gallery/big/24130/3692377505.jpg)

(https://www.roscosmos.ru/media/gallery/big/24130/2734601790.jpg)

(https://www.roscosmos.ru/media/gallery/big/24130/6430979315.jpg)


That's just a selection of a 30+ photo slideshow, and I am not even sure I picked most the aesthetically pleasing ones. Here is the rest.  (https://www.roscosmos.ru/24127/)

Not much to say about the launch, a commercial communication satellite called AsiaSat 9, but here it is:

(https://i.imgur.com/bus1oaa.jpg)

Here is it with the dishes unfolded but to see it's true form you need to add the massive solar panels:

(http://space.skyrocket.de/img_sat/asiasat-9__1.jpg)

I am still impressed by these big birds.  :-o


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 27, 2017, 07:52:43 AM
Some minor news:

Falcon Heavy remains the eternal space Godot. Launch now in 2019 (was: Nov 2018)

JWST is goign to launch in 2019, not October 2018. This isn't due the telescope but the result of a launch window conflict with BepiColombo who which is scheduled at the same month. JWST has more potentially launch windows than BepiColombo, who is flying all the way to Mercury, this it getting first preferences here.

NASA and Roscosmos released a joint statement regarding an ISS-follow on station in lunar orbit.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 27, 2017, 12:22:53 PM
Two black holes merge 1.8 billion light years away.

And not only could we detect this, we also triangulated the position.

Just wow...  :heart:

Here is the full detection paper: GW170814 : A three-detector observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole coalescence (https://tds.virgo-gw.eu/GW170814)


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKvxMCNWAAAU9c1.png)   (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKvyHTzXoAED5Mg.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKvyGIiXoAAxZlx.jpg)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 27, 2017, 12:28:46 PM
GIF showing the difference that adding a 3rd detector makes:


(https://i.imgur.com/RD69gFi.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 27, 2017, 07:52:23 PM
There is something so hard about thinking through this. An event, 1.8 billion years ago. So we detect it now, but...that's kind of like detecting evidence of geological events on Earth 1.8 billion years ago, right? It's a precondition of the Earth we live on today. The thing that is hard about that conceptually for me is: we live on the same Earth with geologies that are 1.8 billion years ago. E.g., the consequence of ancient events is still a constitutive part of our world, it's visible in the landscape of Canada and Australia and Greenland and a few other places. But what's happening now in places that generated those kinds of strong signals of gravitational waves 1.8 billion years ago that is constituting our present cosmological reality?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on September 27, 2017, 08:20:54 PM
But what's happening now in places that generated those kinds of strong signals of gravitational waves 1.8 billion years ago that is constituting our present cosmological reality?
The universe is currently expanding at 68 kilometers per second per megaparsec. 1.8 billion light years is 550 megaparsecs, so theoretically the space between us is expanding at 37,000km every second. "But wait," someone says, "wouldn't it have been expanding like that for 1.8 billion years? Wouldn't, indeed, it have been 2.1x1021km closer back then? Since there are only 9.5x1012 km in a light year, wouldn't we have been 220 million light years closer?"

No, I reply, it actually involves calculus because the distance decreases in that time and, worse yet, the cosmological constant isn't constant.

But it's even worse: 1.8 billion light years away, "now" depends upon your relative velocity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk%E2%80%93Putnam_argument) to such an extent that you can theoretically change by years which events you're simultaneous with by jogging one direction and then the other.

So what do you mean by "our" present cosmological relativity? Yours isn't even the same as mine.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on September 27, 2017, 10:02:18 PM
There is something so hard about thinking through this. An event, 1.8 billion years ago. So we detect it now, but...that's kind of like detecting evidence of geological events on Earth 1.8 billion years ago, right? It's a precondition of the Earth we live on today. The thing that is hard about that conceptually for me is: we live on the same Earth with geologies that are 1.8 billion years ago. E.g., the consequence of ancient events is still a constitutive part of our world, it's visible in the landscape of Canada and Australia and Greenland and a few other places. But what's happening now in places that generated those kinds of strong signals of gravitational waves 1.8 billion years ago that is constituting our present cosmological reality?

Think of it like the black holes threw us a ball across a field, except we don't know they threw the ball until it's right on top of us. In the meantime, they walked away and had a sandwich or something. We have no idea what's going on over there, or if they've thrown us another ball, because we cannot see it until it's right in our face.

So yes, what we've detected is what happened in that area of space about 1.8 billion years ago. Anything that happened subsequent to that we will begin to see...though with those kinds of forces, there might not be much left to see for the next billion years or so.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on September 28, 2017, 08:35:21 AM
Yeah, the actual space component is something that seems to get overlooked with those kinds of events.  It's 1.8 billion years ago from this "point" in time and 1.8 billion light years away from this "point" in space, too. The universe has changed a lot in 1.8 billion years. And we have no idea how it changed and where/when.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on September 28, 2017, 01:21:50 PM
Consider that invertebrate multi-cellular life began on earth 600 million years ago.  These events happened 2x that plus another 300 million years in Earth's life.. plants had barely formed.   My "just tack on 300m years" is a span of time larger than the gulf that separates us from the dinosaurs.

http://www.pindex.com/uploads/post_images/original/image_6245.jpg


Space and time are fucking HUUUUUUUGE.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on September 28, 2017, 02:11:16 PM
"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 28, 2017, 02:24:51 PM
The Proton I talked about earlier launched. Night launch with a lot of cloud cover, so not the most spectacular view.

Anyway, some pictures and a video link:

(https://i.imgur.com/grgSfOy.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/GRwfEox.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/JUPKd2B.png)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yoy1Vtqb25g


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2017, 12:58:14 AM
Move over RyanAir ElonAir is in town!  :why_so_serious: :oh_i_see:


Edit: I removed the screenshots, there is now a Youtube video SpaceX Airlines  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqE-ultsWt0)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2017, 03:05:41 AM
Context: Elon Musk gave a speech  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5V7R_se1Xc&feature=youtu.be)at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide

He also announced to replace Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon with a the new, somwhat smaller BFR concept.

Small here means 9 instead of 12 meter diameter, 106 instead of 122 m height, 31 instead of 21 Raptor engines.


The new BFR is supposed to do everthing. From launching satellites, supplying a moon base to cargo transport to the ISS:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DK3fYgiW0AAQJFr.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/21eL6MY.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on September 29, 2017, 03:33:42 AM
But what's happening now in places that generated those kinds of strong signals of gravitational waves 1.8 billion years ago that is constituting our present cosmological reality?
The universe is currently expanding at 68 kilometers per second per megaparsec. 1.8 billion light years is 550 megaparsecs, so theoretically the space between us is expanding at 37,000km every second. "But wait," someone says, "wouldn't it have been expanding like that for 1.8 billion years? Wouldn't, indeed, it have been 2.1x1021km closer back then? Since there are only 9.5x1012 km in a light year, wouldn't we have been 220 million light years closer?"

No, I reply, it actually involves calculus because the distance decreases in that time and, worse yet, the cosmological constant isn't constant.

But it's even worse: 1.8 billion light years away, "now" depends upon your relative velocity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk%E2%80%93Putnam_argument) to such an extent that you can theoretically change by years which events you're simultaneous with by jogging one direction and then the other.

So what do you mean by "our" present cosmological relativity? Yours isn't even the same as mine.

If your talking together (IE occupy roughly the same space at the same time while traveling the same speed in the same direction) then its close enough.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on September 29, 2017, 03:17:24 PM
Politics about SLS aside this may well be in the Awesome Picture thread:

SLS Core Stage pathfinder (= dummy stage to test procedures) arriving at NASA Michoud

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DK6uFXuXkAEL4Ic.jpg) (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/maf_20170927_cs_pathfinder_arrives_at_maf-2.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on September 30, 2017, 02:22:33 AM
Wow, nice shot!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on September 30, 2017, 07:15:39 AM
Yeah, what a great picture.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Brolan on September 30, 2017, 10:44:03 AM
That's why I come here for my dirty, dirty, space porn.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: RhyssaFireheart on October 02, 2017, 09:16:12 AM
And just when I was looking for a new background for the work computer!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on October 03, 2017, 10:48:20 AM


Falcon Heavy remains the eternal space Godot. Launch now in 2019 (was: Nov 2018)


Officially, it's just bumped to December 2017. (Also, I think you might be living a year ahead, or I'm a year behind -- it is still 2017 right?)

And speaking of living ahead, I think Elon wishes he'd just cancelled the Heavy a while ago. It's already obsolete in his mind, and he's just going to manufacturer a few to satisfy contractual obligations -- he's apparently already tooling up to produce the BFR exclusively.

He is honest to gods going to make rockets as reusable as airplanes, or go broke trying.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 06, 2017, 01:09:17 PM
Falcon Heavy remains the eternal space Godot. Launch now in 2019 (was: Nov 2018)

Officially, it's just bumped to December 2017. (Also, I think you might be living a year ahead, or I'm a year behind -- it is still 2017 right?)

I was going by unoffical info. And considering that the next CRS flight to the ISS is now scheduled for December it seems to be a pretty safe bet. But yes, I was already one year ahead in my head and meant to say 2018.

---


How to launch a cubesat, the Russian way. :grin:

(https://i.imgur.com/aAiYPT3.gif)


This just an outtake from a longer Roscosmos 360° ISS EVA video. Well worth watching.


First time in the Universe: Spacewalk filmed in 360 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9u297hArbI)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 07, 2017, 12:50:50 PM
A little more about the ISS. The station maintains an (almost) circular orbit around Earth at a height of ~400 km.


Yet if one consults a map to find it's position, the result looks something like this:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/ISS_orbits_04132013.jpg)
(The projected track of 5 orbits)

The answer to "Why?" should, but might not be, obvious. Especially if you are like me and spatial understanding of 3D spaces isn't your forte.


I found this visualisation helpful:


(https://media.giphy.com/media/3ohhwwzY6PoxKCjHFu/giphy.gif)

The "Sinus-curve-orbit" is resulting from the fact that a maps are just 2D projections of a globe.

The "track drift" to the West is due the earth rotating below the station. (If someone can phrase this better PM me and I will edit gladly!)

And that's that!  :-)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on October 09, 2017, 02:19:38 AM
So why the roughly-45% orbit? I'd have thought it would be more parallel to the equator or something.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on October 09, 2017, 03:15:45 AM
So why the roughly-45% orbit? I'd have thought it would be more parallel to the equator or something.

Look at the picture above the animation. They basically get to be over every part of the planet within just a few orbits. Also, is parallel to the equator even possible outside geostationary orbits? I think it pretty much has to be right on the equator or any rotation of it (like that ISS orbit).


Title: °
Post by: calapine on October 09, 2017, 10:23:31 AM
I have a cold from hell (including puking), so I have to do this in parts because it's actually quite challenge to verbalise an answer without resorting to an "Just BECAUSE, Timmy! Now please be quiet and let my mommy drive!!" answer. And just sitting at the desk makes nausea worse.

Also, is parallel to the equator even possible outside geostationary orbits?

Sure can do! It's actually almost the opposite: Any equatorial orbit that isn't at 35,786 kilometres wont be a geostationary orbit.


Centripetal force equation:

(https://i.imgur.com/sfZ6XoS.png)

If you hop into the role of a spaceship captain and want to achieve a stable, circular orbit your goal to equate everything right of the "=" to the Centripetal Force "F" which is provided by gravity.

In essence Orbit Radius "R" and Velocity "V". For a geostationary orbit (= You appear motionless to ground observers) angular velocity is determined by the need follow the rotation of the Earth. Leaving Radius "R" as the only adjustable variable, which for earth works out at 35,786 km.

I hope that makes sense.



Look at the picture above the animation. They basically get to be over every part of the planet within just a few orbits.

That is reason a) yes. Reason b) is orbital mechanics.

For b) the quick "Shut up, Timmy!" answer is: Because you can't (directly!) launch into an orbit with an inclination (=angle between the orbit and the equator as reference plane. See image below. 0° inclination is an equatorial Orbit, what Strazos asked.) lower than latitude of your launch site. Cape Canaveral is at 28.5°, Baikonur at 45.6°, ISS inclination (the title Strazos guessed pretty close at 45°) is 51.6 degree, so it works out. Now you can do a plane change, but this is like, super expensive. Which brings up to the next WHY? which i'll do later.


(https://i.imgur.com/oz1lpBW.png)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 09, 2017, 10:51:54 AM
Urgh. I just noticed something:

So why the roughly-45% orbit? I'd have thought it would be more parallel to the equator or something.

If I misunderstood your question (language barrier and so) and you meant something like I pictured below:

(https://i.imgur.com/8InSeXg.jpg)

Than the answer is: that's not possible. The plane of a natural orbit must always go through the center of mass. (Unless you constantly maintain thrust...)

off to bed again


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on October 09, 2017, 02:27:02 PM
So basically, it has to cross the equator at some point. Is it possible to orbit along the equator, though not necessarily with a geostat orbit? ie - path along the equator, but at a speed faster than earth's orbit?



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on October 09, 2017, 02:33:03 PM
It takes more fuel to get it over the equator cause the US and Russia don't have any launch sites there. Also it won't traverse as much of the earth if it's orbiting around the equator longitudinally.

https://www.quora.com/How-does-the-ISS-orbit-the-earth


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 09, 2017, 02:48:45 PM
So basically, it has to cross the equator at some point. Is it possible to orbit along the equator, though not necessarily with a geostat orbit? ie - path along the equator, but at a speed faster than earth's orbit?

Yes to all points.

Edit: If someone who can explain the concepts better than me follows this thread please post. :)

Edit2: The link Trippy posted is perfect, really. Recommended reading.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Polysorbate80 on October 09, 2017, 05:00:45 PM
So basically, it has to cross the equator at some point. Is it possible to orbit along the equator, though not necessarily with a geostat orbit? ie - path along the equator, but at a speed faster than earth's orbit?



Orbits are counterintuitive.  If you want to circle the earth faster, you have to slow down your orbital speed.  As you lose speed, your orbital altitude will decrease and you circle the earth quicker.  Such an orbit is unstable; eventually gravity will pull you down unless you accelerate periodically to maintain your altitude.

If you accelerate, you'll orbit at a higher altitude, and actually take longer to complete the circle.  Accelerate too much, you achieve escape velocity and stop orbiting.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on October 10, 2017, 12:31:37 AM
also interesting is the French launch site is closer to the equator than either the US' or Russia's, which not only makes equatorial orbits (like the geosynchronous so popular for so many things) a little bit cheaper/less fuel because they can start out with less inclination to compensate for, but also double plus bonus they get a little more boost from the angular momentum of the earth's spinning itself, being fastest at the equator.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Strazos on October 10, 2017, 05:56:09 AM
In places like the US or Russia, I'm always surprised more stuff isn't damaged in transit between these sensitive production facilities and being loaded onto the rockets.

Doubly so for launches out of French Guyana - that's either a long set of flights, or a perilous boat ride.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 10, 2017, 07:35:00 AM
In places like the US or Russia, I'm always surprised more stuff isn't damaged in transit between these sensitive production facilities and being loaded onto the rockets.

Doubly so for launches out of French Guyana - that's either a long set of flights, or a perilous boat ride.

It occurs, but rarely.

The worst recent accident happend still during the manufacturing phase:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/NOAA-N%27_accident.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/uEjOmNt.jpg)

 :uhrr: :ye_gods: :grin:

As for transport: Sats to Baikonour and French Guyana come per plane, for the Cape road or plane, AFAIK. All special airtight containers.

Example:

(https://i.imgur.com/G1AwIg8.jpg)



Transporting of the rocket is another issue, every manufacturer coming up with different solutions.

That Falcon 9 looks a flying asparagus is because the diameter was choose to be just-about road transportable. I have read the 3.6 meters are the maximum to still pass below interstate underpasses and such on the way from California to Florida.

(https://i.imgur.com/3YZfnNg.jpg)


Proton: Again form follows function

(https://i.imgur.com/WBwUXuK.jpg)

What looks like boosters on the first stage are actually strap-on tanks. The center tank (which carries the oxidiser, not the fuel) has a diameter of 4.1m, the maximum allowed by Soviet/Russian rail. The fuel tanks are attached once the launcher reaches Baikonur.



Ariane 5: With a diameter of 5.4 meters nly ship transport is really practicable.

(https://i.imgur.com/IBV7Obe.gif)
(http://www.csgpreparationlancement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Dechargement-Colibri_044.jpg)(http://www.csgpreparationlancement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Convoi-EPC_008.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on October 10, 2017, 07:49:46 AM
Reminds me that NASA were advertising earlier this year for an "earth protection officer". Basically someone whose job it is to work internationally ensure that no contamination gets onto any probes going to space and especially Mars or wherever. If Earth born bacteria got onto Mars no-one knows what could happen. Also her responsibilities would be to ensure no space pathogen got onto earth from something coming down from space.

IN actuality ist sthe same woman for the last 20 years, but they had to advertise with the change in the administration.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 10, 2017, 02:55:31 PM
Came across this today, and maybe of interest to some.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLH9LmVUMAAWtZr.jpg)

Echoes in space - Trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNBgJaU_f6U)

It's listed as a 5 week, 3 hours/week course. And free of course. https://eo-college.org/


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 12, 2017, 05:16:43 AM
Last night's SpaceX lift off from the Cape provided some really stunning visuals visuals. At least the first 30 seconds are must watch, imho:



Watch me! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HanPjRLLzE)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 14, 2017, 05:39:41 AM
Weekend guessing game. Looks like Paranormal Green Slime, but what is this actually?

(https://i.imgur.com/u9axSV7.png)




Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on October 14, 2017, 08:38:45 PM
Elon Musk just did an AMA over on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/?sort=confidence) (where else?).

Nicely technical round of question and answers this time, IMHO. And as an example oh how fast and fluid Elon's plans are, the BFS described at the most recent IAC barely a month ago now has three landing engines planned, changed from two. Not really for safety -- it gives the opportunity to land with a heavier cargo load.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 14, 2017, 11:45:29 PM
4 legs, changed from 3. :wink:

I live tweeted the AMA (sans the fluff talk), see here (https://twitter.com/AuerSusan).

The talk was solely focused on BFR and Mars, and imho, won't convince any sceptics.

Elon was his usual optimistic self. 
Q: How does BFR radiation shielding look like?
A: Radiation damage is not significant for our transit times. Buzz Aldrin is 87.

Yeah well, Buzz spent 12 days, 1 hour in space.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 14, 2017, 11:56:43 PM
4 legs, changed from 3. :wink:

I live tweeted the AMA (sans the fluff talk), see here (https://twitter.com/AuerSusan).

The talk was solely focused on BFR and Mars, and imho, won't convince any sceptics.

Elon was his usual optimistic self. 
Q: How does BFR radiation shielding look like?
A: Radiation damage is not significant for our transit times. Buzz Aldrin is 87.

Yeah well, Buzz spent 12 days, 1 hour in space.
Unless he has a working large scale microwave cavity drive squirreled away, or some other constant thrust solution, radiation is absolutely something he needs to plan for.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on October 15, 2017, 11:09:53 AM
4 legs, changed from 3. :wink:

I live tweeted the AMA (sans the fluff talk), see here (https://twitter.com/AuerSusan).

The talk was solely focused on BFR and Mars, and imho, won't convince any sceptics.

Elon was his usual optimistic self. 
Q: How does BFR radiation shielding look like?
A: Radiation damage is not significant for our transit times. Buzz Aldrin is 87.

Yeah well, Buzz spent 12 days, 1 hour in space.
Unless he has a working large scale microwave cavity drive squirreled away, or some other constant thrust solution, radiation is absolutely something he needs to plan for.

--Dave

Calapine left out mention of the storm shelter and the fact that fast transit times are means of planning for radiation hazards. The fact is that a few months of interplanetary radiation (barring solar storms) are still within NASA approved lifetime radiation counts. It's hazardous, but certainly less so than, say, a lifetime of smoking, and we've had generation on generation happily subject themselves (and others) to that potential cancer risk, for far less gain.

It *does* mean that there probably won't be any veteran Mars transit crews. Pilots and crews will likely be limited to one or two round trips to keep exposure down.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Lucas on October 20, 2017, 01:52:38 PM
You probably already heard about this, but anyway: Japan's lunar orbiter "Selene" found something....VERY interesting on the Moon:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4996024/Huge-cave-moon-house-astronauts-Japan-scientists.html

You know, now that we're also entering an era of private exploration, a manned mission that actually goes there and take a look around doesn't seem so far-fetched.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 25, 2017, 06:25:55 PM
This forum is a bit gun-ho withe ALIENS!!! (see KIC 8462852 --> It's probably dust (http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/kic-8462852-long-term-dimming-dust-05299.html)) but this time we have reasonable chance.

Comet C/2017 U1, which recently passed relatlvy close to earth, seems to have a strongly hyperbolic trajectory, ie. not bound to to sun.

Unless there have been errors in the tracking, which is still quite possible at this point (Edit: There are already voices that claim one of the observations is faulty), this indicates it's coming from outside the solar system. Ie. the first interstellar comet we found!

(https://i.imgur.com/NNeA1Mh.gif)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/C2017U1.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Khaldun on October 25, 2017, 08:11:03 PM
So if it comes from outside the solar system, what's the mechanic on that? What expels a comet from its solar system of origin, and with sufficient energy that it could intersect another solar system and be drawn in to what must be in interstellar terms a relatively weak gravitational attractor? Because the scenario of something at the outer-outer edge of its solar system of origin's Kuiper Belt being so weakly held by its sun of origin that it just sort of drifts slowly into interstellar space sounds kind of plausible--but then what? Just drifting and drifting and being not attracted to anything until? our solar system intersects it and it gets yanked into a gravitational relationship with our Sun? Why wouldn't it just be another outer Kuiper Belt object with no particular momentum? If on the other hand it was on its own trajectory and then intersected our solar system, that means a pretty strong ejection from somewhere else, doesn't it?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on October 26, 2017, 05:59:50 AM
Watched the gif and thought to myself of that comet : 'Leeeroooooy Jenkins'


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Goumindong on October 26, 2017, 06:46:21 AM
So if it comes from outside the solar system, what's the mechanic on that? What expels a comet from its solar system of origin, and with sufficient energy that it could intersect another solar system and be drawn in to what must be in interstellar terms a relatively weak gravitational attractor? Because the scenario of something at the outer-outer edge of its solar system of origin's Kuiper Belt being so weakly held by its sun of origin that it just sort of drifts slowly into interstellar space sounds kind of plausible--but then what? Just drifting and drifting and being not attracted to anything until? our solar system intersects it and it gets yanked into a gravitational relationship with our Sun? Why wouldn't it just be another outer Kuiper Belt object with no particular momentum? If on the other hand it was on its own trajectory and then intersected our solar system, that means a pretty strong ejection from somewhere else, doesn't it?


RNGesus.

Something explodes -> comet is expelled -> “impacts” a solar system by virtue of traveling through relatively “dense” space.

Alternately the “low momentum” answer also works. Remember that everything is relative so an object that is dropped by a weak gravitational attractor will only have to have enough velocity relative to that attractor to escape. That system will have its own relative velocity at ejection to our system (the sum of which would be the objects relative velocity to us). That value could be anything really and then in it comes(or in we come, same difference)

Additionally worth noting that it’s now classified as an asteroid and so the aliens possibility is increased as it is ever so slightly more likely space bugs shot it as Beunos Aires and missed.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on October 26, 2017, 08:59:44 PM
Terminal guidance package hasn't activated yet.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 27, 2017, 12:32:50 PM
Really would like to know the chances of this encounter.

I mean, just look at that track:

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/comet20171025-16.gif)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 27, 2017, 01:03:44 PM
And other image.

The JWST sunshield fully deployed for the first time:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNKcLtDW4AUpbft.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on October 27, 2017, 02:48:18 PM
That is the biggest jiffy pop package in history...  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 27, 2017, 04:16:33 PM
I was seeing a trampoline.  :grin:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 28, 2017, 08:09:06 AM
Ok, Space Story time. Get some Cocoa!


A Long Time Ago, On This Day in 1972...

the Space Age began for Britain: A Black Arrow rocket brought the first the first British satellite, callled Prospero, into orbit.

(https://i.imgur.com/HuDR7HW.jpg)

As consequence the British Government took the only sensible next step: Cancelling all further Black Arrow flights and ending Britain's independent launcher programme for good.  :psyduck:

How did we get here? The main takeaway, which applies for all British launcher programmes, is lack of political will.
The UK Gov wanted to demonstrate that Britain was capable to develop it's own satellite launcher, but it was not willing to supply the required funds. But let's start at the beginning, with a project called:


Blue Streak

The British ballistic nuclear missile. The Blue Streak shared with other contemporary first-generation missiles, such as the US Atlas and Soviet R-7 (Soyuz)), the main drawback of using the non-storable fuel combination RP-1 with Liquid Oxygen.
Thus they were susceptible to a first strike, as preparation for launch would have taken a couple of minutes.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6b/Blue_Streak.JPG/1920px-Blue_Streak.JPG)

This reason and as well as the ballooning costs lead the UK Gov to give up on the programme in 1960 and instead tag along with an American made missile (Polaris).

In order to not lose all the invested resources the idea was brought up to repurpose parts of the Blue Streak as a satellite launcher. Which lead to:


Black Prince

The idea was emplyoing Blue Streak as 1st rocket stage and topping it of with a 2nd stage based on the Black Knight, an small research rocket. Together they would be the Black Prince.

Again the UK Gov was not willing to shoulder costs of the project, so the plan was to turn the Prince into a Commonwealth programme. As it turned out that neither Canada, Australia or New Zealand was able to contribute major funds it was time for Plan C: Work with the smelly Europeans.

Enter stage left:


Europa

A multi-national Frankenstein launcher made of a British Blue Streak 1st stage, a French Corallie 2nd stage and a German Astris 3rd stage.

(https://i.imgur.com/nBBiHBc.jpg)

Europa failed (More about this another time) Exit stage Europe.


<INTERMISSION>


Black Knight was cancelled in 1960. The next 4 years not much happend, until.....the French Diamant launch was about to turn France 3rd space faring power. This national disgrace gave renewed impetus to the UK plans, the new goal now being:
"Be the 4th nation in space, but with a total programme cost of below 9 Million Pound, including the satellite, tests flights, ground equipment & development costs."


This last attempt at Space Glory was dubbed:


Black Arrow

[ Stay tuned for more ]


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on October 30, 2017, 05:45:50 PM
Until I get around to part 2 (I hope someone reads this stuff)...today SpaceX had another photogenic launch and a somewhat toasty landing:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNaUcaUX0AAiCWx.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNaTWVEXcAA-v57.jpg)



Bonus content:
Aurora over Canada, photraphed 2016 by British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNa8S4iWsAUvPfw.jpg)
Link to high-res version (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/10/Aurora_over_northern_Canada)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: grebo on October 30, 2017, 07:43:21 PM
I'm still reading this stuff!   :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: RhyssaFireheart on October 31, 2017, 12:00:02 PM
I'm still reading this stuff!   :heart:

 :heart: :heart:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on October 31, 2017, 11:17:14 PM
this is my favorite thread on the whole site!

and yeah, toasty landing which I heard they quickly put out the fire, but how? barge is unmanned I thought, so robots or remote operated fire extinguisher or what?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on November 01, 2017, 10:31:02 AM
<insert tony stark robot fire extinguisher gif here>


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 01, 2017, 03:00:02 PM
I'm still reading this stuff!   :heart:
this is my favorite thread on the whole site!

 :Love_Letters: :Love_Letters: :Love_Letters:

and yeah, toasty landing which I heard they quickly put out the fire, but how? barge is unmanned I thought, so robots or remote operated fire extinguisher or what?


Remote activated water cannon. Visible in the lower right corner below:

(https://i.imgur.com/jRhUdIN.png)

Here again at CCAFS (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) Landing Zone 1:

(https://i.imgur.com/gz1xmmd.jpg)

Pretty simple design really.

Edit: SpaceX is now aiming for a Falcon Heavy maiden flight NET (No Early Then) 29. December 2017.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on November 01, 2017, 09:33:41 PM
The discussion and pictures of transporting rockets a page back got me remembering seeing a Saturn V booster on a barge, so I googled it and sure enough! It happened at least twice. Once back in the 60's:
(http://www.apolloproject.com/sp-4223/b-p197.jpg)

and again last year!:
(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/s16-060_ssc-20160616-s00372_saturn_v_stage.jpg)

and then there was this which I saw several times flying over our school yard in Huntsville growing up:
(http://d2rormqr1qwzpz.cloudfront.net/photos/2015/07/08/78070-flight_b.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 02, 2017, 10:51:25 AM
Those Saturn pictures are just wow! Especially the first. Thanks. :heart:


I knew the Super Guppy because Airbus bought it from NASA to transport plane parts. They even acquired the rights and built two more that flew until 1998.

(https://i.imgur.com/z7253uP.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/CLhRMqC.png)


And there is the Pregnant Guppy, the predecessor.

After the idea was born (to replace slow barge-travel with planes) the first draft was created in 3 days (!) and presented to von Braun.
The man behind the concept mortgaged his house to finance the plane's conversion. Later von Braun himself test-flew to plane before acceptance.

It opened from behind:

(https://i.imgur.com/FRodH24.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on November 02, 2017, 10:20:58 PM
Somewhere I've got a pic of my Dad in the Smithsonian pointing to the SaturnV interstage ring at one of the components he worked on - I'll try to scare it up and link it here when I'm less lazy. He also worked on the Lunar Rover and Skylab as an electrical draftsman, self taught from correspondence courses plus an art degree. Not bad for the son of a subsistence farmer/church caretaker from Texas who literally had no shoes except hand-me-downs with cardboard inner soles for the first 15 years of his life!


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 03, 2017, 12:23:37 PM
60 years ago today, Laika became the first dog in space.


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNuUFBDXkAABdsH.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNuUGQZX0AEcc5o.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNuUHItX0AAFAvp.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNuUYL4XkAA2MfU.jpg)

Sadly the temperature control did not work adequately and she died after 4-5 hours due to overheating and exhaustion.

If you want to learn more: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik2.html has an 8-article series, spanning the entire mission from planning to aftermath.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 03, 2017, 12:50:52 PM
And one video recommendation:

Sentinel-5P prepared for liftoff (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myGTxF96KrM)

A 4K timelapse-video by ESA, featuring some nice shots of Rockot. The launcher consists of two stages of an SS-19 Stilleto ICBM topped of with Breeze-KM 3rd stage, the same engine that is used on the Proton's upper stage.
You can see it's ICBM heritage by the fact that it's launched out of a container. The Rockot rocket (hehe) is going to be phased out next year, so this probably one of the last opportunities to see it launch.

I quite like the Synth soundtrack as well, the artists work is on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/hubrid-sound)

Quote from: ESA
This timelapse video shows Sentinel-5P satellite, from final preparations to liftoff on a Rockot launcher, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, on 13 October 2017.

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.

This unique environmental monitoring programme is providing a step change in the way we view and manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change and safeguard everyday lives.

Sentinel-5 Precursor – also known as Sentinel-5P – is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. The satellite carries the state-of-the-art Tropomi instrument to map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols – all of which affect the air we breathe and therefore our health, and our climate.

With a swath width of 2600 km, it will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used through the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for air quality forecasts and for decision-making.

The mission will also contribute to services such as volcanic ash monitoring for aviation safety and for services that warn of high levels of UV radiation, which can cause skin damage.
In addition, scientists will also use the data to improve our knowledge of important processes in the atmosphere related to the climate and to the formation of holes in the ozone layer.
Sentinel-5P was developed to reduce data gaps between the Envisat satellite – in particular the Sciamachy instrument – and the launch of Sentinel-5, and to complement GOME-2 on MetOp.
In the future, both the geostationary Sentinel-4 and polar-orbiting Sentinel-5 missions will monitor the composition of the atmosphere for Copernicus Atmosphere Services. Both missions will be carried on meteorological satellites operated by Eumetsat.
Until then, the Sentinel-5P mission will play a key role in monitoring and tracking air pollution.

Sentinel-5P is the result of close collaboration between ESA, the European Commission, the Netherlands Space Office, industry, data users and scientists. The mission has been designed and built by a consortium of 30 companies led by Airbus Defence and Space UK and NL.


Edit: Oh and the red smoke is unburned Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine aka UDMH. Quite toxic. Despite that fact it is (was) popular as rocket propellant due to being hypergolic ie. it spontaneously ignites when coming in contact with it's oxidizer. Reliable ignition was one of the major problems in early rocketry, so this was quite a big advantage. I also can be stored and tanked at room temperature, making a rocket design easier compared to using Liquid Oxygen or any cryogenic components.

Some example of launcher that use UDMH (or a mixture of it): Delta II, Titan IV, Proton, Rockot, Ariane 1 to 4, Long March 2F


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 04, 2017, 03:42:55 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/pLeWnYX.gif)

Google 'Project Loon', the high altitude balloons that are tested right now providing LTE coverage (by connecting to geostartionary satelites) for Puerto Rico.

Looking at those flightpaths I think an automated Zepplin, able to stay on position, might be a good alternative...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Viin on November 04, 2017, 08:46:45 PM
I'm sure right now they are saying "shit we forgot about wind changes!" It would be cool to see mini-drone-blimps with sat to LTE, but probably would have to be huge to have the power to counter winds at a high altitude.

Facebook has a winged high flying drone that might work better to loiter over an area:

(https://media.wired.com/photos/5926dab47034dc5f91becd55/master/w_532,c_limit/06-2.jpg)

https://www.wired.com/2016/07/facebooks-giant-internet-beaming-drone-finally-takes-flight/

However, Iridium's NEXT might just make these a moot point in 5-10 years.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 15, 2017, 02:22:38 PM
Sorry for not supplying part 2 of the Black Arrow write up. Mostly due to personal reasons.

Here is something low effort, but still nice:

CNES (the French space agency) released a 4K-quality (with sound) drone video of future launchpad of Ariane 6 (due 2020).  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f9grfVWCN8)

Note the giant flame ducts. And regarding the mobile launch tower: Once done it will be 90 meters high, weigh 8500 tons and move at a top speed of 0.36 km/h.  :-)

Addendum: It's basically the reverse concept of Ariane 5 or the Space Shuttle. Instead bringing the launcher on a giant crawler or rails (Ariane 5), once erection and payload integration is done, the building moves away from the launcher.

I honestly haven't looked into why this way is more efficient, but it's listed as one of the reasons the time of Ariane 6 start campaign is cut down to 10 days instead of 30 days of Ariane 5.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 15, 2017, 06:15:07 PM
And I totally forgot the second video:



Dream Chaser Free Flight Test 2017 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4286qf9Ojw)

Dreamchaser released by helicopter, landing automated. Looks great.

Addendum: If you watch closely there Dreamchaser is wobbling somewhat in the later part of the video. These are actually controlled inputs to test lateral stability of the craft and how well the control system copes in such situations.

Edit2: Just noticed, they even announce them on the radio circuit as "PTIs" (Programmed Test Input)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 15, 2017, 06:40:24 PM
Some rambling background info:

There is a good chance that Dreamchaser will fly on European rockets as well. ESA and  Sierra Nevada Cooperation are co-operating. ESA is developing the docking mechanism that Dreamchaser will need once it it's flying COTS cargo the ISS. There is also the DC4EU programme aimed at using the unmanned cargo version of Dreamchaser as a science platform, launched and used by ESA.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cufp4Y8WgAAHnVK.jpg)



Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on November 15, 2017, 07:11:15 PM
Wow, you can't even see the strings when they fake it


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: MahrinSkel on November 15, 2017, 07:42:14 PM
Addendum: It's basically the reverse concept of Ariane 5 or the Space Shuttle. Instead bringing the launcher on a giant crawler or rails (Ariane 5), once erection and payload integration is done, the building moves away from the launcher.

I honestly haven't looked into why this way is more efficient, but it's listed as one of the reasons the time of Ariane 6 start campaign is cut down to 10 days instead of 30 days of Ariane 5.
I would assume that it is harder to drop a building than a launch stack, and even if you did, it would probably be cheaper.

--Dave


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on November 15, 2017, 07:56:04 PM
Addendum: It's basically the reverse concept of Ariane 5 or the Space Shuttle. Instead bringing the launcher on a giant crawler or rails (Ariane 5), once erection and payload integration is done, the building moves away from the launcher.

I honestly haven't looked into why this way is more efficient, but it's listed as one of the reasons the time of Ariane 6 start campaign is cut down to 10 days instead of 30 days of Ariane 5.
I would assume that it is harder to drop a building than a launch stack, and even if you did, it would probably be cheaper.

--Dave

My guess is to remove the bumping and twisting forces of moving laterally from the stacked rocket.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 18, 2017, 12:45:11 PM
Bob could never cope with Mondays if it weren't for the industrial coffee dispenser:


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DO6ECj1XcAArUAf.jpg)


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DO1wrayX0AAx90r.jpg)


That's how fuelling a Galileo (satellite navigation system) satellite  looks like. And no, you don't want to drink Hydrazine.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 19, 2017, 02:44:54 PM
OTD 48 years ago Apollo 12 landed on the Moon. And they did so in walking distance of the Surveyor 3 probe that landed there 2 years earlier....  Just fucking cool. :psyduck:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DPBeEJ8W4AAlkCl.jpg)

Edit: More context by me: Surveyor 3 landed on on the Moon 2 years before the first humans. The Apollo 12 crew partly dismantled it and brought home it's camera.

It today remains the only probe visited by humans on another world.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Surveyor3camera.jpg/800px-Surveyor3camera.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on November 19, 2017, 04:37:40 PM
I did not know that. That is cool.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 19, 2017, 05:13:02 PM
I hope I am not spamming.

Apollo 16 - Farting on the Moon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuv6TVv0r44


((I love how "yokel" an Astronaut can sound)))


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: IainC on November 22, 2017, 05:31:33 AM
While NASA, the ESA and all of those fake (((globalists))) are trying to cover up the reality of the flat earth, one brave crusader is going to expose the truth. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/11/21/this-man-is-about-to-launch-himself-in-his-homemade-rocket-to-prove-the-earth-is-flat/?utm_term=.40eb052b8a3e)

Quote
Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of the Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.

Assuming the 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.

Hughes’s ultimate goal is a subsequent launch that puts him miles above the Earth, where the 61-year-old limousine driver hopes to photograph proof of the disc we all live on.

“It’ll shut the door on this ball earth,” Hughes said in a fundraising interview with a flat-Earth group for Saturday’s flight. Theories discussed during the interview included NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons and Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps.

Hughes promised the flat-Earth community that he would expose the conspiracy with his steam-powered rocket, which will launch from a heavily modified mobile home — though he acknowledged that he still had much to learn about rocket science.

“This whole tech thing,” he said in the June interview. “I’m really behind the eight ball.”

That said, Hughes isn’t a totally unproven engineer. He set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for a limousine jump, according to Ars Technica, and has been building rockets for years, albeit with mixed results.

“Okay, Waldo. 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!” someone yells in a test fire video from 2012.

There’s a brief hiss of boiling water, then . . . nothing. So Hughes walks up to the engine and pokes it with a stick, at which point a thick cloud of steam belches out toward the camera.

He built his first manned rocket in 2014, the Associated Press reported, and managed to fly a quarter-mile over Winkelman, Ariz.

As seen in a YouTube video, the flight ended with Hughes being dragged, moaning from the remains of the rocket. The injuries he suffered put him in a walker for two weeks, he said.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Merusk on November 22, 2017, 08:13:01 AM
I hope he's successful and doesn't die.

1) I want to see the mental gymnastics when he's confronted with a ball vs. a disc.
2) A death will only fuel secondary conspiracies about Big Science having sabotaged him to shut him up.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on November 22, 2017, 08:19:50 AM
...... Can't he just buy a plane ticket and look out the window?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Bungee on November 22, 2017, 08:20:41 AM
1) I want to see the mental gymnastics when he's confronted with a ball vs. a disc.

1800 feet up and while in a rattling contraption? No way. He anyway can't be doing this for the reasons he's stating, just using a simple hot air balloon is safer and easier to do. It's pure PR.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on November 22, 2017, 12:29:31 PM
Mike Hughes is not actually a Flat Earther. He's just a daredevil that's found a demographic that will support his stunts, as long as he recites the party line on camera.

Before he began espousing Flat Earth he was literally only raising like 300 dollars on Kickstarters to support his hobby, now he's raising thousands and getting much more public attention.

He's also probably going to kill himself Saturday, since his sense of safety makes Evil Knievel look like Ralph Nader.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: IainC on November 22, 2017, 12:47:14 PM
1) I want to see the mental gymnastics when he's confronted with a ball vs. a disc.

1800 feet up and while in a rattling contraption? No way. He anyway can't be doing this for the reasons he's stating, just using a simple hot air balloon is safer and easier to do. It's pure PR.
In a lot of places you can get more altitude from an afternoon walk in moderately hilly country.

Here's a video to show just what he considers as a safe rocket flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3feaiPcv6yE

Try not to cringe if you know anything about handling possible spinal injuries at the end.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on November 22, 2017, 01:44:15 PM
Thinking about it further, I guess it was a shrewd move by Hughes. After all, how many people here (including me) knew anything about him before now, and he has a long history of throwing himself into the air in items of dubious engineering. For whatever reason (and I'm kinda happy about it) the media doesn't seem to pay as much attention to the old school daredevil anymore.

So points for changing with the times. Claiming he's going to prove the flat earth is getting him write-ups in places that should know better, so good job for Hughes.

He's still probably going to kill himself Saturday, but at least now somebody will actually know about it (and claim conspiracy! to boot).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Mandella on November 26, 2017, 11:49:02 AM
To those bothering to keep up, Mr. Hughes "delayed" his Saturday suicide. Apparently there are permits or something, or there was a mechanical issue -- anyway he'll do it later.

In the meantime, he's available for booking (at somewhat inflated rates -- he's a celebrity now you know) at your local fair and/or tractor pull.

So give him credit for manipulating a still gullible media, and an even more gullible public.

Mike Hughes for President 2020?


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Yegolev on November 28, 2017, 08:38:23 AM
Are any of you using the GOES-East satellite?  There will be an extended outage of data while a new satellite is moved into place.
https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES-16


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 28, 2017, 11:41:32 AM
Soyuz had an oopsy today:

There was an issue with the 3rd stage Fregat. According to prelimary information the stage was in the wrong oriention when starting it's first burn, thus sending the payload into the Atlantic rather than orbit.

Victims are Meteor-M 2-1b, a polar orbit weather satellite and 18 smaller co-passengers from Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan and the US.

This is also somewhat embarrassing because it was only the second launch from Vostochny, the new Cosmodrome in the far east of Russia, designed to eventually replace Baikonur.


For context: Baikonur left, Vostochny right:
(https://i.imgur.com/BwBmPWr.png)

Here is Meteor-M 2-1

(https://i.imgur.com/MWtXDZP.png)

2017 - 2017 RIP


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: grebo on November 28, 2017, 11:52:11 AM
Is the Soyuz mistake online anywhere?

Nm, found it.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 28, 2017, 02:06:33 PM
Russia didn't have a year without launch failure since 2009

Kinda sucks for country that achieved so much in space.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DPvrdmjX4AEd0H4.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 28, 2017, 02:36:41 PM
A quick SPACE story I wrote. It's all true, too:



2003-2006 Students of the Russian Bauman University build their own micro sat
2006 Bauments-1 is lost when its Denpr launcher crashes

2012-2014 Students of the Russian Bauman University build their own micro sat
2017 Bauments-2 is lost when its Soyuz launcher crashes

 :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on November 28, 2017, 03:33:30 PM
Falcon Heavy remains the eternal space Godot. Launch now in 2019 (was: Nov 2018)

Officially, it's just bumped to December 2017. (Also, I think you might be living a year ahead, or I'm a year behind -- it is still 2017 right?)

I was going by unoffical info. And considering that the next CRS flight to the ISS is now scheduled for December it seems to be a pretty safe bet. But yes, I was already one year ahead in my head and meant to say 2018.

It's offical now. SpaceX confirmed to Avation Week that Falcon Heavy slips to 2018.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 14, 2017, 04:56:14 PM
"Just a nice pic"

This weeks launch of an Ariane 5, bringing 4 more Galileo (navigation satellites, like GPS) into orbit.

This makes 22, another launch next year 26 and the constellation is complete. Any more after that will be in-orbit spares.

(https://i.imgur.com/g3vByD9.jpg)


Launch video with a somewhat peculiar soundtrack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9XQSIooi-g)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on December 14, 2017, 05:10:58 PM
for a brief second I thought that was Microsoft Explorer logos.  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 15, 2017, 07:54:01 AM
Remember the ill-fated Soyuz launch from this November?

Here is another lift-off image. Failing with style:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRF5S1EWkAAjKKU.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 15, 2017, 04:17:43 PM
Just came across a bad surprise: California is still burning. Or again?

(https://i.imgur.com/zeqvGyF.jpg)
Quote
The new Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite captured the presence of elevated absorbing aerosols – caused by fires – in the atmosphere off the west coast of the US on 12 December 2017.

While hundreds of firefighters battle the fires, more than 200 000 people have been forced to flee their homes. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season is the worst on record.

The Sentinel-5P satellite is still in its commissioning phase, so its Tropomi instrument is not yet fully calibrated, but images like these give us a preview of the data to come from the atmosphere-monitoring mission for Europe’s Copernicus programme.




Interactive image, click to go to website:
(https://i.imgur.com/GjwSNsV.png) (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/12/California_in_flames)
Quote
Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 5 December 2017, this image shows flames and smoke from the fierce blazes devastating northwest Los Angeles in Southern California.

Click on the box in the lower-right corner to view this image at its full 10 m resolution directly in your browser.

While hundreds of firefighters battle the fires, more than 200 000 people have been forced to flee their homes. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season is the worst on record.

The image shows the extent of the devastation caused by this latest outcrop of wildfires, which are so large that they have been given names. The worst, known as the Thomas Fire, engulfed almost the whole city of Ojai and an area north of Ventura, seen here in the far left of the image. The image also show two other sets of large fires: the Rye Fire near Santa Clarita (the middle fire) and the Creek Fire near Sylmar (right).


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: pxib on December 18, 2017, 10:39:09 PM
Just came across a bad surprise: California is still burning. Or again?
California is always burning at least a little. It's back to burning significantly.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Surlyboi on December 18, 2017, 10:46:17 PM
California's four seasons are Flood, Mud, Fire and Earthquake.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Trippy on December 19, 2017, 01:12:09 AM
Just came across a bad surprise: California is still burning. Or again?
Again. Earlier fires were in Northern California. Current ones are in Southern California.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 20, 2017, 02:56:44 PM
NASA narrowed down the choices for the mid-2020 robotic mission to two final candiates


1) CAESAR - Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return

A probe designed to land on a comet, take a sample and return it to earth. The missions target might be familar to some:  67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko  :-o

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRhEH4-XcAE95Uu.jpg)



2) Dragonfy

Two Quadcopter drones landing on Saturn's moon Titan, examining the prebiotic chemistry and habitability of various sites.
This would be the first landing since (2005)Huygens, the ESA lander that piggybacked on the NASA Cassini probe.
Also of course the first mission to quad-copter around in the solar system.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRhFORHWkAENZFF.jpg)

I sort of forgot: Only one mission will ultimately be chosen. The final selection will happen Spring 2019.

From a scientific point of view the Titan landing is more rewarding. Ditto for prestige.

On the other hand landing on a small body without atmosphere carries far less technical risk.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 21, 2017, 04:10:06 PM
Nothing to spectacular: A drone video from Ariane 6's future launchpad. (https://youtu.be/F-0nkEfREFA)

Work on the site is from 06:00 to 22:00 every day, with around 500 personal, and that really shows in the progress.

Not shown, but happening as well: In Les Mureux (France) the factory for Ariane 6 is currently under construction. Basically new tooling, new processes (including 3d printing and all that fancy stuff), plus a change to horizontal production (typical for Russians and SpaceX) which allows cheaper production. (Think a car plant with steady tact rythm, all production steps moving in lockstep )

For context, here is the "vertical" Ariane 5 plant

(https://i.imgur.com/K4pXCAj.jpg)

Some context, which I mentioned before so this is just a recap:

Basically this a return to the Ariane 4 concept, which was technically simple, adaptable and produced at such a high rate that Arianespace could accept short-term contracts for urgent customers. As opposed to "You build a satellite, order a rocket for it, you wait 3 years while it's built and then launch"

Ariane 5, while technically a very nice rocket and able to maintain it's market share, was always is a bit comprised as it had to fulfill mutliple design goals.  a) be a man-rated, super-save launcher to bring the Hermes shuttle to Low Earth Orbit b) launch satellites to GTO.

Hermes got axed half-way, but the design of Ariane 5 still reflects it's requirements.

Ariane 6 is itself another comprise, this time due to cost, time-to-fly, technological and political reasons. But more about that another time.



Ariane and Hermes:
(https://i.imgur.com/1JqjNay.jpg)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Shannow on December 23, 2017, 12:02:50 PM
I'm sure you've all seen it, but that Space X launch last night?

 Just fucking beautiful  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE5C3O71Xqo)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 23, 2017, 08:04:58 PM
I'm sure you've all seen it, but that Space X launch last night?

 Just fucking beautiful  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE5C3O71Xqo)

A buddy of mine is a pilot for Alaska and he posted a great shot he took from the cockpit of his plane on Facebook this morning.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 24, 2017, 07:32:36 AM
I'm sure you've all seen it, but that Space X launch last night?

 Just fucking beautiful  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE5C3O71Xqo)

I did not, but indeed:

(https://i.imgur.com/v3KZQB3.jpg)

((Also sorry last post was rambly... wine...)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 24, 2017, 07:41:00 AM
A buddy of mine is a pilot for Alaska and he posted a great shot he took from the cockpit of his plane on Facebook this morning. But I'm not posting it here because it would be pearls before swine with you guys.

You are so right, Chimpy. But we must be generous...


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Chimpy on December 24, 2017, 07:49:53 AM
I'm not  going to mess with cross posting it because it is A not mine and B I am traveling so only have my phone which makes image posting a pain in the ass.  :drill:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on December 24, 2017, 07:56:59 AM
When I was attending college in San Diego, I saw a launch out of Vandenburg after sunset like this.  Didn't have as impressive of a force field glow, but man, was freaky looking.  We were all just standing outside watching it on campus.  I knew it had to be a rocket of some sort, but on top of just looking crazy, you also had to be somewhat concerned WW3 hadn't just started.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on December 24, 2017, 08:12:18 AM
Yes, WW3 would be so good looking.
A small thing, but look how satisfying this silo opening is:

Topol Launch (https://youtu.be/cZpK9AEGo5o)

The phenomen is ASMR I think??


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 02, 2018, 04:09:57 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DSkVMk4WAAALb3D.jpg)


Please no comments like "This design gives me eye-cancer".  :-P I used a pre-made Word template and I know that it looks crap. February will be more professional.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on January 02, 2018, 04:48:58 PM
Looks fine to me. Easy to read. YOu could make it a little smaller so I was not sliding it from side to side, but otherise no complants.
 
Anyway, I dunno if Calapine has mentioned this before, but I say this a month ago and I thought  this was pretty cool. Basically Voyager 1's main thrusters are failing. so someone came up with the idea of using its small stabilising thrusters to orient the probe. Considering these haven't been used in like 37 years, there was some question if they would work at all, but they did. Really really cool.

So its still on its way to help Captain Kirk create the Borg. Or get blown up by Klingons. Whichever.

https://www.space.com/38967-voyager-1-fires-backup-thrusters-after-37-years.html

Quote
NASA's far-flung Voyager 1 spacecraft has taken its backup thrusters out of mothballs.

Voyager 1 hadn't used its four "trajectory correction maneuver" (TCM) thrusters since November 1980, during the spacecraft's last planetary flyby — an epic encounter with Saturn. But mission team members fired them up again Tuesday (Nov. 28), to see whether the TCM thrusters were still ready for primetime.

The little engines passed the test with flying colors, NASA officials said. [Voyager 1's Road to Interstellar Space: A Photo Timeline]

"The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test," Todd Barber, a propulsion engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "The mood was one of relief, joy and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all."

As Barber's words suggest, the mission team didn’t do this out of idle curiosity. Voyager 1 — which in August 2012 became the first human-made object ever to enter interstellar space — has long been using its standard attitude-control thrusters to orient itself into the proper position to communicate with Earth. But the performance of these thrusters has been flagging for at least three years, so mission team members wanted to find an alternative option.

A successful test was far from guaranteed. Not only was the long layoff a potential issue, but the TCM thrusters were designed to burn continuously for relatively long stretches; they had never been fired in the very short bursts employed for attitude control, NASA officials said.

"The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters," Chris Jones, chief engineer at JPL, said in the same statement.

The plan is now to press the TCM engines into service in the attitude-control role, beginning in January. This should make a big difference for the mission, team members said.

"With these thrusters that are still functional after 37 years without use, we will be able to extend the life of the Voyager 1 spacecraft by two to three years," Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd, also of JPL, said in the same statement.

But the four TCM thrusters will likely be retired again at some point in the future. Each one requires a heater to operate, which in turn uses power. When Voyager 1's power supply gets too low, the probe's handlers will switch back to the attitude-control thrusters, NASA officials said. (Voyager 1 is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, or RTG. RTGs convert to electricity the heat generated by the radioactive decay of plutonium-238.)


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Brolan on January 05, 2018, 07:42:49 AM
Kudos for doing all the work putting that calendar together and sharing it with us.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on January 07, 2018, 04:04:53 PM
This was last month, but seriously, I hate to laugh at this as I could see myself making this kind of stupid error.

Quote
[size=150]Russia lost satellites because it used coordinates for wrong launch site
 [/size]

BY CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, December 28, 2017, 7:41 AM

A human error that gave the coordinates for a launch pad more than 4,000 miles away is being blamed for the loss of valuable satellites last month.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told state media Wednesday that problems from the space agency Roskosmos were to blame for the quick disappearance of the Soyuz rocket carrying devices from Russia, Europe and the United States.

It flew off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East, though the coordinates for its takeoff were for Baikonur, the more often-used launch site in Kazakhstan, he said.

...

Confusion between Baikonur and Vostochny, which are separated by thousands of miles of Mongolia and Siberia, comes as Russia tries to use the second site to ease pressure on the first.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/russia-lost-rocket-coordinates-wrong-launch-site-article-1.3723747


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 09, 2018, 01:16:19 PM
Kudos for doing all the work putting that calendar together and sharing it with us.

Thanks. I'll work on it more. (*still hasn't made finished part 2 of the first-British-rocket*)

SpaceX flights are really providing some nice shots latley.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTDiqxfWkAAmzf1.jpg)

The what and where:

The image was shot by Peter Horstink, Dutch pilot of a 747-400 freighter, while flying from Amsterdam to Johannesburg. The city lights below belong to Khartoum, Sudan.

The phenomen is the Falcon 9 upper stage venting fuel before re-entry and burn up. This is done to prevent any premature explosions that could create space debris. The pattern is due to the stage spinning, which might (I am guessing here) be an effect caused by the fuel vent itself, or maybe a deliberate spin stabilisation to maintain stage orientation.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on January 09, 2018, 02:56:09 PM
https://www.bnn.ca/spacex-launched-satellite-malfunctions-no-longer-seen-in-orbit-pentagon-1.962669

Any guesses that this actually failed or just covering up? :tinfoil:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 09, 2018, 05:16:25 PM
Impossible to say. We know it reached (some) orbit, so it's not a classic launcher failure.

The options that are left now are:

  • Payload was inserted into orbit, but it was the wrong one. Too high or too low.[1]
  • Payload was inserted into the correct orbit but was unresponsive.[2]
  • Deployment orbit was reached, but separation from the upper stage failed and both burned up in the atmosphere later.[3]


One news item counting against a rocket malfunction is that the Falcon Heavy start preparations are going ahead. IMHO not even SpaceX would conduct a launch weeks after an upper stage failed for an unknown reason.





[1] Happend on SpaceX ISS supply mission CRS-1. A Merlin engine failed, leading to underperfomance of the Falcon 9 first stage. The secondary payload, an Orbcomm satellite ended up in too low orbit and was lost.

[2] Almost happend two weeks ago with Angosat-1, first Angolan communications satellite. Built by RKK Energia[4] contact was established was established briefly after separation but the satellite went dead soon after.
Already feared a loss by then it was possible to restablish contact again three days later. What happend was that the on-board batteries gave out way too early. Luckily the solar panels had already been deployed and the satellite recharged.

[3] Happend last year to Indian IRNSS-1H satellite, launched by the local indigenous PSVL (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The fairing (heat shield) failed to separate, the satellite - alive and sending signals(!) - was stuck inside the 4rd stage and burned up with with it in the atmosphere, most likely conscious and in incredible pain until the very end.

[4] You may remember them from such space block busters as: Sputnik, Progress, Soyuz, Luna, Saljut, Mir and "Zarya - the ISS' first module""


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Teleku on January 09, 2018, 08:21:32 PM
Yeah, the whole thing is sort of weird.  SpaceX seems to be pretty confident everything worked fine on their end though, so the most likely scenario is that the payload adapter (responsible for separating the satellite from the second stage booster), failed.  So when the second stage did its standard burn to take it back down to burn up into the atmosphere, it was still attached.  While SpaceX usually also makes the adaptor, Northrop decided to use their own adapter on this mission, so such a scenario would technically put them at fault as it wasn't SpaceX's equipment.

If not that, then yeah...... :tinfoil:


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: Sir T on January 10, 2018, 07:09:08 AM
Much clearer photo from the ground in Sudan, taken by Sam Cornwell, of the Spiral. Speculation is that it could have been the SpaceX rocket venting excess fuel.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTDaSknXkAAzVlf.jpg)

from https://twitter.com/Samcornwell/status/950499540666331136/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.space.com%2F39338-spacex-zuma-rocket-sky-spiral-photos.html


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: 01101010 on January 10, 2018, 07:25:31 AM
Yeah, the whole thing is sort of weird.  SpaceX seems to be pretty confident everything worked fine on their end though, so the most likely scenario is that the payload adapter (responsible for separating the satellite from the second stage booster), failed.  So when the second stage did its standard burn to take it back down to burn up into the atmosphere, it was still attached.  While SpaceX usually also makes the adaptor, Northrop decided to use their own adapter on this mission, so such a scenario would technically put them at fault as it wasn't SpaceX's equipment.

If not that, then yeah...... :tinfoil:

Or the top secret military satellite is just fine.  :grin:

Don't want to go all in with the tin foil, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.


Title: Re: Space Thread
Post by: calapine on January 10, 2018, 09:35:06 AM
      It's officially lost:
      Quote
      A highly classified satellite launched by SpaceX this weekend ended up plummeting into the Indian Ocean, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.


      I don't think this subterfuge: The public doesn't know what's going on anyway and the Russians have their own means to check whether it's really there or not, they wont be fooled by a press statement.

      It looks like option 3 was what happend:
      The options that are left now are:


      • Payload was inserted into orbit, but it was the wrong one. Too high or too low.[1]
      • Payload was inserted into the correct orbit but was unresponsive.[2]
      • Deployment orbit was reached, but separation from the upper stage failed and both burned up in the atmosphere later.[3]


      [3] Happend last year to Indian IRNSS-1H satellite, launched by the local indigenous PSVL (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The fairing (heat shield) failed to separate, the satellite - alive and sending signals(!) - was stuck inside the 4rd stage and burned up with with it in the atmosphere, most likely conscious and in incredible pain until the very end.
      [/list][/list]


      Edit: In case of a separation there are three players involved, from top down:


      • Satellite
      • Payload Adapter
      • Payload Attach Fitting

      The satellite the least likely culprit.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on January 10, 2018, 07:05:02 PM
      Photo of the South Pole of Jupiter, from the Juno Space Probe. There are basically random Cyclones whirling back and forth there, totally not what scientists were expecting.

      (https://img.purch.com/w/660/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3My8yNzcvb3JpZ2luYWwvanVwaXRlci1zb3V0aC1wb2xlLmpwZw==)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 11, 2018, 05:53:31 PM
      French magazine malville featured a lengthy interview with the Stéphane Israël[1], CEO of Arianespace.

      For my Twitter feed I am providing a translation. The article is probably somewhat too dry and indepth for most here, but considering how much time it took me to prepare this, I just cannot not share it here too.  :-P


      (https://i.imgur.com/x95Dmdt.png)

      (https://i.imgur.com/uabPQC7.png)

      (https://i.imgur.com/xSW2KE4.png)




      [1] He doesn't look half bad either and has a cute French accent.  *sigh* :heart:


      Edit: Also to be honest without MS Word Grammar check I would have thrown the towel 1/3 in.  :oh_i_see:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 11, 2018, 06:57:06 PM
      Also you just NOT missed a launch. A Delta IV with a secret NRO payload was about to liftoff right now. Cancelnd due to fault Ground Service Equipment.

      Since Delta IV flies ~2 times per year and will be phased out as soon as it's replacement (Vulcan) comes online there won't be too many opportunities to watch a launch anymore.

      Next launch attempt: 12. January 2018 - 1:00 pm PST - 22:00 UTC

      Here it sits:
      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTTSnViW0AEp8ZX.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 11, 2018, 07:31:09 PM
      Always was a fan of the orange color scheme of those rockets.  Next task for Elon is to get a unique paint job for his rockets instead of the boring white.   :awesome_for_real:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 12, 2018, 04:06:34 AM
      There is always the NASA's "flying carrot" to look forward to:


      (http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/oo15-210-sls.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/rUGQZ2x.jpg)


      Sadly the 80ies-style booster "speed swooshes" didn't make it past CDR.  :heartbreak:

      Zuma edit: Totally forgot to mention this: The mission was pushed to January due to an unspecified issue with the payload fairing. And now we seem to have to lost the launch due to a payload separation issue...  :tinfoil:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on January 12, 2018, 06:19:12 AM
      Always was a fan of the orange color scheme of those rockets.  Next task for Elon is to get a unique paint job for his rockets instead of the boring white.   :awesome_for_real:
      They were orange because that's the colour of the spray-on insulation. Painting them white adds weight - for the Shuttle main tank, leaving it unpainted saved almost 300Kg. They used to paint them white for UV protection purposes but, if you keep them under cover until they are needed, then that stops being a problem.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 12, 2018, 10:04:50 AM
      /the more you know meme

      I never knew that, so thanks!  Still, I wish they would do something a little more iconic with the modern rockets.  The orange insulation is interesting, and I've always loved the Saturn V's odd uneven digital checkers paint job on top of its shape:

      (https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/the-saturn-v-rocket-on-seventies-picture-id107423231)

      (but its also the most awesome rocket ever)

      SpaceX needs to work on its branding.   :awesome_for_real:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on January 12, 2018, 10:44:37 AM
      Basically we need rockets that have colour schemes like the racers in Wipeout.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on January 12, 2018, 10:49:26 AM
      Basically we need rockets that have colour schemes like the racers in Wipeout.

      OR.. how about sponsor labels like NASCAR?  :why_so_serious:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 12, 2018, 11:07:49 AM
      (https://i.imgur.com/zBd7HRI.png)

      From the soft core porn sci-fi classic, Species 2.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on January 12, 2018, 11:08:14 AM
      The white and black patterns were likely so observers on the ground could easily see the rotation of the rocket during flight.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 12, 2018, 11:13:02 AM
      Always was a fan of the orange color scheme of those rockets.  Next task for Elon is to get a unique paint job for his rockets instead of the boring white.   :awesome_for_real:
      They were orange because that's the colour of the spray-on insulation. Painting them white adds weight - for the Shuttle main tank, leaving it unpainted saved almost 300Kg. They used to paint them white for UV protection purposes but, if you keep them under cover until they are needed, then that stops being a problem.

      Picture to illustrate Iain's explantion:

      (https://i.imgur.com/YRJAOWh.jpg)(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Columbia.sts-1.01.jpg)

      STS-1, the very first flight. Shuttle is Columbia, btw.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 12, 2018, 12:25:39 PM
      Oh my, the Chinese:

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTUvAkAVMAElWmy.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTW9frAXkAAyRto.jpg)

      Dropped Long March 3C booster.  They run on unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsymmetrical_dimethylhydrazine).


      Here is a video of it going down: https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight/status/951700575015419904

      Note the red-brownish mushroom cloud. The smoke is unburned Dinitrogen Tetroxide, the oxidiser component of the boosters NTO/UDMH bi-propellant.

      Totally not safe. 🤨



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 12, 2018, 04:50:20 PM
      Delta IV launch video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU5cLaudtP4)

      I mentioned before that Delta IV won't fly that often anymore. Turns out this was actually the last flight of the Delta IV Medium+ (5,2) version as well as the last of the Delta IV Medium+ that lifts off from Vandenberg.

      A quick version guide:

      Delta IV Medium: Base variant
      Delta IV Medium+ (4,2): Includes two GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, +1950 kg payload to GTO
      Delta IV Medium+ (5,2): As above + 5 m diameter fairing , larger 2nd stage with more fuel
      Delta IV Medium+ (5,4): As above but 2 extra GEM-60 boosters

      A launch GIF:

      (https://i.imgur.com/bmJj6BM.gif)

      Delta IV is the only rocket that sets itself on fire and thinks this a normal thing to do.  :uhrr:

      Liftoff. Note how toasty it's underside is:
      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTX6CxzXkAEktH2.jpg)

      Finally, the launch trajectory:

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTX9peHWAAE7rFO.jpg)

      Because of the orbit (1500 km, 108° inclination)  we have a pretty good guess that the secret payload is a radar satellite. Possibly Topaz series.

      Funfact: Topaz radar sats were part of the larger 'Future Imagery Architecture' which turned out to be kind of a shitshow:

      Quote
      In 1999 the development contract for FIA was awarded to a Boeing team, which underbid Lockheed Martin's competing proposal by about US$ 1 billion (inflation adjusted US$ 1.47 billion in 2017).[2][3] By 2005, an estimated US$ 10 billion had been spent by the US government on FIA, including Boeing's accumulated cost overrun of US$ 4 to 5 billion,[4] and it was estimated to have an accumulated cost of US$25 billion over the ensuing twenty years.[5] In September 2005 the contract for the electro-optical satellites was shifted to Lockheed Martin because of the cost overruns and delays of the delivery date.[6] Lockheed was asked to restart production of KH-11 Kennan satellite system with new upgrades.[1] The contract for the imaging radar satellite remained with Boeing.[1] In September 2010 NRO director Bruce Carlson stated that while most NRO "(...) programs are operating on schedule and on cost (...)", one program is "(...) 700 percent over in schedule and 300 percent over in budget".[7]

      Funfact 2: Remember when the NRO donated two large telescopes to NASA for free? Reports say those weren't old KH-11 Kennen, but new builds for the above FIA programme that Boeing messed up so badly.

      This concludes tonight's reporting! *yaaawns*

      Edit: I took the time to rephrase that in a 6-degrees-of-separation style

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTYMyzOX0AEs2E9.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Strazos on January 13, 2018, 12:38:50 AM
      So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: MahrinSkel on January 13, 2018, 12:46:25 AM
      So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.
      Delta IV vents hydrogen while it's on the pad, when the igniters go off it flashes off the hydrogen.

      --Dave


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 13, 2018, 04:43:42 AM
      So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.
      Delta IV vents hydrogen while it's on the pad, when the igniters go off it flashes off the hydrogen.

      --Dave

      That, although I don't know what is special about the RS-68 engine's startup procedure or the pad configuration (layout of flameducks) that this effect is so pronounced.

      You don't see this with Shuttle, Ariane 5 nor Jaxa H-II launches - all of which use hydrogen.


      It's even worse with Delta IV Heavy:

      (https://i.imgur.com/XgPv1iL.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/STRhqWP.jpg)

      Burning insulation.  :uhrr:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on January 13, 2018, 07:51:19 AM
      Burning Insulation seals in the flavour.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Shannow on January 13, 2018, 03:39:17 PM
      Why does that look like something bad is about to happen in KSP?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jeff Kelly on January 15, 2018, 08:17:36 AM
      In KSP I would only be slightly concerned, even after it eventually goes BOOM. Jeb has survived worse.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 15, 2018, 08:45:38 AM
      A 'Today I Learned'


      All mountains on Titan are named after loctions from Tolkien's middlearth.  :psyduck:

      (https://i.imgur.com/2l04Yg2.png)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on January 15, 2018, 09:47:12 AM
      Nerds.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on January 15, 2018, 11:13:30 AM
      "They're taking the robots to Isengard!"


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Strazos on January 15, 2018, 12:22:10 PM
      It just reminds me that eventually, we're going to run out of sensible or appropriate names for things like this. Maybe we'll start seeing naming schemes in the vein of Iain Banks' Culture books: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series#Consider_Phlebas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series#Consider_Phlebas)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 15, 2018, 02:06:47 PM
      They found the fairing too - in a tobacco field  :roll: :roll:

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTkm2c1WAAEESJ1.jpg)


      SirT: No half-funny smoking kills puns, please...


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 15, 2018, 02:16:32 PM
      Edit: If you have 17 minutes and want to watch something, this is a pretty concise, good documentary about Herschel.


      Herschel and its legacy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNij0KBd7fo)

      (http://sci.esa.int/science-e-media/img/c2/HerschelBeautyShot2_625w.jpg)(http://sci.esa.int/science-e-media/img/06/POSE_CU1_sur_dolly_049_410.jpg)

      Quote
      The Herschel Space Observatory was a space observatory built and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). It was active from 2009 to 2013, and was the largest infrared telescope ever launched, carrying a 3.5-metre (11.5 ft) mirror and instruments sensitive to the far infrared and submillimetre wavebands (55–672 µm). Herschel was the fourth and final cornerstone mission in the Horizon 2000 programme, following SOHO/Cluster II, XMM-Newton and Rosetta. NASA is a partner in the Herschel mission, with US participants contributing to the mission; providing mission-enabling instrument technology and sponsoring the NASA Herschel Science Center (NHSC) at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and the Herschel Data Search at the Infrared Science Archive.

      The observatory was carried into orbit in May 2009, reaching the second Lagrangian point (L2) of the Earth–Sun system, 1,500,000 kilometres (930,000 mi) from Earth, about two months later. Herschel is named after Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the infrared spectrum and planet Uranus, and his sister and collaborator Caroline Herschel.[10]

      The observatory was capable of seeing the coldest and dustiest objects in space; for example, cool cocoons where stars form and dusty galaxies just starting to bulk up with new stars. The observatory sifted through star-forming clouds—the "slow cookers" of star ingredients—to trace the path by which potentially life-forming molecules, such as water, form.

      The telescope's lifespan was governed by the amount of coolant available for its instruments; when that coolant ran out, the instruments would stop functioning correctly. At the time of its launch, operations were estimated to last 3.5 years (to around the end of 2012). It continued to operate until 29 April 2013 15:20 UTC, when Herschel ran out of coolant.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jeff Kelly on January 15, 2018, 02:25:01 PM
      A 'Today I Learned'
      All mountains on Titan are named after loctions from Tolkien's middlearth.  :psyduck:

      Also all moons of Jupiter are named after his various affairs and mistresses. Consequently NASA named their Jupiter probe Juno. Which is the name of Jupiter’s wife.

      So Jupiter’s wife went out there to check what her husband was up to.

      Astronomer’s humor is creating the punchline to a 400 year old joke.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Goumindong on January 16, 2018, 02:00:05 PM
      So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.

      TL:DW

      When starting an engine you need to first expel some fuel and then light it up. The rocket engines are hydrogen/oxygen. Oxygen is corrosive and so if you run the normal mixture through the engine before/during ignition there is a potential for pockets of oxygen to corrode critical engine components. To combat this the engine runs its pre-ignition phase with more or less pure hydrogen. The hydrogen rises out of the engine cone and ignites when the rest of the engine ignites(or any other spark makes it go up)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=i-zmptK7PDE


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 16, 2018, 09:15:58 PM
      So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.

      TL:DW

      When starting an engine you need to first expel some fuel and then light it up. The rocket engines are hydrogen/oxygen. Oxygen is corrosive and so if you run the normal mixture through the engine before/during ignition there is a potential for pockets of oxygen to corrode critical engine components. To combat this the engine runs its pre-ignition phase with more or less pure hydrogen. The hydrogen rises out of the engine cone and ignites when the rest of the engine ignites(or any other spark makes it go up)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=i-zmptK7PDE

      Yeah..no......we know that.

      That doesn't answer the question why Delta IV does it.

      The RS-68 engine is an off-shot of the Space Shuttle RS-25 engine. Admittedly with very major differences, but still in the same thrust-class. But there are quite a few - different-from-each-other - Hydrogen engines neither of which have that effect:

      ULA - Delta IV - RS-68 - Gas Generator
      NASA - STS - RS-25 - Staged combustion
      ESA - Ariane 5 - Vulcain - Gas Generator
      JAXA - HII-B - LE-7 - Staged combustion

      Without further backgroundknowlege one could guess that, well, RS-68 has the most thrust of all these engines so these effects would be most pronounced there. But..eh..no. You don't see any kind of that hydrogen burn with other launchers. So it might be something to do with the RS-68 design, maybe to simply the start-up sequence (reduce cost, risk) or maybe because the layout of the launchpad and flameducts is different (worse dissapent).

      But you can't say "It's Hydrogen, it needs to boil off" or "Its a Hydrogen engine, it needs to be flushed at startup because XY". It's definitely something very specific to the RS-68 design.


      EDIT: Another fact-point  is that while that effect was predicted in Delta-IV design, it was, especially with Delta IV Heavy, worse-than-anticipated. So much that after the first start some countermeasure were introduced. Such as starting the engines staged, so that that the fire-exhaust of one burning engine would burn off the excess hydrogen of the other two engines during start up, thus limiting the buildup of hydrogen.

      And again, I don't know the specific reason why this happens with Delta IV, but it's not something inherent in hydrogen/Lox engines.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on January 17, 2018, 04:29:02 PM
      A Japanese Epsilon rocket successfully launched the Asnaro-2 radar Earth-observing satellite into orbit from Uchinoura Space Center at 4:06 p.m. EST today, Jan. 17, though it was early Jan. 18 at the launch site. (Text copied from a space site I watch www.space.com)

      Full webcast here.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd-BpM1z3nk


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 17, 2018, 08:05:00 PM
      Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 18, 2018, 06:57:48 AM
      Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.

      Are you completley out of your mind??!!!  ;D :-P :wink:


      It's very common.

      This had technological reasons - solid motors are comperativly easy (and cheap) to develop. Especially if your country's space agency is still a the Baby's First Rocket stage.

      As well as pragmatic-programtic ones. A popular way to start of with orbital launchers is by taking an existing (solid fuel) sounding rocket as base and go from there. Either by scaling them up or adding more stages Kerbal-style.

      In both cases your jumping off point is a solid rocket, so you sort of locked in technology wise already.

      More recently there has been the trend to use old ICBM. Either as complete rocket or re-use of some stages.

      ICBM example:
      US Scout had Polaris heritage
      US Minotaur > Mintuteman II heritage

      Tech examples:
      When Italy started to develop Vega they had only expertise in solid fuel, so that's what VEGA ended up being. With a tiny liquid 4th stage. Since at that time no other European state wanted to join the they had to go to Ukraine to get it developed (AVUM).

      Now that Vega has proven a technical and market success the Germans suddenly come of their high horse and offer to build a single liquid engine to replace the 3rd solid and AVUM stages.   :roll:


      With JAXA's Epislon there is another factor: If you look at it's specs or just simply at it looks...it's veeery ICBMy.

      I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  :grin:


      (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/si5nOsuRaow/maxresdefault.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 18, 2018, 07:03:00 AM
      Two lovley post-launch pictures

      (https://i.imgur.com/vJij7DE.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/HyAmIOv.jpg)

      You can totally tell it's a Japanese design because the exhaust clouds are so delicate and graceful!  :grin:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 18, 2018, 07:41:55 AM
      Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.

      Are you completley out of your mind??!!!  ;D :-P :wink:

      That is a distinct possibility.  

      I'm aware that rockets of the more military nature (we're launching a nuke with this, who cares if it explodes at this point) are used like that.  Just seems like every commercial/civilian launcher I see has gone liquid fuel for awhile now (I know space shuttle used solid for the initial boosters).  I thought I recall that the potential danger of solid fuel rockets was always a big detrimental factor in using them, even if it was cheaper, thus why in modern times everybody has transitioned to liquid fuel.  I'm aware that there are plans on using old ICBM's, this is just the first time I can recall in a long time that I saw a satellite launch using a solid fuel rocket.  

      I obviously need to up my space game.   :awesome_for_real:

      You can totally tell it's a Japanese design because the exhaust clouds are so delicate and graceful!  :grin:

      I feel like there is potential for somebody to do a national space launch contrail version of this video.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzdsFiBbFc


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Shannow on January 18, 2018, 03:07:10 PM


      I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  :grin:



      It's a helicopter carrier but because ...anime?...its referred to as a Helicopter Carrier Destroyer class.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on January 18, 2018, 07:30:59 PM
      grab bag of responses:

      Wild guess the Japanese helicarrier might be a "Destroyer" due to some constitutional limitation on what they can build imposed/adopted after WWII.

      re the Delta IV rockets: paint scheme is Burnt Orange!  :evil:

      Typos in the otherwise incredibly good English translation (thank you for that, really well done!): "reignitable" is a word, reigniterable is not. Is Ariadne (last paragraph) Ariane's other sister?

      edit: and I could swear I remember seeing what was basically a pilot light on the launch pad under the Saturn V nozzles to burn off any Hydrogen wafting around pre-ignition before it had a chance to make a big boom?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: MahrinSkel on January 18, 2018, 11:43:05 PM
      I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  :grin:
      It's a helicopter carrier but because ...anime?...its referred to as a Helicopter Carrier Destroyer class.
      It's an LHA very similar to the old US Tarawa class, but it would be a violation of the Japanese constitution as well as very destabilizing for Japan to field an 'Invasion in a Box'. So...it's a destroyer, with a very large helicopter pad and facilities for a battalion of Marines.

      --Dave


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 21, 2018, 10:36:54 AM
      RocketLab's Electron rocket had it's 2nd (and first sucessfull launch) from New Zealand.

      (https://i.imgur.com/DgpnfFH.jpg)

      (https://i.imgur.com/xQdb8LI.jpg)

      Here the offical launch broadcast  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg5234BOED8&t=973s) Skip to 14:45 for lift-off.


      Due to it's unique feature of having electrically-powered turbopumps this launcher also stages batteries. Pretty neat:

      (https://i.imgur.com/T2J0a1K.gif)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 21, 2018, 02:33:13 PM
      I should add that Electron is quite innovative in some ways and RocketLab was faster than SpaceX in their Falcon 1 days when counting the time from rocket on pad to successful launch.


      Good job by the New Zealanders.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on January 21, 2018, 05:15:16 PM
      Go go Rocketlab! Micro sats for the win!

      Not even joking. Super happy to see this design working out. The electric pump feature is especially interesting, though I understand it does not scale well.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 22, 2018, 05:24:44 AM
      The more the merrier!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Shannow on January 22, 2018, 08:49:29 AM
      choice


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 22, 2018, 08:22:09 PM
      Go go Rocketlab! Micro sats for the win!

      Not even joking. Super happy to see this design working out. The electric pump feature is especially interesting, though I understand it does not scale well.

      Hah, you can say that loud. The Hydrogen turbopump is of Ariane 5 Vulcain 2 engine has a performance of 20.4 MW.

      That battery pack I'd like to see ^^


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 23, 2018, 07:46:34 AM
      P5 teststand - Lampoldshausen, Germany.

      Vulcain 2.1, Ariane 6's updated engine, fires up for the first time:

      (https://i.imgur.com/sIK8Fdn.gif)

      Full video: https://twitter.com/ArianeGroup/status/955748778136436736


      The Gas Generator exhaust at the start reminds me of my old Opel in winter.  :grin:

      Edit: This is because on this test old Vulcain 2.0 pyro igniters were used to provide a baseline for comparison. The final production Vulcain 2.1 will employs laser ignition. Confused my engines. Laser ignition is in the upper stage Vinci. Vulcain 2.1 receives a ground-based ignition system, essentially taking that part out of the rocket.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 25, 2018, 08:00:51 PM
      You just missed the most exicting launch.

      Telemetry was lost 9 minutes into a 35 minute mission.
      Basically no one knows what the second stage did.
       
      Went from

      Everything is fine, to
      No information, to
      Arianespace CEO announcing "We had an anomaly", to
      "The satellites are responding, but we don't know in what orbit"

      Edit: Btw, one of the satellites had a NASA instrument as hosted payload.

      GOLD -  Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXiaN85Ck4M)





      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on January 25, 2018, 10:22:59 PM
      SirT: No half-funny smoking kills puns, please...

      I completely missed this highly perceptive attack on my character. (Dammit.)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 26, 2018, 11:21:26 AM
      Yukon Delta
      (https://i.imgur.com/sNr4kPm.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/sNr4kPm.jpg)
      (click for full resolution)

      Zoomable 17063x17053 px version at: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/01/Yukon_Delta

      Quote
      The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Yukon Delta in the US state of Alaska.

      The Yukon River rises in British Columbia in Canada and flows through Yukon Territory before entering Alaska and finally draining into the Bering Sea. This image, recorded on 29 August 2017, shows how the river branches off into numerous channels that meander through the low-lying terrain on their way to the sea. The sandy colour of these channels and of the coastal water illustrates how much sediment the river carries to the sea at this time of year.

      It is estimated that 95% of all sediment transported during an average year occurs between May and September. During the other seven months, concentrations of sediment and other water-quality constituents are low. However, scientists also believe that sediment flow has increased over the last few decades because permafrost is thawing in the Yukon River Basin and ice breakup occurs earlier in the year owing to warmer air temperatures. This is important because elevated concentrations can adversely affect aquatic life by obstructing fish gills, covering fish spawning sites, and altering habitat of bottom-dwelling organisms. Metals and organic contaminants also tend to absorb onto fine-grained sediment.

      The Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites each carry a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface in 13 spectral bands. While the mission is mostly used to track changes in the way land is being used and to monitor the health of our vegetation, it also provides information on the condition of coastal waters.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 26, 2018, 05:17:25 PM
      The Ariane launch yesterday is becoming increasly mysterious.

      For those interested I recommend this article

      A Bizarre Failure Scenario Emerges for Ariane 5 Mission Anomaly with SES 14 & Al Yah 3 (http://spaceflight101.com/ariane-5-va241/va241-anomaly-update-scenario/)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 26, 2018, 08:07:52 PM
      These watchers on the beach got the view of a lifetime - Ariane 5 going straight over them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSzKGQ3lHD4)...(that shouldn't happen)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 26, 2018, 10:27:19 PM
       :ye_gods:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on January 27, 2018, 03:46:52 AM
      These watchers on the beach got the view of a lifetime - Ariane 5 going straight over them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSzKGQ3lHD4)...(that shouldn't happen)

      Five people all filming vertical.  :ye_gods:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on January 27, 2018, 06:35:54 AM
      Of course, the big thing is that it wasn't supposed to do that.  :why_so_serious:

      The rocket went off course pretty right after launch, and mission control had no idea till 8 minutes later when they lost contact.  :oh_i_see:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 07:24:43 AM
      Oh, somebody noticed alright, but the people who did are the ones you don't see on the webcast...


      Thing is, there are two centers:

      Jupiter 2 for the DDO, satellite customers, press, directors, VIPs and so on.


      (https://i.imgur.com/NJXpIDf.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/04PeomW.jpg)



      And closer to the launch site, inside a reinforced building, is Centre de Lancement 3, the one actually in charge:

      (https://i.imgur.com/wrjnHGC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/1MMCqOa.png)

      Jupiter is on voice loop with CDL3, that didn't apply to the launch moderator though, who didn't know what is going on until the end either.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 27, 2018, 07:36:30 AM
      What's disturbing is that, at least in NASA, they have people assigned to physically watch the entire launch through special boxes to make sure it doesn't deviate from the preset flight course, so they can tell command.  The Range Safety Officer should be monitoring the rocket at all times via computers and the guys physically watching.  If it looks like its about to stray out of the launch corridor, they are supposed to order a self destruct of the rocket (even if its a manned mission).  I'd assume that a golf course is probably well outside of the Launch Corridor (but maybe not?  It is Guayana), so that is potentially a very serious failure in protocol.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 07:48:38 AM
      What's disturbing is that, at least in NASA, they have people assigned to physically watch the entire launch through special boxes to make sure it doesn't deviate from the preset flight course, so they can tell command.  The Range Safety Officer should be monitoring the rocket at all times via computers and the guys physically watching.  If it looks like its about to stray out of the launch corridor, they are supposed to order a self destruct of the rocket (even if its a manned mission).  I'd assume that a golf course is probably well outside of the Launch Corridor (but maybe not?  It is Guayana), so that is potentially a very serious failure in protocol.

      Yeah, same here really. There are three tracking radars and a visual/infrared telescope on an island off-shore.


      I googled an older 1995 ESA text, from when Ariane 5 was introduced:

      Quote
      From lift-off onwards, the Flight Safety Team needs real-time information on the launcher's behaviour and flight path in order to evaluate any potential danger to populated areas. The launcher itself also needs protection from spurious commands. A flight-termination system is available to remotely command destruction of the vehicle in flight. The launcher itself can also generate a termination command if its on-board computer should detect a structural failure or abnormal stage separation (Fig. 3).

      Real-time computer processing of tracking-radar and telemetry data allows the Flight Safety Officer to monitor a display of the launcher's predicted impact point in the event of an abnormal interruption in propulsion. The CSG 2000 development programme has included new safety software that computes the impact zone of the debris shower in the event of an in-flight explosion, taking into account the effects of winds and atmospheric drag.

      So I am guessing (unless someone really messed up) that range safety saw the risk as not large enough to varant a controlled destruction.


      Same source:
      (https://i.imgur.com/ZVp55Yf.gif)

      So abnormal trajectory alone is no reason for termination.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 27, 2018, 08:02:54 AM
      Yeah, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I’m assuming they felt it was still safe.  But I’m use to Florida launches, where they shoot it straight out over the ocean with in a specific flight corridor.  If it even looks like its about to leave the corridor, they destroy it.  Mind you, the entire coast of Florida is heavily populated, where as I’m pretty sure that area in Guyana is isn’t, so just different standards (hopefully).  

      Still, sort of shitty to be the guys standing on the golf course and be deemed an acceptable risk.   :awesome_for_real:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on January 27, 2018, 09:44:17 AM
      Trump wants a wall more than he wants the ISS to remain operational (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/370938-trump-likely-to-request-end-to-funding-for-international-space)

      Quote
      President Trump is reportedly planning to request an end to funding for the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025, a move that would be a major hurdle to expanding space exploration efforts.

      The president’s official budget for fiscal year 2019 is scheduled to be released next month, but a draft proposal, seen by The Verge, would call for U.S. support for the program, which has been in place for more than 20 years, to end.

      NASA contributes between $3 billion and $4 billion to the International Space Station every year, according to The Verge. It is key as a destination for American astronauts who currently have no alternative destinations in orbit.

      According to The Verge, commercial companies like SpaceX and Boeing have said  they would likely not be able build orbiting modules by the time funding for the ISS runs out in 2024.

      A NASA spokesperson declined to comment on the budget draft, but noted the program’s importance to human space travel.


      “NASA and the International Space Station partnership is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space,” the spokesperson said.

      The move lines up with Trump’s efforts to move NASA funding away from international efforts and toward other space exploration projects, like building vehicles to explore deep space and returning American astronauts to the Moon.

      Last year, Trump signed an authorization act that directed NASA to find a way for the ISS to be less reliant on NASA funding.

      An Obama-era action extended the NASA-ISS partnership until 2024, but players in the commercial space industry have pushed for funding for the ISS to be continued beyond that deadline, according to The Verge.



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 27, 2018, 09:55:57 AM
      Welp, that's going to give me more leeway to twist the knife next time I chat with my father.  Who is an ardent conservative, but a major space nerd who watches live feeds from the ISS in his off time.

      But seriously, fuck Trump.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 06:05:19 PM
      Re Ariane:

      For those that didn't read the article, the passengers satellites are fine. What happend was a divergence from the planned trajectory, which led to an off-nominal deployment of the satellites in an orbit with an inclination of 20.6° instead of 3°. SES-14 (carrying the NASA GOLD instrument) will take about one month longer to reach geostationary orbit.

      At the moment it looks very much like Ariane 5 performed it's task perfectlyo, only someone gave it the wrong flight-path.  :uhrr:



      I am actually rather bummed out over this. 15 years without incident, a streak of 82 consecutive successful launches, and - with 18 more flights planned before Ariane 6 - she would have hit the golden 100 and then retire in grace.

      And then some fat-fingered engineer comes along and ruins that.  Boooo.  :cry: :cry: :cry:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Khaldun on January 27, 2018, 06:30:23 PM
      Is there any possibility that this is purposeful disinformation? Meaning, somebody wants those satellites someplace where they weren't expected to be, and an accident is the way they get it there? It just seems like a weird thing.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 06:45:20 PM
      Is there any possibility that this is purposeful disinformation? Meaning, somebody wants those satellites someplace where they weren't expected to be, and an accident is the way they get it there? It just seems like a weird thing.

      No, no. We are talking about two commercial communication satellites (nothing government). Providing satellite television (among others).
      They have to be at 0° inclination or they wouldn't be geostationary (from the position of a ground observer their position would wobble).


      To show of some of my own work:

      (https://i.imgur.com/HTMxNVm.jpg)

      The upper yellow line is the trajectory of a normal GTO mission from Kourou.

      The green dot below is where the launcher was at the time it injected the satellites. Approximately. I reached this by using the NORAD orbital data, putting it in JSatTrak and then running the simulation backwards until this point in time.

      The yellow townnames are the tracking stations. This also explains why telemetry was lost, the antennas were looking at the wrong place for the launcher.
      Think adjusting your satellite dish until the TV-picture is perfect...you can't be off by too much. Same here, just  much more finicky.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 06:50:19 PM
      Regarding the launch video above and the conversation with Teleku about range safety:
      Based on the position of the moon in the video, and the location of the beach, some people calculated a launch azimuth of 111°/112° degree.

      I visualised this with Google Earth.

      (https://i.imgur.com/uoB6lsx.jpg)

      The green area are the normally permitted upper and lower boundaries for launches from CSG. (The video was shot from somewhere along the beach at Kourou)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 27, 2018, 07:04:04 PM
      Not by me, but this helps to get a mental image, I think:

      This is the orbit the two satilites were put in:
      (https://i.imgur.com/Arek43K.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/dChCWjx.gif)


      Please note that varying distance from Earth is normal. That's the point of a Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
      The launcher does most of the work, then the satellite fires it engine at apogee, this in turn raises the perigee. Until a circular orbit at 35,786 km with 0° inclination is reached. That's the Geostationary Orbit. As shown in the right side graphic.


      What is NOT normal is the tilt the satellites have. If you would measure the tilt from the horizontal plane, you see that it's 20 degree. That's the so called inclination. The satellite needs zero inclination. That's what it now has to burn fuel for.



      Did I make any sense to anyone?  :grin: :why_so_serious:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on January 27, 2018, 09:50:08 PM
      Although it is very good that the satellites are still functional in the wrong orbits getting to the right orbits eats into their fuel reserves pretty severely, which can result in a shorter effective life, which can result in loss of money for the sat owners.

      I sincerely wish Ariane the best in figuring out what bizarre chain of events produced this error.

      My favorite jump to conclusion theory sported on Reddit: the launch angle information was loaded in from the wrong pad. Apparently two of the other pads at Kourou are rotated about twenty degrees from the one used, and coincidentally the inclination is off by about twenty degrees.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on January 27, 2018, 11:56:51 PM
      Looks like we get to watch the Falcon Heavy explode launch on February 6th!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on January 28, 2018, 02:23:08 AM
      Looks like we get to watch the Falcon Heavy explode launch on February 6th!
      `

      I am contemplating flying out there to watch it.  I really wish it was a Fri-Sun window as if it was I'd be there 100% as I wouldn't have to miss work.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Viin on January 28, 2018, 02:28:29 PM
      The launcher does most of the work, then the satellite fires it engine at apogee, this in turn raises the perigee. Until a circular orbit at 35,786 km with 0° inclination is reached. That's the Geostationary Orbit. As shown in the right side graphic.

      What is NOT normal is the tilt the satellites have. If you would measure the tilt from the horizontal plane, you see that it's 20 degree. That's the so called inclination. The satellite needs zero inclination. That's what it now has to burn fuel for.

      Did I make any sense to anyone?  :grin: :why_so_serious:

      I've played enough KSP that this actually makes sense!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on January 28, 2018, 09:29:19 PM
      I understand how burns work for changing altitude and making the orbit more or less circular. But I'm struggling to wrap my head around how to change the inclination. I figure it involves angling the thrust off the current plane of travel towards where you want to be, but when? When it's halfway between apogee and perigee? What is that point called anyway? Equigee?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 29, 2018, 06:47:37 AM
      I understand how burns work for changing altitude and making the orbit more or less circular. But I'm struggling to wrap my head around how to change the inclination. I figure it involves angling the thrust off the current plane of travel towards where you want to be, but when? When it's halfway between apogee and perigee? What is that point called anyway? Equigee?

      At Apogee. Reason: Changing plane basically means changing (canceling out?) part of your velocity vector. If you have an elliptical orbit, like seen above, you travel slowest while being farthest point from Earth. Thus the cancelling/changing is cheaper, you need less Delta V.

      (https://i.imgur.com/w59MIL7.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 29, 2018, 07:01:23 AM
      This GIF should help:

      (https://i.imgur.com/SGgOzeK.gif)

      I think it becomes clear that if you want to change your direction velocity vector it iseasiest when you are far away from Earth and slow.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: MahrinSkel on January 29, 2018, 07:34:05 AM
      Changes in plane are more costly in delta V, which is why correcting the orbit will probably more than half the service life of the satellite. But they'll do it at apogee, probably before circulizing the orbit, for the reason Calapine gave (the lower the velocity, the less energy it takes to significantly change it, and apogee velocity of an elliptical orbit is lower than that of a circular orbit at the same height).

      The normal circularization burn is straighforward, this will take a lot of calculation and fiddling.

      --Dave

      Edit: it's kind of the opposite of what they do in sending things out of Earth orbit entirely, there they would burn at perigee (lowest point) because what they're after is a hyperbolic curve.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Typhon on January 29, 2018, 02:44:16 PM
      I'm pretty sure to make an inclination change for a geostationary orbit you'd have to burn at the points where your velocity vector was perpendicular to the normal to the equator.

      The white picture actually shows the satellite at that point.

      Edit: changed tangential to perpendicular


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 29, 2018, 05:00:57 PM
      I'm pretty sure to make an inclination change for a geostationary orbit you'd have to burn at the points where your velocity vector was perpendicular to the normal to the equator.

      The white picture actually shows the satellite at that point.

      Edit: changed tangential to perpendicular

      Now you confused me. It's complicated and orbital mechanics are the area I know the least... :oh_i_see:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Typhon on January 29, 2018, 06:08:59 PM
      Ignore me, I'm wrong.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on January 29, 2018, 09:28:34 PM
      The slowest point argument sounds good initially, but I don't see how it really holds. Your rocket has X thrust and you are traveling along Y vector. You are going one way and want to go a different way, to maximize your change of direction for X thrust don't you aim your rocket perpendicular to Y, and towards where you wish your rocket was at?  The length of Y doesn't matter in that case, you're still going to add the same X component to your vector moving you that same amount towards where you want to be regardless of Y, no?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on January 30, 2018, 12:07:33 AM
      The slowest point argument sounds good initially, but I don't see how it really holds. Your rocket has X thrust and you are traveling along Y vector. You are going one way and want to go a different way, to maximize your change of direction for X thrust don't you aim your rocket perpendicular to Y, and towards where you wish your rocket was at?  The length of Y doesn't matter in that case, you're still going to add the same X component to your vector moving you that same amount towards where you want to be regardless of Y, no?

      Oook..before before I say something stupid trying to explain, and then everyone laughs at me, I'll just quote the literture:


      (https://i.imgur.com/1JST3hG.png)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on January 30, 2018, 09:20:33 PM
      Thanks! That is pretty clear. I can follow it, but I think I need to think about it a bit before I'll really understand/internalize it.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: satael on February 01, 2018, 04:40:21 AM
      (http://i.imgur.com/bkmskGC.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 01, 2018, 03:56:07 PM
      (http://Astronmical events)

      That's great thanks. Going to retwee right away  :-)

      Here is a very nice (I mean it... ;D) clip of Ariane 5 of the launch prior the latest. Filmed from a the top of the water tower, a never seen perspective (I think). Cargo were 4 Galileo GNSS sats.

      VA240 launch (https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/958457808747417600)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 01, 2018, 04:23:15 PM
      And one more thing:

      The International Space Station in front of the Moon. By NASA:

      (https://i.imgur.com/kKloPJ7.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/kKloPJ7.jpg)
      (click image for full size)Feels very SciFi...


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jade Falcon on February 02, 2018, 11:53:17 AM
      wow very cool shot.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on February 05, 2018, 03:15:37 PM
      Really cool animation of the Falcon Heavy launch scheduled for tomorrow.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk338VXcb24

      Some interesting stats (from the video info):

      Quote
      When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.  With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

      Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.

      Following liftoff, the two side boosters separate from the center core and return to landing sites for future reuse.  The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, also returns for reuse, but lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on February 05, 2018, 06:46:52 PM
      Really cool animation of the Falcon Heavy launch scheduled for tomorrow.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk338VXcb24

      Some interesting stats (from the video info):

      Quote
      When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.  With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

      Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.

      Following liftoff, the two side boosters separate from the center core and return to landing sites for future reuse.  The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, also returns for reuse, but lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean.


      In the interest of managing expectations, Musk is still reminding people that he seriously only gives this first test flight of the FH a 50/50 chance of success. But as long as all the sensors don't fail and they get good reading on why it failed that will be a success.

      Might be an Earth shattering kaboom, is what I'm saying. And that will be all right, as long as it doesn't blast the pad or actually land on anybody.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on February 05, 2018, 07:08:56 PM
      Musk saying it only has a 50/50 chance means it is more like a 20% or less chance of success.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on February 06, 2018, 12:15:05 AM
      Musk saying it only has a 50/50 chance means it is more like a 20% or less chance of success.


      Yeah well you know their welds are pretty sloppy.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 06, 2018, 03:18:45 AM
      Musk saying it only has a 50/50 chance means it is more like a 20% or less chance of success.


      Hah, no. That's intentional sandbagging to make a successful flight a bigger deal. There is no reason to believe this will be significantly riskier than any other first flight.

      And he changed his tune already anyway:

      "Musk: if we’re successful, offer near super-heavy-lift for little more than Falcon 9. “Game over” for all other heavy-lift rockets."

      He really is an arrogant prick. I am sure Jeff Bezos is already busy shutting down Blue Origin....


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jeff Kelly on February 06, 2018, 12:43:11 PM
      In his first interview a few weeks ago he stated that he considers the launch a success if the rocket clears the launch facility before it blows up so that it doesn’t cause any damage to the pad.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on February 06, 2018, 02:53:37 PM
      Holy shit. That was incredible.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on February 06, 2018, 02:56:46 PM
      So much for blowing up on the pad...



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jeff Kelly on February 06, 2018, 03:03:48 PM
      The synchronized landing of the side boosters, the don’t panic sign on the dash board of a fucking electric roadster and life on mars by Bowie playing in the background.

      If this were a movie we’d say that it was a bit much.

      Holy shit was that awesome though.



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on February 06, 2018, 03:09:32 PM
      The simultaneous side booster landing was just surreal. If you saw that sequence in a movie, you'd think they'd fucked up the special effects. No drama, no fuss. Just straight down and stop.

      One thing that annoyed me though was that the announcers kept talking about David Bowie's Starman, but it was Life on Mars that was playing during the video.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on February 06, 2018, 03:11:09 PM
      The synchronized landing of the side boosters, the don’t panic sign on the dash board of a fucking electric roadster and life on mars by Bowie playing in the background.

      If this were a movie we’d say that it was a bit much.

      Holy shit was that awesome though.



      Yeah, the tandem booster landings in sync was just amazing. I do think Musk is a bit of an arrogant ass, but damn the man puts on a good show. I could do without the infomercial announcers, but meh...


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Shannow on February 06, 2018, 03:12:57 PM
      I think I need some alone time and a box of tissues to watch those vids again.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 06, 2018, 03:24:36 PM
      Looks good:

      (https://i.imgur.com/CRMDSgw.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on February 06, 2018, 03:52:15 PM
      The simultaneous side booster landing was just surreal. If you saw that sequence in a movie, you'd think they'd fucked up the special effects. No drama, no fuss. Just straight down and stop.

      One thing that annoyed me though was that the announcers kept talking about David Bowie's Starman, but it was Life on Mars that was playing during the video.

      Star man in the nickname of the guy in the Dragonsuit.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 06, 2018, 04:54:38 PM
      I think I like this one even more:


      (https://i.imgur.com/JZNObGP.jpg)

       :heart:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Tale on February 06, 2018, 05:01:15 PM
      What happens to the Tesla now? Live video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBr2kKAHN6M) seems to show it still attached to the Falcon Heavy, orbiting the Earth. Does it separate in a slingshot towards Mars at some point?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on February 06, 2018, 05:17:45 PM
      Yes. Will be on a heliocentric elliptical orbit that will swing it by both earth orbit and mars orbit over and over for around a billion years.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on February 06, 2018, 05:21:58 PM
      The upper stage the roadster is still attached to needs to travel for a few more hours through the Van Allen radiation belts before it reaches the point where it can launch the roadster into it's final orbit.

      Edit: assuming everything survives that trip


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on February 06, 2018, 06:22:20 PM
      Curse you time zone differences!!!

      Yeah, seeing if their equipment can survive the radiation interfearance of the Van Allen belt is the next big test.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on February 06, 2018, 06:32:23 PM
      Core booster crashed into the ocean. Some of the return engines failed to light:

      https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/06/spacex-landed-two-of-its-three-falcon-heavy-first-stage-boosters/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on February 07, 2018, 02:30:49 AM
      And woops, looks like they burned to long and overshot a bit.  The Roadster is now on an orbit that will take it as far out as the Astroid Belt now. (https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16983744/spacex-tesla-falcon-heavy-roadster-orbit-asteroid-belt-elon-musk-mars)   :awesome_for_real: 


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Hawkbit on February 07, 2018, 02:39:25 AM
      I'm happy with the idea that in the year 3792 Klax Gragnon will smash his space semi into an antiquated Tesla somewhere just past Mars, and none of it will be covered as considered 'act of God' by Space Farm insurance.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Jeff Kelly on February 07, 2018, 02:43:40 AM
      So it won’t be V‘ger but T‘sla that returns to earth in Star Trek 1?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 07, 2018, 05:21:08 PM
      Some non-SpaceX news  (:wink:)

      DreamChaser

      Date of it's first mission to the ISS now has been announced for 2020:

      (https://i.imgur.com/VMtq0AJ.jpg)

      Of the currently active cargo transporters - Progress, HTV, Dragon, Cygnus - I think it's really the technically most interesting vehicle.


      And more ISS news:

      Today is the 10th birthday of the ESA ISS laboratory module Columbus.

      (https://i.imgur.com/G5x97Us.jpg)


      Built by Thales-Alenia Space Turin, Italy. (Outfited by Airbus DS, Bremen.)
      Launched On This Day 2008 by Space Shuttle Atlantis.
      Below it being loaded into the Atlantis cargo bay:

      (https://i.imgur.com/Bmukwjt.jpg)


      Funfact: To pay for the transport ESA built the 'Harmony' module free of charge for NASA. (Again by Thales-Alenia in Turin).

      Seen below:

      (https://i.imgur.com/R45QSEf.jpg)

      I don't know the cost of Harmony, but seems like a good deal for NASA. A module for single launch.  ;D

      Harmony houses (some of) the life-support systems of the stations.
      It's second purpose is as connection hub. Attached are: Columbus (the birthday kid), Destiny (the US laboratory), Kibo (the Japanese labortary) and IDA-2 (International Docking Adapter 2).


      To come back to SpaceX anyway:
      IDA-2 was delivered to the ISS by Falcon-9/Dragon.
      IDA-1 doesn't exist. It was cargo on Falcon-9 CRS-7 mission that blew up.


      And to come back to Columbus:
      When you see Orbital ATK Cygnus transporter docking at the ISS: It's pressurised module (the part after the service module) is built in Turin. By Thales-Alenia Space And is (partly) based on Columbus heritage.

      (https://i.imgur.com/382Xwwo.jpg)




      (I hope that was somewhat interesting. No point in trying to duplicate what professional news reports, so I try to focus on the details.)



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on February 08, 2018, 01:27:35 PM
      And woops, looks like they burned to long and overshot a bit.  The Roadster is now on an orbit that will take it as far out as the Astroid Belt now. (https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16983744/spacex-tesla-falcon-heavy-roadster-orbit-asteroid-belt-elon-musk-mars)   :awesome_for_real: 

      Well, for all I know the "Z" key stuck, but it looks like they decided to do a burn-to-completion and empty out the propellant tanks instead of a precise orbit. This was a demo test flight after all, and boiloff was a serious concern. They weren't certain they'd even have enough remaining after the long coast to do the Mars crossing orbit, but it turns out they had over 1 kps delta-V to spare. That's pretty good.

      As for other posters mentioning sandbagging, I actually agree more with Chimpy despite my snark. SpaceX has *never* had a successful first flight of a rocket design before, and arguably hasn't yet. They lost the center core, which was the most modified/changed part of the stack, and it failed to land properly. Something pretty big went wrong (lack of TEA-TEB igniter fluid, apparently), and landing recovery is supposed to be one of those "solved problems" to SpaceX by now. Going to be interesting to see what shakes out from this.

      And as for Elon being an arrogant prick, he also said this:

      "...but I think it's going to open up a sense of possibility. I think it's going to encourage other companies and countries to say hey, if SpaceX which is a commercial company can do this, and nobody paid for Falcon Heavy, this was paid for by internal funds, then they can do it too.

      So I think it's going to encourage other companies and countries to raise their sights and say "hey, we can do bigger and better", which is great. We want a new space race.

      [pause...big smile...]

      Races are exciting!"



      I'm pretty sure Bezos agrees.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Viin on February 08, 2018, 05:53:54 PM
      Sorry, back to SpaceX - here's another perspective on those 2 boosters landing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_kfM-BmVzQ


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Tale on February 11, 2018, 11:21:31 PM
      Sorry, back to SpaceX - here's another perspective on those 2 boosters landing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_kfM-BmVzQ

      I believe Iron Man is real.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on February 12, 2018, 08:57:18 AM
      Meh. totally fake. they ran the reel in reverse for that, right?  :why_so_serious:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 18, 2018, 04:09:25 AM
      (https://i.imgur.com/Flu5Xj3.jpg)

       8-)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on February 18, 2018, 06:28:01 AM
      Jesus, that's a lovely photo. You'd have to know exactly what settings to dial in ahead of time for that, no time for chimping!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 18, 2018, 07:14:03 AM
      Jesus, that's a lovely photo. You'd have to know exactly what settings to dial in ahead of time for that, no time for chimping!

      That was the photographer's setup:

      (https://i.imgur.com/M5OOtdJ.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on February 18, 2018, 01:04:35 PM
      This is the dude's Instagram. (https://www.instagram.com/p/BfQ_yiyhxRW/?taken-by=sciencetripper)

      Sony A7rII at ƒ/14, ISO 100 and 1/8000s. Triggered by sound (the big orange box on the left) because it's ~400m from the rocket and you aren't allowed to stand that close.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Strazos on February 18, 2018, 10:52:03 PM
      Pffft, cool guys don't look at explosions.



      Though, it really is a nice photo.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on February 21, 2018, 01:43:41 PM
      Remember ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, reaching Mars in in late 2016?

      This probe:

      (https://i.imgur.com/p6DbNGt.jpg)


      What has it been up to?

      A: Aerobreaking Aerobraking, no E. damit

      (https://i.imgur.com/MA5nKKg.jpg)


      953 orbits, each time breaking a little bit in the atmosphere. From 98 000 x 200 km to 1050 x 200 km, which was reached last night. More detail:

      Quote
      We started on the biggest orbit with an apocentre (the furthest distance from Mars during each orbit) of 33 200 km and an orbit of 24 hr in March 2017, but had to pause last summer due to Mars being in conjunction.

      We recommenced aerobraking in August 2017, and are on track to finish up in the final science orbit in mid-March 2018. As of today, 30 Jan 2018, we have slowed ExoMars TGO by 781.5 m/s

      For comparison, this speed is more than twice as fast as the speed of a typical long-haul jet aircraft.

      On Tuesday this week at 15:35 CET, the spacecraft was where the red dot is, coming out of pericentre passage (passing through the point of closest approach over the surface – where Mars’ thin, uppermost atmosphere drags on the craft the most to give the braking effect).

      The blue line is the current orbit, which takes only 2 hrs and 48 min and with the apocentre reduced to 2700 km; the red shows the final aerobraking orbit we expect to achieve later in March. Then, we will use the thrusters to manoeuvre the spacecraft into the green orbit (roughly 400 km circular) – the final science and operational data relay orbit.

      We have to adjust our pericentre height regularly, because on the one hand, the martian atmosphere varies in density (so sometimes we brake more and sometimes we brake less) and on the other hand, martian gravity is not the same everywhere (so sometimes the planet pulls us down and sometimes we drift out a bit). We try to stay at about 110 km altitude for optimum braking effect.

      To keep the spacecraft on track, we upload a new set of commands every day – so for us, for flight dynamics and for the ground station teams, it’s a very demanding time!

      When TGO skims through the atmosphere, it has to adopt a specific orientation to optimise the braking effect and to make sure it stays stable and does not start to spin madly, which would not be optimal.

      We are basically using the solar panels as ‘wings’ to slow us down and circularise the orbit.

      The main challenge at the moment is that, since we never know in advance how much the spacecraft is going to be slowed during each pericentre passage, we also never know exactly when it is going to reestablish contact with our ground stations after pointing back to Earth.

      We are working with a 20-min ‘window’ for acquisition of signal (AOS), when the ground station first catches TGO’s signal during any given station visibility, whereas normally for interplanetary missions we have a firm AOS time programmed in advance.

      With the current orbital period now just below 3 hrs, we go through this little exercise 8 times per day!


      Which can be tricky. See this event:

      Quote
      Almost a month later, on 19 September, TGO’s operators faced, for the first time, a situation that violated the peak acceleration limits on the spacecraft, which then triggered an autonomous ‘flux reduction manoeuvre.’

      During this operation, the propulsion system operated to raise the pericentre height (the point in the orbit where the spacecraft is closest to the planet) by 3 km, so that the next time the spacecraft passed through the atmosphere, the aerodynamic drag was reduced.


      Another explantion:

      Quote
      FRM together with the so-called ‘Popup’ manoeuvre are the spacecraft’s automatic responses meant to save it from critical conditions that could cause damage, such as excessive heat or deceleration.

      They both trigger the propulsion system to bring the spacecraft out of a current (problematic) orbit into a higher orbit. The FRM raises the orbit by just a little so that aerobraking can continue with reduced drag.

      If circumstances become more severe, the spacecraft can automatically perform the ‘Popup’ manoeuvre. This operation brings the satellite into a much higher orbit and sets it into a special safe mode while aerobraking is interrupted. Luckily, so far, there has been no need for it to perform this manoeuvre.


      Now the science part starts. Focused on Trace Gases, as the name says.

      Secondly, it will serve as a data relay for Opportunity, Curisoty and the ExoMars2020 rover.

      As can be seen here in this most professional graphic:

      (https://i.imgur.com/Y7MdEv7.jpg)


      Sources:
      http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Surfing_complete
      http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2017/12/06/keeping-up-with-tgo/
      http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2017/10/19/exomars-successful-flux-reduction-manoeuvre/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on March 23, 2018, 12:33:56 PM
      Not all that into space but I spotted this on reddit and really made me stop and think.

      https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: grebo on March 23, 2018, 02:49:32 PM
      Serious question.  Why are they getting closer to earth?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on March 23, 2018, 03:09:56 PM
      No idea... maybe the Earth is in a part of its orbit that is swinging the planet back around the sun and closer to the satellites - assuming the earth is going faster towards the satellite than the satellite is speeding away from both the sun and earth.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on March 23, 2018, 04:47:19 PM
      The Earth moves through space/rotates around the Sun faster than the Voyagers are moving through space (30 KM/s vs ~17 KM/s). I haven't done any real trigonometry since school but presumably even given the angle at which the Voyagers are moving away the Earth relative to the Earth's rotation around the Sun, the Earth's velocity is still faster when it's moving towards them.

      https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4139

      Edit: clarified angles

      Edit: Sun not run


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: grebo on March 23, 2018, 09:57:49 PM
      Oh yes, makes sense when you consider voyager was visiting planets, not just going really fast away from us.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: pxib on March 24, 2018, 12:21:41 AM
      Really fast is (har har) relative. Since they're not propelled, all of the probes are slowed by gravity as they fly away from any planet and the sun. The escape velocity of the solar system bottoms out fast once you're past Saturn, but they lose a lot of velocity before that.

      If we pretend the earth's orbit is a circle, and that it moves at a constant speed, then it should travel at 2π x 1.5x108 km/year, and there are 3.2x107 seconds in a year. So 2π x 4.7 km/s, which is approximately 29.5 km/s. By comparison, the manmade object speed record was Juno entering Jupiter's orbit at 74 km/s... approximately one quarter of one thousandth of the speed of light.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on March 25, 2018, 11:26:54 AM
      In the credit where credit is due department, Mad Mike launched his rocket (https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2018/03/24/flat-earther-self-taught-rocket-man-finally-launches-california-desert/456596002/), and he was even inside and survived!

      Got to give him credit for two things,

      One, for "manning up" and doing it. Do the talk, walk the walk and all that.

      Two, for actually being a good enough jackleg mechanic to build this thing. It wasn't just a lawn chair with balloons attached -- this was a bonafide person carrying steam rocket that managed to keep pointing up until it, well, ran out of steam.

      Oh, and for all the people who claimed he'd hurt his back the way his chair was rigged -- he hurt his back.

      No word on whether he saw over the edge of the world yet.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: satael on March 29, 2018, 07:40:33 AM
      Seems that UK is more or less getting kicked out of the EU Galileo space program unless they manage to negotiate a deal (which companies like Airbus are hoping for (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-airbus/airbus-says-eu-should-keep-britain-in-galileo-space-project-despite-brexit-idUSKBN1H42ED)).


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on March 30, 2018, 05:25:30 AM
      Well, not getting kicked really, it's more like Galileo is an EU programme so you need to be an EU member to be part of it. Or make a special agreement to join it seperataly. Which I think the UK is going to do a) as British companies have a considerable work share in the programme that they want to retain b) else the UK would be locked out of the more accurate military Public Regulated Service.

      Nothing that can't be solved in negotiations, but overall the typical Brexit idiocy. Leave then rejoin anyway.  :uhrr:

      The UK already lost the backup security monitoring centre due to that.

      The GSMC manages access to the restricted signal, crypto keys, reaction in case of an attack on the system and all that. The main is in Paris, the UK one is (was) a mirrored facilty ready to take over if Paris goes offline for whatever reason.

      Basically the military part, while Open & Commercial service operations are in the Galileo operating centre.

      In US GPS terms that would the Master Control Station at the Schriever AFB in Colorado and the Alternate Master Control Station at Vandenberg AFB.

      Obviously the US wouldn't house that facility in some unstable foreign country with a potentially hostile population. Same thing here.  :grin:

      (https://i.imgur.com/GRHclNZ.png)



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on April 30, 2018, 07:28:11 AM
      Jeff Bezo is getting into the launcher game.

      Bezos's Blue Origin launch and land of New Shepard Rocket and Capsule (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuKGJRmIjGU)



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on April 30, 2018, 09:12:48 AM
      Jeff Bezo is getting into the launcher game.

      Bezos's Blue Origin launch and land of New Shepard Rocket and Capsule (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuKGJRmIjGU)


      Getting into is a bit of an understatement.

      The rocket they are currently devolping:

      (https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/160912-blue-origin-new-glenn-2.jpg)

      Here their facility at the KSC:

      (https://i.imgur.com/fsBxifm.jpg)

      I also fixed your link. No, it's ok, don't thank me.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on April 30, 2018, 09:28:18 AM
      Since we all love engine test videos (we do, no dissent allowed) here is the latest from the Vulcain 2.1 test. The updated engine used on Ariane 6.

      (https://i.imgur.com/yuZWTTE.gif)

      Just as teaser. The video (with sound) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjeEaW9nSgk

      Seeing it blowing soot like an old diesel truck (from the ignition pyros) and then stabilising into a nice, clean Hydrogen-LOX burn is so satisfying somehow....

      Edit: The biggest change you can see from the outside is that the two gas generator exhausts are back, as with Vulcain 1. Vulcain 2 (an upgrade focused on more performance) used to inject the GG exhaust into the main stream, for that little extra bit of ISP. Vulcain 2.1 doesn't offer extra thrust, but has been redesigned to be cheaper to manufacture. Thus exhaust pipes instead the delicate piping needed to insert it into the nozzle.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on April 30, 2018, 10:01:09 AM
      I wish Blue Origin the best (well, as much as I can wish the dread pirate Bezos the best  :why_so_serious:), but I really hope they make some advancements soon.  The little ship that jumps up to the edge of the atmosphere and back is pretty nifty, but its pretty far behind where spacex and others are at currently.  Going from that to the giant rockets they are promising puts Elon's grandstanding to shame.  I mean, I hope they hit it, but the last decade shows me they have their work cut out for them.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on April 30, 2018, 10:21:24 AM
      Last post:

      Example of the changes from Vulcain 2 to Vulcain 2.1.

      Below is the Vulcain 2 injection head

      (https://i.imgur.com/Jc1DZtV.jpg)

      It looks like a shower head and that's how it works. It's job is to mix then spray LOX and Hydrogen in a way to allow a smooth combustion. Mainting a stable combustion, throughout the chamber, without any hot spots, is the tricky thing with large engines.

      So you have 566 injection nozzles:

      (https://i.imgur.com/u1Z4ciO.png)

      And each of those 566 nozzles has 144 small holes drilled:

      (https://i.imgur.com/KgIMCXg.png)

      (https://i.imgur.com/bwREQoF.png)

      And here is how it works:

      Oxygen (shown blue here) comes from top in each of the 566 nozzles. Hydrogen (red) joins through the 144 tiny holes

      (https://i.imgur.com/2ERIagj.png)

      (https://i.imgur.com/hCfYSXS.png)


      And then there is another twist.

      While the Oxygen is piped in from above, as seen here...

      (https://i.imgur.com/xy7MjCy.png)

      ... the Hydrogen is piped from the bottom of the combustion chamber (the big lower piper) and then flows through it walls upwards to the injection head::

      (https://i.imgur.com/xEZ5RtS.png)

      WHY: By this the hydrogen cools is both the fuel and the coolant that prevents the combustion chamber from burning thorugh.

      HOW: By milling tiny channels into the combustion wall:

      (https://i.imgur.com/fht53Dh.png)

      (https://i.imgur.com/EpM0vtH.png)

      If that sounded complicated, the explantion and images are actually just outtakes from TV show for children explaining rockets. (It's really good, German, but just watch the animations)

      Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyq6WSvlB-M

      This should also give a hint on why rockets are expensive.

      This is were 3D printing enters. As example, 3D printing the nozzles reduces the part count from ~1000 to ~100 and cuts to cost by 40%. And that's just for the 1st iteration on an 30 year old engine. The next step is designing a new engine from ground up for new manufacturing technics and mass production.

      Questions? :)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on April 30, 2018, 10:40:07 AM
      I wish Blue Origin the best (well, as much as I can wish the dread pirate Bezos the best  :why_so_serious:), but I really hope they make some advancements soon.  The little ship that jumps up to the edge of the atmosphere and back is pretty nifty, but its pretty far behind where spacex and others are at currently.  Going from that to the giant rockets they are promising puts Elon's grandstanding to shame.  I mean, I hope they hit it, but the last decade shows me they have their work cut out for them.

      Honestly, I am not going to make predictions. But Blue Origin has a lot more going on than they show. Bezos said himself he is burning about 1bn$ of his fortune per year for the company.

      New Glenn development is pretty far (as far as we know, lots of secrecy). The BE-4 main engine already exists in it's final size and had testfires at 65% thrust. First flight is planned for 2020.

      The SpaceX approach was basically bootstraping. Start small (1 engine Falcon 1), learn and get income from that (this part didn't work,  thus the short Falcon 1 life) and scale up. Which is seen in the many iteration of Falcon 9. And some of it problems: As it reasonable length (for its diameter) got maxed out, which lead to the fairing being shorted to allow growth for the upper stage. The entire super-cooling fuel concept, which lead to the Amos-6 pad explosion, was because more thrust was needed but a further elongation not possible. (Not meant as criticism, this is just the result of iterative approach).

      Must needed the income from Falcon 1.0, 1.1, to build 1.2. BO isnt in that situation.

      They has a top down approach. Like SpaceX they tested concept on a small vehicle (New Shepard) but unlike them NS didn't get scaled up. They used the findings to create a completely new launcher from scratch. This is doable because they don't have to finance themselves from their operating income.

      That being said, this not without pitfalls, because rockets are hard and they don't have the benefit of learning lessons early this way. It's going to be interesting.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on April 30, 2018, 11:01:02 AM
      Indeed.  That's what I mean though.  I give great credit to SpaceX for doing what they have accomplished from a ground up approach.  Blue Origin has some amazing designs and goals, all coming from the top down.  This can either lead to an amazing break through (great for humanity) or a giant waste of money (bad for humanity).  Both ways obviously can work, but the failures of the Soviet N-1 Program and even the long delays in the latest NASA rockets show it is still a fucking hard path to take. 

      Bezos is basically vampring an actual percentage of the world GDP into his personal pet projects though, so in a very cyber punk way, I have zero problems with this.  Blow up all the shit you want.

      But thank you far all the Ariane updates.  I'm distracted by so many things these days I cant keep up with space stuff like I use to, and its always great to see the amazing stuff Europe is developing.  Your technical updates save me a ton of time.  ;)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on May 12, 2018, 12:26:57 PM
      Here's the latest (presumably final) Block 5 Falcon 9 booster successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship after taking the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to space. They are freezing the development at this point to achieve both high reuse cadence and NASA crew certification. You can clearly see in the image the new landing leg design (self retractable), plus something you *don't* see -- (as much) fire and smoke damage/sooting. Several different systems are in place in this version to make re-entry a bit easier on the craft, including a water cooling system for parts of the base. As far as I know, this is the first time water cooling has been used on a re-entry vessel.

      On the other hand, missed the center of the X by a bit, so tighten that up SpaceX!

      If you are interested in diving deeper, here (https://gist.github.com/theinternetftw/5ba82bd5f4099934fa0556b9d09c123e) is the raw transcript of the pre-flight question and answer interview with Elon and various journalists. And amazingly enough all the journalists seem to have a tech background and ask good questions (no Star Trek vs Star Wars idiocy). Worth the read if you are interested in cutting edge "hobbyist" spaceflight.


      (https://i.imgur.com/Ehu5lRm.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on May 14, 2018, 03:27:39 AM
      The 4 Guide Star lasers of the ESO Very Large Telescope. Actual drone photograph, not a 3D render:

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DdJLcmuX0AAgrZz.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Brolan on May 17, 2018, 09:25:05 PM
      It looks like an Imperial base defending against an attack by Rebel fighters.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Bungee on May 18, 2018, 02:43:33 AM
      Old news (well, strictly speaking EVERYTHING is *very* old news in Astronomy...  :awesome_for_real:), but there are 'massive fails' in Supernovae:
      http://www.astronomy.com/news/2017/05/black-hole-sun


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: IainC on May 20, 2018, 10:44:42 PM
      You know how sometimes you go out to take some photos and when you get to take the camera out of the bag, you realise that you left the SD card or the battery at home? This guy does (https://petapixel.com/2018/05/18/this-astronaut-on-a-spacewalk-left-his-cameras-sd-card-at-home/)

      Quote
      Astronaut: “Hey, uh, Houston, I gotta ask a question about the GoPro real quick.”
      Houston: “I’m all ears. Go ahead.”
      Astronaut: “Pushing the button, I see a ‘No SD’. Do I need that to record? And if it’s recording, is there supposed to be a red light on?”
      *A long silence ensues*
      Houston: “I’m told that if it has the card in it, it should have a red light if it’s recording.”
      Astronaut: “And if it says ‘No SD,’ what does that mean?”
      Houston: “I think that means no card. We’re checking though, hang on.”
      Astronaut: “Well, let’s just forget it for now. I’ll get it later. Let’s just not worry about it.”


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on May 23, 2018, 05:07:44 PM
      Seems like the EM drive is real (http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published)

      Such huge deal.  Really hopping someone doesn't find an error with testing methodology and that they can tweak it for more thrust/kW.
      Or not: https://www.space.com/40682-em-drive-impossible-space-thruster-test.html

      tl;dr A team of German researchers built their own EmDrive and they concluded the 'thrust' detected is likely an interaction between EmDrive power cables and Earth's magnetic field



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on May 23, 2018, 10:39:20 PM
      Seems like the EM drive is real (http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published)

      Such huge deal.  Really hopping someone doesn't find an error with testing methodology and that they can tweak it for more thrust/kW.
      Or not: https://www.space.com/40682-em-drive-impossible-space-thruster-test.html

      tl;dr A team of German researchers built their own EmDrive and they concluded the 'thrust' detected is likely an interaction between EmDrive power cables and Earth's magnetic field



      Slightly longer tl;dr is that the teams wish to do another round of experiments to finalize their findings, since said findings were actually inconclusive. They did not have the power cables shielded in the EmDrive so naturally that could be the source of the movement, but until they do the experiment with said cables shielded then they, of course, cannot rule them out. However, the measured movement did correlate closely with their calculations of what you might expect to see from magnetic interactions with the unshielded cables so they feel confident that further scientific experimentation will bear them out.

      Similar issue with the Mach Effect. Looks like it's probably just some effect from the cabling, but that experiment was so messed up it needs to be completely redesigned to give an actual scientific answer. (Force was two orders of magnitude greater than expected, but force did not change direction even when the crystals were flipped.)

      Honestly, the reporting has been all over the place with this one. On the one hand the alt science nuts are pointing out the problems with the tests, while the mainstream science outlets are basically reporting inconclusive tests as slam dunk proof against them.

      I suppose in these matters I should make it clear that I also think that both these effects are likely just noise. If I had to choose, I'd give a little more credence to the Mach Effect, but I sure wouldn't bet the farm on it. But doing the science to explore these hypotheses can uncover some truly interesting heretofore unforeseen interactions between forces and materials that could either have practical engineering uses -- or at least be something to be engineered around to avoid future problems.

      Example:
      https://www.space.com/16648-pioneer-anomaly-spacecraft-mystery-solved.html


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Typhon on May 26, 2018, 04:33:55 PM
      The silver lining there is that it seems like the intent of that lab is to be able to test all manner of different setups in a professional (funded) way.

      So yeah, didn't really have high hopes that the drive ACTUALLY worked, but a little bummed that the inner solar system isn't completely opened up to space pirates.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on May 30, 2018, 03:32:47 PM
      Do you want to see a drone view progress video?

      Of course you do.

      Work at the future Ariane 6 launchpad as of April 2018 - Dronevideo with music - 2 minutes  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzJ0mLt1zKg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: grebo on June 07, 2018, 10:39:35 AM
      Nasa is announcing something about Mars at 2 today. 


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on June 07, 2018, 02:43:44 PM
      Nasa is announcing something about Mars at 2 today. 

      Seems the rover found organic traces... and methane in the atmosphere. So YAY?


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Samwise on June 07, 2018, 04:57:49 PM
      The interesting thing about the methane in the atmosphere is that it varies seasonally, which I guess is a good indication that it could be the result of some kind of active biological process (i.e. farting Martians).


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: pxib on June 07, 2018, 06:10:09 PM
      The organics contained sulfur compounds even. Stinky Mars.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on June 09, 2018, 03:35:54 AM
      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/scientists-just-discovered-something-very-special-jupiter-lightning-194437580.html

      Quote
      Scientists just discovered something very special about Jupiter’s lightning
      Jupiter is a massive, swirling mass of towering storm clouds, and anyone who lives on Earth knows that storms are fantastic at producing lightning. When NASA sent its Voyager 1 spacecraft on its trip through our Solar System, its flyby of Jupiter revealed that Jupiter does indeed have lightning, but it wasn’t producing the same kinds of radio signals that scientists are familiar with from lightning here on Earth. Now, nearly four decades later, NASA finally knows why.

      NASA researchers just published a new paper in Nature that describes how they used data from the Juno probe to solve the mystery of Jupiter’s strange lightning, and it reveals that the planet’s storms produce flashes that are both very similar and also completely different from lightning on Earth.

      “In the data from our first eight flybys, Juno’s MWR detected 377 lightning discharges. They were recorded in the megahertz as well as gigahertz range, which is what you can find with terrestrial lightning emissions,” Brown explains. “We think the reason we are the only ones who can see it is because Juno is flying closer to the lighting than ever before, and we are searching at a radio frequency that passes easily through Jupiter’s ionosphere.”

      NASA says the lightning distribution on Jupiter is “inside out” compared to Earth. The lightning originates at Jupiter’s poles, rather than distributed across its surface, and the researchers attribute that to Jupiter’s distance from the Sun. They think that, because Jupiter’s atmosphere is stable near its equator thanks to warmth from the Sun, the lightning is forming in the much less stable air rising near its poles from within the planet.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Morat20 on June 09, 2018, 09:55:23 AM
      Seems like the EM drive is real (http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published)

      Such huge deal.  Really hopping someone doesn't find an error with testing methodology and that they can tweak it for more thrust/kW.
      Or not: https://www.space.com/40682-em-drive-impossible-space-thruster-test.html

      tl;dr A team of German researchers built their own EmDrive and they concluded the 'thrust' detected is likely an interaction between EmDrive power cables and Earth's magnetic field
      Just as an update, looks like the EM Drive was somehow leveraging off the EM field from the power cables attached to it. (None of the tests had a self-contained power unit)



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on June 11, 2018, 09:22:17 PM
      Seems like the EM drive is real (http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published)

      Such huge deal.  Really hopping someone doesn't find an error with testing methodology and that they can tweak it for more thrust/kW.
      Or not: https://www.space.com/40682-em-drive-impossible-space-thruster-test.html

      tl;dr A team of German researchers built their own EmDrive and they concluded the 'thrust' detected is likely an interaction between EmDrive power cables and Earth's magnetic field
      Just as an update, looks like the EM Drive was somehow leveraging off the EM field from the power cables attached to it. (None of the tests had a self-contained power unit)

      so it will work just fine for interplanetary travel, as long as you have a real long extension cord!  :why_so_serious:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on June 14, 2018, 11:11:33 AM
      Live spacewalk streaming on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/nasa


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on June 18, 2018, 06:17:25 PM
      A pic a came across now:

      (https://i.imgur.com/yREcRxg.jpg)

      That are 7000 kilometres of carbon fibre.  :uhrr:

      (It's the casing for P120C, with 143.1 tonnes of propellant the largest monolithic SRB ever built. It will be used as both the first stage of Vega C and, up to 4 together, Ariane 6 side booster. Seen here:


      (https://i.imgur.com/nZrMdDA.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on July 06, 2018, 09:23:35 PM
      tough to pick between awesome pics and this thread for this pic, but to give Cala something back here's ESO's facility on Tatooine (or maybe it's Chile):
      (https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/gordon-gillet_2.jpg)
      from https://www.eso.org/public/images/gordon-gillet_2/ (https://www.eso.org/public/images/gordon-gillet_2/)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 09, 2018, 03:26:47 PM
      Yeah, looks stunning!  :heart:



      Those things are 40 years old, but to me they look as SF as ever:

      (https://i.imgur.com/NUxBL1o.jpg)

      One of those launches in ~50 minutes. Just google Progress MS-09 for a livestream.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 11, 2018, 08:37:26 AM
      China is doing the fancy-trailer-with-film-music-thing now too:

      Chinese Space Programme - First half of 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnpkpt4sJQ0)

      Can recommend, it's well done and in english language. And the accomplishments are really quite impressive.

      The film was posted on 4th July and is already outdated. Their orbital launch counter now stands it 20, which is ahead of both US (18) and Russia (10)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 17, 2018, 12:13:29 PM
      French Guyana nuked!!

      (https://i.imgur.com/sO0A5wE.jpg)

      Actually just a booster test:

      (https://i.imgur.com/Hpxs0Wd.jpg)

      Spaceflight now has a good writeup and a video:

      https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/07/16/powerful-new-european-solid-fueled-rocket-motor-aces-first-test-firing/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 19, 2018, 06:04:06 PM
      Video time:

      1) Blue Origin New Shephard had it's ninth flight.

      Launch - crew capsule abort test at ~90 km - vertical landing - parachute landing of the capsule. All within 20 minutes.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgfTDkU0Z-g

      (https://i.imgur.com/d8fS4lL.gif)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 19, 2018, 06:08:34 PM
      2) A short documentary showing how the Vega rocket is made. (The one from the booster test two posts up)

      8 minutes, pretty intersting as it shows how complex carbon fiber cases are produced, something you don't usually see on TV:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyhVjPaKI7c


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 20, 2018, 07:32:37 PM
      The adaptive optics for the Very Large Telescope are operational now. And wow.

      Our 8th planet, Neptune:

      (https://i.imgur.com/womPuvY.jpg)



      (https://i.imgur.com/83jSg6T.jpg)
      (https://i.imgur.com/AYJe32z.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Viin on July 20, 2018, 10:42:58 PM
      That's pretty awesome.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 21, 2018, 08:14:29 AM
      Peark German: Alexander Gerst, German astronaut, now on the ISS, which is in space, jamming with Kraftwerk, which is on Earth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCQEzgtWv-E)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 21, 2018, 12:26:25 PM
      Had a bit of a shitty week feeling down, so this made me smile. I managed to get into an Euronews article with a Porn-pun!  :grin: :ye_gods: :drillf:


      (I linked the video this is about before, but here: ESA Euronews: Inside Italy's Vega launcher factory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jao40a5mds)) Very intersting, much rocket!




      Something SpaceX:

      Tonight they are having another commercial launch. What's special about this one is that it's going to be the heaviest civilian geostationary sat launched so far; 7070 kg (15600 pounds).
      That's a good 170 kg more than current "heavyweight champion"  Terrestar) (launched 2009 on Ariane 5)

      (https://i.imgur.com/qNWv2UN.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on July 22, 2018, 03:48:24 PM
      Had a bit of a shitty week feeling down, so this made me smile. I managed to get into an Euronews article with a Porn-pun!  :grin: :ye_gods: :drillf:


      (I linked the video this is about before, but here: ESA Euronews: Inside Italy's Vega launcher factory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jao40a5mds)) Very intersting, much rocket!




      Something SpaceX:

      Tonight they are having another commercial launch. What's special about this one is that it's going to be the heaviest civilian geostationary sat launched so far; 7070 kg (15600 pounds).
      That's a good 170 kg more than current "heavyweight champion"  Terrestar) (launched 2009 on Ariane 5)

      (https://i.imgur.com/qNWv2UN.jpg)

      And what's extra extra special is that this was the second flight of the Block 5 Falcon series (not the second flight of the same rocket, but the second rocket in the production run) and it made what looked to be a perfect landing on the recovery drone, even after lofting such a heavy bird.

      So far so good on the Block 5s. But it's early yet. SpaceX is betting the farm on them being reliable enough to launch 10 times without major refurb, so hopefully this will distract Elon from calling people pedoes and arguing about farting unicorn usage online...


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 25, 2018, 05:18:51 AM
      Ariane 5, the 99th flight, waiting on the pad yesterday:

      (https://i.imgur.com/zORPaQs.jpg)

      Isn't that romantic?  :heart:

      She is going to have quadruplets: Anna,Tara, Samuel and Ellen . The final 4 Galileo navigation satellites bringing the constellation up to 26 and "fully operational" mode.

      (https://i.imgur.com/DwvRme4.jpg)

      It's also the last flight of this version using the re-ignatele upper stage and the last with the medium-size fairing.
      Both together give that stocky look compared to the other variant. Also note: Yellow cryo arms not attached, as this version uses storable propellants rather than H2/LOX.

      Would you like to know more? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Qhiwl7Cmw)



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on July 25, 2018, 10:29:06 AM
      And Mars Express found water on Mars. In liquid form, that is.
      (https://i.imgur.com/MokHUwx.jpg)
      http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Mars_Express_detects_liquid_water_hidden_under_planet_s_south_pole

      Quote
      Radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars.

      Evidence for the Red Planet’s watery past is prevalent across its surface in the form of vast dried-out river valley networks and gigantic outflow channels clearly imaged by orbiting spacecraft. Orbiters, together with landers and rovers exploring the martian surface, also discovered minerals that can only form in the presence of liquid water.

       The background is based on an actual image of Mars taken by the spacecraft's high resolution stereo camera.
      Mars Express with its two 20 m-long radar booms
      But the climate has changed significantly over the course of the planet’s 4.6 billion year history and liquid water cannot exist on the surface today, so scientists are looking underground. Early results from the 15-year old Mars Express spacecraft already found that water-ice exists at the planet’s poles and is also buried in layers interspersed with dust.

      The presence of liquid water at the base of the polar ice caps has long been suspected; after all, from studies on Earth, it is well known that the melting point of water decreases under the pressure of an overlying glacier. Moreover, the presence of salts on Mars could further reduce the melting point of water and keep the water liquid even at below-freezing temperatures.

      But until now evidence from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument, MARSIS, the first radar sounder ever to orbit another planet, remained inconclusive.

      It has taken the persistence of scientists working with this subsurface-probing instrument to develop new techniques in order to collect as much high-resolution data as possible to confirm their exciting conclusion.

       
      Detecting buried water with radar
      Ground-penetrating radar uses the method of sending radar pulses towards the surface and timing how long it takes for them to be reflected back to the spacecraft, and with what strength. The properties of the material that lies between influences the returned signal, which can be used to map the subsurface topography.

      The radar investigation shows that south polar region of Mars is made of many layers of ice and dust down to a depth of about 1.5 km in the 200 km-wide area analysed in this study. A particularly bright radar reflection underneath the layered deposits is identified within a 20 km-wide zone.

      Analysing the properties of the reflected radar signals and considering the composition of the layered deposits and expected temperature profile below the surface, the scientists interpret the bright feature as an interface between the ice and a stable body of liquid water, which could be laden with salty, saturated sediments. For MARSIS to be able to detect such a patch of water, it would need to be at least several tens of centimetres thick.
      <----SNIP ---->


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Sir T on July 26, 2018, 10:29:38 PM
      On a completely different level, here's some retro science for those who want a go on an Apollo Guidance Computer simulator:

      http://svtsim.com/moonjs/agc.html


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on August 13, 2018, 01:25:35 PM
      In the rockets as art catagory:

      (https://i.imgur.com/jca5FV1.jpg)


      Recent Delta IV Heavy launch. That rocket stack has got a real steampunkish feel to it, especially on a night launch.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on August 16, 2018, 01:52:13 PM
      This model Space Shuttle really takes the cake. Wow:

      Twitter video: https://twitter.com/Stephane_Querry/status/1030153623597199365?s=19


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Shannow on August 16, 2018, 02:10:18 PM
       :heart:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Goumindong on August 16, 2018, 03:16:06 PM
      This model Space Shuttle really takes the cake. Wow:

      Twitter video: https://twitter.com/Stephane_Querry/status/1030153623597199365?s=19

      Wow. That is awesome. At first i thought it was going to be a challenger joke but the thing actually two stage detaches properly and then glides into a landing!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on August 16, 2018, 07:58:22 PM
      This model Space Shuttle really takes the cake. Wow:

      Twitter video: https://twitter.com/Stephane_Querry/status/1030153623597199365?s=19

      Wow. That is one seriously impressive model.

      And considering how many micro-launcher startups there are now, I wasn't certain it wasn't going into orbit...

       :awesome_for_real:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Abagadro on August 16, 2018, 11:19:35 PM
      This model Space Shuttle really takes the cake. Wow:

      Twitter video: https://twitter.com/Stephane_Querry/status/1030153623597199365?s=19

      Crazy cool. Did not expect it to be so realistic, right down to the t/w ratio looking pretty similar and the orientation rotating like the real thing.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on August 18, 2018, 05:25:33 PM
      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dk6iVi2W4AAa7lj.jpg)


      I have seen the Space Shuttle before, but this really brings home how big the external tank was. And the SRB...damn.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Morat20 on August 18, 2018, 08:47:22 PM
      One of the projects I worked on in my early 20s sent us to Kennedy for about two months. I got to see a launch (we flew out with like 6 hours notice, didn't sleep at all, to get to see an early morning launch) from right outside Mission Control (I was standing outside the building, then ate breakfast inside -- there was always a big breakfast, some old holdover from the early days). It was fantastic, I still have a frame photo of it -- the flames were so bright it looks like a night launch, not on on a bright morning, in the photo.

      I got to see a landing, roll-overs (from OPC to VAB and then from VAB to pad) -- the former was pretty fun, as I was about 60 feet away and it was being literally walked by a bunch of technicians, who themselves were surrounded by a lot of men with a lot of guns (this was less than a year after 9/11). Got to tour the launchpad with a shuttle in place (including sticking me head in to wave at techs). Only thing I missed was a VAB tour, but there were only a few windows where it was available and I couldn't make those. (They were prepping another shuttle for some of it, and I believe stacking up some secret DoD payload on a Delta for most of it).

      The launch was a fucking amazing experience. Even miles away from the pad, it was so loud it vibrated your bones. Those clouds of steam rising up around it (from water poured into the blast pit to dampen the launch sound, lest it shake everything apart -- not cool the bricks or anything), the way it seemed to start so slowly it was like it was barely moving....


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on August 20, 2018, 07:54:44 AM
      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DlC03oRWwAI3oz-.jpg)

      Deploying a satellite by throwing it.  :grin:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: satael on August 29, 2018, 12:23:38 AM
      The latest episode of Sean Carroll's Mindscape podcast (https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2018/08/27/episode-11-mike-brown-on-killing-pluto-and-replacing-it-with-planet-9/) with Mike Brown was pretty good and worth a listen in my opinion (I for one am looking forward to going back to having nine planets in our solar system)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on September 04, 2018, 10:42:53 AM
      ESA just released an amazing time lapse of the most recent Dragon departing the station. Seriously, it's eye bleedingly high rez, and looks incredible. Plus my dog liked the music, so there is also that.

      https://youtu.be/0_TxRN8OnCA (https://youtu.be/0_TxRN8OnCA)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: 01101010 on September 18, 2018, 11:03:19 AM
      Old school...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZIB8vauWSI

      An update on the Voyager Probes and some background on their instruments and mission.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: pxib on September 19, 2018, 07:34:47 PM
      So a fridge opens out beyond the orbit of Pluto and it's brighter than most things radio telescopes are trying to see?

      Cloaking field my ass.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: schild on September 19, 2018, 08:10:21 PM
      Space Jam 2 has been announced.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on September 22, 2018, 05:23:38 PM
      My Keyboard died so:

      Japan Asteroid Rover landing - Go look!

      https://twitter.com/haya2e_jaxa/status/1043503503279177728

      (https://i.imgur.com/g0j8jbM.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on September 22, 2018, 09:29:19 PM
      The hopping bot rovers are all at once wonderful, brilliant, and demented at the same time!

      And considering the focus of their research lately, I wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese make the first successful attempt at asteroid mining. And yes, I know about Planetary Resources -- I did say "successful."


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on September 25, 2018, 04:19:16 PM
      Ariane 5 is having it's 100th launch today

      21:52 UTC - or ~35 minutes after this post
      Livestream here. I can't promise production value like a SpaceX cast, but neverthess: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3rBUie9Rlw

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dn97L6wXgAAVg_S.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on September 27, 2018, 08:33:16 PM
      MINERVA-II Rover-1B shoots a "movie" (a.k.a. J.J. Abrams, eat your heart out)

      http://www.hayabusa2.jaxa.jp/en/topics/20180927e_MNRV/img/rover1b_sol07_movie.mov

      http://www.hayabusa2.jaxa.jp/en/topics/20180927e_MNRV/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: MahrinSkel on October 11, 2018, 08:10:25 AM
      Soyuz launch aborted successfully (crew safe on the ground).

      https://spacenews.com/breaking-soyuz-launch-to-iss-aborted-after-booster-failure/ (https://spacenews.com/breaking-soyuz-launch-to-iss-aborted-after-booster-failure/)

      It's possible the ISS will have to be abandoned, as the Soyuz is being grounded and there are no alternative man-rated launchers on deck until the middle of next year.

      --Dave


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on October 11, 2018, 08:57:44 AM
      I think the Chinese rocket carries a version of the Soyuz, so it could probably handle it. Though with the current state of relations it is hard to say.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on October 11, 2018, 09:05:35 AM
      China is not integrated into ISS mission control at all.  It's not just a matter of sending a rocket up.  The US and Russia have joint command centers that run the entire thing, each staffed by citizens of both countries (went on a brewery tour with one of the NASA guys working in Moscow at their command center, heh).  As far as I know (and I could be wrong), it would take a lot longer (And be way more politically sensitive) to integrate them than it would for Russia to investigate and resume flights.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on October 11, 2018, 09:29:13 AM
      China is not integrated into ISS mission control at all.  It's not just a matter of sending a rocket up.  The US and Russia have joint command centers that run the entire thing, each staffed by citizens of both countries (went on a brewery tour with one of the NASA guys working in Moscow at their command center, heh).  As far as I know (and I could be wrong), it would take a lot longer (And be way more politically sensitive) to integrate them than it would for Russia to investigate and resume flights.

      I know, it was just an option if they needed a man rated launcher before the Russians get their shit together. I don’t expect either SpaceX or Boeing to actually have anything flying at all (much less with people) by the end of 2019.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on October 11, 2018, 09:58:15 AM
      They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on October 11, 2018, 10:01:24 AM
      They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.

      Unmanned test flights.

      And SpaceX said they would have unmanned test flights in like 2017.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 11:16:04 AM
      Wouldn't worry too much as it's not a design issue. This Soyuz configuration flew 65 times so far without fail.

      Also, when Soyuz 7K-T had an in-flight abort in 1975, the next capsule flew 6 weeks later. (Yes, I know, cold war blah blah, just providing some context)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 11:23:17 AM
      Secondly, there is always the option to extend the current crews stay (currently due to return in December)

      Thirdly, while avoided if possible, even leaving the station unattended until all launch issues are fixed and returning later is an option.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on October 11, 2018, 11:31:07 AM
      The issue is entirely that the Russians have been having serious QA/QC issues for the last several years.



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on October 11, 2018, 11:33:43 AM
      They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.

      Unmanned test flights.

      And SpaceX said they would have unmanned test flights in like 2017.

      https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/18932-nasa-flight-with-spacex-rocket-june-2019

      Manned test flights from what I'm reading.  Unmanned test flight is supposed to be later this year.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 12:23:05 PM
      Unmanned is probably slipping to early 2019 from what I am hearing.

      Nevertheless SpaceX is ahead of the Boeing Starliner, which previously was slated to fly ealier.It suffered a valve malfunction in the launch abort system during hot-fire test, now the parts have to be resigned.

      Sort of annoys me to be honest, don't want to see fuckface Musk all smug in the news.

      Edit: Talking about Musk, SpaceX just lost out on cool billion $ from the Air Force.

      DoD awarded 3 contracts to develop a successor to Atlas V and Delta IV. (SpaceX already did a few launches for them but currently can't fulfil requirements for all type of missions.)

      Winners were ULA (Boeing+Lockheed) Vulcan: Methane powered first stage using the BE-4 engine currently under development by Jeff Bezos Blue Origin, plus an upper stage with the good old RL-10 LH2/LOX engine. Biggest contract 987 million.

      the Northrop Grumman (previously Orbital ATK) OmegA. First two stages are solid rocket boosters, with 3rd stage, again RL-10 powered.

      Blue Origins New Glenn monster with 7 BE-4 engines in the first stage and BE-3U LH2-LOX 2nd stage.

      Vulcan is a safe bet, based on Atlas heritage, but both Omega and New Glenn are more risky choices, early in development. So I am quite surprised that SpaceX didn't make the cut. As I said, F9 currently can't fulfill the requirements, the payloads for example currently can only be integrated in a horizontal position, not vertical as the AF wants. And more. BUT all those changes are doable and less risky than Orbital building it's own clean sheet design. Same for Blue Origin.

      So quite surprising the AF went with those anyway. One possibility is that Musk went full retarded and offered the BFR instead of the Falcon family, to which the AF said of course no thanks. Total speculation, but what was the reason?

      SpaceX fanbois now say "They didn't want the money anyway!", which is nonsense. SpaceX successfully bid for the first part of this competition and now entered again, obviously intending to win. And it's not like they would say not to 1bn of free development money. Especially now as the Starlink constellation, supposed money maker for BFR, is running into issues: One of two test satellites' propolusion failed, leaving it stuck in it's deployment orbit since February. 2nd rumor says they are having serious issue with the planned antenna.



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 02:46:20 PM
      I'll start a new series

      "Cool things from the United Kingdom....IN SPACE!"

      A few weeks ago Surrey Satellites successfully tested their REMOVE Debris satellite. Which released a small cubesat and then netted it. In short a tech-demo for a debris removal system later to be used on larger satellites. The advantage of a net, as opposed to a grapple, is that it's usable for spinning satellites that are out of control.


      (https://i.imgur.com/pucgyC3.gif)

      Pretty neat, huh? If you want to know more, instead of me rambling, just watch these videos;

      Remove Debris NET Experiment Highlights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAiPC63TajI) (music)

      Extended Remove Debris Mission Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCxRAa_VE9I) (background info)

      ---

      Also, this one of the reasons I am so pissy about that Brexit thing. From Surrey's press release:

      (https://i.imgur.com/q8WDM6Q.png)


      See? we need each other! Now, I am pretty convived there will be some UK-EU agreement to continue co-operation (anything else would be insane). But it still sounds pretty much like cutting your dick off and saying "It's fine, we can stitch it back on". Maybe yes..but it wont be the same!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 02:57:04 PM
      Soyuz accident

      We have a highly likley lead.

      It looks like one of the oxygen depressurisation valves, which are opened pyrotechnically to jettison the boosters from the core stage, failed to open. Which could (did?) lead to the booster hitting the core stage.

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DpP43xdX4AAodft.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DpQLVzbW4AAls-x.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on October 11, 2018, 03:12:58 PM
      Well, since I wouldn't want to be labeled a "SpaceX fanbois" by Calapine for looking at why SpaceX did not get granted a load of money this round by the AF, I'll quote from noted fanbois Eric Berger over at Ars Technica:

      Quote
      "For one, SpaceX has already built and flown a rocket that can reach all of the Air Force's reference orbits—the Falcon Heavy. Moreover, the Falcon Heavy is already certified for the Air Force and has won contracts. Air Force officials may also feel that, through NASA contracts for commercial cargo and crew, the government already facilitated development of the Falcon Heavy—which uses three Falcon 9 rocket cores.

      It also depends upon what SpaceX bid for. The government would have been more inclined to fund development of an advanced upper stage for the Falcon Heavy or vertical integration facilities. But it seems like the military would not have been as interested in the Big Falcon Rocket, which is more booster than it deems necessary at this time. So if SpaceX bid the BFR, that is one possible explanation for no award.

      Regardless of the reasons, the lack of an award for SpaceX means that the successful, innovative, and individualistic company from California will now face three companies receiving military support as it competes with them in the global launch industry. As ever, the battle will be epic and captivating."

      Full article here. (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/10/air-force-makes-consequential-awards-to-rocket-developers/)

      Bear in mind that, aside from vertical integration SpaceX already has robust, and AF certified, launching systems in place. They really don't have anything in development except the BFR, and the AF is already invested heavily in the Raptor engine for that.

      This is one round of grants. SpaceX didn't get any more money here since they didn't have anything the Air Force thought needed developing for their needs -- as simple as that.

      As for the failed Soyuz very happy for the crew to have made it down safely! That must have been a gut wrenching (and squeezing considering the gees) ride.

      And no, nothing wrong with the Soyuz design, but damn if there hasn't been something wrong with the manufacturing and assembly of all the old Soviet designs lately.



      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 03:37:47 PM
      Well, since I wouldn't want to be labeled a "SpaceX fanbois" by Calapine for looking at why SpaceX did not get granted a load of money this round by the AF, I'll quote from noted fanbois Eric Berger over at Ars Technica:


      Look, I was a bit tongue in cheek. Sheeesh. But it's funny you said Eric Berger, because I do consider him quite biased regarding SpaceX.  :grin: Will read the article later.

      Edit: And despite my snarky tone, which is mostly to make my posts more interesting, I do try my best not be pro- or anti- any side & give due where it's appropriate and critic all sides. The dick-waving in spaceflight annoys me to no end and I'd hate to fall line that same trap just in reverse.


      To update on Soyuz, looks it was as I posted above is correct. Interfax.ru feed through Google translate:

      (https://i.imgur.com/mV5QlRS.png)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 11, 2018, 04:26:57 PM
      ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, currently on the ISS, captured images of the Soyuz failure:


      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DpPkb51WwAIsdHE.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Chimpy on October 11, 2018, 05:34:30 PM
      Berger is a "Musk is the messiah" type. His weather stuff is good though.

      But even he stated in the article that the AF is mandated by the policy that drives these grants to ensure at least two potential launch suppliers for every reference orbit and SpaceX already has launchers (that the AF already buys slots on) that hit those orbits. The only thing SpaceX is developing that is new is the BFR which is not suited for what the AF wants.

      Though it could also be that the grant committee said "Musk is an unstable freakazoid. Maybe we should see if we can get some more options."  :why_so_serious:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Teleku on October 11, 2018, 08:50:25 PM
      When looking at SpaceX, try not to judge it via Musk.  He's the big figurehead, but its grown into its own beast and is actually being run (very well) by an engineer nerd girl:

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-07-26/she-launches-spaceships-sells-rockets-and-deals-with-elon-musk

      That article is behind a paywall, but if you haven't been glancing at Bloomberg this month, you get a few free views of anything.  I thought that was an interesting summary of what Gwynne Shotwell is doing and has done.  She's basically SpaceX at this point, as Musk spreads himself thin going batshit on twitter over all his various companies and projects now.  The whole company is staffed with top tier engineers and talent now, who are doing good things all on their own.

      So root for that when you see SpaceX doing well.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on October 11, 2018, 09:07:27 PM
      Totally concur with the Shotwell sentiment. If you haven't do some youtube searches for her speaking engagements. She's an extremely smart and talented person, and has all the social skills Elon lacks. SpaceX truly would not be were it is without her right now.

      As for Berger, he is definitely impressed and excited for SpaceX's achievements, but also pretty critical of Musk's excesses. I give him points for separating out the personalities from the achievements, for all the New Space efforts.

      And for all that, I really don't care who is first to get the Commercial Crew going, Dragon or Starliner, but apparently I'm kinda alone in that. First back to the ISS is really considered a big deal among the community, but I just want to see more dependable options to get there.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on October 13, 2018, 12:51:07 PM
      And as for pretty pictures, here's an Astronomy Pick of the Day from that recent Vandenberg launch that had all the pretty upper atmosphere effects from the boosters separating and one returning.

      (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1810/FuscoFalcon9SolanaBeachwRachelKona-2.jpg)



      (I think it's okay to hotlink the APoD.)

      And one last thought on SpaceX's recent missed award -- I have to give something of a chuckle at their damned if you do, damned if you don't dilemma.

      SpaceX gets government funds -- They are totally subsidized by the taxpayer! Scammers!

      SpaceX does not get government funds -- They can't even get government money! Failures!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 13, 2018, 03:23:00 PM
      I'll reply at a later time. Glad at least we have some discussion now :)

      Meanwhile:


      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DpahT6yW0AI-y9m.jpg)

      That's the last time humans laid eye on BepiColombo. Off to Mercury in 6 days...


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 13, 2018, 03:29:51 PM
      But really have to see it in full to appreciate the size:


      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DoDEIRYXkAE5MZ0.jpg)

      As I posted before, those are 3 parts stuck together: Bottom, the mercury transfer module, for getting there. Middle, ESA's contribution. the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, and Top: Jaxa's (Japan) Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter

      Also *cat calling* look at those panels... 14 meters, each.

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DoDHF9xXUAEEg8O.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 13, 2018, 03:49:45 PM
      Oh, I forgot:

      We are doing the anthropomorphizing-space-probes-with-cute-cartoons thingy again!  :heart:


      The epic adventures of BepiColombo | Part 1: to the launch pad! (https://youtu.be/MKEcanjC0eM)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 19, 2018, 09:33:29 PM
      Enroute to Mercury!

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dp6uQvtWsAA1pOH.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dp6ww2iWkAAnPUc.jpg)

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dp60ix8WoAAihmB.jpg)


      See you again in 7 years!  :grin:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on October 20, 2018, 02:25:22 PM
      Going to be some really interesting data in seven years.

      Every probe we've sent has discovered surprises on every planet visited so far. I wonder what this round will bring?

      Huh. Thinking of BepiColombo made me read up on MESSENGER, the previous orbiter that ran till 2015. I had somehow missed/forgotten that it very likely found water!

      https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/exploring-the-planets/online/solar-system/mercury/surface.cfm

      So much for it being a dry heat!

       :awesome_for_real:


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 20, 2018, 05:51:58 PM
      Going to be some really interesting data in seven years.

      Every probe we've sent has discovered surprises on every planet visited so far. I wonder what this round will bring?

      Huh. Thinking of BepiColombo made me read up on MESSENGER, the previous orbiter that ran till 2015. I had somehow missed/forgotten that it very likely found water!

      I fully admit I had no idea how Moon-like Mercury is until a few days ago.  :oh_i_see:
      -------

      (https://i.imgur.com/wTXgslW.png)

      "We got pictures. Oh also there went into safe mode. But the pictures"  :oh_i_see:

      (I have no further info so far either...)

      (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dp-SuIpWkAAdSF5.jpg)


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Count Nerfedalot on October 21, 2018, 08:24:42 PM
      flat earthers are gonna love that one. I mean, you can see the cotton bale in the left of the picture!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 23, 2018, 03:33:21 PM
      'BepiColombo: Transfer to Merury'

      An in-depth blog post by Michel Khan, an ESA mission analyst (He did the Rosetta mission planning)

      It's German-English dual-language, just scroll a bit down:

      https://scilogs.spektrum.de/go-for-launch/bepicolombo-der-transfer-zum-merkur/


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: calapine on October 26, 2018, 03:39:15 PM
      (https://i.imgur.com/cF2ju62.gif)


      *sproing*


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: MrHat on November 06, 2018, 08:47:04 AM
      https://arxiv.org/pdf/1810.11490.pdf

      Quote
      If radiation pressure is the accelerating
      force, then ‘Oumuamua represents a new class of thin
      interstellar material, either produced naturally,through a yet
      unknown process in the ISM or in proto-planetary disks, or of
      an artificial origin.
      Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that
      ‘Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris
      from an advanced technological equipment (Loeb 2018).


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on November 06, 2018, 11:07:15 AM
      https://arxiv.org/pdf/1810.11490.pdf

      Quote
      If radiation pressure is the accelerating
      force, then ‘Oumuamua represents a new class of thin
      interstellar material, either produced naturally,through a yet
      unknown process in the ISM or in proto-planetary disks, or of
      an artificial origin.
      Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that
      ‘Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris
      from an advanced technological equipment (Loeb 2018).

      Hats off the the researchers who managed to get global attention to their otherwise dry paper on radiation pressure affecting an object on a hyperbolic solar orbit by effectively adding in "We're not saying it was aliens, but......"


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Khaldun on November 06, 2018, 03:20:06 PM
      Man, they have really annoyed a whole bunch of folks who've had to patiently walk reporters through the many other possible explanations for the observed acceleration.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on November 26, 2018, 01:36:09 PM
      Mission Control Live: NASA InSight Mars Landing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGD_YF64Nwk

      Landing in 20 minutes!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Brolan on November 26, 2018, 01:54:58 PM
      Touchdown!  Fuck 'ya!


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on November 26, 2018, 01:55:38 PM
      Poor YT live streaming can't handle the traffic.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Mandella on November 26, 2018, 03:20:51 PM
      (https://i.imgur.com/wNSYcMn.jpg)

      Darn shame they forgot to take the lens cap off!






      Okay really that is a transparent lens cap, but it will ejected once the dust settles down from landing.


      Title: Re: Space Thread
      Post by: Trippy on November 26, 2018, 10:42:02 PM
      https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7294 or
      https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8393/insight-is-catching-rays-on-mars/

      Still has transparent lens cap on.

      (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/insight/20181126/PIA22575.jpg)