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Author Topic: Space Thread  (Read 53370 times)
Teleku
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on: December 03, 2010, 10:06:49 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. 

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.  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?

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Sky
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WWW
Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 12:45:27 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? Ohhhhh, I see.

K9
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Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 01:24:21 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 is a bit miffing.


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NowhereMan
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Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 05:03:43 PM

That seems passé but wait till they're tweeting from the moon. Man Sarah Palin'll be jealous.

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Abagadro
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Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 05:40:57 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 is a bit miffing.


A picture of the crew:


"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Surlyboi
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Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 05:57:54 PM

Nice Quark reference.

Yeah, I just dated myself.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Sky
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Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 08:57:49 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.

Stormwaltz
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Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 12:28:23 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?

Nothing in this post represents the views of my current or previous employers.

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Ghambit
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Reply #8 on: December 06, 2010, 02:56:26 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.

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Obo
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Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 04:06:30 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.
K9
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Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 04:20:16 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.

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Teleku
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Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 04:26:57 PM

The spacex web stream worked pretty good for me last time.  Saw everything clearly.  Could have just been situational to you.

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Lantyssa
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Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 05:19:40 PM

It would be much more lucrative to take the working satellites and ransom them back.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
Teleku
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Reply #13 on: December 06, 2010, 05:22:51 PM

That's probably what the secret Air Force ship is for.   why so serious?

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Chimpy
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WWW
Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 05:35:48 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.

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Sheepherder
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Reply #15 on: December 06, 2010, 07:57:23 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.
K9
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Reply #16 on: December 07, 2010, 12:58:19 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.

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Sir T
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Reply #17 on: December 07, 2010, 07:28:06 PM

But how would you gather all that space junk into a container? Megamaid?  awesome, for real

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Obo
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Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 06:49:30 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...
Teleku
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Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 09:06:40 AM

Bah, stupid east coast time, launching the damn thing while I was commuting to work.   Ohhhhh, 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?

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Obo
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Reply #20 on: December 08, 2010, 09:54:55 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
Teleku
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Reply #21 on: December 08, 2010, 09:58:20 AM

Hmm, ok.  That thread says they're going to order the de-orbit around 1:15 EST. 

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Reply #22 on: December 08, 2010, 10:29:33 AM

Teleku
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Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 04:22:30 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):




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 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.

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Reply #24 on: August 08, 2012, 05:03:52 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):



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

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jth
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Reply #25 on: August 08, 2012, 05:29:39 AM

On Sunday, a Russian rocket carrying 3 satellites for they're own GPS system fucked up and they all crashed into the Pacific.
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
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Reply #26 on: August 08, 2012, 06:55:55 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  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Hammond
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Reply #27 on: August 08, 2012, 08:47:32 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.




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
Lucas
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Reply #28 on: August 08, 2012, 08:50:03 AM

Hello, Number 5  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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lac
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Reply #29 on: August 08, 2012, 09:40:45 AM

Interesting picture comparing the size of Curiosity, Spirit/Opportunity and the lovely Sojourner (thanks Lucas) to that of an average human.



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.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 11:10:24 AM by lac »
Lucas
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Reply #30 on: August 08, 2012, 09:47:43 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):

« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 09:55:43 AM by Lucas »

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lac
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Reply #31 on: August 08, 2012, 10:18:42 AM

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.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 10:20:37 AM by lac »
pxib
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Reply #32 on: August 08, 2012, 10:35:03 AM

Actually, Curiosity's wheels have holes in them that create the morse code symbols for J P L.
Lucas
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Reply #33 on: August 08, 2012, 11:27:39 AM

Look, it's a flying saucer!!!  ACK! ACK!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?



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.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 11:40:27 AM by Lucas »

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Reply #34 on: August 08, 2012, 11:56:52 AM

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.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
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