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Merusk
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Reply #805 on: May 12, 2017, 02:50:51 PM

Calapine, I'm disappointed this wasn't a post about the newest Cassini-related news.

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Morat20
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Reply #806 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.
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Reply #807 on: May 13, 2017, 12:57:02 PM

They could offer Trump a personal berth on it. That would be ok.
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Reply #808 on: June 01, 2017, 10:43:23 AM

Third gravitational wave detection confirmed by LIGO. This time 3 billion light years away.

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Reply #809 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.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 04:27:01 PM by Abagadro »

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Reply #810 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.
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Reply #811 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:



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? Head scratch Explanation in the spoiler!

« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 05:49:16 AM by calapine »

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Reply #812 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):



The guy's previous work was on the Gemini Planet Imager, 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.

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calapine
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Reply #813 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)

« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 03:52:49 PM by calapine »

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Reply #814 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.




*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?  Ohhhhh, I see.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 04:15:43 PM by calapine »

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Reply #815 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")

« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 04:29:08 PM by calapine »

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Reply #816 on: June 14, 2017, 04:42:28 PM

Next step beyond that I guess is the Colossus, which as I understand it is sort of like a giant bug eye.


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Reply #817 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.

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Reply #818 on: June 14, 2017, 07:20:21 PM

.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 02:53:26 AM by calapine »

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Reply #819 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.



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Reply #820 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.

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Reply #821 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.

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Reply #822 on: June 15, 2017, 08:02:53 AM

Wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the poland ball thread:
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Reply #823 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.

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Reply #824 on: June 15, 2017, 09:41:26 AM

I'm fine with that.  why so serious?

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Reply #825 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).

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Reply #826 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.




Here is she with Neil Armstrong (left) and  Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovic and Khrushchev






Wee!  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 09:08:16 AM by calapine »

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Reply #827 on: June 22, 2017, 03:54:19 PM

Weee!

Europe is getting it's own spaceplane: the Space Rider





Basically imagine a Boeing X-37B 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:



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?  Grin
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 04:04:41 PM by calapine »

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Reply #828 on: June 22, 2017, 07:01:27 PM

I look forward to seeing it in action in 2030!   why so serious?

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Reply #829 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.

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I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
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Reply #830 on: June 23, 2017, 04:52:00 PM

The joke is that they promise to have it ready by 2020. 

 Ohhhhh, I see.

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Reply #831 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.

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Reply #832 on: June 25, 2017, 10:41:37 AM

The joke is that they promise to have it ready by 2020.  

 Ohhhhh, 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?!?!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?


The IXV sucessfully flew on a Vega in February 2015. Here seen during recovery:




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.

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Reply #833 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




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Reply #834 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




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




Need I say more?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 11:20:49 AM by calapine »

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Reply #835 on: June 26, 2017, 02:41:50 PM

A great shot of yesterdays SpaceX East-coast launch. The Falcon 9 breaking through the clouds:



Source and coypright: Sam Sun, Nasaspaceflight.com

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calapine
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Reply #836 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:


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Reply #837 on: June 28, 2017, 08:01:43 PM

As all good things come in threes here is a last picture:




 Really one of the best looking rockets, imho. It just says: no nonsense pure power.




Crazy factoid: It was originally supposed to be a super-heavy ICBM. 100 Megatons worth of boom.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 08:08:43 PM by calapine »

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Sir T
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Reply #838 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.

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Reply #839 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

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