* Posts by Vulch

269 posts • joined 28 May 2008

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Vulch

Voiced by...

Suranne Jones? "I may not have always taken you where you wanted to go, but I always took you where you needed to be"

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Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

Vulch

Re: I'm curious

If you need to slow down enough to enter orbit when you get back to Earth, you have to haul the fuel to do that with you to Mars and back. You also need extra fuel to accelerate that fuel out of Mars orbit to get back, and extra fuel to decelerate both those quantities of fuel into Mars orbit when you get there, and still more to accelerate all three lots of fuel out of Earth orbit and towards mars in the first place.

Much less mass requirement to take your re-entry vehicle along with you, not bother with getting into Earth orbit when you get back, and use a beefy heat shield to re-enter directly.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Vulch

Fixed bars bad

Dump the fixed menu bar or if you won't get rid of it at least give it a permanent hide setting. The only thing it does is make you lose a line or two when you page down and breaks the reading flow as you jog back and forth.

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SPLASHDOWN! Orion lands safely in the Pacific Ocean

Vulch

Re: 'over 50 years after it managed to make human footprints on the Moon. '.....The End.

http://www.spaceadventures.com/experiences/circumlunar-mission/

"If you have to ask how much, you can't afford it"

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Vulch

Re: Wow.

Going through the belts is really a side issue, what they want to do is give the heat shield a good thrashing and for that the higher you go the faster the re-entry is. For LEO you're going around 17,500mph when you hit atmosphere, coming back from the moon or beyond it's more like 25,000mph.

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I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

Vulch

Re: Futurama

That's Mr "I'm my own grandpa" Fry of course.

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It's space WAR: Comet launches fireballs at space-invading EARTH

Vulch

Re: Information please

Not for a while, best displays seem to be a year or two after perihelion and at the moment the comet is around aphelion. Last perihelion was 1998 so watch the skies 2031-2034ish...

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ESA sends back PRE-LANDING COMET CLOSE-UPS

Vulch

Re: Scale.

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/11/look-at-the-size-of-that-comet-rosetta-is-chasing-compared-to-a-747/

As it says, bits of the comet with a 747 to give an idea of scale.

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Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

Vulch

Makes sense from the images. If you look at the picture of the incident, eg on http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Probe_of_US_spaceship_crash_may_take_year_999.html and now treat SS2 as being upside down and backwards you've got the engine still firing at the top and the tail booms deployed either side. The feathered configuration is supposed to hold the nose up during re-entry so the base of the ship is maximising the cross section, deploying while the engine is running is lilely to send you into a very tight loop the loop.

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KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

Vulch

Re: Why do the play-by-play announces ALWAYS downplay these?

Because the console operators usually only have screenfuls of numbers to look at, all they see is that the information they're getting is very odd or has stopped.

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Vulch

The SpaceX one was a first stage problem. They lost an engine on the way up so the other 8 ran longer, that left everything in slightly the wrong position so they couldn't do the second burn after the Dragon separated to get the Orbcomm secondary payload in the right orbit.

First stage engine problems aren't unusual, but they frequently show up before the rocket has left the ground so everything gets shut down and can be fixed.

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Vulch

Re: Resupply

There was a Progress launch due around ten past seven this morning. They might just have had time to get a few copies of said Newspaper Shaped Object on board.

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Vulch

Re: Russian conspiracy?

Not just the same as, they're actual engines built for the N1 before it was cancelled that have been in storage ever since. Another one exploded on the test stand recently.

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Billionaire's pet DRAGON SPLASHES DOWN off Pacific Coast

Vulch

Re: Probably a question for http://what-if.xkcd.com/

They don't push at all, just move it out and let go. The attitude at release is carefully worked out so the Dragon can fire thrusters without the plumes hitting the station.

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

Vulch

Wireless charging?

I've been trying to find out if it does Qi (or any other form of wireless) charging. It's so nice with my Mk II Nexus 7 to just drop it on the pad instead of having to fiddle with micro-USB late at night.

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Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

Vulch

Re: ...

"Would work better with a more Donna-like character"

This. Much, much better.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Vulch

Re: Jenna-Louise

>> Yup, second fittest assistant ever.

>>The fittest being another Louise, Jameson, playing the scantilly clad Leela.

> Sarah-Jane was the godess!

Bah, bunch of youngsters who never saw Wendy Padbury as Zoe the lot of you...

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SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...

Vulch

Indeed

Although for the ISS you'd probably be better off 3d printing a small crossbow. You could print the bolts for it too and there would be less chance of putting a hole in a module when it goes off accidentally in the struggle.

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Scotland wins WORLD RECORD as voters head to referendum polls

Vulch
Pint

Shirley a double brace is a mere four rather than eight?

From http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/brace

brace noun (PAIR)

› [C] (plural brace) two things of the same type, especially two wild birds that have been killed for sport or food: a brace of pheasants

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Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe

Vulch

Make that...

Randall Munroe, the *Hugo winning and* much-loved creator of awesome science webcomic XKCD

Time (http://xkcd.com/1190/) got him the Best Graphic Story award a couple of weeks ago.

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

Vulch

Re: Sharon T. Pokeworthy...

Frayed knot...

0208 811 8181 was W12 8QT, though 01 811 8055 was the one true number for there...

Internally at TV Centre 4050 was the extension everyone called.

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

Vulch

How about

Rather than mugs with the same version of the patch on each side, one version one side and the other on the other?

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World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Vulch
Black Helicopters

Random factoid.

Next time you see a Lanc, remember its wingspan is a gnats over 100ft so when flying a dam buster attack run the height above water was about the same as the distance from one wingtip to the inboard engine the other side...

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Vulch

Re: Possessing an image likely to cause injury

It's the act of creating the image potentially causing injury I believe. Posession of the image counts as encouragement to make more.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Vulch
Boffin

Re: Questions for rocket scientists:

The Dawn spacecraft, currently in transit twixt Vesta and Ceres has two 18 sq. metre solar arrays which combined produce 10kW at 1AU and 1300W 3AU out in the Asteroid Belt. Inverse square and that's about what you'd need for 2.5kW at Mars distance.

Earth to Mars takes around 9 or 10 months on the cheapest ballistic transfer orbit depending on exactly when in the launch window they're sent, the Indian and Nasa probes launched back in November are due to arrive this September. Even quite modest continuous thrust can cut that by a lot, but it also greatly extends the launch window so you don't need to wait until the planets are exactly aligned and can launch at almost any time.

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SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

Vulch

Re: "(aka kaboom)"

Although now a later tweet says "Detailed review of rocket telemetry needed to tell if due to initial splashdown or subsequent tip over and body slam" so maybe not so much KaBoom! as Tim-berrrrr!

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European Space Agency demos MARS LANDINGS BY DRONE

Vulch
Boffin

Rotors v. Rockets

For an actual Mars landing you'd use Rockets instead of Rotors. ElReg SPB already has experience of things like ArduPilot which can handle a wide variety of motors in its quadcopter guise, rotors to rockets might be a bit beyond the usual parameters that need tweaking but not hugely so. They can also use a wide variety of positioning systems, get a fix from existing Mars probes on the way in and an inertial system will get you close enough to your desired boulder-strewn landing spot.

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Plucky Playmonaut bails out of smoking Vulture 2

Vulch
Coat

At least it's not a serious Mallard'y.

It's a nice day, I won't need my coat...

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'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

Vulch

Car mechanics. They know *where* to hit a vehicle to make it work again, they just need a range of suitable hitting implements to suit the fault.

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SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET PODULE can hover-land on Earth - or MARS

Vulch

Re: Connectors....

If you have a look at the animation there's usually a cover over the connector panel. You need to have a lot of connections to the trunk (power from the solar cells, data connections, etc) as well as to the rocket telemetry on launch. Easier to go round the side of the heatshield than try and run the wires through it. If you look at a picture of the Apollo CSM (eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_CSM_lunar_orbit.jpg ) you'll see exactly the same setup with the cover over the cables and panel being the lump at the bottom of that picture.

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Vulch

Re: Hooray!

No need...

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/192701084932907009

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Jade Rabbit nearly out of hop

Vulch

Re: Insolation

No, insUlation. The solar panels are supposed to fold back over the body during the night to help keep the internals warm enough. The mechanical problem appears to have been that one of them didn't.

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Tesla's TOP SECRET gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

Vulch

Reworking

As mentioned in the bit about Zinnwaldite, spoil heaps can be useful sources of stuff that was originally uneconomic to extract. Devon Great Consols mine was once the biggest copper producer in the world, then the largest arsenic (The extraction methods for the arsenic can make you shudder) producer. Since the mines closed at the start of the 20th century the spoil has been reworked for Tin, Tungsten, more Copper and more Arsenic as prices and technologies changed.

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Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer

Vulch

Re: It looks suspiciously like an AE-35 unit

Actually the computers do like having atmosphere, it's a real bugger keeping them cool without. The ones outside usually have to be hooked in to the ammonia cooling system which also needs regular EVA maintenance.

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LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane

Vulch

And Ariadne gets to keep the banner after the flight?

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Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS

Vulch

First stage status posted around 22:00 BST on their webcast "Last known state for rocket boost stage is 360 m/s, Mach 1.1, 8.5 km altitude and roll rate close to zero (very important!)" and a few minutes earlier "Falcon reentry burn also good. Waiting for landing data from tracking plane."

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Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully

Vulch

It's OK. They'll be using a version old enough to be unaffected...

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Artists install Monty Python silly walk signs in Norwegian town

Vulch

The Norwegians have previous...

"The film that is so funny that it was banned in Norway!"

Which was of course Life of Brian...

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Vulch

Previous out of the ecliptic missions (eg Ulysses) have used Jupiter to do the perpendicular bit. You aim your craft to go over one of Jupiters poles instead of round its equator. Cassini has used Titan in the same way to swap between orbits in the ring-plane of Sautrn and inclined orbits.

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LOHAN bloodhound unleashes solar-powered minitracker

Vulch

Shades of the Cambridge guided busway. When it started there were five bus companies going to use it, but by the time it opened that had reduced to two via mergers and takeovers. Some of the documents had apparently been updated by search and replace as it was eventually announced that "Whippet, Stagecoach and Whippet" would be running services from day one...

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Vulch

Re: Must be a techie...

The original phrasing used though implied it was eight track carts, not reel to reel on which the number of tracks would have been invisible to a journo of Mr Robinsons calibre. He would (probably) however have recognised the more common eight track due to their widespread use in radio studios where, with the tape being an endless loop, they were favoured for not needing to be rewound after every use. And I first encountered them professionally 35 years ago...

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Vulch

Re: Must be a techie...

"At least Robinson got the number of reels on the tape machine correct."

No he didn't. Eight track used an endless loop and only one reel...

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Vulch

Re: Pliers cause pain

The maintenance department at the ITV station I was employed by contemplated getting a calibrated mat so they could measure EHT voltage by how far their summer student jumped every time he got a shock...

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

Vulch

Re: 2014 DX110

Usually means that after it was discovered and its orbit worked out, they've gone back to old photographs of the relevant area of sky and found a previously overlooked trace.

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Brit Bitcoin dev: I lost 'over £200k' when MtGox popped its socks

Vulch
Happy

Really?

A law firm with the name Selachii?

I'd be inclined to use them just for their sense of humour.

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NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

Vulch

Re: $15M

It's enough to pay for a team of around a dozen people for 7 or 8 years to work out the detail of what will be needed and what instruments can be fitted in to various launch configurations. Once they've got the plans worked out it will start needing real money to build and launch the spacecraft.

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Inquietante testimonio gráfico: Electrosonda orgásmica anal aplicada… ¡a un TORO!

Vulch

Re: Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas

¿Hay un eco aquí?

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Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

Vulch

Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

Ah, finally a reason why they took Play School off the air. Betting on which window it would be today...

Mind you, it got harder to get BBC Presentation to take the bets when they realised VT were putting cryptic notes on the paperwork during the tech review...

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Ganymede map helps reveal satellite's secrets

Vulch

Spherical cows obviously.

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15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

Vulch

Re: a bit on the steep side

It would pay basic salary for that many. You still need to find Employers NI, pension contributions, uniform allowance, space for desks, lockers, changing areas, vehicles and associated running costs, etc...

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