143 posts • joined Thursday 11th September 2008 10:21 GMT
The chances of anything coming on Mars...
And what does AManFromMars have to say about this?
Oh, that's alright then.
Re: Define "drilling"
Ah, misread article. Point noted.
Re: Define "drilling"
Also, it is worth remembering that the later Apollo flights had core sampling drills with them too.
There are quite a few of us "more mature" readers out here and we don't take kindly to being tarred by this brush (well I don't anyway).
Oy! Less about the age!
Re: Spider Robinson covered this a few years ago
Stephen Baxter has also played with this idea in the "Malifant" series of stories (Space, Time, Origin and Phase Space - especially Phase Space).
Re: Camera watching me, watching them...
Blob of Blu-Tak should do the job well.
Re: The Apple what?
I will agree with Mr Lewis here, I do think this is an indication of the Reg readership. Well, I am going to add some more fuel to the fire. As well as being a faithful follower of El Reg I have also been a subscriber to Which for the last twenty years. Over the years I have found these people quite reliable when they produce tests and comparisons. Ok, I agree that they may not be as technically inclined as the commentards here but that's not their audience. The one thing that keeps cropping up when they they test laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones is that Apple keeps coming up near the top of their recommendations, if not the top.
It's not all unbridled praise from Which though, they do criticize Apple for a number of points that will be familiar to the Reg readership, particularly cost and upgrade ability of the recent consumer items. But it is noticeable that Apple kit fares well in their direct comparisons of kit.
As a whole though it does tend to recommend Apple products to a wider audience than the Reg readers, an audience that may be looking for a simpler experience with their computing kit and may not have a problem about such ideas as a "walled garden" (in fact they may even appreciate it as means of providing a level of security for their devices).
Now, I can see the reaction to this already. "Which are Apple shills/apologists", etc. Knowing the Consumer Association (the organisation that produces Which) I don't think so, they are fiercely independent and brook no nonsense when it comes to that kind of thing.
My position on this?
Neutrality with regard to tech, I have to work with Windows, Apple and Ubuntu boxes and I can see the ups and downs of all three platforms (but that's another post...). But, as I said, I do find Which to be reliable, I have used a lot of their recommendations when buying washing machines, TVs, DVD recorders and other stuff over the years and have not been disappointed (I have also taken their switching services advice and am quite happy with it). So I cannot ignore their comments over Apple.
If you want to call me a Which shill, that's ok, I've done well by them over the years.
True, Google has had bit of a booting over tax recently (though I have to admire their honesty over it!) but they have been supporting computing based activities in the UK for quite some time - look at their support for Bletchley Park.
While this can be seen as trying gain some good publicity after bad, I do think this is honestly meant by Google.
Re: nice sizzle reel, anyway...
Actually, Bernal Sphere is the colony design (conceived by J D Bernal in 1929!). The cylindrical design of colony comes from Gerard K O'Neill in 1976, in his book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space. His Island 1 concept used the Bernal Sphere as it's starting point.
A Dyson sphere is a structure that totally encloses a star as a means to fully exploit the energy given off by the star and to provide living space. Larry Niven used this as the jumping off point for his Ringworld concept as he felt this was more practical!
Sources (if you are interested in following up);
Bernal Sphere; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernal_sphere
O'Neill Cylinder; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O'Neill_cylinder
Dyson Sphere; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
Larry Niven's Ringworld ( and a good description of Dyson sphere); His essay "Bigger Than Worlds", published in many places but in my collection in "Playgrounds of the Mind", 1991, Tor Books.
Re: Fifteen years earlier
Maybe so, but SpaceX have only flown this three times so far, Delta Clipper had a quite a few over several years! Give SpaceX their time and I think you will see something quite impressive.
I agree, not to see proof but just to see how it works. Things like this fascinate me.
The natural world is full of engineers, at all levels!
Re: If Obama had not grounded the Shuttle...
Er - no, shuttles could not be launched into polar orbits like the one the Korean satellite is in.
BTW, the shuttle grounding started with GWB, Obamha just followed through with it.
Re: This seems a bit mixed up...
Had a look at the orbital parameters of the bird earlier. It's perigee (lowest point in it's orbit) is 505 km (about 300 miles). That means it has a fair orbital life before it will reenter the atmosphere, probably about 10 years give or take 2. As was mentioned, it'll be tracked and any conflicts will be handled by moving the affected satellite out of the way if possible. The biggest worry is that the Korean satellite will fall to pieces before it's orbit decays. Then it becomes a much more difficult object to predict as there could be debris that can't be tracked properly and as the pieces bump against each other here could be slight changes in orbits to account for, not much of a change but the error will build up over time. I think the biggest worry for me would be any propellant tanks rupturing, that could have the effect of shredding the satellite and we would be looking at a cloud of debris that would spread out further the longer it stays in orbit.
Hope this helps.
Re: Puts "something" into orbit?
Unfortunately the X-37B, that was launched last night, is in a very different orbital plane to the Korean satellite. The Korean satellite is in a polar orbit and the X37 has been placed into a mid inclined orbit around the equator. True, the X37 has quite a high capability for orbital change and this will no doubt be used soon to confuse the satellite spotters, but I think that this kind of plane change would be beyond it. To be able to intercept the Korean satellite the X37 would have to be launched from Vandenburg into a polar orbit.
Interestingly, so far no one has commented on any kind of signal coming from the Korean bird, I wonder if it's inert or not worked as planned.
Because this bit is set in the seventies perhaps?
About bloody time!
I always thought this was a good idea with the last set of rovers. They could have build a dozen of these with different experiment packages and had them wandering all over Mars by now doing all sorts of interesting things.
But then they would need a whole lot more staff to run them so that's not going to happen...
Re: Newquay as a spaceport?
I don't anywhere in the UK would be suitable for a launch site, we're too far North to be practical. You could certainly build a runway for transit to a more suitable launch site and as the Skylon vehicle would not have to be fully fuelled for a sub-orbital hop (or even a Concorde like flight) to that site the runway would not have to be built as hard as the orbital launch site.
It has been said before, and I agree, the best launch site for a Skylon would be Ascension Island. Virtually on the equator so the perfect orbital launch site and still a British territory. There is already a military airbase there, run by the RAF for large aircraft. It doesn't take much imagination to see this being upgraded to handle Skylon orbital launches and it's main runway does run roughly East-West. NASA and the ESA both have a launch tracking presence on the Island so there is an infrastructure in place that can be accessed to prepare Skylon launch facilities. All in all a pretty good choice.
So, Ascension Island, Start investing in property there, it could be the gateway to orbit!
The chance on anything staying on Mars are pretty good!
BTW has anyone worked out the chances of anything coming from Earth?
Don't forget Blur, they had a tune on Beagle that would have played to announce a successful landing...
That was was rather poetic for you Lewis, sarcy but poetic.
Re: the joyride business
A lot has been made of the "joyride" aspect but no one has mentioned the science side. It seems that Virgin has already taken money from labs wanting to fly experiments and test equipment in microgravity. Without the suborbitals the other ways are 30 second chunks. in a vomit comet or try to get a space on ISS or some other satellite.
These suborbital beasties do have a serious application.
What about Ascension Island? Close to the equator (closer than Kennedy) and already has a military airport runway capable of handling big aircraft (Vulcans and Victors during the Falklands war) and has NASA and ESA tracking facilities. And still British controlled, sounds good to me.
The British honours system is strange and quite arcane at times but there is usually a reason behind the nomination. In this case I suspect that it is to draw attention to the fact a world class designer ( and Ives is that what ever you think of Apple) is British and was trained in Britain.
Personally I say congratulations to Jon Ives.
something that a lot of people seem to haver forgotten is that SpaceX have been discussing landing their Dragon capsules in this way too. Any development will provide data for designing this capactity into the Dragon so this maybe a testbed for this technology.
Do like Redrum's lunar shuttle idea though. 8-)
Human spaceflight hardware
Life support, food, water, seats, spacesuits, cargo for the mission, survival equipment, toilet facilities.
Soon all adds up you know.
Like a lot of people here I had the privelidge of meeting him and discussing the Colossus rebuild about 5 years ago. I took a party of BTEC IT students to BP to see the machine and Tony gave a superb talk and demo. He also enjoyed a quick challenge when asked by a student how fast the machine was compared to a modern computer and between us we managed to figure that the machine was running at about 0.25 hz!
Tony Sale, a great bloke! I don't know if he indulged or not but I will raise a pint to his name.
Watch the film
If you watch this scene from the beginning you see that one of the astronauts carries his pad to the table before he watches it. However there is some truth in what you say. The "video" on the pads is a 16 mm movie projected onto the screen from beneath the table, like every screen on the spacecraft ( ref The Making of Kubrick's 2001, Ed Jerome Agel 1970). Arthur Clarke called the device a Newspad.
Those flames are the exhausts of the auxilary power units which provide hydraulic power for the orbiter's aerodynamic control surfaces (rudder and elevons). The APU burns hydrazine to drive the pumps for the system and has to have exhaust vents. The flames from the APU are not visible in daylight and you only see them on night landings. The hydrazine is nasty stuff and is the reason for all the trucks that follow the orbiter up the runway, blowing the fumes away and ventilating the rear of the orbiter to make it safe fro people to work around after landing.
The hydrazine APU was one of the systems that was proposed for replacement as part of a major upgrade that NASA was planning to the Shuttle system before the Columbia disaster. It would have been replaced with an electrically driven system like that used on a lot of modern aircraft now days.
Hope this clears up this mystery
CE4 - cracking camera. Still got it and still works. Not used it for a while since going digital, though.
Chinon is not like the other Dixon brands, it was actually an independant Japanese camera company that Dixon's were the sole UK importer for. It had quite a good reputation for it's lenses, I still use my CE4's 50 mm lens on my digital SLR in manual mode - fast and bright.
Chinon used the Pentax mounting formats like a few camera manufacturers (Practika for example), this allowed them to take advantage of lots of 3rd party lenses made for Pentax cameras.
Midsommer for next years Hols?
Eligibility for knighthood
I make no comment regarding whether Steve Jobs deserves a knighthood or not, I'm answering the question of his eligibility as a non-Brit or non-Commonwealth citizen. He is actually eligible as a US citizen (furriner) for this one.
The KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) is an honour that can be conferred on people regardless of nationality in recognition of execeptional effort, service or achivement. The main thing is that non-brits are not allowed to use Sir or Dame as their title. This exactly the situation with Bill Gates.
The honour confers letters after the name, has a nice gong with it and a chance of tea and cake with Madge, what it's worth beyond that I don't know.
Hope that clears a few thing up.
Product placement has taken the edge off what used to be a rather good way of adding realism to a science fiction film. Kubrik did it with 2001 as a way to ground his audience with the reality of his future images. There are many logos around the film but they are in context and subtly placed so as to extend a realism. Many other films of the period used the device too.
Bladerunner, on the other hand, may have gone a little over the top...
And as for Alien/s, well we all buy from Weyland-Yuttani now - don't we?
While product placement is no doubt the reason for the majority of Apple's screen presence, don't forget that for smaller (read poorer) movies set dressing may involve grabbing what's to hand at the time and a lot of Art departments are stuffed with Macs as their tool of choice. Maybe it's not too suprising really.
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