* Posts by Andrew Newstead

247 posts • joined 11 Sep 2008

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Happy days for second-hand smartphone sales

Andrew Newstead

Re: Yeah, duh...

The 5 and SE are also a reasonable fit for my hand - or am I holding it wrong...

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International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Andrew Newstead

velocity and space

A comment on the problem of matching velocities in orbit and living space on a Soyuz.

It's true that there are trajectories that allow a Soyuz to rendezvous with the ISS quickly ( a few hours) but these depend on the relative positions of the station and the launch site at launch. Sometimes these paths are not available and so there has to be a period of "catching up" in orbit, the Soyuz makes orbital changes that will allow it to gain on the station and then match orbit for docking. Things could be done faster but the Soyuz doesn't carry sufficient propellant to allow this and still have enough for a deorbit burn at the end of the mission.

Regarding the living space of the Soyuz, yes it is tight but it does have an orbital module attached, effectively a spare room. This more than doubles the living space of the Soyuz spacecraft compared to just the re-entry module on it's own and can be closed off from the re-entry module so giving a degree of privacy if needed. I believe the toilet facilities are in the orbital module. This module is usually full of cargo on the way up and is packed with rubbish for the return flight, as the module is jettisoned before re-entry and burns up in the atmosphere.

Hope this helps.

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Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

Andrew Newstead

Re: Past and present

Hold on, this is not an assertion but one of two different theories that have been offered to explain the observed data from New Horizons.

Your observations about the conditions on Pluto may indeed be correct, but there is evidence of the movement of the Sputnik Planitia within recent geological timescales. That and the visual absence of cratering on the surface of the Planitia, which is accepted as evidence of the activity of some sort of process that has recently (geologically speaking again) reshaped the area, leaving a smooth surface.

Some sort of activity is happening out there, that is apparent, and that implies a source of energy to drive it. This is just an attempt to explain that, not proof.

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Boffins eschew silicon to build tiniest-ever transistor, just 1nm long

Andrew Newstead

Re: Shirley

Does wonders on motorbike chains.

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'Flying Bum's' first flight was a gas, gas, gas

Andrew Newstead

Re: International Rescue - Is that You?

No.

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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

Andrew Newstead

Re: No, it's not

Re the electric Hi-bypass fan, Rolls-Royce are investigating just this idea in relation to an hybrid propulsion system, with Airbus. In this approach a gas turbine powered generator produces electricity which is used by the electric fans.

Whether this actually comes about is another question.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Andrew Newstead

Re: Pound falls

Not necessarily, don't forget that these will sel in dollars. At the moment that means we will get good money for them. Rolls-Royce is doing well because of the fall of the pound.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Andrew Newstead

Anyone remember..

Norsefire?

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Andrew Newstead

Re: Excellent

A bit of myth this. Protestantism was already underway in Europe due to the writings of Luther and Calvin as a reaction to the excesses of the Catholic Church at that time. In Britain this thinking was already gaining credibility before Henry jumped on it and formed the Anglican Church (which is not that different to the Catholic Church). The total break with Rome came with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement.

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

Andrew Newstead

History tells us...

I seem to remember that we didn't need encrypted digital communication methods for most of the cold war, World War 2, or the rest of recorded history come to that. Remove Crypto from mobile phones, internet, etc. and the bad guys will just go back to methods which don't rely on electronic communications, such as couriers (assuming they haven't already...).

Coat? - Mines the one with the John le Carre book in the pocket.

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Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

Andrew Newstead

Re: hmm

Difficult, the beast is in a polar orbit and neither the Americans or the Russians are set up to launch manned spacecraft to polar orbit.

However, it probably doesn't matter as the Americans (and probably the Russians too) have the capability of photographing the satellite from the ground and so, more than likely, have images of the satellite already.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-05-11

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Andrew Newstead

Unfortunately it doesn't have sufficient propellant to make the required orbital change. The space plane is in a roughly equatorial orbit and the Norks satellite in in a polar one. the space place would have to be launched into a polar orbit to intercept.

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Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Andrew Newstead

Re: I visted here in 1988

Did they tell you the story about the visiting Prof who kept setting off the detectors - on the way in!

Turns out he has a tiny piece of something radioactive caught in the turn up of his trousers that had been dropped back in his lab at Harwell...

Whoops!

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Andrew Newstead

I visted here in 1988

In the late eighties they actually did run tours around Dounreay. My wife and I visited in 88 and spent the morning being shown around with a party of about 20 public, grups and kids. It was a fascinating day. We were shown around the hot lab facilities with 7 or 8 inches of lead glass between us and chunks of Uranium and Plutonium, remote manipulators being used. We even went into the Reactor building (the second one, not the golf ball) and stood on top of the reactor, which was not running at the time.

A very memorable day!

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Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

Andrew Newstead

Not quite right about Bruneville

A few points.

The raiding party (about 150 men) was dropped into St Bruneville and taken off by sea. The raid was a spectacular success with the Paras holding off any kind of counter attack while the techies stripped the Radar set of most of it important black boxes and the antenna, all of which was brought back to Blightie for analysis.

What they found from this led to jamming techniques being developed for the bombers and helped to set up a decoy for the D Day landings

Andrew (something of a military history buff)

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NASA books space shuttle delivery truck

Andrew Newstead

Re: Awful

Hmmm - a couple of points need addressing here, I'll start with the last one, why should NASA want such a beast that can glide and land on a runway. The capsule method has been admitted to have quite a rough landing and this has caused concern that some of the more fragile payloads that need returning from the ISS will be damaged or destroyed on landing. The aerodynamic glide and landing has been shown (100 + space shuttle landings) to be very gentle and is considered to be more acceptable for fragile cargo. Also the cargo will be accessible much more quickly after landing because the vehicle will return to well equipped facility (usually the launch site).

Referring to the lifting body shape. This has been regarded as the best form of aerodynamic reentry vehicle since the sixties. As the body of the vehicle has the wing shape it is possible to pack the mechanisms of the craft into the vehicle much more efficiently than you would with the space shuttle. The shuttle's wings did indeed incur a mass penalty but this is not the case with a full lifting body design. The fins on the lifting body are not too much about lift, more directional control.

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Bigger than Higgs? Boffins see hints of bulbous new Boson

Andrew Newstead

Re: Boffins

Amen to that brother!

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Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V

Andrew Newstead

Re: I'd have that

They certainly have! New tooling for the Apollo CSM to make it the correct diameter and a Skylab version with the Skylab fairing (no Skylab unfortunately, but does keep the Apollo bits). Mat Irvine, ex BBC model maker and a prominent figure in the space modelling community (yes, there is one) consulted for Airfix on the new parts.

And yes, I would have one of these Lego jobs like a shot!

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

Andrew Newstead

A few comments

I've read the above with interest but I wonder if many commentards have actually read the reports and releases that have been circulated in the last few days. A few points I have picked up on.

1. The aircraft is not being seen as a big tech driver (in the same way as F35). The thinking is that USAF "really" needs these and doesn't want a big development holdup developing new tech.

2. The aircraft is being designed so that new tech can be added later, as it is developed. They are calling this an "open architecture", a "black box" aeroplane (not a particularly new trick, this is how the Tornado GR1 became the Tornado GR4).

3. Northrop apparantly got this gig based on the work done on two previous projects, The B2 stealth bomber and a very secret recce drone that seems to be in operation. Don't know much about the drone (obviously...) but the tech developed for the B2 would obviously be applicable without much change.

4. USAF has put a lot of effort and resource in up front during the competition between Northrop and Boeing/Lockheed to ensure the proposals would be mature enough to proceed to the next stage without compomising the aims of the project, a new bomber aircraft within the stated budget.

5. The individual flyaway cost of the aircraft is aimmed at being less that than that of the B2, whether it makes it of not is a moot point of course.

For reference;

http://aviationweek.com/defense/lrs-b-why-northrop-grumman-won-next-us-bomber?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20151028_AW-05_970&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000001529824&utm_campaign=4155&utm_medium=email&elq2=f7479ce6bf80427eb8b8ba998f6da578

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Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre

Andrew Newstead

Re: I'm no expert but..

Brittan-Norman Islander

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Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

Andrew Newstead

Re: So you've reached 0.5c...

Robert Forward had a plan for this. His sail is split into a number of concentric sections. At launch we have the full sail and maximum acceleration. When we want to decelerate we detach the outer section of the sail and focus the laser light reflecting off it on to the central section. The outer section goes flying onwards but the centre section and payload decelerates into the target system. Forward then goes on to suggest that you drop further sections to act as a reflector to drive the vehicle back to Sol and then use the laser on the centre section for deceleration into the Sol system.

For reference see:

http://www.transorbital.net/Library/D001_AxA.html

Andrew

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Virgin Media's SPAM-AGEDDON 'fix' silences mailboxes

Andrew Newstead

Er Guys...

Not wanting to upset the applecart here folks, but until I read this piece I didn't know there had been problems with ntlworld addresses (obviously I have one). My email seems to be behaving itself, anyone else finding this?

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Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms

Andrew Newstead

Re: VOCs - white paint yellowing

Just a thought folks. I'm a model maker and one of the tricks we use to stop white paint (gloss or matt) yellowing over time is to add a drop of a royal blue paint to the white paint. Don't know the science but it does work quite well for both enamels and acrylics.

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Spirit of the Ghost: Taking a Rolls-Royce Wraith around France

Andrew Newstead

The Las Vegas incident was a GE 90 and the problem with the A380 only affected the Trent 900 model and has been addressed.

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US to stage F-35-versus-Warthog bake-off in 2018

Andrew Newstead

Re: versus?

er - the Vulcan was fairly state of the art at the time...

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SPACESUIT, once FOUND ON MOON: Crowd action saves it for the public

Andrew Newstead

Lunar module disposition

The Lunar module lower sections (descent stage) were left behind on the lunar surface when the astronauts returned to lunar orbit. These were designed to act as "launchpads" for the ascent stages. The original plan for the ascent stages was to be abandon them in lunar orbit after return to the Command module and this was done for Apollos 10 and 11. However from Apollo 12 onwards it was decided to de orbit the ascent stages and impact them on the surface to create artificial "Moon quakes" which could be recorded on the seismometers that were left on the surface of the moon. The only two that this did not happen with were Apollo 13 and Apollo 16. Apollo 13's LM was bought back from the Moon as a "lifeboat" and burned up in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean after separation from the command module. With Apollo 16 control of the LM was lost at jettison so the impact manoeuvre was abandoned an the LM left in lunar orbit.

For the vehicles left in lunar orbit their reprieve was short lived. One of the discoveries of the Apollo programmes was that the Moon's gravity field is not uniform, there seem to be "mass concentrations" that cause the field to vary significantly at different locations. This becomes difficult for plotting a spacecraft's orbit (indeed this is how they were found in the first place). Because of these variations the ascent stages eventually crashed into the surface of the Moon.

Hope this of use to you.

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Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away

Andrew Newstead

Re: So....

How do we know it has not already arrived...

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Behold: Pluto's huge ICE MOUNTAINS ... and signs of cryovolcanoes?

Andrew Newstead

Re: Wow

Not quite accurate I'm afraid. Venus has had quite few spacecraft visit it, the latest being ESAs Venus Express. This number has included a number of landers and atmosphere probes.

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Get READY: Scientists set to make TIME STAND STILL tonight

Andrew Newstead

Re: Having a single time is a nonsense

Unfortunately, those of us who are sighted are tied to a diurnal cycle of light and dark, some quite strongly. One of the things recognised recently is how blue coloured light (such as produced in monitors and LCD TV screens) can trigger the wake up response in humans, causing sleep problems for those using screens late at night.

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Andrew Newstead

Re: But will this answer the fundamental question of time...?

Track by Steve Hackett on Spectral Mornings

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Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

Andrew Newstead

Re: El Capitan?

- which James Kirk fell off at the beginning of StarTrek 5.

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

Andrew Newstead

Re: V for Vendetta

Guy Fawkes mask icon needed back...

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Like a Dell factory but what comes out is a LOT more fun: We visit Aston Martin

Andrew Newstead

Re: Leather choice

Ah, the Aston Martin Necronomicon edition...

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FOUND: NASA's stray balloon located in the middle of nowhere

Andrew Newstead

Balloon?

That pic of a white and orange thing looks more like a parachute to me, the balloon was transparent.

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Philip Glass tells all and Lovelace and Babbage get the comic novel treatment

Andrew Newstead

Re: Overrated...

Careful, Newton was actually being sarcastic with that expression...

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LOHAN unleashes 'waiting for the FAA' collector mug

Andrew Newstead

Always easier to apologise afterwards than to ask permission?

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ALL comp-sci courses will have compulsory infosec lessons – UK.gov

Andrew Newstead

Already there

We have been teaching units on Network security for the last 5 years as part of the Level 3 BTEC security FE, funny the Government doesn't mention that!

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Andrew Newstead

Re: Let's not foget the Quantel Photobox

It was used a lot in Star Cops too.

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Lost SPACECRAFT believed FOUND ON COMET

Andrew Newstead

Re: When philae wakes up

+1 for radio play reference - the one, true, Hitch-Hikers.

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Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

Andrew Newstead

Re: Truely holographic?

This might give you an insight.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/415755/head-up-displays-go-holographic/

I found this when I was researching holographic HUDs to see if there is any connection to the Holovision. I wouldn't be at all surprised if these people have had a big input to the device.

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Andrew Newstead

Re: Truely holographic?

Be careful about dismissing the "holographic" claim here. Current aircraft HUDs have holographic optical components as part of the glass plate that the pilot looks through. They improve the collimation of the devices (allows the user to focus on the outside world and still read the display) and the reflectivity for the plate, thus reducing the power required by the display. One of the things about holographic HUDs is that some of them are curved panels and as such the width of the view is much improved.

It is not inconceivable that this technology has been applied here, it would certainly help with some of the points raised concerning power usage, so describing them as holographic would be an accurate labelling.

Cheers

Andrew

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Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas

Andrew Newstead

No analysis, just good old family fun and it was too.

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Orion BELTS UP: Space shuttle wannabe preps again for test flight

Andrew Newstead
Pint

Re: Idle curiosity

Up vote for working in the biz!

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Andrew Newstead

Re: Idle curiosity

You are right, there is a limit to continued fuelling/defueling but this applies to consecutive attempts to launch. If this flight attempt does not happen today then they will have to wait 3 or 4 days before they try again to allow the rocket's tanks to settle down, I believe that NASA did say Sunday or Monday. Surprisingly Aluminium tanks are fairly forgiving of this kind of treatment and can be used for quite a lot of such cycles before being considered scrap. The main issue would be metal fatigue due to the cycling. This is the problem that did for the early Comet airliners but they have the addition of square corner windows which exacerbated the problem. Once this had been solved we now see Aluminium tubes (airliners) being cycled many times a day without failure and can have cycle numbers going into 10's of thousands.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Andrew Newstead

Re: Nuclear

>I wonder if the cooling required for nuclear reactors could involve the void?<

Yes, you would use radiators on the shadow side of the spacecraft to radiate the heat into space. Heat management in the vacuum of space is actually quite a tricky thing. With no air or other fluid to take the heat away (like with a CPU heatsink) you have to use radiation and the more heat you generate the larger the radiator has to be. Consequently radiators for a nuclear reactor similar in output to that in a nuclear submarine will have to have a large area, in the order of several hundred to a few thousand square metres, of radiating surface.

This will only be needed for the power generating reactor though, the nuclear rocket engines would be cooled by the propellant (typically hydrogen) being fed into them picking up the reactor heat. The heated (and expanded) propellant would then go blasting out the nozzle of the engine producing thrust and carrying the heat away too.

Hope this is of use/interest

Andrew

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'MYSTERIOUS PYRAMID STRUCTURE' found on COMET beyond Mars: Landing planned

Andrew Newstead

Something more intertesting

The rock (and that's what it is) looks interesting but I'm more intrigued by the smoothness of the rest of the terrain around it. Whole areas of the comet have this smooth melted look, quite unlike any other body we have seen in space so far.

Is it a form of erosion? Dust drifts? Melting?

Can't wait to see what it's like really close up.

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Is Apple incubating a Macbook, iPad bastard child?

Andrew Newstead

Re: This sounds like Windows 8 territory

Called Launchpad and turned up in OS7.

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Supercomputers: The Next Generation – Cray puts burst buffer tech, Intel Haswell inside

Andrew Newstead

Very nice -

But they don't look as cool as the old school Crays did.

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SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

Andrew Newstead

Re: Good place for it.

Don't know, it looks a bit tricky downrange over Florida, Cuba and the rest of the Carribian.

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

Andrew Newstead

Re: Booster recovery

There were plans to control the stage and manouvure it but it was not equiped with legs so I think a landing test was not being considered for this flight. Bear in mind the first time they tried to land a stage it had no legs and went into a spin that destroyed it. It was thought at he time that the legs would act as fins to stabilise the rocket during it's descent and this seems to have been borne out in the subsequent attempts.

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