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* Posts by Rustident Spaceniak

94 posts • joined 31 Jan 2012

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Sun-seeking NASA boffins steer FLEETS of satellites... BY HAND

Rustident Spaceniak
Headmaster

Calculations...

Just to be pedantic: two weeks over 20 minutes calculates as 14*24*3=1008, which is roughly a hundred thousand per cent improvement, or roughly a thousandfold.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Just what are they droning on about?

They photographed the SK president's blue house? A quick google search reveals hundreds of decent-resolution pictures! Or are they really looking for another blue place that's not altogether a residence as such?

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Can you tell a man's intelligence simply by looking at him? Yes

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Beat me to it! (1.4.)

What the two studies together infer would go a long way towards explaining the sorry state of society. If indeed the very traits that make men attractive to women and influential correlate with their being less than average intelligent, why, we're all doomed!

Glad to see it's April 1st.

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

Re: Moving at 800 m/s

Relative to the comic, err, comet, parbleu!

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Rustident Spaceniak

Rosie must be getting there a bit faster

If you just do the math, 800m/s isn't quite enough to travel 5 million km between now and the end of May. The ESA press release says the differential speed will be 800m/s then, but it's probably more like 1000m/s or a bit more just now. It'll apparently get less as the two trajectories of the comet and Rosie come closer to intersection. Orbital mechanics does that to you at times.

Still, there's quite a bit of braking required to slow from about 150 times the average speed of a London double decker bus to more like the walking pace of a Welsh sheep.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Probe at right angles-

It'd take about a Gigagram of fuel for a probe of maybe a hundred jubs or so. Then it'd travel outwards from the ecliptic for a generation, to be a bulk of AU's above the ecliptic. Now the whole solar system would be in its field of view - and it would only need a resolution of about 50 million lines (or, with a single exposure, 2.5 petapixels) to see Biden in exactly one pixel - which you'd have to find among all the other junk first. Yes, come to think of that, it would be a bad idea.

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Earth's night-side gets different kinds of neutrinos from day-side

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: One moment.

That's perfectly correct. Nonetheless, at least for muon neutrinos, the detection rate should be measureable with the OPERA and Icecube detectors. Not sure if those have detected enough neutrinos yet to evaluate a decent daily rate.

Concerning electron neutrinos, as I hinted at above, the results from Supermario should now be correlated with those of other detectors looking specifically at solar neutrinos, then we'll be able to judge whether it's the Earth or Jam Tarts that cause the more energetic ones to deteriorate into electron neutrinos. Failing that, a different theory would have to be established that accounts for a 24h variation cycle in the number of neutrinos detected.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Facepalm

Let's see- Smirnoff, Wolfenstein?

So Mikhey had a few Smirnoffs and after playing Wolfenstein for years, came up with this great theory about Neutrinos? I could have done as much in a day! With all the discarded coffee pads around on dumps, it's clear anything passing through Earth will change flavour.

OK now: The super kamio thing is, as far as one recalls, just one of several neutrino detectors out there. Surely the others, which all suffer the same fate of being alternatively in day- and nighttime, will be able to offer corroborating data?

On second thoughts, there's a faint memory someone wanted to build a detector in the Antarctic. Obviously, with there being less of Earth down there to pass through, the change of flavour should be correspondingly less pronounced?

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China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Re: They advantage of an autocratic country

Sorry for you, Ken. And that illustrates a salient point: What can and should the other developed countries do about this? I'd say, at least quietly offer advice on how we implemented environmental policies, for the Chinese to copy or not. No-one profits if they suffer, after all.

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Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

Rustident Spaceniak

Wasn't there once some lord or other...

who gave the parking space occupied by his Rolls-Royce as his residential address in London? (This was obviously in a time of abundant parking lots)

This Volvo scheme has a bit of the same ring to it.

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Robot army to police football World Cup

Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

18kg? No match for a hooligan!

Given their technical spec, those bots might be of some use against really serious evildoers but certainly not against groups of drunk, feisty Brits intent on a bit of fun.

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European Space Agency: PLATO will seek out 'ADVANCED LIFE forms'... 'SLIME'

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: Relative distance?

It should have read "1.5 million km beyond Earth...", that would've been correct in an orbital-mechanics sense.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Joke

Does it mean, across the gulf of space -

that minds that are to their minds as theirs are to those of the slime, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, will regard their planets with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against them?

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NASA promises balloon ride and über precise 'scope pointer for planet-gazing boffins

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

Re: So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

Brilliant, you're right! A well deserved upvote.

And there was me thinking NASA's balloons were all of a quarter furlong high.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Devil

So what size is a 30-storey balloon in standard fishing rods?

Or in Lon don double decker buses, for that matter?

And certainly, we need a far-fetched, pseudo-figurative measure for "above 95% of the atmosphere". Suggestions welcome.

Oh, and OK, I know fishing rods come in all sorts of sizes.

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UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

Rustident Spaceniak
Trollface

Not to put too fine a point on it, but

a) Colossus was only used to automate the code breaking of the Lorenz machine after the manual deciphering was considered too slow;

b) The whole deciphering job only became possible after two very similar long messages were sent with almost identical settings on the Lorenz encoder, making it possible to deduce the cipher principle;

c) Depending on whether you consider relais as electronics, the Zuse Z3 which came before Colossus, could claim the title of "the world's first electronic programmable digital computer".

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Big tech firms holding wages down? Marx was right all along, I tell ya!

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

Re: [Psyx Re: ]Excellent article - b u t -

A very valid point, and well put.

Incidentally, this can already be observed to a degree. In western Europe, you see a small but growing flow of jobs back from low-wage countries where they were outsourced, to new Eruopean contractors with lower pay and less good conditions than they used to be over here; but at least they're local jobs. It's happening in industries from textile to electronics. At the same time, the very low end of low-wage jobs is moving out of places like China, to places like e.g. Bangladesh where the mean income is even lower. Hopefully, over time the wages there will also rise.

The upside for the business owners is, of course, as more people in hitherto low-income economies gain buying power, the market for goods expands.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Childcatcher

Excellent article - b u t -

From where I sit, the article makes a perfectly good and valid point about the wage dynamics in the Valley. Very likely, the scope could also be extended far beyond IT engineers; the same principles and the same interests are prevalent all over the labour market.

But

The one thing that Marx did not take into account (as have far too few of his fellow economists in the 100-odd years since the last volume of Das Kapital was published), is the effect that international competition has on the economy, and particularly on wages. It's two-fold: On the one hand, the "reserve army" is extended all over the planet, as long as a free labour market exists. On the other hand, there also exists a more-or-less free market for goods, so competition from low-wage countries also has to be taken into account by the capitalists, or their market share would fall; that creates cost pressure, which of course translates into further downward pressure on wages.

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ESA's Sentinel-1 earth-gazing satellite will be flung aloft later this year

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Err, about Sentinels 2, 3, and so on -

Sentinel-2 has left the drawing board (which of course was never used anyway, more of a CATIA workstation, or several) long behind and is already in manufacturing (at least the first two satellites of it). So is Sentinel-3.

For Sentinel-4 and -5, the plan is that they'll just be instruments hitching a ride on upcoming weather satellites.

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Rosetta comet chaser due to wake up for final rendezvous on Monday

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Forever.

Rosetta will continue to loop around the Sun for the rest of time (or until it crashes into some other space object, or the Sun blows up). Voyager, on the other hand, is continuing to sail out furhter and further, and will put a growing distance between itself and Rosetta.

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Boffins find ALIEN WORLD orbiting the Sun's LONG LOST TWIN

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: So so far away

Because the stars that're closer aren't part of clusters.

A number of closer stars have known exoplanets, but if you want to find out about exos in clusters, well it makes sense you have to look at one of the nearer clusters, dunnit?

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Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

Rustident Spaceniak
Paris Hilton

What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

It's not mentioned in the article and Wikipedia doesn't seem to know the answer either, for a change. Nor does it seem to make any sense. What's it, other funding priorities? Asteroid hunters' union calling a strike? Cosmic flux peak?

Paris 'cos, sleepy beauty, no idea, still searching...

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Euro satellite to count a BEELLLION stars, find origin of Milky Way

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: Long term planning

For one thing, people would have been glad to do this ten years ago. But it's done with public money, lots of it, and that tends to slow things down; plus the public wants its fair share...

For another, knowing your place in the galaxy doesn't really mean you get anything like the total perspective on the universe! It's typical galactic hubris to assume our little milky way is more than one among very many.

And finally, a man should always know his place, no matter where he is in the galaxy.

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Meet NASA's Valkyrie: A SILKY BUSTY ROBO-MINX that'll save your life

Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: lube points

As per standard for space hardware, that'll be dry lube.

Mine's the one with the MoS2 flask in the pocket.

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Martians yet to retaliate after Curiosity's 100,000th laser strike

Rustident Spaceniak
Alien

Those Martians are just peaceful, that's why we can't understand them!

The organized life, ten feet deep in the soil, is very much aware of Curiosity rolling overhead. They have engaged reception,are listening eagerly, letting its alien thought saturate them. But alas - Curiosity's thoughts are as mechanical, as simple, that there's really no satisfying communication possible with it.

Maybe it's time to send out a probe to find Curiosity's creator...

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Speaking in Tech: Get an Amazon drone delivered by Amazon drone

Rustident Spaceniak
Devil

I'd prefer a post rocket

Like this: http://www.astronautix.com/astros/zucker.htm

Delivers letters hot! :-)

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SpaceX Falcon 9 reaches MONEY RING with successful launch

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: 80k km apogee?

Actually it means less delta-V for reducing the inclination of the orbit to zero - i.e. make the sat fly over the equator, rather than wobble between 28° North and South latitude (their launch site being at about 28°N).

You still have to trade that for a bit *more* delta-V needed for the circularisation, as unfortunately there's no practicable way to trading some of that apogee altitude for perigee rising *). Still, it works out in the end.

*) Bootnote: That's because while the energy of an elliptical orbit with a certain semimajor axis may be the same as that of a circular one with the same radius, it's the instantaneous velocity vectors that don't match.

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LOHAN embraces handsome young autopilot

Rustident Spaceniak
Paris Hilton

So it's the SYLVIE experiment?

Like Servo-controlled, Year-Long Validated, Interesting Experiment or something?

Paris 'cos Sylvie isn't available as an icon.

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Wolfram's new equation: Mathematica+RPi=child geniuses everywhere

Rustident Spaceniak
Gimp

Re: A programming nightmare

Actually, once you accept what it's for, it makes a great programming language for math subjects. You don't have to fiddle with memory allocation, define what type of data a variable holds, or whatever - you just concentrate on your problem, write that into mathematica, and hey presto.

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We'll build Elon Musk's Hyperloop ... if you lob us ONE-MEELLION dollars

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

No tunnel

The nice thing about Hyperloop is they don't even want to make a tunnel - they plan to make it a tube on pylons, rather like some natural gas pipelines (only larger). So there are at least useful costing models available. Not saying their calculations are necessarily realistic, but boring through California rock is not involved.

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Rustident Spaceniak

Re: I sort of wondered

Yeah, but are we even sure we all live in the same universe?

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Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

It would take quite an excited WIMP...

to strike any of the particles in such an imposing object as a Xenon nucleus! And remember, being WIMPs they can't be excited. So there's your dilemma for you.

Mine's the one with the Xenon flashlight in the pocket.

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Apple under CEO Angela Ahrendts? Hmm ... (beard stroke)

Rustident Spaceniak
Headmaster

Millions or billions?

Quote "it was still just a £1.9m revenue company ":

Make that a £1.9bn revenue company, then it's roughly correct. Still would barely register in Apple's earnings curve.

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Obama to Merkel: No Americans are listening to you on this call

Rustident Spaceniak

Update: Apparently (according to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel) her secure phone wasn't even hacked, but the one she uses to call people who don't have secure ones - so e.g. for (political) party business.

Nonetheless, given the reactions in Germany today, one has the impression that Angie is not just making a show at being angry. The US ambassador was called in for a talking-to. We'll see if the matter has any more tangible consequences.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Meh

Re: Equal Opportunities

Whichever way they did find out, the fact that they did probably is what is keeping their jobs at present. Mind you, we haven't heard about that bug in Downing Street yet, or in the Elysée - oh in fact yes, that's one we did hear about!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24617904‎

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Rustident Spaceniak

Actually she's known to use an encrypted mobile all the time. She does it so much it got to be known as the Merkelphone, and it was a news item when a new generation of them was bought (I think last year) for all the government members and other officials. One might think the crafty Americans used that info to figure out how to hack them.

Which lets me think she'll probably send a three-word text to her purchasing officer.

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Billionaire vows to turn 007's Lotus Esprit into actual SUBMARINE CAR

Rustident Spaceniak
Mushroom

That's it, one project too many.

The guy is getting as hyperbolic as Mr Stromberg himself. Sure he can pull off many things, or have them pulled off for him; but there's a limit to what even the most wacky genius can handle. Watch him peaking.

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Last living NEANDERTHALS discovered in JERSEY – boffins

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Err, last Neanderthals?

I says in the article that these sediments are 47.000 years old, but weren't the remains found in the actual Neanderthal from around 42.000 BC? That would seem to be later.

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So, rocket boffin Dr Adam Baker: Will we live long and prosper in SPACE?

Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.

"Actually some of those nanosats are starting to come with their own albeit limited propulsion systems."

Yep. very limited. Too limited for moving from GTO to LEO. Learn your orbital dynamics.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Down

Re: Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.

"here's a *reason* that the space shuttle flew with an embarrassing amount of CPU and memory. Radiation."

That's Space Shuttle, 80's technology. These days, you simply wouldn't go down that route anymore. The trend in satellites and launch vehicles alike (like the Falcon and Japan's Epsilon) is to use decent CPUs and pack them in several mm of metal against the radiation. Incidentally, one reason for that is you can't get the old stuff anymore.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Holmes

Re: There's a reason why the OSC Pegasus has an empty manifest.

Calm down, John.

It's quite true many smallsats are launched as secondary payloads on big launchers, but that only works if all you need to be is somewhere in space. The trend towards sophisticated nanosatellites with demanding missions brings with it a need to launch these things into dedicated orbits - say sun-syncronous low earth orbits or suchlike - and there are considerably fewer opportunities there. So yes, there will be demand for a micro launcher at some point. How big, and at what price point? Dunno, let the experts figure it out.

BTW, for a micro launcher of today, I'm not sure you'd need much in terms of on-board computer. Maybe a new market for the Rasperry Pi-in-the-Sky?

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Rustident Spaceniak
Mushroom

Beyond the sky

Go for it, Adam!

There's bound to be a knighthood on the cards in rocketry, somewhere. There was for Hugo Drax.

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

Rustident Spaceniak
WTF?

Why bother with a scramjet? And why worry about the thermal insulation?

You only need a scramjet for this if you want maximum efficiency for maximum dollars. If "feasible and affordable" is the word, launch with a normal turbofan, go to Mach 3.5 or so with that at a reasonable altitude, and do the rest with a rocket. You can always play around with combined cycle a bit, inject some oxygen into the turbofan intake to get you as far as Mach 4 and maybe 50km up or so, but at the end of the day a rocket will do the job best - specially one fed from the same kerosene tank you've been using for that turbofan.

Regarding the thermal insulation, you're talking about a Mach 10 re-entry, not Mach 28. That's a totally different league. Mach 10 can be done with quite solid, light ceramics as demonstrated by the German Shefex-II experiment last year.

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From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Armadillo out, Strato in

It appears - from a note published by El Reg on 12 August, no less - that Armadillo Aerospace have all but given up business, due to lack of funding from Mr Carmack. On the other hand, Stratolaunch, another ambitions upstart on a scale almost comparable to that of SpaceX, appear to be actually cutting metal on their carrier plane for a rather large, solid-fuelle launch rocket. If names and technical progress are anything to go by, then that company, with backing from types like Paul Allen behind it (and with Scaled as a partner), while being late to the party, seems to be making quite a showing.

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We've cracked riddle of ANTIGRAVITY mountains on Saturn's Titan - boffins

Rustident Spaceniak
Happy

It's clear: Those mountains are hollow!

Surely those icy mountains contain the enormous caves where the children of the Titans live - the Okeanids and other horrible creatures of ages past. Attempt no landing there!

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House bill: 'Hey NASA, that asteroid retrieval plan? Fuggedaboutit'

Rustident Spaceniak
Unhappy

Farmers, accountants, lawyers

These are exactly the sorts of people you a) don't expect to understand, or need to understand, about space science, and b) will stick to a goal once set, without bothering to check if tthe driving forces have changed, or if the stated goal is even still achievable or desirable. So don't ever expect those people to be sympathetic to NASA's changed plans - unless of course some of the Asteroid hunting happens to bring business to their constituencies, in which case there's suddently a good scientific reason to do it. But wait, that's political science, not space science? Oh what the heck, don't even bother!

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Move space junk with laser shots

Rustident Spaceniak
Boffin

Re: Re: What happens when a pigeon flies through the beam of a 10kW laser?

Ideally nothing happens to the plane, because the ranging&tracking station had just switched the beam off a minute to a microsecond before contact.

Now, if that was a stealth plane with no radio communications, no published flight plan, no TCAS equipment (that the laser ranging system could listen to) or ADS-B, and no clue about the location of the frikkin' laser (which I guess would be protected by a no-fly zone), at night...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

... it would get the 10kW through some 10km or so of atmosphere, passing over its structure at a rate of about 250m/s, and probably warm up a bit.

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Rustident Spaceniak

Re: What happens when a pigeon flies through the beam of a 10kW laser?

Mmmh, roast pigeon.

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Rustident Spaceniak
Coat

Re: Lasers, check.

The sharks are too scared. That's because the Brits are already sharpening their space harpoons:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/in-focus-astrium-engineers-take-a-shot-at-space-debris-385004/

We gotta figure out a way to mind-meld with the sharks first, take their anxiety away. So we're starting with small fish, working out way up.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/aquatic.html

Mine's the one with the shark tooth buttons.

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World's first 5mm-thin gyrating models paraded on disk catwalk

Rustident Spaceniak
Thumb Up

So, after years of research and development -

WD has found that an axle with bearings at either end is less susceptible to bending than one with just a single bearing? Well done!

Get the carriage and horses ready, Henry, I'm off to Irvine.

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