207 posts • joined Monday 19th March 2012 16:19 GMT
Re: not about the science, just a pissing contest......
NASA can do it, it's just that it's budget and plans aren't decided by scientists or even managers (who are implied to know SOMETHING about that which they manage) but purely by politics. Politics and bullshitting between politicians. NASA has lacked focus and drive after the Apollo program shut down purely because it hasn't been given a consistant goal.
Looking at all the different fields NASA is active in, its still getting an amazing amount of science and development done. But because there is so much sway in what the politicians think NASA should be doing, there is a lot of "startup, development, shutdown" happening that means a lot of promising research is left on the cut-backs spreadsheet.
If the US goverment were to tell NASA tomorrow to: "Get to mars, design and build us a new everything just for this purpose", they could do it. Pretty fast too probably.
Firefox portable on a USB drive
Problem solved. Works wonders in the workplace too.
I've seen completely function gearboxes, ballbearings and all, being formed in 3d printers. We're way past a simple nut and bolt! (This does require a support material that can be removed using a solvent or a powder supported printing process)
Good show indeed old chaps!
Looking very good. The only part I have some doubts about is the contruction of the bayonet closure for the nose section. Those sharp inside corners look perfect for the start of stress fractures.
The surface finish could do with some work as well. I find it to be a bit disappointing, I had expected a slightly smoother finish.
Am I the only one hoping
they won't make a massive announcement for Halflife 3? Just a "ohh, btw guys, we're releasing HL3 in November. Just FYI"
Re: Rocket Science is HARD
Rocket SCIENCE isn't all that hard. All the basic principles are clearly understood and most second year engineering students will probably be able to do the needed maths. Rocket ENGINEERING is where the challenge is!
Re: The short journey is due to the upgreded flight computer
Another reason is the retirement of the shuttle. Because the shuttle no longer needs to visit the ISS, the entire station has been boosted to a higher orbit. The transfer used now was not possible with the lower orbit.
Re: Unintended consequences
Pretty much this. If this plan goes ahead it's pretty much a given a lot of smaller and/or regional telcos will bite the dust or be taken over by the larger companies. I wouldn't be supprised Ms. Kroes is getting some "extra income" from the largest telco companies who only see this as a good way to put even more pressure on the competition. In the end this could end up costing us a lot more. Once the smaller competitors are knocked out the big players are free to jack their prices to astronomical levels.
Fortunately, when it comes to range there is already quite a lot of experimentation from the FPV flyers out there. Most still use a beefed up 35 MHz system, but AFAIK some have started using 2,4 GHz systems. The advantage is because 2,4 GHz is already a widely used frequency, there is a lot of amplifier and directional antenna stuff readily available. I'm pretty sure an off the shelf Yagi is already available to connect directly to the transmitter.
That is why you pull the main breaker (or Ground Fault Interruptor) before starting said fun activities
I do think I predicted this
but good to see you have found the issue and are correcting it. I hope the carbon tube will be strong and sturdy enough for the job. In my experience it can be pretty bendy as well on longer lengths.
I'll also restate my earlier idea, support the rod on 2 locations and put a "runner" on it that can detach from LOHAN once she's got her loins suitably heated. This does mean the length of the rod will be limited to however long you can support it over.
Re: Rudder differential?
Judging from the angles this might actually be a feature (intended) and not a bug. If I'm thinking correctly the inside rudder on a turn will have a slightly larger deflection, thus slightly increased drag. And thus causing a more effective yaw control.
Good observation though. And I hope one of the design boffins can grace us with an answer
I shall raise a pint to the design boffins, a lot of thought seems to have gone into the matter indeed!
Re: The Solution
Unfortunately the western world is still stuck in the "radiation bad WHHHRRRBBLLGLBLLG. just don't use nuclear power. It's bad. WHHRBBLBLGLGLBBLLFBLFBLFBBLBLBFBFBBBBB" and thus very few if any investments are made into thorium reactor development. Meanwhile China and India are well on their way to developing commercial thorium plants.
I won't be around to watch it, as I'll be scampering off east towards the Czech Republic on Saturday. If it does go that far, give me a headsup :-P
Re: Legs on fire?
I think most of the smoke and fire you see is actually the exhaust of the turbines powering the turbopumps. (If you watch closely you can see 2 plumes of fire parallel to the main engine exhaust) The legs do probably get "a bit warm". But I doubt they'd catch on fire or even heat enough to call them hot (As that would jeopardise their structural integrity)
Re: Photograph THAT !!!
Send a whole load of envelopes and draw a single frame of an animation on each. That should get them entertained :-P
Hams are useless...
until the military finds out it can't even get it's own comms grid working. As happened recently in a large military exercise in the Netherlands. A load of hams had been invited to "play along" as being the "civilian aspect/backup". They had pretty much been told to sit in the corner, shut up and stay out of the way.
By the time the actual exercise started the army boys found out their network wasn't working and most of their shiny comms equipment was pretty much useless. The hams in the meantime had gotten their cosy little corner all setup, their radios working, a comms network pretty much set up and were happily chatting away with most other stations (the last few getting online soon after). Even managing to make contact with ground units the military had thought were unreachable or out of range. So hurridly the army had to use this mismash ham network to get their forces coordinated.
(Most of the exercise was then run through ham radios as the army system kept suffering mental breakdowns)
I'd also like to add the following: Well before launch, stick all parts and payloads in a low vacuum chamber to dehydrate. If at all possible, keep the chamber nice and warm. Keep it there for as long as you can. An atmospheric pressure box with a good amount of dessicants would also work. Transfer it all to a thermo/cooler box with a load of dessicant bags (Silicagel would probably work best) and keep it all at a nice warm temperature. Don't take anything out until it is needed.
This way all parts will be bone dry. Thus much less chance of lenses developing condensation and such.
I have doubts
I've voiced my doubt before, especially about the line getting entangled around the chute. With a bit of experimenting and fiddeling to choose just the right amount of slack it could work, but it'll still be pretty error prone IMHO. If you do go with the hollow bearing idea, keep in mind you will also have to add a swivel to the pull line, spin of the chute would otherwise still wind up the string, causing it to bunch up and pull in.
As for the oven timer, I agree it would be a good idea to redo the tests after a good trip through the freezer. There is a good chance the cold would alter the properties of the clockspring enough to seriously throw off the timing.
I know mechanical FEELS more reliable over electronics (With things like flat batteries and such) but "the industry" has long since moved just about everything to electrical systems as far as I see. I simple 5v electronic timer with a single solid state relay, fed by a volt scavenger circuit (ala minty boost or similar) from a pair of penlites has a lifetime measured in years, while being pretty darn reliable.
Re: >"one micron long and 20 nanometres wide"
14nm is only state of the art in currently applied fab tech. Ramp up for the next node in feature size is already happening. I wouldn't be supprised if we get sub 10 nm production happening within 2 years.
Re: I expect to hear the MMCC co2 believers now
roughly the same amount of flooding maybe a decade ago afaik.
Re: Straight up and out in 10 minutes??
AC at 08:09
There is a very good reason for you NOT to do any of those things and its exactly the same incentive the data center guys have. Lowering your utility bills. If you want to keep the tap running, be my guest,most of the UK won't run out of water soon. Especially not if it's just your little pipe that's leaking a bit. (Compared to most industrial users, even at full blast, your home tap uses a TINY amount of water)
If you really think people keeping a 60 watt light bulb burning is going to matter much in the grand scheme of things then go ahead and ignore the industrial complexes whose consumption is measured in MegaWatts running 24/7/365 for several decades.
It WILL make a difference to you as a person. Your electricity and water bills will be through the roof. Which is exactly the RIGHT incentive to get people to use less resources.
Straight up and out in 10 minutes??
I don't know how fast mister Gore is driving on the highway, but assuming a normal 60 mph, it would take nearly an hour to get out of the atmosphere and into "space". (Depending on your definition of "the atmosphere", it could take significantly longer, or 10 minutes if you make a really weird definition)
Claiming that greening data centers is going to do much to halt the CO2 exhaust is kind of missing the point. It's small potatoes compared to MANY MANY other poluters and probably not worth the effort. (And more importantly, most companies don't need an extra incentive to "green" their datacenter as lowering power consumption is a goal in and of itself.
Even LEO might not be that safe
For instance, the first dutch astronaut, Wubbo Ockels, was recently diagnosed with highly aggressive renal cancer. He's got about 2 years left to live by current projections.
Re: Why not use Hydrogen?
You might have missed it, but they are infact planning on using Hydrogen.
Re: Fun fact
If kept dry and "packed normally" these explosives are quite safe to handle (Ofcourse taking some precautions to prevent stray ESD wherever possible). It's the "lying in salty water, piled in a heap, inside a rusty ships hull, undergoing chemical changes for 70 years" that makes these explosives dangerous and unstable.
So basically everything?
Judging from that list you still have a HECK of a lot of work to do. From experience as an engineer I can tell you with certainty most of the time needed for a design is in those lost few little details. Where to place servos, which servos to use, which other electronics, where to place the CG, etc, etc, etc.
Not to imply you guys have been slacking off, far from it. I'm just hoping you haven't underestimated time needed for those "last few details".
BTW, will the visual tracking/telescope expert (Whom I can't be bothered to find the name of right now) who couldn't make it to the PARIS launch join your venture on the 14th of september?
Beer, because we all know you'll be needing it :)
As in, bugger off now and we won't have to pester you later to get you to bugger off.
I give you: The PAL-V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgHSaNtAMjs
Re: Zaphod.Beeblebrox @ Neil Charles, Matthew 3, etc. Trouble is ...
As a pilot (be it for unpowered aeroplanes only) I can safely say that history and experience has already shown that NOT everyone is suitable for flying. Anyone who can learn to drive can learn to fly. Not everyone capable of safely operating a car on a busy intersection is capable of safely flying an aircraft in a busy situation. Keeping track of 6 other aircraft in close proximity to yourself, your own flightpath, speed and altitude and still paying attention to directions from air traffic controllers in a 3D situation is enough to overload some people. Training can help, and a lot of people CAN learn to do it, but some will simply never manage it.
We are also FAR (very very very far) from being able to automate aircraft to the point where they could manage themselves at all times. Especially in case of engine failures or simply a loss of power (which happens quite regularly in GA). This is also why putting runways inside of built up areas is a BAD idea. Landing shortly after takeoff with only limited altitude and speed just requires space to land. Which wouldn't be available.
Lack of direction
It seems the UK government doesnt even know what it wants to do with the new ID cards.
In the netherlands its mandatory to always carry a form of ID (Drivers licence, ID card or Passport), to be shown to the plod when they have reasonable cause to stop you and suspect you of wrongdoings. The ID card is valid within europe and can be used somewhat like a passport within the EU. For people who will most probably never travel outside of the EU it's much cheaper to just get an ID card instead of a full fledged passport. Especially since it's much easier to carry than a passport.
Re: A quid a day
You'd be supprised how much it can save to cook for more than one person at a time in terms of price per person. I'd struggle to make myself a single portion of semi decent pasta for under roughly 2 euros. Yet I can make something that'll pass for a semi decent pasta for 30 people for roughly 50 cents per portion.
Biggest saving tip when it comes to cooking, buy bulk, get some of those cheapo refrigirator tupperware boxes and cook for more than one meal at a time. Put the leftover in the tupperware boxes, keep it cooled and warm when needed.
Re: Don't get it.
Actually, it IS possible to deorbit by pushing away from the surface of the earth. This action changes the excentricity of the orbit, and if done at the right places can lower the periapsis and raise the apoapsis. Decenter an orbit enough and the periapsis will be at a point where atmospheric drag can take over. (It is however far less efficient than a dead on retrograde burn at apoapsis.)
Re: Seriously, "Tony Stirk"?
I doubt that particular "playboy philanthropist billionaire" was much of a "thing" back when his parents named him.
The dutch operators took a different tak.
Most Dutch telco's now offer so called "lease" contracts. The monthly payments are ever so slightly lower, but the phone stays property of the telco. If, at the end of the contract you want to keep the phone, you have to pay an extra premium. Or you get a new phone with a new x year contract. In the end this probably works out cheaper for the telco's and it's usually just as expensive for the consumer
Re: Rats don't drink?
"Wot are we going to do tonight, Brain?"
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky: I'll get totally morose and drunk over my repeated failure to take over the world, while you sing karaoke."
"But I don't have $5 - how will I afford Don't Stop Believing?"
You forgot the "NARF!" at the end. Other than that well played, good sir!
Re: 70cm Links
That particular concern was adressed in the article announcing this undertaking: <url>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/12/pi_camera_launch/</url>
I'm not exactly sure the rest of europe counts as "a less restrictive atmosphere" though.
Re: Something else
Reading back, I feel I need to clarify the last bit:
The only function the guides perform is to stop LOHANs wings from contacting the truss, so anything smooth enough not to dent or heavily scour LOHANs wings while she slides her curvacious surfaces over it could perform this function. No need to stare blindly at Teflon for being the only solution. I don't know the material composition of whatever LOHAN will be built out off, but it might even be softer than normal Teflon, meaning any rough edge would still scour the wing as it moves past.
Bootnote: I'm not trying to diss the idea or be a smartass, just trying to think along. It's sort of not really what I do for a living ;-)
Re: Something else
It would be worth a try for sure. The question is, can you obtain it in a small enough amount for a decent price? (The big challenge for any garden shed tinkerer for sure. Lots of stuff is out there. Getting just a bit of it is a challenge) I have no experience with that tape other than the mentioned application of proctecting the heating element on a sealing machine.
Come to think of it, from an engineering standpoint: Do you really need the Teflon strips? Would perhaps thin carbon or aluminium rods perform the same function adequately. Perhaps with a tiny patch of teflon on the wing of LOHAN at the contact point. 2 long teflon strips, with backing, etc is going add quite a lot of weight to the truss, something that is already at a premium i'd imagine.
I've mentioned it before, but I'll repeat it again. How are you going to mount teflon to the rubber backing, or to the truss for that matter. Teflon is very nice and slippery, but this also means there's no known sticky substance that will adhere to it properly. (Glueing foam is already a pain in the neck for that matter)
The products I work with every day contain a lot of teflon parts. NONE of them are glued, even though for several of these parts, my employer would love to.
Back to the drawing board?
Assuming the roughly 12 m/s (43 km/h) is also used during decent that means a glide ratio of roughly 1 in 32. Which is abismal for any glider by todays standards. Most achieve 1 in 40 at about 4 times the speed at least! Since the construction details would be pretty similar (Large slender, thin wings stuffed with weight. Water in gliders, batteries in case of Solar Impulse) I have a hard time believing they couldn't get better glide numbers.
*looks up the title on Amazon*
*Notices the cheapest second hand copy is 375 dollars*
I would love to read it, but not at that price. Unfortunately my library seems to be unable to obtain it for me either.
Re: Space Junk
This is indeed a very large worry, and one that even has a name. Kessler Syndrome.
(The wikipedia article does a good job of explaining it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_junk)
To quote: "Currently about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude"
And that is just the tracked debris. Most of the debris is microscopic (paint flecks, metal fragments, SRB exhaust particles)
Currently, nobody is taking charge in solving the problem. Some agreements have been made about decommisioning sattelites, but there are fears we might already have reached the tipping point and are now in an unstoppable cascade of debris generating collisions.
Re: Dirty Laundry and Empty Packaging?!
Given that a lot of the experiments require extreme particle cleanliness, you can expect them to be packaged in at least a single bag. Most of them will actually be double bagged. (And a single PU or PE bag won't exactly break the bank in terms of weight)
Also, what do you think all that food paste, crackers, soup, etc comes packaged in?
In terms of doing laundry in space, they DO wash some stuff themselves, but large objects like coveralls become nearly impossible to wash properly and dry out IIRC. It becomes more economical to just shoot a few fresh ones up every now and then and bring the remainder back down or burn it up in the atmosphere.
Re: Why not use the blast plate for the power connection
The problem with using the blast plate is that a fair amount of rocking and bouncing is expected during the ascend. The mechanism would have to be able to tolerate quite a lot of misalignment and abuse. I doubt simply resting LOHAN on a couple of springs will provide the needed contact. Not to mention the problems with condensation, dirt, etc mentioned before.
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