back to article Fly me to the Moon, let me play among the stars. Do you think we could get another probe to land on Mars?

2018 was a tremendous year for spaceflight as commercial providers inched closer to carrying passengers and legacy launchers delivered more than a little drama. January 2018 sadly kicked off with the death of Apollo veteran John Young. As well as flying Gemini and the first Shuttle flight in 1981, Young also went to Moon twice …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    Nice try

    but your headline doesn't match the meter of the song. You should have put:

    Fly me to the Moon, let me play among the stars, do you think that we could get another probe on Mars?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those that callously dismiss The Clangers as fiction were therefore surprised to learn the Moon may actually have been capable of supporting life shortly after its formation.

    However, as yet, there is no evidence to support the contention that the Soup Dragon was present at that period.

    1. Spherical Cow
      Headmaster

      The Clangers do not live on the moon. They live on a planet, across the vast emptiness of space, the silent nothingness between the stars.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The drill bit story had TWO leaks, not one.

    While someone on the ground accidentally drilling a hole in the side of the thing, and then attempting to patch it seemed the most likely scenario, whisperings in the Russian media pointed to an American astronaut getting handy with a power tool on orbit.

    To be fair, that was promoted only by Kommersant which never revealed its source. We can call it Leak No 1 dated 12.09.2018·

    While Roskosmos never officially refuted it, I suspect that it managed Leak No 2 from the internal investigation on the 13th of September which stated literally: "To drill it from inside after assembly you need a drill bit 50cm long which is not in the ISS inventory."

    What makes it interesting is the amount of attention our media paid to the Kommersant drivel and how carefully did it manage to ignore the other information which was published immediately thereafter on a site with audience comparable to the first one. I smell someone on OUR side seeing a good opportunity to demonise the enemy, grabbing it and running with it. An analysis of the tweets and rewtweets of this one will make a very interesting read to see WHO exactly was pushing it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Britain should re-examine EM Drives

    Instead of a me-too GPS system, they should take a look at EM Drives.

    Thought experiments:

    1. Light has an oscillating electric field (by observation)

    2. So light must have charges oscillating (because other electric fields derive from charged particles)

    3. Light comes from matter (e.g. turn on a torch)

    4. So matter contains the charges that form light's oscillating charges

    5. Matter can COMPLETELY be converted to light (e.g. particle+anti-particle to photon)

    6. So matter must be ONLY made of these two particles with no residue.

    7. And the only forces derive from electric if we only have charged particles.

    So standard model is false, there are only two particles massless sizeless +ve and -ve and one force.

    1. Light's has no mass

    2. If matter is completely made of the same stuff light is made of, matter has no mass either.

    So there is no mass.

    Having understood there is no mass, and everything is just two particles, oscillating over the resonant field., it's trivial to see how EM Drives work. And it comes down to frequency (or rather wavelength), it needs to be close to a multiple of the resonant wavelength. You'd be using the same mechanism that light uses to move. EM Drives look straightforward, only the current physics model is broken.

    I know you lot think that light is pure energy, but that's willful self dillusion, it clearly is a group of particles forming a resonant wave. A group because it can be split into multiple slits. Particles because it moves like particles not like waves over a medium, and resonant because it behaves like an oscillation.

    I already did a thought experiment to convince you of resonance in matter, the same applies to light because its the same thing:

    1. You already know there is a resonant electric field, you've seen the effects in the oscillations and jiggle of electrons and protons.

    2. You already know there is an electric force, it's well understood. Those jiggles must either *cause* or be the-result-of such a field.

    3. And you can quickly accept resonance with a simple thought experiment: If matter X oscillates at frequency F1, and matter Y oscillates at frequency F2, and two ARE CONNECTED BY ELECTRIC FORCE, then how can they NOT even out those frequencies? How would you prevent that energy from being transfered via that force to *stop* it settling to a resonant value??

    i.e. there is a resonant field. Consider your entanglement experiment, realize that the matter in that polarizing slit is oscillating and interacting with the resonant dipoles in the photon.... there is no magic there, just resonance. It keeps going back to the same state over and over again, and you filter for time to select when it goes back.

    And I can walk you though why you're largely ignorant to this field.

    You have an oscillating dipole, sitting in a resonant field, cancelling it.

    Dipole +ve up, field +ve down, result = net ZERO

    Dipole zero-crossing, field zero-crossing, result = net ZERO

    Dipole -ve up, field -ve down, result = net ZERO

    So you cannot see it. You didn't know it was there. Any matter for your experiment, sits in the field and cancels it.

    But you can push this dipole with an oscillating field, and it goes shooting off, pow... light waves from nowhere!

    All you did was put in energy and out came an electric oscillating wave like thing....

    And since all you did was put in energy, you think *all* the parts of that must have come from the energy.

    The oscillation, the electric charged particles, that make that electric field, all, must have come from the energy.

    By magic. But its not magic.

    Honestly it's kinda boring.

    EM Drives should be beginner level stuff. If you can play with the value of F, the resonant frequency, you can play with time, the speed of light, gravity, the lot. And since its an electric oscillation it comes down to how not if. It can be done.

    Do you remember when image recognition was impossible? Then people tried it and it could be done, but only for small image sets, and then people tried and tried and now it can be done for very large image sets?.... One time its impossible, the next its trivial and done on smartphones? All of this F manipulation should be possible maybe even trivial.

    Don't waste your time with another GPS cluster. Instead re-examine the laughable physics model, and see what you missed.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Britain should re-examine EM Drives

      Well that's fascinating... Complete bollocks, but nevertheless fascinating.

    2. Christoph Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Britain should re-examine EM Drives

      Don't your hands tend to fall off when you handwave that fast?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Britain should re-examine EM Drives

      "Honestly it's kinda boring. EM Drives should be beginner level stuff."

      Then why haven't you build one? Surely an EM-driven RC car, skateboard or toy drone should be easy enough to entice you to overlook its boringness for a moment? It would land you a prime spot on Hackaday.

      "Do you remember when image recognition was impossible?"

      No, I don't. I remember when it was prohibitivly expensive. My anecdotal memory only reaches back as far as Konrad Zuse's machines. Maybe it was before then?

  5. dmck

    You forgot to mention SpaceX starting to turn a stainless steel water tower into a test rocket (max height of 5km).

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