* Posts by F111F

269 posts • joined 27 Jul 2010


NASA renames dark-energy telescope after its first Chief of Astronomy and Mother of Hubble: Nancy Grace Roman


Politically Astute Decision

One way to avoid defunding your (project) is naming it for a) a woman; b) pioneer in her field;

Not saying she doesn't deserve her name in the heavens, but changing the name of the telescope is a very astute political decision in these "woke" times.

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle


USAF Terminology

Just to nitpick (sorry). US Navy has plane captains. USAF has Dedicated Crew Chiefs. Same role, different names. DCCs come in a variety of ranks, from SRA to MSgt, depending on the size of the aircraft, how many crew chiefs are in the squadron, etc. But we try to see each jet has at least a SSgt or TSgt assigned. What it does mean, is they are assigned to that jet, primarily (though they can be tasked to work other jets and other duties as needed). They often take great pride in "their" jet, so much so that wives often refer to the jet as "the other woman".


Re: Double ejection

Yeah, my incentive ride in and F-15B (76-130) required a 4 hour training session. We covered oxygen equipment, how to dress, secure, and even went through a mock ejection trainer. The pilot's briefing included: "..if we have to eject, you will hear me say "bailout, bailout, bailout". But if you're waiting for the 3rd "bailout", you'll be all by yourself."

Great ride. Got to see the Grand Canyon, inverted. Went past Mach 1, and got to do some acrobatics. One of the best 90min of my life.


Re: Double ejection

Had something similar happen to an F-15A pilot. As he leveled off after takeoff, the canopy departed the airframe (crew chief fault for packing gear and preventing the canopy from locking fully...light went out, but it came unsecured at the push-over at altitude), taking with it all his baggage and the other equipment stored behind the seat. When he landed, the pyro actuation indicator was up, so when he taxied into his spot, we informed him he was sitting on a "hot" seat and he may want to vacate expediently...which he did.

Ironically, he was at our base to lead an inquiry for a jet that lost it's canopy the previous week...


Memorial at Upper Heyford

There's a memorial at Upper Heyford to an F-111E crew that chose to attempt to avoid the village when landing instead of ejecting and the aircraft hitting the village/school (probably, you never know what's going to happen when an F-111 goes pilotless). The resulting crash just missed me by about 30yds as I rounded the end of the runway. I saw the fireball in my rear and sideview mirrors and felt the "thump" as the airframe impacted. Unfortunately, the crew did not survive the ejection (the capsule did eject, but with only a partial rocket motor burn so not high enough to fully engage the parachute). When we got to the capsule (another driver and I), it was...obvious the crew hit the instrument panel and had not survived, despite restraints, etc. To top it off, the aircrew and jet were from my squadron, where I was the maintenance officer...bad day all 'round.

First crew launch in US since 2011 could happen by May, 34 more OneWeb sats, and astros share their top isolation tips


Dragon Capsule to be Named Strange Brew?

With Bob and Doug at the helm, one can only hope they'll not only name the capsule appropriately, but launch with: "Takeoff, eh!"

NASA told to get act together on commercial crew vendors as chance of US-free ISS rises


Faulty Parachute Models

To be fair, SpaceX's testing revealed that the parachute modeling NASA used for previous missions was, in fact, faulty and had to be re-modeled. SpaceX chose to use newer material (Zylon?) as well to handle the stress of the chute opening sequence. Lessons learned and all that.

Five new players – including Blue Origin and SpaceX – are now in NASA's race to send landers to the Moon


Entitlement or Achievement

The problem with pre-determining the gender of mission personnel is that they didn't get the position via quality of work, but their glands... It also predetermines that only one of the crew will be female, when the two best-qualified might both be female.

Let the men and women of NASA compete equally for all positions and hang their gender.

Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'

Paris Hilton

On the Spot Recharging?

If I offered a service to recharge your car (nightly, weekly, etc) from a giant battery/capacitor/generator in the bed of my F-350 (or Euro equivalent), would you consider it? There are some quiet generators that shouldn't wake the neighborhood, or I could recharge the capacitor/battery elsewhere...

Just as some offer mobile car washing service...this might be a niche application to apartment dwellers or those on the interstate who run out of juice (though that may be a bit far-fetched).

Just thinkin...

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


Cop Joke

All octagonal stop signs with a white border are optional...

Icon...well, obvious, innit?

Some assembly required as Dream Chaser mini-shuttle's empty husk arrives in Colorado


ESA Purchase?

So, why doesn't ESA buy a couple, one manned, one unmanned, launch on Ariane 6 out of Guiana, and recover in Europe? Seems like a sweet deal, ESA gets it's own spaceship to transport to LEO/ISS to do various experiments/things, and returns said euro-astros and experiments directly home to Europe, since this thing can land on any 10,000ft runway.

Imagine finding this bad boy in your shower: Brit startup pulls the sheets off Moon spider mech


Copyright Infringement?

Looks like the spider toy from Toy Story...

Royal Navy seeks missile-moving robots for dockyard drudgery


Not Quite That Easy

Quote: "...shift munitions from storage magazines to the hangar and flight deck, ready to be loaded onto helicopters and fighter jets."

Nope. Will still require munitions types configuring the bomb bodies with tail fins, guidance kits, fuses, arming wire, testing, etc. for the particular mission. Even AA missiles need fins added from storage, ASM (Air to Surface Missiles) require testing to ensure the electronics are working properly. Nothing "ready" about it. Torpedoes I'm not sure about, though, they may come as an all-up round in their coffin.

Auditors bemoan time it takes for privatised RAF pilot training to produce combat-ready aviators


Two Wing Master Race Snark

Speaking as one of those in the second most important job in any Air Force, Aircraft Maintenance, we are only demi-gods to the flyers, but better than all those "nonners" who don't produce sorties, load bombs, or otherwise inhabit the flightline. The pecking order goes down from there.


Re: "Auditors bemoan time it takes"

Because your weather* is so damn dodgy all the time.** Luke AFB in Arizona has 361 days of sunshine on average each year.***

*Why is the UK so green? The three Ms...Moss, Mold, and Mildew...

**Observation from 6 years in the UK, 4 at RAF Lakenheath and 2 at RAF Upper Heyford.

***Observation from 4 years at Luke AFB.

Everyone remembers their first time: ESA satellite dodges 'mega constellation'


Re: wow

Or...your gov't/agency/company could just sign up for data sharing from the Space Fence 2.0 coming on line shortly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Fence

FTA: "As of November 2014, the USAF Strategic Command had "announced data-sharing agreements with at least seven countries and 44 companies, but [the details of] those agreements have [not] been made public" and it is unclear how much of the new Space Fence data will be shared.

Countries with space situational awareness data-sharing agreements in place with the USAF include Australia, Japan, Italy, Canada, France, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom. It also "has agreements with the European Space Agency and Europe’s Eumetsat weather satellite organization."

NASA trumpets Orion completion as India heads to the Moon


Re: 50 years since landing on the moon...

Starliner will land on dry land, Orion and Dragon will land on wet water. SpaceX proposed a propulsive landing, but NASA wouldn't pay for the development.

Apple techies analyzing Siri recordings may have heard you unzipping and bonking – plus more


Right to Privacy?

If Siri/Alexa record conversations involving illegal activity, does the company (or their contractor) have a duty to turn these over to the police? Corollary: Would a privileged conversation be still considered privileged if both parties knew an "always-on" microphone was recording and sending their conversation to a non-privileged third party?

Can the police acquire Siri/Alexa recordings from a warrant if the police believe illicit behavior may have been recorded by the device?

Lastly, my parents, brother, and son all have these devices in their homes and all require yelling at the top of one's voice to get the damn things to respond. When there are multiple noise sources (conversations, music, kids, etc), they have to stand over the device, speaking loudly to get it to respond. Sorry, not sorry, I don't have one myself.

City-obliterating asteroid screamed past Earth the other night – and boffins only clocked it just 26 hours beforehand


Re: Response?

The US and Russia both have systems that allow them to differentiate between nuclear and non-nuclear explosions. I can only hope the Chinese and other nuke-owning nations either have a system, or check in before retaliatory lobbing commences. The US has satellites in orbit to track explosions (they can even trace missile plumes from air to air missiles and SAMs), and receiving stations are manned 24/7. In addition there are radiation tracking devices on aircraft to determine exactly what type of fissile material was used. The first thing would be the lack of a missile plume or radar track of any launch. Along with missing that, and observation of the explosion would determine a non-nuclear event, and hence something not requiring an immediate nuclear retaliatory strike. Can't say that armed forces wouldn't go up a level or two of readiness as a precaution from a possible terroristic event, and/or to mobilize for disaster support as a result, though.

Icon: Because we are talking about nukes here...

LightSail 2 successfully unfurls its silvery solar sails, prepares to become a truly solar-powered satellite


Third Solar Sail?

"A small cube sat has become the first spacecraft in Earth’s orbit to fly using only the power of sunlight shining down on its solar sail, after it was successfully deployed on Tuesday."

IKAROS and NanoSail-D weren't the first two?

Cooksie is *bam-bam* iGlad all over: Folk are actually buying Apple's fondleslabs again


Typo or...?

"The sane could not be said for the iPhone or the Mac."... LOL.

NASA wheels out Habitation prototypes while SpaceX encounters problems with parachutes


Parachute Failure

I believe the correct answer is "lithobraking". Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly is normally reserved for energetic activities over shorter timeframes. Either way, the result's the same, but one version has you bracing for impact, the other you get to go out blissfully unaware...

I've had it with these mother-fscking slaps on this mother-fscking plane: Flight fight sparks legal brouhaha over mid-air co-ords


Re: Airline seats should be fixed-back

Actually, you can blame my wife for the Flying-Sardine-Can business model. She will hunt the cheapest flight, no matter the routing, restrictions, etc. And, she has many, many, many sisters/brethren who only consider cost. I finally put my foot down and took control over bookings. I may not book the cheapest flights, but we get there in one hop, at a convenient time, can check bags, and have decent leg room.

VP Mike Pence: I want Americans back on the Moon by 2024 (or before the Chinese get there)


Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

Your missing:

1) Fuel. Yeah, lots of power (solar is available on the Moon) required to make it, but getting H2 and O2 liquified and in fuel tanks gets you back off the Moon, and allows you to bring more stuff to the Moon.

2) Water, as in the drinking kind. See note above about being able to bring more stuff if you don't have to bring water along.

3) Crops. Water is fairly essential in growing food. See note about bringing more stuff if you don't have to bring so much pre-packaged food.

4) Etcetera, etcetera.

NASA's first all-woman spacewalk outside ISS cancelled – due to lack of spacesuits that fit


Re: "How is this a pioneering moment?"

Just do the damn job. Let history sort out that something was the first, or somehow important. NASA got it right when they said: "When you have the option of just switching the people, the mission becomes more important than a cool milestone," NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told the New York Times.

NASA 'nauts do what flagship smartphone fans can only dream of: Change the batteries


Can We Just Stop this Nonsense, Please?

….was cancelled... "When you have the option of just switching the people, the mission becomes more important than a cool milestone," NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told the New York Times.

Just do the damn job, history will figure out later if it was significant enough to note for whatever "milestone" was achieved.

Strewth! Apoplectic Aussies threaten to blast noisy Google delivery drones out of the sky


Re: Weather conditions?

An electric van would solve the "green" portion of the argument as well...

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth


Re: Here in the UK... off topic

The worst is working as a high school sports official. Every year I get older, every year they're still 18... They play pre-game motivational songs where I'm the only one on the field alive when the song originally came out, including coaches these days, sheesh.

A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars


Re: All good things come to an end

So, Oppy is just pinin' for the fjords then?

...mine's the one with the blue parrot, thanks.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left


RSD (Rapid Scheduled Disassembly)

The in flight abort is scheduled for later this Spring and will use the same DM-1 capsule. The first stage has yet to be identified. The plan is to demonstrate the abort at MaxQ, triggering the sequence in the most stressful part of the launch profile. I've heard two versions of how it might happen. First, just send an abort command at MaxQ and see what happens. Second, detonate the first stage (tricking the AFTS or through planted explosives?) at MaxQ and let the abort computers do their thing. It'll be fireworks whichever method is used.

(Icon for blowing stuff up)

Suunto settles scary scuba screwup for $50m: 'Faulty' dive computer hardware and software put explorers in peril


Serious Divers...

Plan their dives and then dive their plan, always go with a buddy, don't exceed the tables, and abort the dive when things start to go wonky. Computers are nice backups, and that's it. They can preserve the history of your dive to download later. Anyone who relies on their dive computer to tell them it's time to come up is too dangerous a diver for me. Algorithms are notoriously different between different manufacturers, and when the diver can pick how aggressive they want the algorithm to work, you're just cheating death. [Note: If you're a commercial/tech diver, ignore the above, I'm talking to all us recreational divers, you lot get my respect for the dangerous working conditions and computers are absolutely necessary].

Side note: If you ever get the chance, diving in the Red Sea is glorious...not Sharm-el-Sheikh, but down further South along Saud Arabia...lots of reefs that are rarely (or never) visited by divers. Wish the Kingdom would open up tourism for divers, was lucky I had the chance while I was living there.

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

Thumb Up

Re: eliptical orbit satellite...

Yep, the first "playlist"...remember those days well.


Which Nation Did Sentinel Prime Represent?

See title...

And mine's the one with the bit of the AllSpark in the pocket...thanks!


Which Was It?

"...but it crashed and was destroyed when it crash landed."

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes


"...spectacularly dismantle..."

OK...that's even better than RUD...

Canuck couple returns home after night on tiles to gaggle of randomers hanging out in their flat

Black Helicopters

Re: It always pays to carry a Micro-Uzi in a shoulder holster

Can't speak for @Jake, or his particular country, but if Afghanistan and other fights are any indication, a well-armed and determined populace will tie up any army and cause all kinds of trouble. Eventually, said army will withdraw because the only alternative is genocide. That's why Afghanistan continually kicks invading armies in the 'nards, including the current scenario playing out. The American forefathers had just gone through such a scenario with only 30% of the population for independence. They knew very well that a well-armed population is much more powerful than any army, the obvious exception being use of weapons of mass destruction/genocide which happens to be politically unpalatable in these modern times.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Paris Hilton

Re: Starship

Let's hope "Starship" will be the class name and subsequent ships will be named either for rock bands, subatomic particles, celebrities with sex tapes, or failed sub-orbital balloon ventures (LOHAN anyone?).

Third Soyuz does not explode while auditors resume poking around NASA's big rocket SLS


Re: Dragon vs Orion

Crew Dragon and Orion are already optimized for different roles. Dragon for LEO, short duration missions, acting as a lifeboat for a few months before deorbiting. Orion for long-duration, beyond LEO missions where the radiation protection and support system requirements are much more critical. You could use an Orion for runs to the ISS (common docking mechanism, I suppose), but that's like taking the Class A motorhome RV to Tesco for a milk/bread run. A Dragon run around the Moon has been proposed and could be a thing, I suppose, but it's really stretching the limits of the life support/protection systems to do that. That would be like taking the family of four across the USA in a Ford Escort, possible, but the memories made probably won't be of the sights as much as the smells. But, if Elon's looking for a volunteer...

EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas


Re: RE: AC

Ejection seats are not "tuned" to a passenger. They are designed to save a person fitting a range of height/weight values. That said, a 0/0 system (0 height/ 0 forward velocity) is one hell of a ride and can/has done damage to vertebrae, spinal cords, improperly placed arms/legs, etc., sometimes forcing fighter pilots to switch to trash-haulers after an ejection. It is seen as slightly better than dying.

Boffins urge Google to drop military deal after Googlers storm out over AI-based super-drones


Did These Academics Use the Internet to Protest?

‘Cause, you know, it was a military project...

It's not rocket science! Actually it is, and it's been a busy frickin week


Missed One...

(Cough) NewShepard (cough)

YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven


Re: I have always thought...

I imagine an call center guy taking these and asking the following questions before dispatching help...

“Sir, please calm down, I cannot understand you when you’re screaming in pain.” (Picks his nose)

“Is this emergency a result of YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Instagram, FaceBook or other social media posting.”?

“Were the words ‘Hold my phone’, ‘Hey y’all watch this’, or ‘Hold my beer’ uttered by the person or persons in need of help”?

“If you answered in the affirmative to either of these conditions we are unable to assist you at this time, have a nice day.”

From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop


SGU's Destiny

Making a fuel pass...?

Boffins turn to AI to zip through piles of gravitational lenses


Have I Got This Right?

<quote>Yashar Hezaveh, co-author of the paper and researcher at Stanford, told The Register: “It’s hard to say” what features the CNN learned to extract to arrive at its output answers.

“In fact we don’t really know. As we show the examples to neural networks and ask them to make the correct predictions, they may find very complex features in the data that they can use for their predictions. We can sometimes look at the features, but they will be highly non-intuitive.

“I usually think about it like opening the brain of someone and looking inside it: it doesn’t tell us much about what the person is actually thinking about or how they see the world.”</quote>

They're using results of a computer analysis but don't understand how the "neural network" got the results? How do you replicate and/or validate the conclusions/results independently?

Sun of a b... Rising solar temp wrecks chances of finding ET in our system


Re: yep, we're interested in the water UNDER the ice

We'll find out when the ice melts...but there is precedent for ice (pressure) holding back eruptions in Iceland.

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'


Re: At Wolfetone, your MILTB...

I walk my wife through the steps, but being a nurse she writes my directions down in her medical shorthand. That avoids "computer speak" from me, it reinforces the actions to take in the correct sequence, and it's in a form she's comfortable with.

Sailor Moon? More like sail to the Moon: Japan vows to set foot on lunar soil by 2030


Moon Space Station?

The other bit of odd news in the article was that JAXA will use a NASA space station orbiting the Moon in 2025...since there is no firm plan for this beyond a few PowerPoint presentations, and 2025 is only 8 years away.

You're all too skeptical of super-duper self-driving cars, apparently


Re: Issues With Automated Traffic

1) Automated traffic would, by definition, be remotely accessible, as each vehicle will be coordinating with all the other traffic within a certain radius.

2) Traffic lights in my city are automated at the intersection, not from a central traffic control operation. People spoof the signals already, getting straight green lights (though only one case has been reported in our city).

5) Why leave this to some judge to legislate from the bench? We need to figure it out long before then.

6) So you'll be the sheep that lets a programming issue get him $$$ in fines and tickets?

7) LOL, we don't make it mandatory in a number of states to wear a helmet or protective clothing while riding a motorcycle, why would this be any different?


Issues With Automated Traffic

1) Some country will find a back door and program 150,000 head-on collisions at the start of hostilities.

2) Some script kiddie will not want to go to work/school and will hack the city traffic to cause gridlock

3) Some late for work/soccer practice idiot will buy a 1-time illegal "speed pass code" for $5 (same as a Pepsi) and cause chaos for everyone else as he/she streaks through traffic.

4) Adjusting to ever changing road conditions (degradation, repairs, upgrades, weather, rules and marking changes from one locality to another, etc) will be ginormously challenging.

5) How will liability be assigned for fatal or injurious accidents?

6) If the system doesn't see the speed limit change because a tree limb blocked the camera(s), who pays the ticket?

7) Will some gov't agency have access to your vehicle's information so they can trace your whereabouts in the past or even in real time? Is that a violation of either privacy rights, or self-incrimination protection?

Just some issues to think about...

Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons


Re: Humor vs. Stupid

GFP: See Don Rickles...he often offended everyone in the audience with one joke or another, yet we all still laughed. I had the privilege of seeing him live in Las Vegas a few decades ago...wonderful show!



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020