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About Codraroll

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. Okay, it's presumed that the self-sufficient moon colony has a manufacturing base, and that all necessary electronics and machinery can be repaired and/or even manufactured from scratch with materials from the colony. Luckily, the colony would only need to stay by itself for a few decades. With no complex life to infect, and an individual lifespan of minutes to hours, any plague bacteria would die out rather quickly. Intense radiation would be a longer-term problem, but luckily high intensity also means the material "burns out" more quickly. Intense radiation corresponds to a short half-life, after all. Of course, some concentrations of radioactive waste would be lethal for centuries or millennia, but you wouldn't manage to spread dead-within-hours-of-exposure levels of radiation all over the planet. The Earth is simply too big for that. So I guess the first thing the colony would do, would be sending probes with dosimeters down the well. Trying to map the areas of higher radiation, and surveying for useful materials. A city would still contain vast amounts of scavenge-able materials, just scattered about a little. There could very well be some mining robots coming next (assuming they figure out a way for them to survive landing - luckily, areobraking with parachutes or even glide-landing on intact airports is an option). The lunar colonists would eventually have to master remote-controlled robot operations. They would have to have a robot operation going on on Earth for decades, gathering materials enough to manufacture lunar rockets to return scavenge to the moon, or hardened radiation shelters (has to be a known technology to the moon, as a lunar colony is dependent on them anyway) so colonists can come down to Earth again. Living underground on Earth without a biosphere wouldn't be much different from living underground on the Moon, except that the human body is much better adjusted to the gravity. From there on, everything would have to revolve around bringing in more resources, filtering out and scrubbing away radioactive isotopes, and using them to continue human survival in underground shelters, or radiation-proofed suits/vehicles on the surface. Life would go on both on Earth and the Moon, eventually.
  2. I'm not sure if the grainy cameras are silly and outdated, or a testament to an impressive policy of making do with what you've got and not squander money upgrading things that still work perfectly. That footage from the control room looks like it was shot by cameras produced in the seventies, and they may very well roll for several more years because they still do the job they were designed to do.
  3. On a weighted scale, a promise of less than six months is a great improvement, though. As a rule of thumb: Anything announced to happen more than two years into the future is just as likely to never happen at all. Announcements between two years and six months in the future may eventually be realised, but they can be postponed for one year at a time indefinitely. For anything announced to happen in less than six months, add 50 % to the time span between now and the scheduled event (min. value 1 day). For anything announced to happen today, the chance of it being postponed may always be approximated to 50 %. So if they say "it will happen in four months", it may happen in six months, rather than being postponed for longer periods of time again.
  4. They should just pack up and start constructing a launch pad in Mogadishu already. Seriously, while Somalia has a few too many problems and then some today, if/when the dust settles they've got the perfect location for a spaceport. Not much room for launches inclined to the north, but they've got almost the entire south-east quadrant completely free of places that would mind a booster falling down on it. Apama, Brazil, has its north-east quadrant free, so with some cooperation, the two locations could handle all kinds of launches along the equator plane.
  5. Short term, technologically realistic and without huge R&D prerequisites? I'd say that we could get an ISS successor up and running, at least. And we could make it fancy. Artificial gravity-fancy. A mighty ferris wheel in orbit, with laboratories working on long-term life support. Floating greenhouses for zero-G or low-G agronomy. I'd say we could build an orbital colony of sorts, like an ISS on steroids. Probably employing dozens or even a couple hundred people full-time, on multi-week shifts with regular rotation not unlike terrestrial oil platforms. The stuff learnt from the station(s) would propel us to the stars in the longer term, or at least to the Moon and eventually Mars. Also, we could address space debris quite simply and effectively. Infinite money, remember? Just send up a separate mission to retrieve or redirect every known and tracked piece of debris. It would probably be a good idea to perfect, or at least significantly improve, first- and second-stage recovery and reuse, though, since you'd need a lot of launches. Building a few extra spaceports wouldn't hurt either, so you have somewhere to launch the darn things from. At any rate, it might be a good idea to spend some time in low Earth orbit figuring out things like radiation shielding, crop growing, procedures for long-term flight and life support before we go anywhere far. Maintaining a vessel and its crew in space for long periods of time needs to become a routine thing before we go somewhere we can't quickly return from. It also wouldn't hurt to spend some time building and testing new propulsion technology with the infinite money we've got, before we order a zillion old-fashioned chemical rockets and make a habit of doing stuff inefficiently because money doesn't matter (otherwise, eventually resources would - on a world with only eight kilograms of unobtainium on it, no amount of money could buy you ten kilograms).
  6. Even if a "sphere-within-a-hollow-sphere" thing was achieved somehow, I doubt that the core and the shell could rotate at different rates. At least not for long. Wouldn't the atmosphere between them create quite a lot of friction between the two, eventually slowing the shell or accelerating the core until their speeds were somewhat matching?
  7. I don't think this would work very well for combat. As stated previously, a rifle would appear as a white-hot dot after a single shot. But for spotters for artillery, or recon units, I could see it being useful. Those guys whose mission is considered a failure if they ever have to fire their rifles. They lay around in the bushes with binoculars and radios, hoping to never draw the attention of the enemy (such as by shooting at them). Then somebody else, far away, takes care of the shooting part.
  8. I'm going to take the thread question back to its simplest form and say "It went kablooey".
  9. Sad to see the old thread go, but I welcome a thread title without any brackets.
  10. Flags and footprints might be feasible. If you load something resembling a cluster munitions canister with weighted boots and flags with a heavy spike in the non-flaggy end of the pole, and manage to achieve separation in Mars' atmosphere at speeds that wouldn't turn everything to dust upon hitting the ground, then you could feasibly imprint the surface with some footprints, and make at least one flag stick upright in the Martian soil. I think such a mission could conceivably be executed in four years, provided you don't waste any time trying to make the mission achieve anything useful.
  11. But... isn't the roc a bird capable of flight? So far, all the SpaceY engines have been named after flightless birds. So I think the logical step for the 5 m engine would be "Ostrich", and if the need to go any further ever arose, I guess "Terrorbird" would be a pretty neat name for those.
  12. If I were to guess: If it is the latter, no problem. If it is the former, wait three days, and then somebody will have made an "Ambient Light Adjustment Hotkeys" mod.
  13. Does the limit of 300 words include the title? If so, I have to edit both of mine, if not they are both fine.
  14. Somewhere I read the golden rule of announced future spaceflights: "Everything announced beyond two years is a wild guess and is just as likely never to happen. Everything within two years will be delayed by 50 % from the latest announcement."
  15. Since we're allowed to submit multiple entries, why not try again? This one is about timewarp. "Revolutionary" spaceprobe behind space program halt For years, neighbours to the Kerbal Space Center had to get used to bustling activity, with around-the-clock construction, rocket launches, experimental engine tests and vigorous astronaut recruitment programs. After its initial construction, the entire complex went through multiple refurbishments and expansions within a few weeks, and press releases suggested frequent and enormous advances in aviation, electronics, orbital maneuvering, long-distance communication and rocket science almost daily. However, after the launch of the spacecraft Jool Explorer two years ago, the KSC has gone eerily silent. Not a single rocket has been launched to supply or service the space stations and munar surface bases that were built over a span of weeks two years ago. No plane has taken off from or landed at the KSC runway. No new designs have been constructed, no new science reports published, astronauts hired, or contracts negotiated after Jool Explorer left the launchpad. "Of course we will honour our existing contracts," says Gene Kerman, head of the KSC Mission Control. "They all had very generous deadlines, so right now we decided to shift our focus onto something else. We will come back to them later and complete them within the agreed timeframe." Kerman continues: "The Kerbal Space Program continues unabated. For the moment, our entire focus is on the Jool probe. We're committed to continue the space program with the same intensity as we always have, but right now we're waiting for Jool Explorer to reach its target." Kerman has little to say regarding the silence at the KSC. "We can bring in the rest of the guys on short notice, but why? Until the scheculed correction burn in a year and a half, we have no activities planned. We'll notify the press and our business partners when we are ready to focus on work Kerbinside again." 298 words + 6 in the title.