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About Shpaget

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Haven't though of that.
  2. Even on a relatively huge Earth we generally don't see winds that fast; the fastest recorded are in that ballpark, though. Those are obviously extremes. On a tiny world like Itokawa, no such weather systems could form. Largest enclosed spaces on Earth (Boeing factory, Vehicle Assembly Building, Aerium...) are approaching the order of magnitude of the enclosure that could encompass Itokawa, yet weather patterns are barely forming there, with them being mostly just some wispy clouds.
  3. We have some indication that there are.
  4. I like the concept. My thoughts: At population of 20 000 what is a likely demographics? A Moon base with Earth still intact is clearly massively dependent on import of materials from Earth. You say the colony is fully independent, so we have to go with that, let's assume that they are visionaries and decided to over engineer their hydroponics gardens and that the food is not a problem. So we are only dealing with stuff that can not be produced on the Moon. You guys have already mentioned computers, that is clearly not going to happen on the moon in a while, but a more immediate problem I see is nitrogen. Surface of the Moon has no known sources of nitrogen of concentrations higher than "trace". Unfortunately, nitrogen is essential for a space based colony and I would assume that the bulk of it was imported from Earth during the construction. Since the plaque is in full effect, what now? Do we risk the colony and the entirety of human race and still go to Earth for more nitrogen, or do we slowly bleed it until there is none left? After all, with every airlock opening you lose some, it bleeds through the walls and floors, it is fixated into the soil by the plants, it is lost on a daily basis. A ram jet space plane scoop thing clipping the fringes of Earths atmosphere could conceivably collect nitrogen, but it's a risky thing to do. What if you bring the plaque home? An alternative is mining asteroids. Do we have the technology to do that? This capability is of utmost importance. Without it there is no survival. The ability to mine asteroids for volatiles is not optional and while we're at it, we can mine all that iron/nickel/name your metal as well. Couple of you guys mention genetic bottleneck. I don't thing that would be a problem if the colony adopts what is essentially a breeding program - eugenics. With careful planning and potentially genetic sequencing 20k individuals should be more than enough for a healthy population, in that regard. As for the implementation of the process itself, it could be based on the process of child adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate mothers etc... The child does not need to be the biological offspring of the parents that raise him. Back to technical issues, namely habitat. Imagine that the Moon colony was just in the process of building an expansion, a large new habitat capable of housing, let's say, 2000, intended for visitors/tourists from Earth. At the moment of plague outbreak, the building process was nearing completion, it was pressurized and construction crews were working on interior. We can pick whichever phase this to be in. If our story is to be gritty, the habitat can be bare walls with only extension cables running to a relatively few places since the electrical installations haven't been put in place yet. The habitat is mostly dark as there are only a few lights here and there. We can choose if there is a functional plumbing system (water or sewage). In this case, the story can revolve around the infighting between the main habitat habitants and those that have moved into this new barren part. On the other hand, if the construction workers are already finished and the habitat is ready for new residents, we can decide to jumpstart the population (make a baby, get an apartment deal) or turn the new habitat into a new industrial park or expand the hydroponics or plant a forest to complement the CO2 scrubbers that are near max capacity.... Possibilities are endless. What bothers me is the eventual degeneration of materials. You can use a spacesuit only so much before it starts to leak and can patch it up only a limited number of times. Eventually you will need new spacesuits and for that you will need special artificial fabrics. How do colonists produce them? Not only that, but how do they make helmets? They need to figure out how to make glass visors and metal/composite shells that are airtight. Sooner or later even metal parts will wear out and you will need to figure out metallurgy. Here on Earth, we use huge machines to produce even the simple iron. What do we do with the outgassing and all the fumes from the production process? You need to filter that before returning it into the habitat. Venting into space is not an option. You can't afford it. All in all, for the sci-fi story, you can set up the scenario to suit you and guide the story in whichever direction you want. If you ever get stuck, you can always introduce some small mining colony in the asteroid belt that saves the day with an asteroid haul. If it's for real, the fate of the colony depends on very specific details that can lead to any number of different outcomes. A single mishap can destroy the colony (catastrophic failure of hydroponics because a certain bacterial strain emerged and wiped out all the potato, leading to overstraining on the rest of the system).
  5. Oh, I kept on searching EDL with oxygen, CO2 scrubber, life support and similar keywords. No wonder it didn't work. Anyway, according to this, Soyuz takes about three and a half hours to deorbit from undocking, with almost two and a half hours being spent on gaining some distance from the ISS, conceivably for safety. In the scenario of all hell breaking loose, we can probably cut that down almost completely, (decouple, get a few hundred meter separation, assume attitude and burn retrograde) which leaves us with just one hour for the actual deorbit and landing. If we assume similar timeline for Dragon, it might be survivable (as far as breathing goes). As for the descent profile and forces involved with deorbiting Dragon, I would guess it is within margins of survivability, after all, the general concept was designed with human rating in mind.
  6. Honestly, I'm not familiar with the acronym and google is failing me.
  7. Bringing your oxygen only goes so far. You still need to remove all the CO2.
  8. They ignite the core booster after the launch "at exactly 114,9 seconds" 4:20 in the video.
  9. Probably one of the more important factors is the customer's wish. While we don't know if the discount policy applies to all customers, we do have this bit of info: The customer then has the choice of a more expensive brand new launch vehicle or a discount one that comes with an additional risk of failure. Once (and if) SpaceX proves that reused boosters are more reliable, the discount policy may switch around and we could potentially see new boosters as cheaper ones, since "they are being tested", while the reused ones are "flight proven" and more demand equals higher price. Of course, that is a big if.
  10. I believe it's one of those $IfYouHaveToAskYouCantAffordIt deals.
  11. As someone who works in development (albeit not game dev) for a company that realistically should do regular status update for general public for its own financial and advertising sake, I totally understand SQUAD. When faced with a decision between writing a blog post about what you did in the past few days, or doing more constructive work, usually the constructive work wins. In my case, most of the time the progress made in the past few days or weeks is not worth writing about because it's just a series of tiny fixes and tweaks that are not related one to another so would make a really boring list to read. When you are in the middle of a big project you just don't care about PR and just want to be creative and do as much progress on whatever you are working on. Once you are done with it, you quickly find something else to occupy you and kind of forget to write about that awesome thing you did a few days ago. In the case of my company there really is enough material to write about every week or two, but it would take a several hours over the course of a few days to make that report of any quality worth publishing (taking photos during every stage with commentary and description of various aspects of the project). That being said, I too would like to read a more detailed DevBlog, but for now, I'm happy to have KSP Weekly.
  12. It's called Kineto Tracking Mount, and apparently it's a commercial product.
  13. Couldn't watch it live, but I made a conscious effort to avoid all media in an attempt to not see any spoilers. So, I woke up and immediately started the recording, anyway, the solar panels are deployed and the webcast is coming to an end. Nice work SpaceX! Anyway, if I wasn't convinced that somebody from SpaceX was following this thread earlier, I am now. I express a wish for them to show the cameras used to take the long shots and they oblige! Thanks SpaceX! I knew the equipment they used had to be substantial, but look at that monster! Amazing! It appears that it is so smooth and well balanced that the operator is using just a few fingers to swing it around.
  14. No problem, my pleasure :). This would still take the user to the OP if they have never visited the thread, and also every time they click the link but there are no new posts. What you say certainly is a consideration, but a poll should clear that up. If there are mixed responses we stick to current system, if the poll is in favor for the change, we can try it, give it a week to see if it works in practice. If it doesn't we F9. In any case, this seems like a global change and not applicable to individual forum sections.
  15. Since your software already runs on some hardware, why not use part of that hardware for seed? Even if you use pseudo RNG for majority of your numbers, every now and then you reseed your RNG with a trully random seed and get better overall randomness.