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About Steel

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    Rocketry Enthusiast
  1. I'm guessing by "C" you mean the speed of light? Provided you have infinite fuel it's just a matter of waiting long enough. I can't imagine it's possible without infinite fuel without making a ship so huge it melts any computer that comes near it. EDIT: Scott Manley actually has a video about this very topic:
  2. Mainly because KSP doesn't really simulate aerodynamics. What you get in the game are a series of models that give you behavior somewhat like real life, but they're not actually modeling the physics properly. Also from the point of view of an aircraft there's not really all that much to simulate, sonic booms affect things around the aircraft much more than the aircraft itself.
  3. Surprisingly the fan blade tips on a typical commercial HB engine are supersonic in standard cruise conditions, so that's not a hard limit. The faster you go the less efficient the engine will become, but its less of a problem than you'd imagine. The fact that they are shrouded (unlike a prop) means that a lot of the problems that traditional propellers run into (shockwaves diverting airflow around the prop, excessive noise e.t.c) are largely avoided.
  4. My (slightly educated) guess is that the limit is a thermal one, rather than anything inherently limiting with the concept of HB turbofans. The turbine blades on a commercial airliner are already a marvel of materials science, aerodynamic development and structural engineering, and can (and often do) operate above the melting point of the material they're made out of; and that's at airline speeds. I imagine that if you tried to push one further than slightly supersonic (for the sake of argument let's say higher than about Mach 1.2) you'd just end up with a casing full of molten metal. There's nothing to say you couldn't design a HB engine to work at higher speeds, but if you're going to go through all the trouble of doing that, why not just design a LB engine instead, which will have a far greater specific thrust (i.e thrust per unit mass), far less complex internal and only a marginal decrease in efficiency (not to mention significantly less R&D than trying to design a HB Mach 2 engine)
  5. You could, but none of that is anywhere near short-term, even with unlimited money. You're looking at centuries to build up a decent Dyson swarm with today's technology (which was something that the OP was quite keen on too, rather than the more outlandish Orion/antimatter/other possible-but-pretty-wild ideas)
  6. At the end of the day, all astronomy boils down to getting photons onto a photographic plate or CCD. In that regard - and to greatly simplifying an entire field of study into one sentence - to successfully do any astronomy you need enough photons that you can distinguish what you're observing above background noise. How many that is depends hugely on what you're observing, where you're observing, the quality of instrumentation and about a thousand other factors. Of course, the more accurate you want your measurement, the more photons you want, so there is no real answer to how many you need other than "as many as possible".
  7. I'm not aware of any fuel cell designs using kersoene and/or oxygen. Also Even if there was I don't think you'd get anywhere near the power output required from one anyway.
  8. I guess we'll just have to wait until the end of the year/beginning of next year to see what comes out!
  9. I don't think it was meant in that way, I think it was more of a "unlike for NASA, the military lose personnel in training accidents and on operations relatively frequently, so the PR wouldn't be as bad for them". That's not to say that any individual in the military thinks like that, but the organisation as a whole does.
  10. You say that, but actually one of the huge issues with M-theory (and why it seems to have fallen out off fashion, possibly for good) is that it produces very few verifiable predictions.
  11. To be honest I'd imagine it's probably a case that any damage to the mirror and you're back to square one
  12. Not recently enough apparently! I just fired up KSP and I was in fact misremembering how good the SAS was, I thought it was better! It still is a physical effect (it still happens if you switch off SAS), but the SAS will magnify it!
  13. I'm actually not sure it's an SAS artifact, @Abastro makes a fair point that the same effect would be present (minutely) IRL, because it is true than unless there are forces acting (which there are IRL), a plane would fly in a straight line, not with the curvature . See my last post for my attempt at an explanation.
  14. Ok I think I've got it fairly definitively now: It will happen on Earth, but as I and others above have said, the Earth is has radius more than 10 time the size of Kerbin so the effect will be much less noticable. Add in that IRL the atmosphere is not totally stationary with respect to the ground (like it is in KSP) so you have wind, thermal pockets and a host of other effects that all affect a plane more strongly than the effect we're talking about, so it's negligible and you can't notice it!
  15. That's what I got wrong, the SAS will actually keep it at a constant altitude (follows a vector relative to the centre of Kerbin, i.e if you set it at 10 degrees above horizon, the SAS will keep you pointed 10 degrees above the horizon) its when the SAS is off that the craft will carry on in a straight line. EDIT: actually you'll probably still see a small climb with SAS on, it's a PID system so it will be slow to react to keeping your nose pointed at the desired setting, so it will slowly drift upwards