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About Nibb31

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    Flight Director
  1. It would probably just be a merge of the USAF Space Wing, the NRO, and Naval Space Command.
  2. The problem with landing the booster on the launch clamps is that you need those launch clamps to be mobile, so that you can rotate boosters, move them off of the pad for maintenance and upgrade work. You can't have your launch pad occupied 99% of the time with a single booster. Since your launch clamps have to be mobile, it doesn't make sense to land the booster at the launch pad. If something goes wrong with the landing, it would take out the pad and shut down launches for a while. So even with launch clamps, you want a dedicated landing area, and you need to move your boosters+clamps between the landing site, the maintenance facility, and the launch site. In other words, it doesn't save you any time. The only saving with the launch clamps is the weight of the landing gear on the booster, at the cost of much extra complexity and risk. Basically, the infrastructure is going to be similar to the old Apollo crawlers.
  3. There is no such thing as an inflatable heatshield. It's just a theoretical concept, but the materials to make a functional heat resistant system do not exist yet. The HIAD project is a decelerator. It acts more like a semi-rigid parachute than a heat shield.
  4. That's simply not true. Just because they don't hype every single innovation doesn't mean there isn't. What their engineers do might not be spectacular, and might not always be followed by customers, but they do deliver. You must remember that it's a conservative business, with conservative customers, so you offer conservative products.
  5. Not known because it hasn't been studied. There is no point in studying it because it simply isn't going to happen. And you're not going to get the entire crew to wear EVA suits because there aren't enough of them, they need to be donned in the airlocks with help from a third person, you'd have trouble getting from the airlocks to the Dragon wearing them, and there is no way you are going to manipulate the CBM controls while wearing one.
  6. There is no way to unberth. The connections need to be closed from the active CBM. This is an exercice in futility. If the Soyuz are destroyed and vital ECLSS systems fail, there are redundant systems. If all redundant systems fail then no evacuation is possible.
  7. No. Beyond the fact that it can't unberth (you need someone inside to close the CBM and use the Canadarm), there certainly isn't enough CO2 scrubbing inside to hold 6 people for several hours.
  8. Merlin was also the name of the Rolls Royce engine that practically won WWII, as it was used in the Spitfire, the Hurricane, the Lancaster, the Mosquito, and the P-51 Mustang, which were probably the best allied planes in WWII. It was even used in tanks. Incidentally, Rolls Royce also named their engines after birds of prey. They had a Kestrel engine, but also Eagle, Hawk, Vulture, Peregrine, Buzzard, and so on. There wasn't a Raptor, but there was Rolls Royce R, which was a huge engine used in seaplane races in the 1930's. I'm pretty sure that SpaceX's engine naming is a hommage to these legendary engines.
  9. There is probably a reason they didn't attach the horizontal stabilizers. Maybe it caused some sort of aerodynamic turbulence that messed with the payload. Maybe they need some degree of flexibility between the two fuselages and attaching them would have caused extra stress and cracks. I know it looks sketchy, but they aren't stupid. The central wing section must have been designed to support the entire load. The economics are all wrong though.
  10. Any projectiles fired from a distance still need to rendez-vous with the target, which requires a reasonably cooperative target.
  11. Thomas Pesquet and Oleg Novitsky are returning from the ISS today in theire Soyuz MS03. The live feed is here:
  12. No, there isn't really much of a market for small payloads. It's cheaper to have them piggyback on full scale launches.
  13. It looks like Angara is pretty much dead at this point.