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Everything posted by Rakaydos

  1. What does Simulating actually mean? Because as you asked about, there's a specific rule against using other games with more information to inform your designs. So there IS a rule against simulations.
  2. As the soviets found out, just because a bigger engine is more unstable than several smaller ones, means nothing if your control systems for multiple smaller engines cant be tested. That's where SpaceX's advantage over the N1 lies- fire, refire, test, retest, simulate and validate, and be willing to make mistakes AND fix them after they make themselves obvious, well before they actually get used. There's nothing magical about the 3 engines more that the N1 had over the Falcon Heavy. It's all about 50 years of computer tech getting better.
  3. Reloading 10 times is allowed if you choose that difficulty, but passing a "reload 10 times in another file, then do it for real" as a "no reload" file is false advertising. Part of being a caveman is not having simulators.
  4. 300 tons paid cargo expendable. 150 tons reusable. Saturn 5 was only 125 tons including the upper stage residuals, AND fully expendable
  5. Exactly. This is what "against the spirit" of the challange means.
  6. The spirit of the challange is basically, why are you running your tests in another file when you could be testing (or actually flying and reverting) in the caveman file itself? Whatever the second file offers, that's the problem.
  7. Something like Star Wars will often claim that energy shielding will act as an aerocover.
  8. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that these are supposed to keep froth out of the downcomer immediately after the flip.
  9. I missed the existance of grav inhibitors. From there, NPP is NOT the model you want to follow. You want the model of an unpopular dreamer called John Powell, called Airship to Orbit. Replace the gasbags with grav-nullifiers (which is what buoyancy basically is), and presume that the theoretical drag reductions actually work, and done.
  10. A pusher plate sacrifices ISP (lack of containment) and thrust to weight ratio (extra engine mass) for no real benefit. It made some sort of sence for early Orion because nukes were too damn big, and had ISP and thrust to spare. Losing TWR was the point, and losing ISP was the cost. But for anything other than fission (NSWR is fission), it's easier and safer to have a smaller, contained (magnetically or otherwise) reaction and extract all the power and ISP potential from a smaller engine, than waste fuel with a big flashy one that you need a heavy pusher to absorb.
  11. Sure. Justify your pulse drive that way. It's scifi, it doesn't matter if we can fridge logic the tech. Why are you so opposed to proper torch drives, anyway?
  12. SpaceX is laser-focused on getting a cheaply reuable orbit capable craft, before they worry about making it useful. However, I dont see it being terrible difficult to install a side dispensor for small payloads or for deploying small moon rovers. The larger "chomper" concept probably would require a redesign of the forward structure bracing, but that's a problem for "future" spaceX.
  13. Ironically, that's actually not true anymore even for suicide bombers. Someone who believes in the cause strongly enough to walk around wearing a bomb, is more valuable now as a leader inspiring others to fight than as a 1-shot guided munition. So they wear their suicide vests as a badge of their dedication to the cause, but are rarely authorized to actually attack.
  14. What do you think it is, an art exibit?
  15. The Expance's answer is that, while a missile can do all kind of crazy maneuvers, eventually, it has to get to your ship in order to hurt you, and when it settles down on the final attack run, you can just shoot the thing. Just make sure you break it into small enough parts that the wreckage isnt a kinetic kill vehical on it's own.
  16. So what's your plan for the missiles? The ones smart enough to go for your last known vector if you go dark?
  17. Sand doesnt accelerate, and so is useless for counter-countermeasures for missiles. It can make missiles more prevailent in settings where theres little in the way of maneuver during battle and so can stay between you and the enemy for much of the battle, but not so much if you actually want to maneuver, and so leave the sand behind.
  18. David Weber's Honor Harrington books have extended sequences of missile vs point defense in his space combats. In it, the outer layer of defenses is basically proximity kill countermissiles, smaller and faster than a shipkiller. Point defense laser clusters provide close in defense, and the shields and armor of the ships mitigate but do not prevent battle damage from skipkiller weapons armed with standoff bomb-pumped Xray laser warheads. The one time "on screen" someone got a nuclear armed shipkiller through the teeth of a modern ship's point defenses, it destroyed everything on that side of the ship, but the ship itself was able to limp away. Edit: the Expanse also relies heavilly on interdiction and point defense.
  19. Well, we know they they are ...loudly... discussing it. But once they decide, what do they need to do? order hinges and cut open a nosecone?
  20. unlike apollo, the Dragon can maneuver without the "service module."
  21. The old adage about leading a horse to water but not being able to make them drink seems to apply. Not to @SunlitZelkova, but to the movers and shakers who actually need to act to start the ball rolling. Here in the US, a major political party has made climate denialisim a plank of their party platform, and they have enough muscle to deadlock any substantial answer to climate problems. Russia, among others, has an economy built around extraction- to end extraction would basically end them as an economic player, and so are motivated to delay any climate transition as long as possible, by any MEANS possible.
  22. So what you're saying is that our future is to be eaten by aliens from outside the damage zone- off planet.
  23. Photon drives have an ISP equal to the actual speed of light. Nothing in this universe can be more efficient. But their practical thrust sucks.
  24. Balloon launch is a wonderful thing- you can get to the edge of space just by displacing the very air that's difficult to climb through. However, you dont gain the velocity advantage that a staged rocket would have, getting to the same altitude. You're effectively launching from a small pad 40-50 miles up. Spinlaunch is working on a purely kinetic circular accelerator. It still has some problems to sort out, but using a similar system in the soft-vacuum around a high altitude baloon could plausably get you to orbital velovity, albet with a PE only 50 miles up. From there, something like VASMIR, a high thrust electric propulsion engine, might be able to circularize before the orbit decays.
  25. Anyone with a "Jesus take the wheel" attitude toward ANYTHING needs to remember that god helps those who help themselves. It is -possible- to avoid all the holes and trees in the path, but only if you know they are there and have the ability to steer around them.
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