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About Piscator

  1. Piscator

    Concept for a Jupiter-Saturn-Haumea flyby probe

    Messages to aliens seem to me like the least important bit of such a mission, given the likelihood of it ever been found. If you want to play this game though, I would suggest to add something that aids the detection of your message in a bottle. After all, there are probably dozens of probe-sized interstellar objects crossing a solar system at any given time, so something that screams "artificially made object" when glanced casually by remote sensing instruments would be quite helpful. I'm thinking of a peculiar spectroscopic signature, unusual light curve or something of that kind. Since the Haumea fly-by seems like the most interesting part of the mission (at least to me), I wonder how sensible it would be to add another probelet, that would detach some time prior to the fly-by and pass Haumea half a rotation later in order to a get good view of the other side of the object. Given Haumea's rapid rotation, this might not be as useful as it would have been at Pluto though.
  2. Piscator

    How will we terraform Titan?

    My answer would be: "Not at all." The idea of terraforming other worlds to make them more habitable - especially ones so unlike earth - is pretty much like the idea of draining the Atlantic ocean to avoid having to use these inconvenient ships. It's a solution that's completely disproportionate to the problem. Adapting to the environment is usually easier than adapting the environment, so instead of trying to heat several quintillion tons of ice we should rather direct our efforts to designing comfortable space suits.
  3. Piscator

    New Horizons

    These are probably the most likely scenarios, although option 1 would seem rather atypical for a body of that size (or come to think about it, it might in fact turn out to be very typical for bodies of this type; either not having much rotational momentum in the first place due to their mode of accretion or having lost much of it by evaporation). My money would have been on "non-eclipsing binary of two uniform parts" but after seeing a visualisation of the stellar occultation data, the "non-eclipsing" part doesn't seem exactly likely anymore. Probably more likely still than the "swarm of mini-moons" and "dust cloud" ideas, but I'd love to be wrong there.
  4. Piscator

    New Horizons

    So . . . while there's still the chance to speculate, does anyone want to hazard a guess about the apparent absence of a lightcurve despite stellar occultation data suggesting an non-spherical shape for UT?
  5. Piscator

    SpaceX Discussion Thread

    It could very well be, that the counter-intuitive part might still refer to something else than the change in material. Having the "countour staying aproximately the same" still allows for the position of the fins to be switched arround, which seemed like the most plausible idea so far. Having a fin on the "underside" of the vessel is pretty counter-intuitive.
  6. Piscator

    DARPA selects Boeing to work on XS-1

    Sounds essentially like a Falcon 9 whose first stage lands horizontally instead of vertically (albeit for a lighter range of payloads). I wonder which concept proves more practical in the long run.
  7. I was about to suggest calling it "Puff (the Magic Dragon)", but then I read that's where the name originally came from. Doesn't seem very surprising in retrospect.
  8. Piscator

    Anti Proton - Non Proton reaction

    This might not be the most scientific way to put it, but wouldn't the remaining nucleus (or even the nucleons) just be blown apart? The energy released by the annihilating proton/anti-proton pair should exceed the binding energy oft the Tritium nucleus considerably.
  9. Piscator

    Blue Origin Thread (merged)

    Because chanting "EU, EU, EU" would sound too much like a police siren. Quite excited about the upcoming launch by the way.
  10. Piscator

    If Traveling At Light Speed Towards a Planet...

    Well, that's kind of my point. As ten years ship time wouldn't make much sense, it seems rather obvious that ten years earth time or in other words a quarter of the journey was meant. And for the question how much apparent time on the target world would have passed at this point, it doesn't really matter, whether you're still moving at near lightspeed or made your observation from a standstill. I agree, that the question is not all that complicated, but at the time of my first post noone seemed to have given an explicit answer to it anyway.
  11. Piscator

    If Traveling At Light Speed Towards a Planet...

    Maybe the original poster can elaborate on what exactly he meant, but as far as I understand the question, relativity doesn't even come into it. At least not in the parts that are concerned with the apparent age of the planet when the hypothetical traveler arrives. (And it seems pretty obvious that the parts concerned with the voyage itself use earth time and not ship time.)
  12. Piscator

    If Traveling At Light Speed Towards a Planet...

    To answer the actual question: The planet would look 80 years older when you arrive. The planet would be 40 years older and stop looking 40 years younger due to distance giving you a total of 80 years.
  13. I like this bit of mythology. However, assuming that the small, furry creatures of Alpha Centauri have a similar range of vision as humans, Proxima would likely be too unconspicous an object to attract this kind of attention. Even at the projected periastron it would only reach about second magnitude, which would be dimmer than the Sun seen from the same vantage point. (Even during flare activity, which seems to correspond to about one magnitude, as far as I can find out.) In the infrared, it would be considerably brighter though.
  14. As I said, I was playing with 1 snack per meal, day and Kerbal and thus expected to last 50 days with 50 snacks in a one-seater. Switching to other values changed the consumption rates accordingly, but actual consumption still seems to be roughly half of what I and the estimation window calculate for a given setting. I turned random snacking off when I noticed the deviation as I suspected this might be the cause of the trouble, but this doesn't seem to have had a noticeable effect. Am I right to assume, that no-one else experiences the same problem and this is likely a local issue? So far I'm only using KAC, OPM and the necessary dependencies, but this might still be a case of mod incompability, I guess.
  15. I'm not quite sure if I'm missing some vital detail, but actual snack consumption seems to be only 40% of the expected value. A 50 day stay (1 snack per meal and day, no active recyclers) in a Mk.I Lander Can still leaves me with 30 snacks and an estimation of 30 more days before supplies run out.