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About Starman4308

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    Blind Astronomer
  1. NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    I recently read an article saying that the Starliner's thrusters have just arrived: am I correct in guessing that these are RCS thrusters for the reentry module, and are mostly intended for attitude control during reentry? It's a dozen MR-104J engines, each of which burns hydrazine producing 440N of thrust; small satellites might use such an engine as their main thruster, whereas for Orion, it's attitude-control thrusters. Probably the biggest use during reentry would be to keep the roll aligned for a lifting reentry.
  2. The list of space-related games is almost without end. Freelancer, Starlancer, Surviving Mars, Astroneer, Elite: Dangerous, Orbiter, No Man's Sky, Homeworld, Mass Effect, Rogue System, Children of a Dead Earth, Tharsis, Interplanetary... all sorts of games in all sorts of genres have a space theme to them. You're going to have to clarify.
  3. Does science should be censored ?

    So long as you work within legal and ethical limits, you can do whatever research you want. Once you're a tenured professor, you can't even be evicted from your university. You're not guaranteed to get funded, and if you use money from another grant, you may find yourself not getting any new grants from that organization, but in theory, you can study whatever you want so long as there are no ethics rules being broken.
  4. How Do Plane Fly?

    First, what are the issues you're experiencing? The more information, and the more specific information, the easier it is to help you. Second, the two usual culprits when designing your own are: 1) Unstable craft, caused by center-of-pressure (lift and drag) being ahead of center of mass. In this case, add aerodynamic surfaces towards the rear of the craft. 2) Landing gear causing swerving on the runway. Similar thing: enable advanced tweakables, and reduce the friction on forwards gear while increasing friction on rearwards gear.
  5. Does science should be censored ?

    A few things. First, a bit of nit-picking about this: First, The AI algorithm used to guess whether or not a face corresponds with a homosexual person is a technology, not strictly science. The finding "this AI can identify such" would be the science involved. Second, there's always been at least some responsible censoring in science. Patient data is always scrubbed of names and partially randomized to make it difficult to identify the patient involved. Some scientific papers and presentations released by drug companies are scrubbed of molecular structures if it's to be done before the patent is approved. Third, best guess is their AI would fail pretty spectacularly once applied to "people who don't attend MIT".
  6. Those don't work cleanly with custom tank widths. Though, to some extent, the "dial-a-width" feature is a tad unrealistic, as it's expensive to develop tooling for a given tank diameter.
  7. In addition to the "procedural fairing base", there should be a "procedural interstage fairing": that has a top node of arbitrary height above the center. You hook that up to a central node, either the bare tank bottom or an engine. "Extra Height" specifies the height that the attached fairings should extend above that top node. If you have it attached to the tank's bottom node, usually you can leave this at 0; otherwise, you often have to add extra height equal to the height of the engine. If you're not seeing it in a bit, I'll take a screenshot in the VAB: right now, I'm launching a rocket.
  8. InSight launching in 2018

    They probably won't need to dogleg. They'll likely launch due-west at the right time of day so that their velocity vector is favorable (and they don't need to have much normal/anti-normal component) when it comes time for the Mars injection burn. Launching into a retrograde orbit means extra delta-V spent getting into orbit, but apparently they did so well keeping the mass low that they can launch from a retrograde parking orbit even with the 401 configuration. EDIT: If they do it even remotely like I do in RSS, they're likely going to be launching in night-time (atypical for transfers outwards) and burning towards Mars on the day side of the planet ~45 minutes later.
  9. On one hand, I'd like to say "This will be the 47'th thread on the same subject, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it"... and point out it's non-trivial to make an effective delta-V calculator. On the other hand, I still disagree with the "vision" of pure trial-and-error gameplay, and think it would be a great addition to have at least a works-most-of-the-time delta-V calculator.
  10. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    I suspect that unless you are either silly rich or forgiven by SpaceX, you'd wind up filing for bankruptcy and having your pay garnished until the day you die. Though really, there's probably a whole convoy to prevent collisions.
  11. Depends, I think. For certain very common orbits, it may be possible to sweep out several satellites without much delta-V. For sun-synchronous, for example, one might be able to clear out a few, deliberately break into a precessing orbit, sweep some more, etc. While final rendezvous would probably be done on chemical engines, I suspect some high delta-V maneuvers could be done on ions, such as the plane changes/precession maneuvers necessary to hit multiple sun-synchronous orbit planes.
  12. Nukes in space don't work that way. Even if they did work the same as in atmosphere, there's simply too much of space to feasibly nuke it. Anyways, the harpoon thingy seems like a decent proposal to deorbit some of the larger defunct satellites in LEO/MEO (I'm a bit fuzzy on where the boundary between low and middle Earth orbit is). There's some stuff that would otherwise stay up there for centuries to millenia, but which need only a touch of delta-V to put into a swiftly-decaying orbit. The smaller stuff hopefully just decays on its own, or is in a high enough orbit that it's unlikely to pose a navigation hazard.
  13. How to use 5m parts?

    We're arguing past each other here. You're arguing "a 5 meter stack is unnecessary for an EAV", I'm arguing "that argument about drag makes no sense for something big enough to need a 5m stack", and that it might not be the EAV itself: it might be the booster to get that EAV off Kerbin
  14. How to use 5m parts?

    The proper comparison is not 1 1.25m part to 1 5m part. The proper comparison is a 5m part to enough 1.25m parts to contain the same amount of propellant. My gut instinct is that unless you're trying a 5 meter pancake, it should help. If you replaced a 5m stack with a quartet of 2.5m stacks of identical height, your cross section is the same... but you have more wetted surface area. If you replaced a 5m stack with a 2.5m stack that is 4x taller, it depends. At supersonic velocities in particular, cross section becomes more important than total wetted surface area, so the reduced surface area of a 5m stack (so long as it's not a pancake) might be less important than its increased cross section. All of this, of course, is subject to the whims of the stock aero model that I don't fully understand.
  15. What did you do in KSP today?

    First, Venera 1 was the first probe to enter Venus's atmosphere... without burning to a crisp, anyways. Even the lunar reentry-rated heatshield got toasty, approaching its heat limits as it slammed into Venus's upper atmosphere at > 10 km/sec. And yes, I had to quickload a few times to get the kOS script (basically: lock to retrograde and retract antenna until speed drops to 190 m/sec). Max G-loading reached 25G. I had a curious effect I've never had with Earth/Kerbin/Gael reentries, where bled speed like mad in upper atmosphere, until velocity dropped so far that G-loading went below 0.5G for a couple minutes until I dipped further into Venus's atmosphere. Kind of a double-reentry thing. The antenna burned off at some point as I hit hotter atmosphere close to Venus's surface. I was more concerned at the time with the fact that I didn't have line-of-sight to Earth... not only meaning no science transferred, but the atmospheric probe contract wasn't fulfilled. The probe body survived down to hit the surface at about 20 m/sec. Without a parachute. Venus's atmosphere is that thick. Second, I launched what I call the He-2 booster (the Hebrew letter He, not helium!) with a customary mass simulator. This is basically an F-1A stuck underneath a closed-cycle NK-43 engine. The NK-43 is one of very few engines I've used that can throttle, in this case all the way down to 50% thrust... which is nice for the last few seconds of its burn, since TWR at SECO is very, very high. I do have a design I called the "Dalet" which looks a bit hilarious: it's the He-2 upper stage flanked by a pair of large SRBs. Unfortunately, non-procedural SRBs seem to be rather expensive in RP-0: the mighty F-1A is cheaper than a 180-ton SRB. Haven't tried the procedural SRBs yet. Voyager 5 flew by the last of the Galilean moons, Europa. Fun facts: NASA plans to send the Europa Clipper mission on multiple flybys of Europa. An orbiter was considered, but it'd actually likely return less valuable data than the planned multiple-flyby. Europa's close enough to Jupiter's colossal magnetosphere to have orbiters fried in short order. This is an issue when even a powerful antenna transmitting to the gigantic radio telescopes of the Deep Space Network have pretty limited bandwidth. Instead, NASA plans to have the Clipper spend most of its time in a distant Jovian apoapsis, transmitting back data from many flybys. It's also what I would consider the smallest of the large moons. Europa is larger than the combined sum of all other known bodies smaller than it: it seems like there's a pretty big gap between Europa and the next largest known body. Also: probable subsurface ocean, possible subterranean life, etc. Europa is a very interesting moon! Voyager III, in orbit of Saturn, flew by another very interesting moon, Titan! This is the only other known body to have liquid oceans (composed of hydrocarbons such as ethane). Additionally, it has a very thick atmosphere: between its low gravity and high atmospheric density, aerodynamic flight should be quite easy. While it looks... boring from orbit due to atmosphere obscuring surface details, it is a very peculiar moon. The Cassini mission deposited the Huygens lander on its surface: as far as I know, this is the only mission to land on a moon not our own. NASA has also recently green-lighted an RTG-powered quadcopter to study Titan's surface. I don't know if it has a laser instrument, but if so, it'll surpass the Curiosity rover in terror: not only a nuclear-powered laser-wielding death robot, but a flying nuclear-powered laser-wielding death robot. At least Curiosity you can outrun! I also unintentionally flew inside the narrow gap between the A and F rings. I generally try to avoid flying through rings, because I'm pretty sure that's realistically instant-probe-death due to all the dust, but I didn't pay close enough attention to the inbound leg of this 55 Mm pass over Saturn. I also noticed near periapsis that Saturn's rings cast shadows on Saturn itself and vice-versa. I should've set HGA to RAM before the A-F gap pass, now that I think about it. One final image, this time near apoapsis: Saturn eclipsing the Sun. Only 15 years until I can see a similar eclipse at periapsis! Other than that: at the next Venus transfer window, I have a lot of stuff ready to go to be absolutely sure I get that atmospheric probe contract. Four copies of Venera 1, a set of 3 relays (launched on the same vehicle), and a biome scanner. Might be a few days, though: tomorrow I'll be installing "Surviving Mars" and trying that game out.