wumpus

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  1. Any guesses if SLS (first launch, often suggested crewed) is under/over 1:12 LOC?
  2. It's a lot better, but I wouldn't try to convince a US Navy Captain to try to run his ship on windows. I'm not sure how they managed to solve the "UAC is triggered by *everything*" issue, as far as I know nearly everything it was originally triggered (back when everything triggered it) was almost impossible to determine whether or not you were doing something dangerous. Windows (NT and before) had some spectacularly insecure assumptions (and worse things were piled on that) and Microsoft had a hard choice to dump backward compatibility or try to keep it and attempt to limit the damage from what appeared to be a hopelessly insecure API. Somehow they seemed to have fixed things (more or less. Cryptolocking was a thing, but Windows hardly is the festering pool of malware you find in Android).
  3. In 1998 the USS Yorktown had plenty of Windows NT boxes running the ship, and NT being NT decided to leave them dead in the water. I'm not sure you can suggest installing a Microsoft operating system on a US Navy vessel to this day. Since this was right around when Lockheed had to turn of their networks as the level of use by hostile software (the Melisa virus or similar) by Windows machines, I can't imagine why anyone would have put anything they cared about on a Windows system. I'm not sure that state-supported computer hacking started then, but it should have been obvious just how indifferent US military contractors were to computer security.
  4. wumpus

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    Go look through some of the Shuttle bashing threads. There were many, many ways to build a better spacecraft using 1970s technology, but I have yet to see a better proposal that met all of US government's "real" requirements that wasn't the produced Shuttle. Note "real" requirements scare quote is necessary due to the wild claims about cadence and cost/launch and how badly they were missed. Missing big requirements *after* huge costs have been sunk and the program is humming along and producing results that are seen on the evening news "NASA is putting astronauts back in space" is much easier than missing some specific requirement like "cross-range capability" or "return keyhole satellite" when you are still in the design phase. Getting 195 flights out of the thing shows excellent management of Congress. It isn't a public/private issue between "NASA can't build rockets and should let SpaceX/ULA/Blue Origin build them instead" it is that Congress can't help but micromanage NASA in ways that the commercial resupply/commercial crew contracts won't let them. So NASA can only build rockets when Congress lets them, which is to say when pigs fly (or we are in the middle of a space race and NASA can say "No. But fund us anyway."). Generally speaking NASA's scientific programs are sufficiently low profile to avoid Congressional meddling, so that works out fine (JWST appears to be botched internally by NASA).
  5. wumpus

    Russian Launch and Mission Thread

    I find it difficult to believe that the cost to re-launch a Falcon 9 2-4 times is cheaper than rebuilding the booster each time. There have been a few claims that whatever the entire reuse program cost, it hasn't yet (and possibly not during Falcon 9's existence) won't be recouped by flying block 5 3-4 times each. Musk's response would be that his goal remains to colonize Mars, and that quibbling over whether or not he developed the tech needed to reuse a rocket "for free, or at some slight cost" is entirely pointless. He now knows how to reuse rockets, and that is absolutely necessary for high volume space travel. Typically this cost analysis makes a ton of sense in government programs that don't allow companies to use them for their own R&D. You have to justify each program entirely on its own without regards to any other program (doing otherwise typically involves fraud). It might have influenced some NASA types, but I'm sure investors just laughed and saw things the same way Musk would.
  6. wumpus

    Commercial Space Station Design

    The Gateway has a completely new set of problems (summed up by the nickname "tollbooth") and orbiting the Moon would expect less mass. I don't know what a commercial venture would do with a [non inflated] 20ton space station. Perhaps a slightly longer stay than Dragon 2/New Glen spacecraft, but little else. China (and India) might be willing to retrace Russia's path to the ISS. What's better about a Solyut than a space station that requires more than one launch? Few of the advantages the shuttle had were from being a "spaceplane" (the only being that it was capable of retrieving a satellite in orbit and returning it to Earth. That hardly justified carrying the wings and other heavy "spaceplane" bits into orbit each time).
  7. wumpus

    Commercial Space Station Design

    I understand Bigelow's inflatable storage room is being used (presumably for expendable equipment) and doing well. I wouldn't be too surprised if they wind up sending up some real storage space based on the existing one. The falcon 9 (in recovery mode) can handle the mass of most of the Salyut space stations, although I don't know if they would fit in the fairing. Finding a justification to put a new Salyut in space after seeing the ISS in operation for decades is another story.
  8. wumpus

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    A lot would come down to how much control NASA had over the design of Shuttle-C vs. the Senate. While SLS may have be designed by the Senate, the Shuttle was more or less a tight fit for a plethora of government requirements. I doubt NASA would be allowed to build the Shuttle-C without it morphing into the SLS.
  9. wumpus

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    You left out the JWST. Presumably that will advance science, but it has been devouring NASA's budget for years. I can't see Shuttle C having less developmental costs than the SLS. On the other hand, if the shuttle was an ongoing program, you wouldn't have to throw *so* much pork at the shuttle suppliers.
  10. No finds? Archeologists have determined the layout of viking burial ships by locating rust deposits and determining that there had to be nails (and thus planks) in those positions. I guess nobody bothered to sink a trireme anywhere one could be dug up. Then again, I'm not sure triremes used nails...
  11. Except that is more or less how modern manufacturing "build to print" really works. The details you won't find anywhere in a single engine (you might get an approximation using all 5) are the tolerances, and certainly excess slop isn't something you can tolerate in a Saturn V. The other catch is that most of a Saturn V were effectively custom made, so that a single tolerance factor wouldn't be enough. All the other components were adjusted by hand to build a single engine, so you would have to know "WHY" each part has certain dimensions (and the notes by the guys who did this are lost). I'd expect you could copy a Falcon 9 using straightforward copy and use all 9 (plus vacuum) engines to determine tolerances, then make good guesses on the rest. PS: Until some time in the 1990s NASA had 3 copies of all their records during roughly the Apollo era (may have included Gemini). They decided that such redundancy was unnecessary and gave two of them away. The University of Maryland got one of the copies, so if you want to see what's there (and what's missing) you could try College Park, Maryland (presumably NASA's copy isn't in the US archives, also on the UMD campus).
  12. NASA did exactly that to test it as an option for SLS (or one of its earlier names). https://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/ Lots of 3d printing replacing lost welding techniques, and I'm sure the controls were modernized as well. I think by the 1980s NASA could no longer launch their remaining Saturn V rockets (I think there is one outside at KSC) due to fine details of the countdown that people no longer remembered, retired, died, or simply couldn't do the process fast enough (and might only get one try). There's a certain mentality that seeps through ISO-9000 procedures that ignores the issue that lots of technology is in the people who do the actual manufacture of the device. Ignore this at your peril. Also from a historical perspective technology *IS* infrastructure. If you can't buy 1960s MIL-SPEC parts, you can't build a Saturn V to the original NASA bill of materials. And you are probably better off replacing much of the materials with modern ones (asbestos heat shields might work better, but they also could kill your workers).
  13. wumpus

    Longest loading time (due to mods)

    Not very long (only really need Kerbal Engineer, if the others break with an update I don't rush to replace them). I remember >20 minute load times using my old (1981) Atari 400 with [audio] cassette loader/recorder (this was for 24k-32k games, small things could be done in a tolerable 1-5 minutes). I don't want to go back to that.
  14. My understanding was that the known size of the "black zones" only increased, as simulation after simulation of those aborts continued to fail.
  15. wumpus

    How does software "work"?

    hello world.c compiles to 6,704 bytes on my Linux installation. That's a lot better than what I remember, but still a lot compared to what it took on DOS assembler (of course, I think the smallest non-zero file has to take up at least 4096 bytes, thanks to disk sectors. Filesystems may require even larger minimums). Of course, a decade or two ago people might have considered assembler for large projects. C seems to be heading the same direction. C++ might as well, but probably more for security reasons than "no apparent improvement for all the extra difficulty".