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Everything posted by mikegarrison

  1. https://www.npr.org/2022/05/21/1100534373/boeing-docks-space-station-iss Not a single mention of the most important VIP onboard the ship. Shoddy journalism.
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-05-17/china-us-are-in-a-space-race-to-make-billions-from-mining-the-moon-s-minerals Journalists should really avoid writing about technical subjects if they don't understand them. The article claims helium 3 is a "replacement for uranium" -- Um ... what? Should someone writing an article about this know that uranium is a fissionable and helium 3 is a potential fusion fuel? And so not only is it not a direct replacement, and not only has no one ever yet built a practical fusion power plant, but also it's only speculation that we might find any practical source of helium 3 on the moon? I am not at all convinced that lunar mining will ever be much of a resource for terrestrial industry, simply because everything available on the moon is also available on the earth. I could see the moon being a handy source of materials for space-based industry.
  3. Apparently they are waiting right now until they can make sure they are not going to have a TDRSS handover during the middle of it.
  4. It's a thrilling demonstration of Newton's first law of motion.
  5. I still feel like the only thing more tedious than docking two ships in KSP is watching a real life docking. I'm sure it's different if you are there on site.
  6. I don't know. You should ask the galaxy-brain genius who wrote the article. I bet he could explain.
  7. Vacuum tube, remember? No air, no issues. (Well, OK, lots of issues, but not that issue.)
  8. For that chart hijackings, terrorist attacks, military shootdowns, and intentional crashes are not considered "accidents". Also, crashes during flight testing are not included. That excludes 9/11, the Ethiopian 767 hijacking, and the Egyptian 767 murder/suicide. The 767 fatal hull losses are then the Lauda Air mid-flight thrust reverser deployment and the Air China CFIT crash. The 2019 incident with the Atlas Air frighter happened after that chart was made.
  9. They've been flying Atlas Vs for a long time now. I think they have earned our trust that they know what they are doing.
  10. "Mach 23"? Aren't they at an altitude where the concept of "Mach number" is basically unimportant?
  11. LOL. They just called out that they have confirmation of a good MET on their internal clock. I guess they learned *that* lesson. Hey! That's Cape Cod. I used to live in the Boston area.
  12. Hey, I see somebody brought in a package of cookies to share. That's a nice touch.
  13. Propulsive landing is always going to be extremely risky both for the vehicle and anything nearby. Even an aerodynamic lift landing is generally considered to be the most dangerous part of any flight. A propulsive landing? Much more so.
  14. The SF writer James P Hogan once pointed out in one of his books that if you got the train moving fast enough you wouldn't have to levitate it at all, because it would be in orbit. I could look up the equation, but Google tells me orbital velocity at sea level is 7.9 kps.
  15. There is a reference in that diagram to mining water, and there is speculation that the ice on the moon contains some carbon. But for the most part, both carbon and hydrogen are likely to be quite scarce on the moon. That doesn't make ISRU seem very promising, at least in terms of creating methane.
  16. That looks like they expect astronauts will breathe out enough water and CO2 to make a tank of rocket fuel. That seems *highly* unlikely to me.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W54 The US once had a nuclear weapon designed to be fired by infantry soldiers.
  18. This idea of running trains in vacuum tubes has been around for a long time now. Musk's hyperloop using a partial vacuum is kind of an interesting twist on it, actually. It allows using an air cushion instead of maglev. One thing that is usually glossed over is how the stations work. Obviously people can't board the train in a vacuum, or else very few of them would volunteer for that experience. And none of them would volunteer more than once. So somehow you need to have a way to get either the people onto the train or the train into the vacuum tunnel. Side note, I've ridden on a maglev train. Way back in 1986, at the Vancouver World's Fair. https://www.highspeedrailcanada.com/2018/05/when-canada-had-magnetic-levitation.html
  19. Outsourcing things that are fungible is fine. Like, nobody expects a company to make their own pens and paper, right? Or office chairs? (Unless they are in the pen, paper, or chair business.) But when you have a sole source supplier that you can't live without, all of a sudden that company gets tremendous power over you.
  20. Vertical integration is usually assumed to be more expensive than outsourcing work to suppliers, but it can be riskier to outsource. Often the assumption is that you can squeeze suppliers on price better than you can your own employees. Also, if somebody has a better way of making something than you do, you can take advantage of that efficiency by hiring them to do it. But you end up putting your entire schedule (or even product viability) in the hands of your suppliers. For example, if a hypothetical rocket company decides to outsource engine making, and then one of their engine sources is unavailable because of geopolitical concerns while the other one is many, many years late providing the engine they were contracted to provide, that can be a problem.
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