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About Codraroll

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. If I were to hazard a guess, the designs could be influenced by the need to transport rocket parts long distances by rail between their factories and the launch pads. That's a requirement that tends to result in lots of smaller-diameter strap-on boosters compared to the large-diameter designs favoured in the US. The Soviets never quite figured out how to build as large engine bells as they did in the West either (or if they did, they didn't bother too much with them), so their designs use a forest of small engine bells (several of which may be connected to the same engine) instead of the
  2. The moon is also, famously, peppered with craters. Stuff landing on it at very high velocity and kicking up ejecta is part of the climate, as it were. Sooner or later our lunar infrastructure would have to adapt to that phenomenon anyway. Then again, perhaps one shouldn't try to cause such events if it can be avoided.
  3. Given how the housing prices seem to evolve nowadays, it wouldn't surprise me if this would be true in a few years even if the cost of rocket engines goes up.
  4. I wonder what the last remaining uncontacted tribes of the world think about satellites. They have mostly been appearing within living memory. I'd love to hear how they are explaining this new phenomenon. Depending on their visibility from the depths of the Amazon, Papua New Guinea, or North Sentinel Island, Starlink satellites could already be designated as mythological creatures.
  5. I see one of the paths crosses over northeast China. There would be some cruel irony if it were to fall down in Beijing.
  6. As of writing this, it's 12:35 AM here, I have work tomorrow, and Starship SN15 has landed but is slightly on fire. Today's excitement may be over. I think I'll go to bed and check back in the morning to see how well this comment has aged.
  7. Sounds like it's time to build a new ISS. All we need is for literally everyone to chip in 30-40 dollars or so.
  8. Aren't Soyuz seats custom made to fit the astronaut riding them, though? I'm quite sure I can remember reading that somewhere. I guess two astronauts with similar body structures could ride in each other's seats, but you couldn't put anyone in somebody else's seat.
  9. This is ... stretching it a little. Starship has prototypes constantly being made and tested, funding, specialized hardware for the mission (Raptor engines) under serial production, crew hired and allocated specifically for the project (for several months already by now) and has made several large strides in its development in a very short time frame. It also comes off the back of the success of Falcon 9 and (to some extent) Falcon Heavy, giving some credence to the crew building it. By comparison, the recent past of Russian spaceflight has been ... rough. Angara's development is agonizi
  10. Gotta make sure that the increasing Chinese diaspora has access to a properly closed, firewalled, government-approved Internet wherever they are in the world, lest they fall for the temptation to try the non-censored version on their trips abroad.
  11. That depends entirely on the value of the credit.
  12. Not insignificant. Just that Discworld has even bigger scientific realism problems than that. The Disc is spinning on the shoulders of four giant elephants standing on a ten-thousand-mile long turtle, for a start. There is a giant waterfall over the rim of the Disc, and the only thing known about why the seas don't empty is that "arrangements are made" to get the water back on the Disc again. The sun and the moon orbit the Disc but pass above the back of the turtle, meaning that the elephants occasionally have to move a leg to let the celestial bodies pass. Then again, it's repeatedly sa
  13. Let's just say that the flatness of the Disc is one of the least significant problems it has, from a scientific realism standpoint.
  14. That, or saving them for a rainy day later. "Now we build SN164. Last week it was SN163. Next week it will be SN165. These names are so boring!" "Hmm ... we haven't used the name SN18 yet. Perhaps we should call the next one SN18 instead of SN165?" "Yay, variation!"
  15. He's not saying outright that they can't afford to maintain or replace their ISS segments, and are using the plans for a new station as an empty threat to leave, in a hope that it will make the Americans pay for their upkeep, but it certainly sounds a lot like that.
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