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    Guinea pigs, VVS, space exploration, USSR

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  1. Fun fact: Texas Instruments, widely known as a maker of calculators, also make the following weapons- 1. The AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile 2. The Paveway series of laser guided bombs. They also produced the world’s first laser guided bomb, the BOLT-117 3. The AGM-154 JSOW glide bomb 4. The FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile They also make a variety of forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensors.
  2. Reminds me of those scaly things killing off all of humanity (thus all potential bearers of mutants) to “police the mutants” as instructed by the humans in X-Men.
  3. An idea of what that looks like on Earth- https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/damage-cushing-oklahoma-magnitude-50-earthquake-2016
  4. Question to anyone who may know: What was the exact history of Russian space cooperation with China? Astronautix states that Russian (at that point, still Soviet to a certain extent) “cooperation” with China began when “lecturers” briefed Chinese engineers on Soyuz in May 1991 (a month before the RSFSR would have had the power to order such an action, thus I am assuming it was the Soviet government that did it), but that sentence is rather vague and doesn’t indicate whether that was just a display or an actual intent to offer technology for sale. The closest equivalent to the Soyuz technology transfer (sale/co-production of Su-27s) didn’t occur until 1996. I ask as I am trying to figure out how the Shenzhou program would fair in a world where the USSR didn’t collapse. It kind of comes down to the technology transfer. From what I can tell right now, China still could have done it, but it may have been rather delayed (in certain cases use of Russian facilities was required because China lacked them).
  5. Is Tianwen the designation for all beyond Earth-Moon system missions? Or is that a placeholder like "Zheng He"?
  6. Wow. I can't believe I missed this. CMSA held *a* press conference (conflicting descriptions of just where and of what nature) following Shenzhou 13's return. Lots of goodies! You read that right, Xuntian is ahead of schedule (it was originally supposed to launch in 2024). You read that right too, the Chinese government-run space agency expects Chinese commercial space companies to develop enough in the future to enable commercial resupply and potentially commercial crew transport! And about that next generation launcher... This is from a different event- The single core version of the Long March 5DY, apparently now called Long March 5ZRL (it should be noted these are all personal designations created by the chief designer and not yet official), will have a reusable first stage from the get go and will launch with the LEO version of the Next-Generation Crewed Spacecraft before 2030. Also, it has been revealed that a replacement for Tianzhou is in the works and will debut some time before 2032. The information in the top tweet is just a repeat of what is already known about Chinese crewed lunar landing plans. The slide is a little weird though. If I am interpreting that right, it says before 2030 for when the crewed landing will happen. Crew is three people instead of speculated four. ------ The Global Times released an article on the post-Shenzhou 13 conference. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259536.shtml Some cool info from it- Launch of the rumored backup Tianhe core module may become reality! Maybe, extended segment could mean something entirely new after all. Really neat! So this raises a question- while NASA is legally barred from cooperation with China, what about SpaceX? Could an American private entity fly a mission to Tiangong with a modified Crew Dragon? ------ This is amazing- ------ China's operational asteroid deflection force may involve utilizing asteroids themselves as the impactors. https://astronomycommunity.nature.com/posts/enhanced-asteroid-deflector-hit-rock-with-rock
  7. I'll be completely honest, it is not a specific paper (which would be a little lame to use for recommendation to a change of the story when there are just as many papers probably refuting it/arguing against it) so much as it is common sense- 1a. It is possible cities will not firestorm. Nagasaki didn't firestorm, and even then- 1b. It seems unlikely enough soot will either get high enough or remain aloft long enough to cause "nuclear winter" effects. The massive wildfires experienced here on the West Coast in 2020 were, in all likelihood, far worse than the types of fires that could be expected after a limited nuclear exchange in Southeast Asia, yet there hasn't been any real change in the climate. 2. There are a number of holes in some papers in favor of the hypothesis. Emphasis added. 3. Cities have burned before during WWII (more of Tokyo burned than Hiroshima) but the smoke didn't cross the Pacific or remain in the atmosphere for long at all. Apart from happening with one bomb vs. thousands, there isn't much reason to think it will somehow be worse for modern cities when attacked with nuclear weapons, especially when construction materials and urban planning was rather poor before and during WWII to allow those things to occur in the first place. ------ This is all merely a comment as a reader. You are not inclined to effect changes according to such criticism. From a literary point of view, I think the story/world would/will be (is) much more interesting with you (the author) making the decisions regardless of "realism", even if it isn't "realistic"; much more interesting than a borderline-community-edited work. I simply wanted to offer the information in case you would like to make use of it. Not a "demand" or complaint or whatever
  8. Doh! I still don't see relation to Northrop Grumman's role as an ICBM manufacturer. SLS owes political reasons to its existence to a certain extent (certainly to its continued existence), but not the political reasons kerbiloid suggests.
  9. There aren’t really “arguments” in history, evidence must be presented too. I have presented mine regarding Apollo. It appears we had a misunderstanding surrounding what I said about the Shuttle program. In regards to the P.S., no one really can say. Some like to think that it would have resulted in a man on Mars in the 80s or 90s, but the drama created by the Vietnam War made such things pointless in the eyes of the public- a Gallup poll from July 1969 had a majority of Americans opposing a crewed Mars mission. If Apollo failed, why go further? So there was no national pride to destroy. If it succeeded- great, if it didn’t, the “national pride” at that point had rerouted itself towards a more Earthly and international destination, as opposed to the gung ho nationalism of 1961. EDIT (for clarification)- this assumes the Soviets land first, but what I wrote in the second paragraph of the response to the P.S. would also apply if it is just technical problems that lead to failure
  10. Nice. I feel that some SF can be a bit pompous in the way they consider that human survival is a guaranteed assurance, but this is done nicely. One thing though- it is pretty unlikely nuclear war will actually cause a lowering of global temperatures, let alone limited nuclear war described in the 2060s. Now its still science fiction so you can of course do as you please, but just a comment as a reader: considering the circumstances it might not make a difference anyways to eliminate that factor due to the geoengineering mentioned earlier.
  11. This thread is a continuation of the discussion in the Russian Launch and Mission Thread regarding the relationship between military and civilian spaceflight throughout history. It can also be used for such discussions should they pop up in other threads. Quoting @kerbiloid from here- A set of SRBs is about 400 million dollars IIRC. That is supposed to lower to 250 million dollars past Artemis III. https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-20-012.pdf The contract is worth about 4 billion dollars in total as of 2019. Around 6-7 billion dollars has been spent over the past couple decades to modernize the Minuteman III force, while the GBSD program is going to cost 62 billion dollars (in 2015 dollars) over its 30 year duration. Northrop Grumman itself made around 30 billion dollars a year in 2020, and is part of various other programs like the B-21. SLS is its own project with its own political aims, and has no relation to the ICBM force.
  12. I know this is a typo, but it would be neat if Beck or Bezos tried to challenge Musk on other fronts. Edison Electric Car Company, Neuron Corporation, Grey Road, Pink Brain, etc.
  13. Several sets of SRBs aren't really going to contribute to keeping a nuclear deterrent maintained. I recognize the Shuttle had a military mission, but it was not explicitly military with civilian sidejobs tacked on. It was reverse, with the military missions being tacked on to help pay for it. It was a civilian project, however. It remained in service long after the DOD withdrew from the program. In regards to the whole Apollo nuclear thing, you should note that there are almost no documents from the program that are classified- only the ones revolving around using the camera in the CSM's payload bay to photograph the Earth in the event the S-IVB malfunctioned and the mission became Earth orbital. Conjecture isn't really evidence. ------ Thus, it can be inferred that there are various other reasons why space programs need to be kept intact, and Roscosmos isn't entirely without hope of surviving and finding some degree of stability amidst the new international situation.
  14. I'm curious about your opinion surrounding missile manufacturers and space. They already get a lot of money for maintaining the current force and will get more for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (which has been described in terms very similar to how SLS is- a pointless system purely intended for keeping jobs)*. So SLS shouldn't have anything to do with it, because missile manufacturers already have money for maintenance purposes and the Minuteman III replacement. Thus SLS has its own purpose and won't be killed for budget reasons, or if it does, it will only be to find a replacement to keep Artemis going. Likewise, there are a multitude of reasons for keeping Roscosmos intact and it could be expected that the Russian government will attempt to do so. *It should be noted that these statements date from prior to the supposed silo fields in China and a general wake up call (real or imagined) towards China's nuclear arsenal, and could change Quoting myself from the last time this was discussed- Err... I have never heard such rumors. I recall the E-4, but ADMs on Apollo 13? (Secret) nuclear weapons on the Moon died with Project A119 in 1959. There was a proposal to detonate a "small-ish" (the actual word used, apparently) nuclear device on the Moon to clear the way for geological studies, but this was rejected because it would mess up the study of the natural radiation environment. The actual Shuttle we got had military purposes, but the original one was purely civilian. This is evident in how NASA documents prior to the complete cancellation of Apollo/Saturn V production and death of all crewed spaceflight projects besides the Shuttle mention a much smaller payload bay than that that would be required for big reconnaissance satellites.
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