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Everything posted by SunlitZelkova

  1. Awhile back I wanted to read more about the concept and Googled “why don’t we launch nuclear reactor waste into space”, however most of the discussions seemed to focus on Earth orbit and the danger of reentry. But why not launch it into solar orbit? Namely, if it gets to the point where nuclear electric or nuclear thermal rocket space tugs are commuting around deep space (with things like Zeus and DARPA’s recent NTR initiative) and therefore might be economically viable.
  2. In Space Force with Steve Carrell, there is a mural at the Space Force base in Colorado featuring astronauts raising the American flag on the Moon in a manner basically identical to that of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. This was likely meant as a comedic take on the militarization of space- humanity’s bloody battles but in (what was) an ostensibly peaceful locale. Astronauts with guns still feels very meme-like. The Space Force itself does have many meme-worthy elements. Thus this was rather surprising to see- I can’t help but see this with the same meaning the original has- one group triumphing over another. Hardly a good image of “cooperation”. Now I want to see a cosmonaut raising the Roscosmos flag over Shackleton Crater in a manner similar to the famous Reichstag photo.
  3. The Soviet Navy was castrated by Khrushchev and NATO possessed the world’s sole carrier air power and an experienced ASW force, so I don’t think it was too crazy of an idea. Here’s an explanation surrounding “boats”. It is because the first submarine were launched from tenders, and therefore were technically considered boats and not ships- https://m.facebook.com/GreyFunnelLine/posts/540036099348861
  4. The twelfth day of the fourth month of the one thousandth nine hundredth and sixty first year of the Common Era. Mandatory party-produced speeches notwithstanding, Major Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin did not see empires, republics, or states from orbit- he saw the planet Earth, the only known place to harbor life in the universe, which we all share as our habitat. In the spirit that so many claimed to possess at that time, here’s hoping we can all live together peacefully, and cooperate for the benefit of each other. Cheers. Note- this thread was revived last year despite no activity, so I am assuming it is ok to revive it again this year.
  5. Ok, these people might be nuts, but tiny landers aren’t per say. http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/2021/12/mssr-as-mem-1967-1968.html?m=1 Behold, a 1967 proposal to use a Mars sample return lander as a crewed lander for a 12 hour stay on Mars. This was a normal expedition though, not permanent habitation. Bringing along a pressurized hab was also properly considered too.
  6. That’s not the entire story either- during this whole navalized Jupiter vs. Polaris debacle, a proposal was made to carry either of the missiles aboard converted Iowa class battleships. https://www.deviantart.com/tzoli/art/Single-Ended-Iowa-class-BBG-Version-2-799986679 Not sure how accurate this rendering is though…
  7. Based on how Duna looks though in previews, it is going to be way more cool than before. I am speaking as someone who plays stock and plans to continuing playing stock though.
  8. Fun fact: Italy maintained a fairly serious intention to develop indigenous nuclear weapons until the 1970s. In contrast with the South African program, no bombs were built, while a viable delivery system in the form a sea-launched ballistic missile called Alfa was tested (meanwhile South Africa built bombs but had no real ballistic missiles and only 1950s era bombers for delivery). The program came to a final conclusion when Italy signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1975. However, the experience gained with it would go on to find use in the development of the Vega rocket, a nice example of swords to plowshares.
  9. How would satellites get there? Space tug? It will be interesting to see more proposals for the next phase of expansion of the station come out. I wonder if it will get a “space dock” like that that was proposed for Space Station Freedom. Also, could Tianzhou launch from Jiuquan? Seaborne transport is an interesting choice. It seems to contrast with the effort on self-sufficiency with the rest of Chinese industry/infrastructure. All it might take is a single submarine slipping through a patrol line, and the station would be left without supplies for months. Maybe this could be a job for an An-225 equivalent? Or could the Y-20 do this sort of transport?
  10. One theory I personally possess is that it is a desperate, subconscious extension of self-preservation- if one can’t survive longer physically one then tries to leave some mark upon the world, to have some comfort in the knowledge that one will not be “gone”. It could also be an (subconscious) attempt to provide as much information as possible to the next generation, like a twisted, post-death version of a Pleistocene male teaching the young to hunt efficiently. Although, because humans don’t really need certain instincts anymore (females no longer need be tasked with child rearing and males no longer be solely responsible for things like hunting and defence), I think the answer to that question will come down more and more to each his/her own. And obviously at the conscious level that is just a matter of personal opinion. I’ll have to go around now and look at different organisms with symbiotic relationships, although describing it as “purpose” rubs me the wrong way a bit, this may indeed be “something”- tangible behavior on our part*, not just merely in our heads. That said, I still hold my view regarding extinction, and even if an effort can (should) be made, I don’t think it need hold the emotional weight that it seems to have on some people. *Of course, only if we can get past the other instincts we possess and not destroy ourselves before we get the opportunity to do so.
  11. In a causal sense, the variety of different cow breeds do indeed only exist because humans want them to, but I assumed the discussion was pertaining to purpose in a human social hierarchical sense (like “the medic exists in the army to save lives”- but only exists because the military decided it wanted to save lives, not because of some natural necessity to do so. This is being applied to natural processes as though the processes were humans, or had some sort of human sentience). Within the context of reality outside of human perception, I don’t think the existence of cows that don’t appear in the “wild” is any different than a beaver cutting down trees along a river. That sliver of the riverbed, transformed into ideal habitat for the beavers, isn’t “under the mastery of the beavers, existing with the special purpose of benefiting the beavers”. The trees were simply felled, and I don’t see anything outstanding about the breeding of domesticated animals either- it is a highly sophisticated example of a species altering the environment to its benefit, not something special humans possess. It’s normal behavior of a species with sophisticated capabilities, rather than some almighty, neo-divine act of creation. I am curious as to how this relates to the discussion. Knowledge is certainly something that must be preserved but this struggle is something occurring within humanity rather than pertaining to the wider universe and Earth ecosystem. Also, couldn’t it be argued that the preservation of “knowledge and consciousness”, as things that are virtually only used to enhance the survival of a species, is thus part of an attempt to preserve a species? If not for use in survival, I don’t see why knowledge would be worth artificially preserving.
  12. For starters, I’d like to acknowledge that this matter is completely objective, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. So I am merely making these comments out of pure entertaining and thought inducing discussion rather than “arguing” or trying to “prove a point” (I.e. change people’s minds). Although due to how discussion works, it is going to sound like that is what I am trying to do. The issue I have with these sorts of ideas is that purpose is an entirely human concept. It only exists inside our heads and therefore can’t be applied to anything outside of the behavior of humans themselves. Doing so would be as incorrect as trying to characterize the emotions of an owl in detail- we cannot definitively make such assumptions as we are not owls. While we debate whether cows, as part of life, have a purpose or not, cows just be cows. As they and their ancestors have been for millions of years. Even if we declare they play a part in some sort of grand purpose, in reality they do not. There is no “reason” that they are here and do what they do, they simply are. Also I wouldn’t say life “infesting” the Earth is anything particularly special or outstanding. I think that isn’t an actual extraordinary characteristic of life as much as it is a) we underestimate where life can exist because we ourselves have become pretty fragile beings b) we instinctually prefer a cleanly habitat and therefore are induced to believe (without evidence, that is, as a sort of delusion) that we have mastered the planet and are “all-knowing” in regard to how to survive and thrive (e.g. life can only exist where we “allow” it to) when in reality we are just a component of an ecosystem we have no control over. People don’t like to even consider the prospect of no control or us being not as “intelligent” as we are trumped up to be, and therefore are astounded by what is just an ordinary aspect of life. Next we come to the question of what intelligence really is. Is intelligence simply surviving to the best extent possible? In that case I would say crows are far more intelligent than humans, even without space travel. The number of crows that suffer as a result of lacking the minimum needs of survival is likely relatively far less than the number of human lives ended prematurely by the biologically psychotic actions of humans over the decades. Crows have also had far more time to evolve than humans. If hominid “intelligent” behavior like the use of tools was necessary for survival, everybody would be doing it by now. I also am of the opinion that human-like intelligence is pretty unlikely. I have been looking into speculation surrounding this recently and the conditions were so precise for Australopithecus and Homo to appear that it will probably never occur again on Earth. The retreat of forests and expansion of grasslands favoring bipeds to the increase in the size of the skull working out in birth, all occurring alongside the increasing use of tools is something most other species don’t need, and such a process is highly unlikely to ever occur again. I somewhat disagree, as the species of the Holocene are currently looking to be about as “lucky” as the menagerie of the Late Cretaceous, while their Pliocene and Miocene ancestors were far luckier as they did not have to contend with the human super predator. This is somewhat tied to the question of what intelligence is. What is survival? Why does life need to go to another planet to “be more successful”? Why do we seem to place indefinite survival as a benchmark of success upon species? Even if past species have become extinct, I don’t think that is an indication that they were somehow “inferior” or “a failure”. Extinction is just a natural part of existence, nothing to be feared or looked down upon. If for the time it was extant, the individuals of a species reasonably lived out their lives and successfully survived, I think it can be said to have been a success. Part of the reason why this notion of “extinction = failure” is prevalent is because people don’t really take into account and appreciate the (to humans) enormous timescales involved. A species going extinct after several million years isn’t like a human being (no pun intended) killed in a car crash at age 25, IMO it should be treated like a man dying at 76. There’s no “failure” in that, even if the man could have lived a healthier life and been alive for another 30 years theoretically.
  13. It will be amazing when Starship and SLS are side by side. Two crew launch vehicles actually intended to fly missions (as opposed to one of two Shuttles being for emergencies only) being side by side is pretty cool, even if the current Orion on the pad isn’t even crew capable IIRC. This might be the first instance in history of this happening, because I think the early dual Soyuz missions were rolled out one at a time.
  14. During Operation Crossroads, a nuclear bomb was detonated underwater. It was mounted aboard a landing craft, which was apparently completely destroyed because almost no trace of it was ever found. The landing craft was pretty small (62 meters length). But what about if a large ship (~330-340 meter length) like an aircraft carrier is hit at near point blank by a nuclear weapon? What would the damage look like? IIRC most Soviet anti-ship nuclear weapons had a yield in the 200-300 kiloton range.
  15. Will the Polaris Dawn EVA suit be like Gemini and Voskhod, or will it have a maneuvering unit?
  16. If the purpose is to protect human life, space colonization is completely understandable, but I don't think it is necessary at all for the survival of "life itself". I think this just is a matter of not appreciating life as whole and instead being "self-centered" on our Holocene biota. It's like saying all life was going to end when the K-Pg impact occurred. Obviously, it didn't. This is just in relation to the concept of protecting life itself. There is, of course, merit to protect current life and all of the intricacies that entails.
  17. I don't understand the negative reaction to this. SpaceX has more than enough customers to sustain itself, and who cares if a Bezos related company decides to stick with non-"related to the guy who made fun of Bezos' health condition" companies?
  18. True. And now that I am reading what I wrote, I completely forgot to write “first after SpaceX”… whoops. Also, what I meant was “terrestrial catch”, like from a tower as opposed to aerial. I personally view Rocket Lab’s as being a sort of extension of the Corona catch method mentioned above. It’s still innovative, but not as groundbreaking as SpaceX’s. [snip]
  19. I meant a launch vehicle that is highly likely to become operational.
  20. This is some news from awhile back. https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_establishes_deep_space_exploration_laboratory_999.html As you can see in the link, China has established its first deep space exploration laboratory. It is located in Hefei. Its goals seem somewhat unclear but I bet that future lunar samples and the Mars sample return will initially be sent here. Also, the announcement mentioned something I was unaware of- ------ https://www.space.com/china-reusable-rockets-for-astronaut-launches China's next-generation crewed launch vehicle, tentatively called Long March-5DY, has been confirmed to be reusable. It will launch the Next-Generation Crewed Spacecraft to Tiangong, while a three core version will launch it to the Moon. It uses a completely different recovery system. While it uses grid fins for maneuvering like F9, it will instead be caught with wires. This makes it the first "real" rocket to move towards "catch" type recovery instead of propulsive landing EDIT- FIRST AFTER SPACEX, AND CATCHING FROM A GROUND FACILITY SPECIFICALLY (the Chinese New Shepard I posted about awhile back doesn't count IMO. It seems pretty unlikely to succeed). Based on this graphic, it is intended to launch from Wenchang Space Center on Hainan island. It still lands downrange, not doing RTLS, but instead landing on some sort of island. I think this will be dumped and instead a recovery ship will be used, because that would limit the available orbits (I think. Someone can correct me if I am wrong). Also based on the graphics shown, it is still unclear whether the NGCS will have a launch escape tower or an integrated one like Crew Dragon. I personally lean towards the former, because based on the level of development of the NGCS, a lot would have to be undone and redone in order to accommodate the Dragon style system. ------ https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-03-19/Wuhan-aims-to-become-China-s-valley-of-satellites-by-2025-18wyiGNs6XK/index.html Wuhan is offering incentives for sat manufacturers to move or begin their operations there. ------ Chang'e 5 is a bigger thing than most realize. China's first Moon rocks ignite research bonanza https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00683-6 ------ Here is some info on the Long March 9's second stage engine- ------ Finally, the China-ESA Einstein Probe has passed a major review. It will launch in 2023. https://spacenews.com/china-to-launch-einstein-probe-in-2023-to-observe-destructive-cosmic-events/
  21. There was at least one proposal for Mars- http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/2017/08/prelude-to-mars-sample-return-mars-1984.html None I am aware of for the Moon, either crewed or uncrewed. Otherwise, no, there have not been. I kind of wonder if that is because wheels are better in some way, or if it is because people prefer to work off of the known data from the Apollo LRV, Lunokhod, and all of the Mars rovers instead of trying something completely new.
  22. What I meant was changing the flight plan for the lunar surface stay. This should be pretty easy to do. The launch and landing dates will remain the same no matter what due to the way SLS development is, as you mention. It’s surprising that they don’t consider a four person landing crew given that the lesser landers are out.
  23. I think (and hope) that part of the rational for once a year missions (besides the elephant in the room that is SLS development) is to give leeway for rescheduling them if the first one goes well. So if the first two week mission goes well in 2028, the next one can be reconfigured for 20-25 days, and then if that goes well in 2030 we have a month long stay on the Moon, followed by regular long duration stays with the surface habitat (whether that be another LSS or something else). Artemis III is 6.5 days, so we can already see “doubling” in Artemis V. Sending a pressurized rover in 2029 when the LTV should already be there feels quite fishy.
  24. +1. A major problem I have is trying to make lift off “matter” instead of just going “5 4 3 2 1” and pressing W and space bar. It should be optional though, because sometimes “lonely” launches might be better. Like test flights and so on, or recreating very early space missions which were experimental and not open to the public.
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